Audition

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The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington auditions new members to join GMCW three times per season. Auditions for singers for the 2017-2018 Season will be held on Sunday, August 20 from 5-8 pm and Tuesday, September 5 from 6-9 pm. Auditions are held  at the Chorus office at the Wonder Bread Factory, located at 641 S Street NW, Suite 203. Auditions are by appointment only.

GMCW welcomes all singers — regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation — who can sing in the lower vocal register (Tenor 1, Tenor 2, Baritone, Bass) to audition.

Scheduling: If you would like to schedule an audition, please fill out the audition form HERE. The form asks for information about scheduling your audition as well as your singing history. After filling out the form, if you have any further questions about the audition process or joining the Chorus, please contact our auditions coordinator James at auditions@gmcw.org.

In the meantime, please read below for answers to some common questions and to learn more about Chorus membership.

Because the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington strives for artistic excellence, acceptance as a singing member is determined by an audition. We understand that the idea of an audition can be intimidating, and we do our best to make the audition process as informal and friendly as possible.

What to Expect at the Audition: The only people in the room will be you and GMCW’s Artistic Director. The audition will consist of singing some scales (to determine your voice part), sight reading, listening and harmony exercises, which will enable the staff to assess your vocal range and ability. Please plan to sing a song – any song from “Happy Birthday” to your favorite Broadway song – your choice! An accompanist will be provided if you’d like to bring sheet music, otherwise you may sing a cappella. Any previous music experience is a plus. No need to bring a headshot or resume. Overall, the whole process should take 10-15 minutes and will be over before you know it! You will be notified of the audition outcome within the week.

DANCERS

Are you a dancer? GMCW has started a dance ensemble called 17th Street Dance. Auditions for new members of the dance ensemble will be held on Sunday, August 20 at 2 pm at the Balance Gym in Glover Park, 2121 Wisconsin Avenue NW. If you cannot attend on August 20, a second audition will be held on Sunday, August 27 at 2 pm. Dance company members are required to have training in ballet and jazz. Tap and/or contemporary are a huge plus, but not required. Dancers are expected to attend weekly dance rehearsals on Sunday afternoons from 2:00-5:00pm at the Balance Gym in Glover Park, located at 2121 Wisconsin Avenue NW (these are outside of the regular Chorus music rehearsals.) You are not required to sing with the Chorus to join the dance ensemble, but you may audition separately to sing if you would like. For more information about the dance ensemble or dance auditions, please contact choreographer Craig Cipollini at ccipollini@gmcw.org.

TIME COMMITMENT

GMCW presents three main concerts each year – usually in December, March and June. Attendance at rehearsals and performances is mandatory.

Regular Rehearsals: GMCW rehearses Sunday evenings from 6:00-9:00pm. Our rehearsal time is valuable. We learn a great deal of music for each concert. Members are expected to arrive on time.

Special Rehearsals: There are also special rehearsals (sectionals, dress rehearsals, etc) and the dates and times are announced as these are scheduled. Two or three extra rehearsals are often scheduled in the days before a main concert.

Absences: Because we strive for the best artistic product possible, GMCW has an attendance policy which requires attending at least 75% of rehearsals during each concert period. Sectional rehearsals can be used as make-up rehearsals.

Personal Responsibility for Learning Music: You are expected to review your music at home, so you will be fully prepared for each rehearsal. Music is memorized for our concerts.

Retreat: At the end of October we hold a weekend long retreat at a nearby facility. The retreat counts as one regular required rehearsal and one make-up rehearsal and is also a great opportunity to get to know each other.

Schedule: You will have access to the complete schedule of rehearsals, performances, and other important dates as soon as you join, so you can mark your calendar accordingly.

Volunteer Teams: GMCW involves more than just music. To keep the Chorus running smoothly, we rely on members to volunteer extra time. The majority of jobs require relatively little time individually. As a whole, they represent a tremendous amount of effort, without which the Chorus would not be able to function. Please consider helping with one or more of these support team efforts.

Season Break: We take a break from mid/late June until the Sunday after Labor Day.

FINANCIAL COMMITMENT

Dues: The annual dues for new GMCW membership is $150.00, then $180.00 at the beginning of each new season. There are prorated dues for new members who join later in the season. As a volunteer membership organization, we raise all of our own funds from membership dues, advertising, ticket sales, etc. to pay for music, rehearsal rental space, costumes, performance space and all operational expenses. Financial assistance is available for those who need it.

Performance Attire: You procure your own tuxedo (black, single-breasted, notched collar), or tuxedo jacket and long black skirt, white dress shirt or blouse, black shoes and black socks or hosiery. Suspenders, cufflinks and studs are optional. GMCW “baubles” are also worn for many shows and will be explained during orientation.

Concert Travel: Chorus members are financially responsible for the cost of our optional concert tours. Efforts are made to provide low cost options, including community housing when available.

Retreat and Other Incidentals: Our annual retreat in the fall (late September-October) costs about $195 per person for weekend room and board in western MD.