TFC Auditions

The Boston Symphony Orchestra invites applicants to audition for the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.
We currently do not have an upcoming audition date scheduled. However, we are planning to hold an audition round this coming Fall 2019. If you are interested in auditioning, please fill out the TFC Audition Contact Form and we will contact you as soon as the next audition round is announced.

Highlights of the Tanglewood 2019 and Symphony Hall 2019-2020 TFC Schedule:

Saturday, July 13, 8pm, Tanglewood
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Andris Nelsons, conductor
VERDI Requiem

Friday, July 26, 8pm, Tanglewood
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Andris Nelsons, conductor
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 2
RAVEL Daphnis et Chloé (complete)

Friday, August 23, 6pm, Tanglewood
Featured TFC Prelude Concert
-and-
Sunday, August 25, 2:30pm, Tanglewood
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor
SCHOENBERG Friede auf Erden (Peace on Earth),
   for unaccompanied chorus
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9

September 19 – 21, 2019
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Andris Nelsons, conductor
BEETHOVEN 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)
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
DURFLÉ 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

Audition Details

Before the in-person audition, you will fill out an online form and provide the following:

  • An .mp3 recording that lasts no more than 3 minutes. It can be in any language and a cappella or accompanied. Please email this to tfc@bso.org.
  • A single sided one page PDF resume that outlines your musical education, training and performance experience. You can upload this via the online form.

If you are offered an audition time, more information regarding building access, etc. will be sent via email with your confirmed time. Each audition will last approximately 15 minutes.

  • Please prepare ONE classical piece of your own choosing which best shows off your vocal talents, your vocal range and your musicality. The piece should fit one of the following categories:
  • An art song, eg Caro mio ben by Giordani, An die musik by Schubert, The Vagabond by Vaughan Williams, Sure on this Shining Night by Barber etc
  • An opera aria, eg Voi che sapete by Mozart etc
  • A solo aria from an oratorio or classical piece, eg Pie Jesu from Fauré Requiem, Esurientes implevit from Bach Magnificat, Ev’ry valley from Handel Messiah
  • An extract from a choral work in which your voice part is prominent or frequently used, eg Kyrie from Mozart Requiem
  • Please note that songs from the American Songbook, folk songs or Musical Theatre numbers are not permitted for this audition.

The piece should be between 2 and 4 minutes in length. Lengthy instrumental introductions may be cut to a reasonable length, and if the piece has a lengthy postlude this may be cut in order to fit the duration criteria. 

The piece should be sung in any one of the following languages: English, French, German, Italian or Latin. 

Your piece will be accompanied by our pianist, and it need not be memorized. A music stand will be provided but you are not obliged to use it if you would prefer to hold your music.  

Please use a recognized published edition of the piece (internet editions can be unreliable and contain musical inaccuracies). The pianist’s copy should be legible and have page turns which are practical. Please organize this in advance of your audition.

  • Please choose a simple song which we will hear you sing unaccompanied and from memory. This can be a folk song, hymn or a simple melody.  It should be sung in English and last no more than 90 seconds.
  • You will be asked to do some Sight Reading. Please sing as much of your part as possible, ie notes, rhythms, words, dynamics and articulations. You will be given a starting pitch and an indication of the tempo. So as to give the impression of it being 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. You may be asked to sing more than one piece of Sight Reading. The languages of the Sight Reading pieces will be either English or Latin.  
  • Ear Tests 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.
  • You may be asked to sing some vocal exercises as directed by the panel. The purpose of the exercises will be to establish in more detail the range of your voice, and your ability to respond to technical instruction, such as altering the placement of the voice, vocal timbre, vowel colors and so on. 

Audition Checklist

  • Choose and prepare a 2-4 min accompanied piece which fits the criteria as outlined above
  • Choose and prepare an unaccompanied short song to sing from memory – no longer than 90 seconds
  • Organize copies of your music to bring for the audition
  • Prepare for the Sight Reading and Ear Tests
  • Practice!