New to DSA Chorus
Placement Assessment Information
Below are the guidelines for all students who would like to join the DSA Chorus and are not currently enrolled in a DSA chorus class. Students need to do a placement assessment for a DSA Chorus class for the 2019-2020 school year.
Please review the information carefully.
Placement Assessment Requirements
(Detailed information on each category is below)
3. Solo Song
4. Written Music Theory Assessment/Interview
-Students will be led through a vocalization similar to a daily choral warm-up. This will include:
-Vocal scales and arpeggios. Vowel assessment. Range assessment. Overall vocal tone assessment. Posture tutorial and assessment.
-Students will be asked to chant and sing note patterns that they have never seen before.
-Rhythm Syllables: Student will be asked to chant a variety of note patterns, using numbers, rhythm syllables (TaKaDiMi), or by clapping. Solfege Syllables: Student will be asked to sing an eight measure note pattern; using solfeggio syllables (DO, RE, MI, FA, SO, LA, TI, DO). If student is able to use Kodaly hand signs while doing so, this is preferred.
Placement Assessment Solo Song Guidelines
-Students must choose ONE of the songs below, Agnus Dei or Laudamus Te.
-Students may NOT sing a song other than one of the audition songs
-Students must download the sheet music for the song (below), print, and bring with them to their audition.
-Students must learn the song on their own before the audition.
-Students must be prepared to sing the song, memorized, at their scheduled DSA Chorus Placement Assessment.
-Female students should learn the "Soprano" line.
-Male students should learn the "Baritone" line.
Written Music Theory Assessment/Interview
-The DSA choral director conducting the audition will ask the student a few questions about their history in choruses either at school or outside of school (church, community choruses, etc.). Further, the DSA choral director will ask the student why he or she is interested in DSA Chorus, and what they feel they can contribute to the DSA Chorus community as a whole.
-The student will also be asked to take a brief music theory written assessment that builds around note names, musical terms, note names, etc.
Returning Student DSA Chorus
Placement Assessment Information
Below are the guidelines for all students who are currently enrolled in a DSA chorus class. Students need to do a placement assessment for a DSA Chorus class for the 2019-2020 school year.
Please review the information carefully.
Saturday, January 26th: 9:00AM-5:00PM
Tuesday, January 29th: 4:30-8:30PM
Wednesday, January 30th, 4:30-8:30PM
Thursday, January 31st: 4:30-8:30PM
Students will sign up for one 7-minute time-slot on one of the dates listed above. No additional dates/times will be provided. Juniors get first selection of dates & times.
Students are auditioning to be a member of the following high school choral ensembles at The Durham School of the Arts for the 2018-2019 school year.
Bass Ensemble (formerly Men’s Ensemble)
Cantabile (formerly Women’s Ensemble)
As part of their audition, students will be expected to:
1) Perform a solo piece of classical nature, memorized and with
2)Learn and perform an 8-bar sight-reading example.
3)Turn in Personal Statement
4)Turn in Contract
5)Vocalization (If Needed)
2018-2019 High School Choral Audition Requirements
If needed, the audition staff will ask the student to vocalize on a few simple vocal warm-ups. This will help the audition staff to determine the student’s vocal range and overall vocal tone, if needed.
Students are expected to learn a solo song to be performed memorized, with a live piano accompanist at the audition. The song must be one that showcases the student’s ability to sing in a classical or choral manner. The song must be one of the pieces that is assigned by Mrs. Davis, Mr. Nabors or Mr. Moss in class, or a song from private voice study that is approved by Mrs. Davis, Mr. Nabors or Mr. Moss at least two weeks in advance of the audition. Students may NOT sing gospel, pop, country, R & B or contemporary musical theater for this audition. Students are not allowed to sing a song they have performed for a DSA audition before. Students have been given the opportunity to record their piece for rehearsal purposes. Students MUST bring their music, hole punched, and in a black 3-ring binder to their audition.
Students may not sing their piece a cappella, or with recorded accompaniment at the audition.
In regards to the solo piece, students are adjudicated on 3 distinct categories:
- Tone Quality
- Healthy, age-appropriate sound, good intonation, good breath management, tall/pure vowels, and strong overall vocal technique.
- Evidence of preparation for the audition, no mistakes were made (notes, rhythm, etc.), student shows confidence, poise in the execution of the audition (posture, eye contact, overall demeanor, dress, etc.)
- Song Difficulty
- Students will be assigned points based on the difficulty level of their chosen solo. Students will receive 3 points for the most difficult, 2 for medium-difficult, 1 for the least difficult. Most songs passed out in a DSA Chorus class will be levels 1 or 2, with most level 3 songs being, but not limited to, those selected and worked on by private vocal instructors. Remember, all songs must be approved by a DSA Chorus teacher at least 2 weeks in advance.
