Joining the Chorus
The University of Alberta Mixed Chorus is open to all students, faculty, staff and any other residents of the community interested in singing wonderful music and joining a fantastic community that has been bound together by their love of music for 72 years!
Members pay a modest (currently $50) participation fee. This money helps to offset expenses, which includes ordering music, providing honorariums to our conducting staff, and hosting various social events throughout the year.
If you love music and singing you are welcome to sign up for an audition. We have had members of all ages that are students, faculty, or just residents of Edmonton. You also don’t need to be Indina or an opera singer. The UAMC prides itself on not only being a fantastic choral ensemble, but an excellent learning environment where people of all experiences can work on their choral abilities.
New members are accepted by audition at the beginning of each academic year. Due to the way in which we organize concert repertoire we unfortunately do not accept January auditions.
Auditions take about ten minutes and are simple affairs that you should in no way be intimidated by! Our director, Dr. Robert de Frece, takes this time to assess your vocal range via the following:
- Vocalizing (singing scale passages, or similar) with piano support to determine range.
- Pitch memory exercises (we’ll play three or four notes in sequence on the piano, and you sing them back).
- Picking pitches out of a chord texture (we play three pitches simultaneously on the piano, and ask you to sing the highest, middle, or lowest pitch).
- Simple sight singing
- 30 seconds to a minute of a prepared song. This can be anything that you enjoy singing: from something like O Canada to an art song, aria, musical theatre number, jazz tune, hymn tune, children’s song.
We do our best to keep member costs to a minimum. In fact, through the sponsorship of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the UAMC is able to reduce total costs that would normally lie on the shoulders of its members by ~$20,000!
Nevertheless, there are a few small costs that each member is responsible for. These are:
- Membership fee: $50
- Concert Attire: ~$110
- Refundable Binder Deposit: $50
- Tour Fee (for those going on tour): $110
That’s it! If money is an issue, please come talk to us! Payment plans can be easily arranged.
Rehearsals are held Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00pm and Saturday mornings 10:00am to noon in Education North 2-115. Members are reminded to arrive early and be ready to begin at 7pm and 10am sharp.
Just before the performance we typically have a mandatory “dress rehearsal,” when we rehearse with full instrumentals in the hall in which we will be performing. Concert dress is not required or even recommended at these rehearsals. Other rehearsals are typically accompanied by piano only.
Members may miss up to six rehearsals throughout. Upon the seventh absence a member will be asked to withdraw from the chorus. Members who miss a dress rehearsal without prior arrangement with the director will not be allowed to participate in the performance.
Learning the Music
Each singer is expected to learn the music covered in each rehearsal. Beyond the first reading of a work, full rehearsal time will be devoted to the development of ensemble sound, interpretation, and other musical matters with Saturday sectionals focusing on matters of trouble sections. It is further expected that each singer will make a reasonable effort to develop his or her own vocal skills, and will make every effort to contribute in a positive manner to the work of the group.
Concerts & Tour
The UAMC has three major concerts per year: two in late November/early December and one in the Spring. All important dates will be provided at the beginning of the and all members are expected to attend these concerts as well as the associated dress rehearsals.
There are numerous special performance gigs which form a backbone of our fundraising endeavours. While we understand not everyone can make these affairs we do expect members to step up in order to help support the Chorus.
In addition to concerts during the year, we embark upon a week-long Spring Tour in the period between Winter Semester and Inter-session. While members are not obligated to go, this is an amazing opportunity to share our music with communities throughout Western Canada, bond with your fellow Chorusters, and have a great time!