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So you think you can sing? The BPO Chorus wants you

The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, arrayed on stage at Kleinhans Music Hall, is an inspiring sight. It's thrilling to listen to them wending their way through classics with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

And well may you think: "I wish I could be part of that chorus!"

Now, you have that chance.

The chorus is holding auditions from 5 to 9 p.m. Jan. 5 and 6 at Knox Presbyterian Church (2595 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore). All are invited to visit the chorus' website and sign up for a slot.

"We are looking for singers who can contribute to rehearsals and performances in a positive way," the chorus specified, announcing the auditions. "We want singers who understand that performing in a chorus means giving themselves over to the ensemble."

Details of the auditions are spelled out a website the chorus has set up, The website also has resources to help singers prepare.

The chorus acknowledges that its auditions are different from what singers might expect. Instead of solos, performers will set out to prove that they can sing well with an ensemble. Here's what to expect:

A panel will guide you through warm-ups to listen to your range, vocal color and intonation. Each singer will be asked to perform "My Country, 'Tis of Thee."

"You will be asked to sing the melody using music that we'll provide at the audition," the chorus specifies. "The panel is listening for vocal color, excellent diction, and intonation.  This does not need to be memorized. "

The chorus' pianist, Susan Schulman, will accompany singers as they perform their part in a Bach chorale in English. Audio files on the website will help you learn your part.

Next comes Brahms: Also on the website are text and sound files to help you learn to read some German from Brahms' "A German Requiem." The chorus will be performing that masterpiece in the spring. The website's resources will help, and further coaching will be provided at the audition.

Brief exercises will invite you to demonstrate basic ability in rhythm reading and ear training. The panel will play three melodies of four or five notes, and ask you to sing them back.

Led by Adam Luebke, the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus requires considerable commitment from its singers. The rewards, however, are great. Music the chorus will be performing in the spring includes not just Brahms "German Requiem," but Sir William Walton's "Belshazzar's Feast." The chorus also sings frequently at pops concerts.

The ensemble has a proud history dating to 1937, when it was founded by Jessamine E. Long and named the Buffalo Schola Cantorum. The chorus took on its present name in 1992.

Free off-street parking is available at the auditions. To join the mailing list for information, contact the chorus' business manager at, or call 980-5701.



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