The La Jolla Symphony Chorus welcomes trained singers (university, student, and community) with excellent music reading skills who are interested in a serious commitment to choral singing. Open auditions are held by appointment at UCSD.
David Chase, Choral Director
Kenneth Bell, Assistant Director
Victoria Heins-Shaw, Accompanist
La Jolla Symphony Chorus holds winter 2013 auditions for all voice sections on Saturday, March 23, 2013, from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at UCSD. To arrange an appointment, contact Chorus Manager Mea Daum by email at email@example.com or by phone at 858-243-2045.
UCSD graduate and undergraduate students will have an additional opportunity to audition on Monday, April 1, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Students who have already auditioned and enrolled in Music 95-D do not have to re-audition. The April auditions are for students who will be new to LJSC in the Spring Quarter 2013. We prefer to make appointments for student auditionees, but we also audition walk-ups as long as time is available. Interested students are encouraged to contact the manager by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 858-243-2045.
First, about the audition itself. The process is designed to be thorough but fair, so we can add serious musicians, not only vocalists, to the chorus. Please prepare for the following:
The La Jolla Symphony Chorus (offered as Music 95-D through UCSD) rehearses from September to early June, every Monday from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Recital Hall at the new Conrad Preby Music Center. The center is located across the street from the Gilman Parking Structure on the UCSD campus. Extra rehearsals may be scheduled as needed.
Singers are required to attend a minimum of 75% of all weekly rehearsals, and to attend the dress rehearsal prior to each concert. Student grades are dependent upon rehearsal attendance and concert participation. This class may be taken for a grade or pass/no pass.
Most concerts are given at 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays and at 2 p.m. on Sundays in Mandeville Auditorium. Some concerts are given at off-campus locations. Chorus call is at least one hour prior to each concert. Dress rehearsal is normally on the Friday evening prior to concert weekend, but may be held on Saturday morning on the performance weekend.
UCSD requires evening parking permits, which cost approximately $43 per quarter (or $3 per hour). Quarterly parking passes are available at the UCSD Parking Office in the Gilman Parking Structure (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Singers coming to rehearsal from off-campus generally park in the Gilman Parking Structure or in lots that are near the intersection of Gilman Drive and Russell Lane. Fee-based parking permits will be required for Monday evening audition as well as Monday rehearsals.
Men wear traditional black tuxedoes and black shirts with Mandarin collars and long sleeves. Black socks and shoes. Since these are self-funded items, we suggest "thrift" shopping. NO FRAGRANCES!
Women are required to wear a "uniform" black concert dress ordered through the chorus. The cost is approximately $70; some "recycled" dresses might be available at a lower price. Black hosiery and shoes. The chorus "loans" uniform pearl necklaces for concerts. Small earrings only. NO FRAGRANCES!
BLACK MUSIC FOLDERS FOR ALL. Any type of black folder is acceptable. Optional is "The Black Folder" which can be ordered for approximately $20.
David Chase, Choral Director
La Jolla Symphony & Chorus
I am sometimes asked to explain why our audition process is somewhat complicated, especially in that it includes a written "quiz" and a task that specifically tests the ability to sing a familiar song in an unfamiliar way, as well as the usual tests of vocal ability.
The short answer to this is: We pride ourselves on having a smart chorus and want to make it even smarter. But a lengthier answer follows. First, it should be said that the audition is NOT that extraordinary. It's structured this way not only to be thorough, but more importantly to be fair. Like any chorus, we need sound, and a resonant, accurate, attractive voice will always be welcome. For this reason, the audition scoring is weighted toward these attributes. In fact, if an excellent singer fails the written quiz, he/she will surely be accepted, albeit with the provision that he/she is willing to improve the other skills. A singer with excellent "theory" skills whose voice is detrimental to the chorus' sound will not pass the audition.
The audition procedure, because it isn't only about vocalism, carries an important implication: The singers in this chorus are musicians as well as vocalists. This is often reinforced in rehearsals by our expectation that members operate from musical concepts in learning and interpreting music, rather than by simply learning by rote and mimicry.
This level of musicianship is the key to performing the varied repertoire that we do, and to doing it under time restraints. If the musicianship diminishes, the rehearsals go more slowly and the repertoire has to become less adventuresome. This chorus has been moving decidedly in the opposite direction for many years!
The audition rewards some of the non-vocal attributes that we find useful in our music making. In addition to basic musicianship and understanding of the notational system, it even tests the individual's willingness to "bone up" on the written fundamentals if necessary, indicating a different level of dedication than the traditional stand-and-sing audition.
