Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I sign up for an audition time?
A: Click on either the New or Returning Chorister Audition Sign-Up link on the 2016-2017 Auditions page
Q: When should I arrive for my audition and what should I bring?
A: Arrive 15 minutes before your audition to check in. Bring a water bottle, if you would like to have one! We should have already received your audition application and $25 audition fee, and we will take your picture when you arrive.
Q: How long will my audition last?
A: Each audition lasts approximately 10 minutes. For part of that time you will be singing, and part of the time we’ll chat and get to know each other a little bit.
Q: Who will listen to my audition?
A: Two members of our artistic staff will be in your audition.
Q: What happens during the audition?
A: Depending on your age, you may be asked to:
- Sing ascending and descending scales to determine your vocal range
- Echo-sing tonal patterns played on the piano
- Sing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” first alone, and then as a round with one of the directors
- Sing the highest, middle or lowest sound when two or three notes are played on the piano
- Sight-read a brief passage of music.
Q: What will the directors look for in my audition?
A: They will look for:
- A pleasant singing voice, one that has the ability to unify with other voices
- The ability to sing in tune
- The ability to correctly sing the musical patterns
- The ability to identify and sing the highest, lowest, and/or the middle note in a three-note chord or a two-note interval
- The ability to hold your own part while singing a round
- The ability to stay focused and follow directions
- A pleasant and expressive face while singing
Q: Is it necessary to be able to read music?
A: It depends on the choir level. For Grace Notes it is not expected. For Quarter Notes and Semi-Tones it becomes more helpful. It is important to be able to read music at the Concert-Choir level. If there is any doubt, we can discuss ways to develop the musicianship skills necessary to succeed in the choirs.
Q: What does my parent do while I am auditioning?
A: Your parent will wait with a staff or volunteer who can answer any questions you may have.
Q: How will I know the result of my audition?
A: Letters to all auditionees will be emailed sometime in mid-June or early July, depending on the time of auditions in the year.
Q: If I am accepted, can I ask to be in the same choir with my friends?
A: Our directors will have listened carefully to your audition and taken note of your point of musical development, and will place you in the choir in which you will be successful and have the best experience. This won’t be based on your age, but on your musical abilities. If your friends are in a different choir, you will often have opportunities to sing together in concerts and retreats, and then will be able to introduce each other to the new friends you have made in your own choirs.
Q: When and where does Princeton Girlchoir rehearse?
A: Currently, all choirs rehearse at Princeton Day School. The rehearsal times as are follows:
- Grace Notes: Tuesdays from 5:45-6:45
- Quarter Notes: Tuesdays from 6:45-8:00
- Semi-Tones: Tuesdays from 7:00-8:30
- Concert Choir: Mondays from 6:15-8:30
- Ensemble:Wednesdyas from 6:30-8:30
- Cantores: Mondays from 6:15-8:30pm
Q: What if I have to miss rehearsal?
A: Each chorister is allowed to miss 3 PGC functions in each semester. If you know you'll miss something ahead of time, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to. If you miss more than three rehearsals in a semester, it will be up to the director’s discretion whether you may participate in the following performances.
Q: How many performances are there during the year?
A: Again, it depends on the choir. All choirs perform two major concerts and have two Saturday retreats together each year. Grace Notes and Quarter Notes generally have another 3-4 community performances, Semi-Tones and Cantores might have five or six, and Concert Choir more like seven or eight. The Ensemble has by far the most performances; in addition to their performances in the Concert Choir, Ensemble members might have eight to ten more.
Q: What happens if a concert is scheduled during the year and I am unavailable to sing in it?
A: Princeton Girlchoir makes every attempt to set its concert schedule by the beginning of September and to give its families ample notice of performances planned. During each year, however, several opportunities arise for the choristers to make music and to enjoy some extraordinary experiences, some of which our directors have had no way to anticipate. Participation in all performances is expected; if you have an irreconcilable conflict, you will need to discuss it in advance with your director.
Q: What is the cost of tuition and fees associated with PGC?
A: For the 2016-2017 season, tuition ranges from $1295 to $1610 depending on the choir in which the chorister sings. You will also be responsible for the required performances uniform for the year and a fully refundable music deposit of $45. There is a full breakdown of all tuition and fees associated with PGC on our website in the "About" section.
Q: Are there any scholarships, and how do I apply?
A: The Board of Directors is committed to fostering a chorister’s participation in the choir unhampered by financial constraints. The Princeton Girlchoir is proud of its history of supporting requests for financial assistance through a need-based scholarship program.
We encourage families in need of assistance to contact the office for more information. Scholarship applications will be made available at the time that contracts are issued. All assistance requests are kept strictly confidential and are reviewed on a blind basis by the Scholarship Committee.
Q: What do the girls in Princeton Girlchoir wear for their performances?
A: For each choir there is a uniform dress for performances, which you will be asked to purchase at the beginning of the year. Usually there are gently-used dresses available for purchase from choristers who have moved up into another choir, or which have been donated back to PGC and can be purchased at a discounted rate to benefit the choirs. Choristers in the Grace Notes, Quarter Notes and Semi-Tones are also asked to wear opaque black tights and low-heeled black character shoes. Concert Choir, Ensemble and Cantores wear black stockings and solid black, closed-toe shoes.
Occasionally, choristers will perform in informal attire, which consists of the PGC black t-shirt, long dark blue jeans, and black flats. All new choristers are given their first Princeton Girlchoir t-shirt at the beginning of their first season. Subsequent t-shirts can be bought for $15.
Helpful Hints for an Audition:
- Be on time! Arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment to allow time to find the audition area and not be rushed.
- Be sure to get a good night’s sleep the night beforehand.
- Good posture will help breath control, and keeping the knees relaxed will help you relax.
- Remembering to breathe deeply, relax your jaw and open your mouth are techniques that will enhance your vocal production.
- Relax and have a good time! We’re singers too, and we know how nervous you feel. It’ll be okay, we promise.