ChoralArt Singers

Photograph by Richard Sawyer Photography


Auditions for ChoralArt Singers for the 2018-19 Season have ended. Below is a sample of the process.

5:00 – 9:00 p.m. on August 28 & 29, 2017
Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church, 524 Allen Avenue, Portland

Singers may make an appointment for an audition by contacting the ChoralArt manager, Gail Knowles, at
Sopranos and Tenors will audition on August 28. Altos and Basses will audition on August 29.

Biennial (re)auditions will be scheduled for all singers interested in singing with the ChoralArt Singers. All current members of the CA Singers must re-audition, and singers new to ChoralArt are invited to audition for membership in CA Singers or Masterworks Chorus. Singers currently registered with ChoralArt Masterworks will not be required to re-audition for continuing membership in Masterworks.

The 2017-18 schedule for the ChoralArt Singers comprises two concerts: Christmas at the Cathedral and Bach’s Mass in b minor. Additionally ChoralArt Singers forms the core of ChoralArt Masterworks, which will perform twice with the Portland Symphony Orchestra: Jenkins’ The Armed Man in October and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in May. A complete schedule of rehearsals and performances will be available at the time of the audition.

Prepare as follows:

1. Sing a cappella the first verse of “America the Beautiful” (O beautiful for spacious skies) in the key appropriate for your voice:
. Soprano I     F (begin on c, octave above middle c)
. Soprano II   E-flat (begin on b-flat above middle c)
. Alto I            B-flat (begin on f above middle c)
. Alto II          G (begin on d above middle c)
. Tenor I        E (begin on B below middle c)
. Tenor II       D (begin on A below middle c)
. Bass I           B-flat (begin on F below middle c)
. Bass II         F (begin on C below middle c)

2. Singers Audition: Sing with piano your part from the “Credo in unum Deum” of Bach’s Mass in b minor at this tempo: half note = 92. A PDF of the score is available below.
. S1            mm. 9-23
. S2           mm. 24-45
. A             mm. 6-21
. T              mm. 18-32
. B              mm. 4-23

3. Singers Audition: Sing with piano your part from the “Pleni sunt coeli” of Bach’s Mass in b minor at this tempo: eighth note = 168. A PDF of the score is available below.
. S1           mm. 60-84
. S2           mm. 66-84
. A1           mm. 66-93
. A2           mm. 54-78
. T              mm. 48-78
. B              mm. 72-93

4. Masterworks Audition: Sing with piano your part in German (mm. 124-154) from Brahms’ “Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen” (PDF available below).

5. Sight-read a tonal melody of moderate difficulty that modulates from minor to major.

6. Sing, as instructed, either the top, middle or bottom pitch of a triad that is played on piano.


Bach-Credo in unum Deum
Bach-Pleni sunt coeli

Brahms-Wie lieblich


ChoralArt Singers is a mixed chorus of about 50 singers that sings Christmas at the Cathedral annually in December (four performances) and often a second concert in the spring (recently Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, Jenkins’ The Armed Man with Portland Ballet, and Bach Cantata No. 4 under the aegis of the Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ). The ensemble also forms the nucleus of the ChoralArt Masterworks, which has sung annually with the PSO for the past three decades. Rehearsals are usually held at the Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church, 524 Allen Avenue, Portland, on Monday from 7:30 to 9:30 P.M. A typical season begins after Labor Day and runs through Memorial Day. A rehearsal schedule is published well in advance.


• Members must attend at least 80% of regular rehearsals to sing the concert(s).
• Three tardy arrivals or early departures equal one absence.
• Attendance is mandatory at all final rehearsals.

A singer is expected to make a commitment to all concerts in the season. Absences for extenuating circumstances—your illness, an emergency in your family, or unanticipated job obligations—are completely understandable. An occasional absence from a concert because of travel with family is also OK. Absences for other reasons are viewed less kindly. Members may ask for an exception to the policy, which will be reviewed by the attendance committee. Consistency of attendance will be a factor considered at the time of the next reaudition.


PSO/Masterworks Chorus—The Armed Man, Karl Jenkins
Merrill Auditorium
2:30 p.m., Sunday, October 22, 2017
ChoralArt Singers—Christmas at the Cathedral
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Dec. 2 (noon preview & 8:00 p.m.)
Dec. 3 (2:30 & 7:30 p.m.)
ChoralArt Singers—Bach Mass in b minor              
Woodfords Congregational Church
2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 25, 2018 (yes, it’s Palm Sunday)
PSO/Masterworks Chorus—Mahler Symphony No. 2
2:30 p.m., Sunday, April 29, 2018
7:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 1, 2018