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Choral FAQ

1. What choral opportunities are there at Duquesne?

Meets T-H from 1:40-2:55 p.m. in room 201. Open to all beginning male singers who want to learn more about singing in a nurturing instructional environment. Admission is by voice placement interview. Conductor: Patricia Donahue Burns.

Meets T-H from 1:40-2:55 p.m. in room 206 and the PNC Recital Hall. Sectional rehearsals take place on alternate Thursdays from 3:05-3:55 p.m. at the discretion of the conductor. Open to all those with high school or other previous choral experience. Openings are available for all voice parts. Admission is by voice placement audition. The Chorales sing independent concerts throughout the community and on campus, as well as combining for major events. Women’s Conductor: Christine Jordanoff, Men’s Conductor: Richard Teaster

Meets M-W from 1:00-2:50 p.m. in room 206. Some extra rehearsals will be held on Fridays during the fall ‘07 semester to prepare for the European tour. Open to experienced singers with excellent reading skills who want a challenging and advanced choral experience. Admission is by competitive audition only. Singers must be prepared to commit for two semesters. No vacancies for Fall ’07. The Voices, who sing music in a variety of styles and languages, recently were featured at the PMEA State Conference in Valley Forge, PA and completed a tour through Central Pennsylvania. Conductor: Christine Jordanoff

2. What is the audition process?

*During the 10-minute audition you will sing vocal exercises chosen by Mrs. Jordanoff that indicate your highest and lowest range.
*Echoing some melodic and rhythmic patterns by rote after the instructor
*Reading some short examples of rhythms in 4/4 and 6/8
*Reading of your own part in a chorale type melody either with text or a neutral syllable.
*Please prepare to sing a song to demonstrate the quality and style of your singing. It can be as simple as a Christmas carol or a patriotic song, but should be something recognizable.

3. Who is eligible for the choirs?

Any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled at Duquesne, or high school students in the ACHI program may audition for any of the choirs. They are not restricted to music majors.

4. Must I take choir for credit?

You may register for 1 credit or 0 credit, depending upon your academic needs. You should determine this with your advisor. You may register for pass/fail if you are not taking choir as a required course. Speak to your advisor about this option.

5. Are there exams in choir?

Yes, there are usually two singing exams during the semester at which you will sing your part in a small ensemble.

6. How are grades awarded?

Grades are based on the results of the exams, participation in rehearsals and concerts, and attendance. A complete description of grading is available in the syllabus.

7. How many performances are there each semester?

There are usually two performances each semester, held on campus or in various locations around the city. These are published in the syllabus at the beginning of each semester. Under special circumstances, choirs may be asked to sing for unique university events as the need arises. Occasionally groups are invited to travel outside the area.

8. Are there ever any extra rehearsals?

Occasionally before a special concert, such as the annual “O Come All Ye Faithful” concert held the first Sunday of December each year, extra rehearsals may be scheduled on site. Students may request a letter from the conductor if they need to be excused from a class in order to attend.

9. What are the attendance requirements?

Students are expected to attend all rehearsals and concerts. Members of the Voices of Spirit are also expected to attend a sectional rehearsal once a week at a mutually convenient time to the members of the section. Pappert Chorales may have a sectional on Thursdays immediately following rehearsal at the discretion of the conductor. Absences from a performance, except in the case of serious, documented illness or emergency, constitute an automatic “F” grade. One excused absence from rehearsal may be granted for legitimate reasons. Each unexcused absence drops the final grade by one rank in the plus/minus system. A detailed explanation of the attendance policy can be found in the syllabus.

10. What costs are involved in being a member of the chorus?

The Choral Department supplies all music at no cost to the student, however, it the music is not returned and in good condition, a student will be assessed the cost of the music before a grade will be released. A $15 music deposit is required.

Singers must purchase a black folder for music that costs about $20 and will last all 4 years.

Women purchase a uniform gown and shrug and custom-made jewelry that costs about $125. A limited number of used gowns are available for sale each semester at a reduced price. Gowns and jewelry may be re-sold if a student leaves the choir.

Men must have a standard black tuxedo (single-breasted, notched collar preferred), pleated white shirt, black bow tie, cummerbund and appropriate black shoes. These can be purchased at reasonable costs from any tuxedo store.

Rarely, for special events, students may be asked to wear a DU sweatshirt or similar item with a DU logo.

11. Am I expected to register for choir every semester?

Music majors should consult their curriculum sheets. Non-majors may register as often as they are able. You are encouraged to spend a full year if at all possible. Consult your advisor to learn how choir participation can satisfy a core curriculum requirement.