Princeton Boychoir

Boychoir Audition FAQs

Q: How do I sign up for an audition time?
A: Click on the New/Returning PBC Chorister Audition Sign-Up link on Princeton Boychoir Auditions Page.

Q: When should I arrive for my audition and what should I bring?
A: Arrive 15 minutes before your audition to check in. Bring a water bottle, if you would like to have one! We should have already received your audition application and $25 audition fee, and we will take your picture when you arrive.

Q: How long will my audition last?
A: Each audition lasts approximately 10 minutes. For part of that time you will be singing, and part of the time we’ll chat and get to know each other a little bit.

Q: Who will listen to my audition?
A: Two members of our artistic staff will be in your audition.

Q: What happens during the audition?
A: Depending on your age and experience, you may be asked to:

  • Sing ascending and descending scales to determine your vocal range
  • Echo-sing tonal patterns played on the piano
  • Sing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” first alone, and then as a round with one of the directors
  • Sing the highest, middle or lowest sound when two or three notes are played on the piano
  • Sight-read a brief passage of music.

Q: What will the directors look for in my audition?
A: They will look for:

  • A pleasant singing voice, one that has the ability to unify with other voices
  • The ability to sing in tune
  • The ability to correctly sing the musical patterns
  • The ability to identify and sing the highest, lowest, and/or the middle note in a three-note chord or a two-note interval
  • The ability to hold your own part while singing a round
  • The ability to stay focused and follow directions
  • A pleasant and expressive face while singing

Q: Is it necessary to be able to read music?
A: It depends on the choir level. For our Apprentice Choir it is not expected. It is important to be able to read music for placement in our Treble Choir and Young Men’s Ensemble. If there is any doubt, we can discuss ways to develop the musicianship skills necessary to succeed in the choirs.

Q: What does my parent do while I am auditioning?
A: Your parent will wait with a staff member or volunteer who can answer any questions you may have.

Q: How will I know the result of my audition?
A: Letters to all auditionees will be emailed in early to mid-July.

Q: If I am accepted, can I ask to be in the same choir with my friends?
A: Our directors will have listened carefully to your audition and taken note of your point of musical development, and will place you in the choir in which you will be successful and have the best experience. This won’t be based on your age, but on your musical abilities. If your friends are in a different choir, you will often have opportunities to sing together in concerts and retreats, and then will be able to introduce each other to the new friends you have made in your own choirs.

Q: Where and when does Princeton Boychoir rehearse?
A: All of PBC’s rehearsals take place at Westrick Music Academy, located at 231 Clarksville Rd, Suite 8, Princeton Junction, NJ.

The Princeton Boychoir season begins in September and continues through May. The Apprentice Choir meets on Wednesday evenings, while the Treble Choir and Young Men’s Ensemble meet on Thursdays. On occasion, the rehearsal times are adjusted to create more overlap and allow for large group collaboration between all the choirs.

Q: What if I have to miss rehearsal?
A: Each chorister is allowed to miss 3 PBC functions in each semester. If you know you’ll miss something ahead of time, you can email to report the absence. If you miss more than 3 rehearsals in a semester, it will be up to the director’s discretion whether you may participate in the following performances.

Q: How many performances are there during the year?
A: It depends upon the choir. All choirs perform two major concerts and have a Saturday retreat together each year. Apprentice Choir generally has two to three additional community performances, while Treble Choir and Young Men’s Ensemble may have an additional three to five.

Q: What happens if a concert is scheduled during the year and I am unavailable to sing in it?
A: We make every attempt to set the concert schedule and provide our families with ample notice of performances planned. During each year, however, opportunities may arise for the choristers to make music and to enjoy some extraordinary experiences, some of which our directors have had no way to anticipate. Participation in all performances is expected; if you have an irreconcilable conflict, you will need to discuss it in advance with your director.

Q: What is the cost of tuition and fees associated with PBC?
A: For the 2019-2020 season, tuition is $1,320 for each choir. You will also be responsible for the required performances uniform for the year and a fully refundable music deposit of $45. There is a full breakdown of all tuition and fees associated with PBC on our website in the “Boychoir” section.

Q: Are there any scholarships, and how do I apply?
A: We are committed to fostering a chorister’s participation in the choir unhampered by financial constraints, and are proud of our history of supporting requests for financial assistance through a need-based scholarship program, which currently supports approximately 15% of our choristers.

We encourage families in need of assistance to contact the office for more information. Scholarship applications will be made available at the time that invitations to join the choirs are issued. All assistance requests are kept strictly confidential and are reviewed on a blind basis by our Scholarship Committee.

Q: What do the boys wear for their performances?
A: All of our choristers wear black chinos, a white oxford shirt, and the Black/Red/White PBC tie with black dress shoes, belt and socks. The Treble Choir adds to this a grey monogrammed sweater vest, and the Young Men’s Ensemble adds a grey monogrammed blazer. In addition, for informal performances all choristers wear a monogrammed maroon polo shirt with their black slacks, shoes, and belt. All choristers are given their first Princeton Boychoir polo shirt at the beginning of their first season. Subsequent polos can be purchased for $20.

Helpful Hints for an Audition:

  • Be on time! Arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment to allow time to find the audition area and not be rushed.
  • Be sure to get a good night’s sleep the night beforehand.
  • Good posture will help breath control, and keeping the knees relaxed will help you relax.
  • Remembering to breathe deeply, relax your jaw and open your mouth are techniques that will enhance your vocal production.
  • Relax and have a good time! We’re singers too, and we know how nervous you feel. It’ll be okay, we promise.
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