The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington auditions new members to join GMCW each season. The first auditions for singers for the 2020-2021 season will be August 19 & 20. The August auditions will be held virtually via Zoom. Auditions are by appointment only. Those accepted from the auditions will meet virtually for a GMCW orientation. Following orientation, new members will join the Zoom rehearsals and events alongside returning members.
GMCW welcomes all singers -- regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation -- who can sing in the lower vocal register (Tenor 1, Tenor 2, Baritone, Bass) to audition.
Scheduling: If you would like to schedule an audition, please fill out the audition form HERE. The form asks for information about scheduling your audition as well as your singing history. After filling out the form, if you have any further questions about the audition process or joining the Chorus, please contact our auditions coordinator James at email@example.com.
In the meantime, please read below for answers to some common questions and to learn more about Chorus membership. Because the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington strives for artistic excellence, acceptance as a singing member is determined by an audition. We understand that the idea of an audition can be intimidating, and we do our best to make the audition process as informal and friendly as possible.
What to Expect at the Audition: The only people in the room will be you and GMCW’s Artistic Director. The audition will primarily consist of you singing a song a cappella or with a recorded accompaniment. Please plan to sing a song — any song from “Happy Birthday” to your favorite Broadway song — your choice! Additionally, you will be asked to sing some scales so the artistic director can determine your voice part. Any previous music experience is a plus. No need to send a headshot or resume. Overall, the whole process should take 10-15 minutes and will be over before you know it! You will be notified of the audition outcome within the week.
Are you a dancer? GMCW has a dance ensemble called 17th Street Dance. Dance company members are required to have training in ballet and jazz. Tap and/or contemporary are a huge plus, but not required. The next round of auditions for new dancers will be held in summer 2020. Dancers are expected to attend weekly dance rehearsals on Sunday afternoons from 2:30-5:00pm. Dancers are also expected to perform with the dance company at GMCW concerts as needed and at various outreach performances during the year. You are not required to sing with the Chorus to join the dance ensemble, but you may audition separately to sing with GMCW if you would like. For more information, or if you are interested in auditioning, please contact director Craig Cipollini at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GMCW presents three main concerts each year - usually in December, March and June. Attendance at rehearsals and performances is mandatory.
Regular Rehearsals: GMCW rehearses Sunday evenings from 6:00-9:00pm. Our rehearsal time is valuable. We learn a great deal of music for each concert. Members are expected to arrive on time. Special Rehearsals: There are also special rehearsals (sectionals, dress rehearsals, etc) and the dates and times are announced as these are scheduled. Two or three extra rehearsals are often scheduled in the days before a main concert.
Absences: Because we strive for the best artistic product possible, GMCW has an attendance policy which requires attending at least 75% of rehearsals during each concert period. Sectional rehearsals can be used as make-up rehearsals.
Personal Responsibility for Learning Music: You are expected to review your music at home, so you will be fully prepared for each rehearsal. Music is memorized for our concerts.
Retreat: At the end of October we hold a weekend long retreat at a nearby facility. The retreat counts as one regular required rehearsal and one make-up rehearsal and is also a great opportunity to get to know each other.
Schedule: You will have access to the complete schedule of rehearsals, performances, and other important dates as soon as you join, so you can mark your calendar accordingly.
Volunteer Teams: GMCW involves more than just music. To keep the Chorus running smoothly, we rely on members to volunteer extra time. The majority of jobs require relatively little time individually. As a whole, they represent a tremendous amount of effort, without which the Chorus would not be able to function. Please consider helping with one or more of these support team efforts.
Season Break: We take a break from mid/late June until the Sunday after Labor Day.
Dues: The annual dues for new GMCW membership is $150.00, then $180.00 at the beginning of each new season. There are prorated dues for new members who join later in the season. As a volunteer membership organization, we raise all of our own funds from membership dues, advertising, ticket sales, etc. to pay for music, rehearsal rental space, costumes, performance space, and all operational expenses. Financial assistance is available for those who need it.
Performance Attire: Members are responsible for procuring their own black long-sleeved top, black pants/long skirt, and black dress shoes. There are times you may be asked to wear a tux jacket with a white shirt/blouse. Chorus "baubles" are also worn for many shows and will be explained during orientation. There are sometimes other incidental expenses for minor costume items. For most outreach gigs we wear a standard t-shirt that costs about $10.
Concert Travel: Chorus members are financially responsible for the cost of our optional concert tours. Efforts are made to provide low cost options, including community housing when available.
Retreat and Other Incidentals: Our annual retreat in the fall (late September-October) costs about $195 per person for weekend room and board in western MD or western PA.