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Auditioning FAQs

The Philadelphia Girls Choir conducts auditions during the summer and as space is available. Currently, auditions are only open for girls ages 7 and 8. Visit http://meetme.so/PGCAuditions to see available audition slots and sign up.

How it works

Auditions generally last 10–20 minutes. Parents/guardians fill out a registration form while candidates are reviewed by our faculty in one of our rehearsal rooms. We ask that families not record audio or video of any audition.

Preparations 

We ask only that candidates arrive relaxed and ready to sing. Girls do not need to prepare any song for their audition, although they may do so if they wish. See below for a more detailed explanation of the audition process.

PRO TIP: Get a lot of restful sleep the night before, drink plenty of water and approach the audition with a positive attitude—you can do it!

What to expect in the audition

  • We’ll ask some basic questions about your age, your school, and any prior musical experience you may have.
  • We’ll guide you through a few vocal warm-ups so we can assess your range and timbre.
  • You’ll sing a few standard scales.
  • You’ll do some rote learning, mimicking melodies.
  • You’ll do some aural exercises, identifying pitches that you hear.
  • We’ll give you an opportunity to sight-read music.
  • You’ll sing solfège (do re mi fa sol la ti do).
  • We’ll teach you a simple folk tune and/or a passage from our core repertoire and ask you to sing it.
  • You may sing us a song of your own choosing, if you wish. It can be a patriotic song, a song from school/church/music class, or any other tune you know (please, no “Happy Birthday”). A whole song is not necessary—32 bars or so is sufficient.

Ultimately, your audition is a time for us to get to know each other a bit better, as well as to become acquainted with your vocal abilities. We are not looking for perfection—we’re looking for potential to grow and learn and smile.

Audition times are available for our 2019–2020 season! We are currently ONLY conducting auditions for 7- and 8-year-old girls. Email info@phillygirlschoir.org to make an appointment or follow this link to schedule a summer audition.

FAQs

What is Philadelphia Girls Choir?

Philadelphia Girls Choir is a fun and educational choral experience for girls and young women in the Greater Philadelphia Area. PGC provides a comprehensive music education based upon the renowned Kodály Method. Nathan Wadley, music director of Philadelphia Girls Choir, teaches through the study of folk music and classical works.

Does my child need music and/or voice training to audition?

Not at all! We welcome any girl to audition for us. Prior music experience is helpful, but all girls will have lessons on music theory and receive vocal training while in the choir.

What groups are there within the Choir?

Divided into three distinct groups, Philadelphia Girls Choir provides the best fit for any girl who participates.

Our youngest group, Etude, focuses on the basics of music theory and performance. They also have a musical theme to guide them throughout the year.

Cantata, our intermediate group, continues their musical development with more challenging repertoire. Vocal technique is more important for members of this group. Through local concerts and appearances, Cantata members develop confidence and learn what it means to be a performer.

Our most experienced group, Concerto, is the premier performing ensemble of the Philadelphia Girls Choir. Rehearsals offer increasingly difficult and exciting repertoire. Musicianship exercises are taught and designed to fine tune both the ear and the voice.

Is there an age limit?

We are currently auditioning girls ages 7 and 8. Most start in our Etude program. In some cases, girls with previous musical training can go right into Cantata or Concerto.

What if my daughter or music student doesn’t think she’s good enough?

Some of our most successful girls in the Choir were initially reluctant to audition because they were afraid they weren’t good enough. If your daughter has a sincere interest, please encourage her to audition anyway.

Does my daughter have to give up the school or church choir or her other activities?

Absolutely not! Girls are encouraged to stay actively involved in all of their other choirs, as well as other activities such as sports and clubs. We try to be flexible with scheduling and attendance. That said, there is a commitment required for purposes of sound quality. If your daughter cannot make a large number of rehearsals, this may not be the right activity for her. We need to be able to work with the girls continuously.

What kind of time commitment is necessary?

Etude is split into three sections: one that practices on Thursdays from 4:45 to 6:00, a second that practices onThursday from 6:00 to 7:15, and a third that practices on Fridays from 4:45 to 6:00. The whole group meets on the first Saturday of every month from 9:00 to 10:45.

Cantata practices each Tuesday. Sopranos (higher voices) meet from 4:45 to 6:15, while altos (lower voices) meet from 5:45 to 7:15. The whole ensemble rehearses together each Saturday (except the first of the month) from 9:00 to 10:45.

Concerto practices each Wednesday 4:30 to 7:00 and each Saturday from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

How much does the program cost? Are there scholarships available?

Tuition for Philadelphia Girls Choir is $725 per semester. Full and partial need-based scholarships are available. We seek girls with talent and potential, no matter their economic background.

Is there a required uniform?

At formal performances, girls wear red gowns, which can be ordered online. Dresses will need to be fitted. At informal performances, girls wear black PGC polos, which can be purchased at the choir office, and blue jeans.

Are there performance and traveling opportunities?

The Philadelphia Girls Choir performs a capstone concert at the end of each semester. Throughout the season, we frequently sing at high-level engagements locally and regionally throughout the season. In addition, each summer, a group of girls from Cantata and Concerto embarks on an international tour for two weeks. On our 2019 tour, we are visiting Barcelona and the south of France.

Anything else I should know?

Amidst all this learning and performing, there’s still time for fun! Field trips and museum visits round out the girls’ experience by linking music to the art, architecture, and history of its time. The girls gain a deeper understanding of what they are singing and its cultural relevance.

If you have any other questions, feel free to email us at info@phillygirlschoir.org.

Nathan conducting
Relaxing Before the Winter Concert

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