Princeton Girlchoir

Girlchoir Audition FAQs

Q: How do I sign up for an audition time?
A: When auditions are open, a link will be provided for the scheduling calendar. If limited auditions are available you will be contacted by the office to schedule.

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 beginning choirs it is not expected.  For placement in our intermediate choirs it becomes more helpful. It is important to be able to read music for placement in our Touring Division choirs. 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, regardless of the results, will be emailed to families in 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 Girlchoir rehearse?
A: All of PGC’s rehearsals take place at Westrick Music Academy, located at 231 Clarksville Rd, Suite 8, Princeton Junction, NJ

Concert Choir and Cantores rehearsals take place on Monday evenings. Grace Notes, Quarter Notes, and Semi-Tones currently take place on Tuesday evenings. Eighth Notes and Ensemble rehearsals are currently held on Wednesday evenings.

Q: What if I have to miss rehearsal?
A: Each chorister is allowed to miss 3 PGC 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 on the choir. All choirs perform two major concerts and have two Saturday retreats together each year. Grace Notes, Eighth Notes, and Quarter Notes generally have another three to four community performances, Semi-Tones, Concert Choir and Cantores might have four or five. Ensemble has by far the most performances, perhaps as many as eight to ten additional opportunities.

Q: What happens if a concert is scheduled during the year and I am unavailable to sing in it?
A: Princeton Girlchoir makes every attempt to set its concert schedule by the beginning of September and to give its families ample notice of performances planned. During each year, however, several opportunities 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 PGC?
A: For the 2019-2020 season, tuition ranges from $1,320 to $1,640 depending on the choir in which the chorister sings. 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 PGC on our website.

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

To ensure our auditions are need-blind, scholarship applications are sent out in mid-July to those who are placed in a choir along with their formal invitation and registration information. All assistance requests are kept strictly confidential and are reviewed on a blind basis by the Scholarship Committee. Please feel free to contact the office with any additional questions.

Q: What do the girls in Princeton Girlchoir wear for their performances?
A: For each choir there is a uniform dress for performances, which you will be asked to purchase at the beginning of the year. There are often gently-used dresses available for purchase from choristers who have grown or moved up into another choir which have been donated back to PGC and can be purchased at a discounted rate to benefit the choirs. Choristers in the Grace Notes, Eighth Notes, Quarter Notes and Semi-Tones are also asked to wear opaque black tights and plain matte black “ballet flat” shoes. Concert Choir, Ensemble and Cantores wear black stockings and solid black, closed-toe shoes.

Occasionally, choristers will perform in informal attire, which consists of the PGC black t-shirt, long dark blue jeans, and black flats. All new choristers are given their first Princeton Girlchoir t-shirt at the beginning of their first season. Subsequent t-shirts can be bought for $15.

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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