In singing in a chorus that has this approach to finding new members, a "serious singer" can be at least partially assured of the seriousness of each new generation of auditionees. By "serious" I mean simply a singer who is dedicated to music making; this is the kind person who fits in our musical community.
This last point leads naturally to a kind of "vision statement" as it concerns the chorus's goals. This is a chorus that loves to make friends while making great music. They like to have fun while working very seriously. This chorus is traditional in that it is a community of like-minded singers whose music making brings them close together as friends. But it is unusual in that it prefers to be challenged by music that not all choruses choose to do.
To do all that, we need good singers, good musicians, and good people. This audition is the most successful way we've found to find them!
Cultural Ambassadors of the City and County of San Diego, La Jolla Symphony Chorus has been recognized for its musical excellence, high standards, and imaginative programming.
An association of amateur and professional musicians, and the University of California, San Diego since 1967, the 130 voice La Jolla Symphony Chorus attracts singers from all areas of San Diego County, and continues to draw talent from the university's faculty, staff and student body.
Conducted by David Chase since 1973, the ensemble performs a mixture of musical styles that combine choral masterworks with new or rarely heard works. Major projects have included the world premiere of Henry Brant's Western Springs, and Linda Kernohan's Now a Wanderer; both commissioned by the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus Association. The chorus also gave the U.S. premiere of Australian composer Martin Wesley-Smith's Boojum!, based on the writings of Lewis Carroll; and the west coast premiere of Cary Ratcliff's Ode to Common Things, featuring the poetry of Pablo Neruda.
In addition to concerts given with its sister organization, the La Jolla Symphony Orchestra at UCSD, the chorus has sung with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, under the batons of Jung Ho Pak, Maximiano Valdés, Julian Wachner, Yoav Talmi, Mitch Miller and the late Robert Shaw. In collaboration with other San Diego arts organizations, guest artists from the California Ballet, the San Diego Chamber Orchestra, and the San Diego Master Chorale have appeared with the La Jolla Symphony Chorus in concerts at Mandeville Auditorium.
Members of the chorus have made four European concert tours, including festival performances in southern France; and concerts in Germany, Austria, Italy, Czech Republic and Poland. They have represented the United States at the Kathaumixw International Choral Festival in Canada. In July 2003, as official "Cultural Ambassadors" of both the City and County of San Diego, the La Jolla Symphony Chamber Chorus became the first ensemble from a western nation to sing in the remote Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. As invited guests of the Royal Government of Bhutan, the chorus was honored to perform the program "Voices from America" in six concerts throughout the country.
The La Jolla Symphony Chorus has established a musical standard by bringing alive the great music of the past while keeping an eye...and ear to the composers of today who are writing the great music of the future.
For thirty-two years, David Chase has led the La Jolla Symphony Chorus through great works and innovative new pieces, drawing out not only the best in the sound but the best in the singers.
David Chase became Choral Director of La Jolla Symphony Chorus and Lecturer in the Department of Music at the University of California at San Diego in 1973. In addition to his choral duties, he has conducted symphony and chamber orchestras, as well as numerous musical theatre productions. He has directed multi-media productions of Orff's Catulli Carmina and Menotti's The Unicorn the Gorgan, and the Manticore. He has created and presented "Milton, Handel and Blake: A Meeting of Minds: L'Allegro ed il Penseroso"; a concert of poetry, paintings and music with La Jolla Symphony and Chorus. In 2000, under the auspices of America Cantat (Alberto Grau and Maria Guinand), he conducted choral workshops in the cities of Puerto Ordaz and Mérida, Venezuela. He has taken members of LJSC on four European concert tours, and in 2003 he and the chorus were honored to be the first ensemble from a Western nation to tour the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan.
As a singer, he performed and recorded with the Robert Shaw Festival Chamber Chorus in Souillac, France and at Carnegie Hall. He has also been a fellow in the Melodious Accord Fellowship with Alice Parker in New York City.
David Chase graduated from Ohio State University and received his doctorate at the University of Michigan. In Ann Arbor, he served as conductor for the Grand Rapids Symphonic Choir, choral arm of the Grand Rapids Symphony, then conducted by Semyon Bichkov. Dr. Chase has been on the music faculty of Palomar College, San Marcos since 1973, where he continues to teach theory, music history and conducts a chamber ensemble. His compositions are published by Shawnee Press and Concordia Music Publishers.
Dr. Chase describes his chorus as one that likes to have fun while working very seriously. It is that balance that has earned him a reputation for excellence and imagination.
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