TFC Auditions

The Boston Symphony Orchestra invites applicants to audition for the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

 

Interested singers are invited to attend a first round of auditions and participate in a TFC rehearsal on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. The TFC will be rehearsing Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil in preparation for their performances on April 11 and April 17.

If you are unavailable for this round of auditions, but would like to be emailed when future auditions have been announced, please fill out the TFC Audition Interest Form


Round 1

Date: Wednesday, April 1
Time: Auditions, 5pm-6:30pm | Rehearsal, 7pm-9:30pm
Location: Symphony Hall | 301 Massachusetts Ave. Boston, MA 02115

Auditionees will prepare the opening of the Kyrie from Duruflé’s Requiem to sing for a member of our artistic staff. A PDF of the excerpt will be provided via email after registering. Following the excerpt, auditionees may be given some coaching on their performance, and then guided through some vocal exercises and ear tests. This will last approximately 5 minutes.

At 7pm, all auditioning singers will participate in a TFC rehearsal led by BSO Choral Director James Burton. More details will be provided via email, along with an audition confirmation.

To be in touch about auditioning, please fill out the April 2020 Audition Information Form by March 17. Please note that filling out this form does not guarantee an audition, as there is a limited number of audition slots. A chorus manager will confirm an audition and provide the excerpt by Friday, March 20.

Auditionees will be notified by Friday, April 3 if they have been called back for Round 2.

Round 2

Date: Monday, April 6
Time: 5:30pm-6:30pm
Location: Symphony Hall | 301 Massachusetts Ave. Boston, MA 02115

Based on the first round of auditions, candidates will be selected to sing for BSO Choral Director James Burton. This audition will last approximately 10 minutes and consist of:

  • A prepared excerpt - Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen (b. 86-153) from Brahms’ Requiem. The excerpt should be prepared in German and an mp3 with the correct pronunciation will provided.
  • Sight reading
  • Vocal exercises

Timeline

  • Tuesday, March 17 - Application deadline
  • Friday, March 20 - Audition confirmation and excerpt distribution
  • Wednesday, April 1 - Round 1
  • Friday, April 3 - Round 1 Results
  • Monday, April 6 - Round 2
  • Wednesday, April 8 – Round 2 Results

 

TFC Highlights of the Symphony Hall 2019-2020 Season:

September 19 – 21, 2019
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Andris Nelsons, conductor
BEETHOVEN Choral Fantasy in C minor for piano, chorus and orchestra
POULENC Gloria, for soprano, chorus, and orchestra

November 21 – 26, 2019
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Andris Nelsons, conductor
Galina GRIGORJEVA On Leaving
   For unaccompanied choir (November 21, 23, 26)
   James Burton, conductor
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 2, To October (recorded for DG release)

December 5 – 24, 2019
Boston Pops Orchestra
Keith Lockhart, Conductor
Holiday Pops

February 27 – March 3, 2020
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Giancarlo Guerrero, Conductor
DURUFLÉ Requiem

March 26 – 28, 2020
Thomas Adès, conductor
STRAVINSKY Perséphone

April 17, 2020
Post-concert Casual Friday performance
James Burton, conductor
RACHMANINOFF All-Night Vigil*
*celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus

TFC Highlights of the Tanglewood 2020 Season:

July 10, 2020 | 8pm
Koussevitzky Music Shed - Tanglewood
Andris Nelsons, conductor
POULENC Gloria, for soprano, chorus, and orchestra

July 11, 2020 | 8pm
Koussevitzky Music Shed - Tanglewood
Andris Nelsons, conductor
WAGNER Overture and Venusberg Music from Tannhäuser
Tannhäuser, Act III

August 1, 2020 | 8pm
Koussevitzky Music Shed - Tanglewood
Andris Nelsons, conductor
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 3

August 2, 2020 | 2:30pm
Koussevitzky Music Shed - Tanglewood
Andris Nelsons, conductor
BARBER Prayers of Kierkegaard, for soprano, chorus, and orchestra

August 22, 2020 | 8pm
Koussevitzky Music Shed - Tanglewood
Sir Mark Elder, conductor
BERLIOZ Requiem

August 23, 2020 | 2:30pm
Koussevitzky Music Shed - Tanglewood
Christoph von Dohnányi, conductor
BRAHMS Geistliches Lied and Fest- und Gedenksprüche, for chorus
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9


Audition FAQ

How often does the TFC perform, what are the membership expectations?

The TFC performs year-round at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood. Members are not required to sing in every concert cycle. Detailed participation guidelines are linked here.

Do my prepared excerpts need to be memorized?

Prepared excerpts do not need to be memorized. You may bring your own score to the audition. There will also be a clean copy available.

What materials will be provided with my audition confirmation?

Both Round 1 and Round 2 excerpts will be emailed along with an audition time on March 20. There will also be a German diction mp3 provided for the Brahms.

Are there any guidelines for the sight reading?

You will be asked to sight read a choral piece in English or Latin. Please sing as much of your part as possible, ie notes, rhythms, words, dynamics and articulations. To mimic a ‘live’ choir reading a new work, the accompanist will play the other vocal lines, but will not play your part, nor stop the performance in order to correct. Two sight reading samples are linked below.

Example 1
Example 2

Are there any guidelines for the ear tests?

The ear test will consist of familiar tasks, such as naming and pitching intervals, identifying specific pitches in a chord of 3 or 4 notes etc. The purpose of the tests is to establish the accuracy and speed of your musical ear.