AUDITIONS BY APPOINTMENT:
Does my child need to prepare for an audition? No. During the audition the potential singer will be asked to perform several exercises which will be used to determine selection for Mobile’s Singing Children. The singer will be evaluated for musical ability and potential, as well as focus and ability to follow and respond to instruction. Parents should expect the student to make mistakes – part of the process is to evaluate how the child accepts instruction to correct the mistakes. The student may also be questioned about other musical experience and music theory.
Is prior musical experience required? No. Mobile’s Singing Children consists of four choirs which allows for an appropriate placement based on multiple criteria, including prior musical experience. Each spring, singers may audition to be promoted to the next level for the next season. Most singers spend one or two seasons in each of the training choirs.
The Preparatory Choir is a training choir for those singers who need to develop their musical skills and gain more experience with rehearsal/performance situations. The choir aims to instill good vocal habits and build reading skills in its singers. Unison part singing and music theory class is part of the curriculum.
The Intermezzo Choir is for singers who are more experienced in using their vocal instrument. This choir aims to instill good vocal habits and to continue reading skills in its singers. Two-part and three-part singing is introduced. Music theory class is part of the curriculum.
The Concert Choir is is the premier independent community chorus. This choir is for exceptionally talented young singers in 5th – 12th grade with treble voices. It aims to challenge its members with a wide range of literature and performance experiences. Singers in this choir have demonstrated excellent vocal artistry and musical skill for their age, as well as a fine sense of responsibility and behavior. This choir is the main touring group of Mobile’s Singing Children.
Encore! is for High School singers with one or more years of experience. Some Encore! Singers have been members of Mobile’s Singing Children in another ensemble. Some Encore! Singers have no previous MSC experience, but may have trained in a church choir or school choir.
What are the expectations for participation in MSC? The commitment is for the entire season. For the Preparatory and Intermezzo Choirs, the season is Aug. 1 – May 31 of each year. For the Concert Choir and Encore!, the season extends until the conclusion of the annual tour, generally no later than June 15. With the exception of tour related rehearsals, the choirs do not have regularly scheduled rehearsals or performances during the months of June and July. Occasionally, a performance opportunity presents itself during these months and parents/singers make a commitment to participate on a voluntary basis.
Singers are expected to attend all rehearsals and performances. Schedules are posted well in advance and should be considered a “prior obligation” for any future activities. Upon advance request, singers who demonstrate exceptional mastery of their music and are self-motivated to work on their own may occasionally be excused from a rehearsal for conflict. It is expected that parents and singers will consider the MSC schedule before pursuing other activities.
The rehearsal schedule is as follows:
Concert Choir – Mondays, 4pm – 6pm
Encore! – Mondays, 6pm – 7pm
Preparatory – Tuesdays, 4pm – 6pm
Intermezzo Choir – Tuesdays, 4pm – 6pm
The Preparatory and Intermezzo choirs typically perform 3-5 times per season. Concert Choir and Encore! perform locally 5–10 times per season. There are multiple performances associated with the annual tour.
All singers attend two days of summer workshop during the first week of August. Preparatory and Intermezzo Choirs typically meet in the mornings 8-11am and Concert Choir meets in the afternoons 1-4pm. All singers are expected to attend any other rehearsals that may be scheduled in conjunction with performances or special activities.
How much time is required? In addition to scheduled rehearsals, each singer should practice their music on their own daily. Also, parents and singers should be aware that the time commitments increase during the performance seasons for all choirs (November/December and April/May). Preparatory and Intermezzo Choirs can expect additional time commitments for 2-3 additional rehearsals and 2-3 performances. Concert Choir and Encore! should expect the month of December and the month of May to include multiple evening, afternoon and weekend rehearsals and performances.
What are the financial commitments associated with Mobile’s Singing Children? Tuition is required for all singers. Tuition is @ $390.00 per singer per year. MSC offers a limited number of need-based, partial scholarships applicable to tuition.
In addition to tuition, each singer/family is responsible for participating in two fundraisers at a minimum level. If you prefer not to participate in fundraisers, or do not meet the minimum levels, you may “buy-out” of the fundraiser.
Each singer is responsible for the cost of his or her own uniforms.
Families are occasionally asked to contribute food items for parties and events.
There are expenses associated with touring. We conduct several fundraisers which give touring singers the opportunity to minimize their out-of-pocket expenses.