During the sight-reading portion of the student’s audition, they will be expected to perform a 4-8 measure sight reading example at their audition. Students will not have seen this example before the audition. Students will be given the example, asked to sing a major scale with hand signs, and then will be given 60 seconds to go over the example. When 60 seconds is complete, the students will:
- Perform the sight-reading example aloud on solfege, with hand signs. Not singing on solfege or with handsigns will result in a lower score.
Personal Statement/Interview: Please see last page of this document for information.
How A Student’s Results Are Tabulated:
Each student will audition in front of at least 2 adjudicators. Each adjudicator has an identical, detailed, 4-category rubric with which to score each student who comes before them.
Students are assessed in the following 4 categories:
- Tone Quality
- Aural Skills/Musicianship
- Personal Statement/Interview (not a formal assessment within audition context)
Upon completion of a student’s audition, each of the adjudicators tallies up the scores they gave the student in each of the four categories listed above. Based off these tallies, the adjudicator computes an overall score for the individual student based on their audition. The overall scores from each of the adjudicators are then added together to create a student’s Total Composite Score.
Students are placed in ensembles based on their Total Composite Score. Those with the highest Total Composite Score are placed in the highest choral ensemble, and so on and so forth. Consideration of student’s range and ensemble voicing needs will be taken into account.
If a tie arises between two students with identical Total Composite Scores, then the following factors are taken into consideration:
- Letter grades in Chorus at DSA
- Dedication and Sacrifice towards DSA Choral Program
- Consistency in Participation in Chorus at DSA
- Attendance in class (absences, tardies, skips, etc.)
- Attendance at concerts.
- Rehearsal technique in current DSA choral ensemble
- Focus and work ethic in current DSA choral ensemble
- Evidence of positive behavior, team oriented attitude and leadership.
Important Points to Consider
- All students in current intermediate or advanced choral ensembles at DSA must re-audition to maintain their spot in that current ensemble, or attempt to move to a more advanced class. If students do not audition, they are automatically placed in Concert Chorus.
- Should a student have a scheduling conflict with the choral class they are placed into and another course at DSA, students have the option of staying in their assigned class (based off this audition), or, they may move to a choral class at an ability-level lower than where they placed. Students may not move up to a higher-level choral class that they did not audition into, because of scheduling conflicts.
- If a discrepancy is felt concerning an audition placement, the student in question must first meet with Mrs. Davis, Mr. Nabors and Mr. Moss. If further dialogue is desired, then family members may also set-up a meeting. However, Mrs. Davis, Mr. Nabors, Mr. Moss, will only hold meetings to discuss auditions with parents/guardians if the student is also present.
High School Choral Ensemble Auditions
Durham School of the Arts
As the final component to their audition, students are to provide a written personal statement that outlines their views of what the DSA Choral Department means to them and how they have/will contributed to the department during their time in middle or high school.
Items that can be discussed in the DSA Chorus Personal Statement 2018. Choose to elaborate on one or more of the following topics (in no particular order):
- General history of the student’s time in DSA Chorus.
- What does the DSA Choral Department mean to you?
- In what ways has DSA Chorus provided you with musical growth?
- In what was has DSA Chorus provided you with growth beyond the music?
- Leadership Skills
- Peer Relations
- Is Chorus different than other classes in your daily schedule?
- Do the after school concerts and events provide you with further learning or enjoyment?
- What does the DSA Choral Department represent to the greater Durham School of the Arts school community of teachers and staff in grades 6-12?
- What type of a student are you in your DSA Chorus class? Do you lead your section and the class? Do you contribute positively to the choral rehearsal? Do you provide musical and emotional support to your classmates? Do you maintain a positive attitude? Are you open to all types of musical repertoire? Are you the type of student that should be in an advanced-level ensemble both as a musician and as a human-being to represent the DSA Choral Department, DSA as a school, and Durham as a community?
- Is there a specific memory of yours (or two) that stand out throughout your time with DSA Chorus? These can be large-scale such as concerts or trips, or small-scale such as conversations specific events in class.
(The Top of Your Paper Should Look Exactly Like This, Tailor-Made to You)
Grade for 2018-2019 School Year:_____
Years in Middle School Chorus at DSA:_____
Years in High School Chorus at DSA:_____
Current Chorus Class:_____
Previous Chorus Classes at DSA:_____
(Your Name) Personal Statement: DSA Chorus 2018
Body of Paper
- Personal Statement must be at least 2 pages double-spaced, but no more than 3 pages.
- Personal Statement must adhere to general margin alignment.
- Personal Statement must be written in 12 point, Times New Roman font.
- A hard copy of the Personal Statement must be turned in with the student’s signed contract when they enter the audition room. E-mailed Personal Statements will not be accepted.
Audition Song Rehearsal tracks