Choir Audition Information and Application Process
The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square is an all-volunteer choral ensemble of 360 individuals who serve as musical ambassadors for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These singers have the unique musical experience of performing publicly each week on Music and the Spoken Word, a live 30-minute program broadcast worldwide on radio and television and also streamed over the internet. Including these weekly broadcasts plus concerts, tours, and recordings, Choir members average 75 scheduled performances per year. The opportunity to share their love of music and love of God with others inspires Choir members to dedicate between five and twenty hours each week in this volunteer musical service.
The application process for 2019 auditions will begin on Monday, July 1, 2019. This year applications will be submitted entirely online. Applications must be completed and submitted by Thursday, August 15, at 11:59 p.m. mountain time.
What Is the Audition Process?
The process to become a member of the Choir stretches over nine months. An individual must meet a set of membership criteria and complete a four-phase audition process which includes 16 weeks of training for those who reach the fourth phase of the process. At the conclusion of the four phases, successful candidates become members of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. For more information see “How to Audition for The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.”
Applicants must meet several criteria for membership which include:
- Be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in good standing.
- Be between 25 and 55 years of age on April 30, 2020, when Choir service would begin.
- Currently reside within 100 miles of the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Four-Phase Audition Process
Auditions are conducted once each year in four phases. Auditions are usually open for all voice parts.
- Phase 1 consists of submitting a completed electronic application, which includes a digital photo and a digital voice recording. The application also includes a local Church leader’s recommendation form, which is downloaded by the applicant and submitted to their Church leader, who then mails the completed application to the Choir office. The link to the digital application and an application guide are posted online each year on July 1. All applications must be completed and submitted electronically no later than August 15. Applicants who advance to Phase 2 will be notified by email in early September.
- Phase 2 is a two and a half hour musical skills written and aural assessment that measures musical ability and aptitude. This assessment usually takes place on a Saturday morning in mid-September. Applicants with acceptable test scores (usually 80 percent or better) then advance to the next phase.
- Phase 3 begins with an interview with the Choir president to be sure the candidate understands the demands of Choir membership. This is followed at the same appointment with an in-person audition before the Choir’s music director and associate music director, which includes solo singing, vocal range testing, and sight reading. The interviews and in-person auditions are usually held in early- to mid-October. Phase 3 audition results will be sent by email in early- to mid-November.
- Phase 4 consists of participation in Choir School and the Temple Square Chorale. The 16-week course of training takes place each Tuesday and Thursday night and applicants commit to 100 percent attendance over the four-month period. This training has proved invaluable to meet the demands of the Choir’s performance schedule and limited rehearsal time. (See below for additional details.)
Following successful completion of a concert by the Temple Square Chorale and passing the Choir School final exam, participants will become members of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.
Temple Square Chorale and Choir School Details
Beginning in January, this choral training takes place every Tuesday and every Thursday for 16 weeks with 100 percent attendance required. Every Tuesday, the Temple Square Chorale meets for rehearsals to prepare for a major concert held each spring in conjunction with the Orchestra at Temple Square. The Temple Square Chorale is a training ensemble made up of current year applicants accepted into the Chorale, Choir members who joined the Choir the previous year and are completing their second required year of Chorale participation, and other current Choir members. Ryan Murphy, associate music director of the Choir, conducts the Temple Square Chorale in rehearsing and then performing a choral masterwork such as Fauré’s Requiem or Mendelssohn’s Elijah.
Every Thursday night during those same 16 weeks, Choir School instructors train participants in sight reading, music theory, rehearsal techniques, vocal blending, listening skills, Choir policies, and more. Choir School prepares candidates for a rigorous schedule of Music and the Spoken Word broadcasts, special concerts, general conference, and other Church and community events. Near the end of Choir School, the singers take a final exam. For more information, check out the blog post, “What Exactly Is Choir School?”
At the end of the 16 weeks, there is a final Choir School exam and the concert performances by the Temple Square Chorale with the Orchestra at Temple Square. Only upon completion of these steps does the audition process started in July culminate in individuals becoming members of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.