Fall semester '08 singing at TWU
From your emails, it's clear that TWU students are interested in what we'll be doing in September! So here are some answers to questions that you've sent in recent weeks.
What's in the audition?
The audition is rather simple. Anyone interested in voice lessons, any of our TWU choirs or vocal ensembles, or the TWU music department worship team needs to do a simple audition with me during orientation week. It's in your best interest to do this as early during orientation week as possible. It's an opportunity for you and I to meet and for me to help you find the best "fit" among the many singing opportunities that we have on campus. I'll play the piano and ask you to sing "Silent Night, Holy Night." Review the words. I'll play it in a variety of keys, to explore your low, middle and higher notes. I'll also give you a miniature voice lesson, offering some tips and suggestions for how to improve. Before you come in and sing for me you'll be asked to fill out some questions - it takes 20-30 minutes for most people to do this. There will be an audition sign up table in the atrium, along with LOTS of choir information, plus the form for you to fill out. If you set aside about 30 minutes during orientation week to go to the audition table, read the information, fill out the forms etc. you will not be sorry!
What are some of our projects for the fall?
Our main project for fall 2008 is "Christmas at the Chan Centre," Sunday 2:30 pm, November 30, 2008. With full professional orchestra and our entire TWU family of choirs, this wonderful concert usually sells out by the end of September. The acoustic is world class, the music is lovely, the team of singers is truly extraordinary, the orchestra is fabulous and the whole project has a meaning and purpose; to clearly communicate and celebrate the birth of Christ with the best possible music. As well, TWU Chamber Singers, which is our most select vocal ensemble, will be performing several selections with Vancouver Chamber Choir (Canada's outstanding professional choir) on September 26 and 28 in a concert called Psalms and Sonnets. TWU singers with extensive singing experience are part of Chamber Singers and it's unusual for a freshman to be asked to be in Chamber Singers.
What's the difference between the various choirs on campus?
There are significant differences, but this fall all choirs will be singing Christmas at the Chan Centre. For the sake of scheduling, most freshmen register for concert choir (music 181) and freshmen are encouraged to do this during the summer, online. Scheduling a choir has never been easier. This semester, each student needs to ensure that they can come to three (3) rehearsals from the following. Mixing and matching any combination of three from the following is fine!
MWF at 11:40-12:50 (Chamber Choir I)
MWF at 2:35-3:45 (Concert Choir)
T at 7:00-9:15 pm (counts as two) (Chamber Choir II)
Please bring your class schedule to your audition and Wes Janzen can help you sort this out.
I have lots of singing experience, have sung at festivals, have sung solos, and am interested in a good challenge. Is there something for me at TWU?
Yes, for sure. Wes Janzen understands musical excellence. This summer alone he serves on the jury of the Kiwanis Festival in Canada and the International Choir Games (it's the largest choir competition in the world) in Graz Austria. Media and external peer reviews have said the following about TWU Choirs. "At least on a par with any university ensemble in the country." "Performances of real integrity." "Spine tingling intensity." "Unprecedented as far as national broadcasts are concerned."
I have little singing experience, but would like to learn. Is there something for me at TWU?
Yes, for sure. A graded family of choirs allows people of varying levels to participate. We offer voice lessons to the very advanced student, and also to the beginner. The best way to improve as a singer is to take voice lessons, and our voice teachers are fabulous!
I'm nervous about the audition. Any suggestions?
Most people are nervous about the audition. But once they've done it they are glad they did! The audition is not difficult, but it's a necessary step, requiring some courage. Many students call choir the best part of their day. Don't let nervousness prevent you from having a great experience.
What are some of the benefits of being in a TWU Choir?
Being in a TWU Choir counts towards fine arts core. Fulfilling fine arts core is mandatory for all students who want to graduate.
It's a great way to make friends, working with people who have similar interests and passions.
Singing in a TWU choir will help you improve in your singing and musicianship! You will be positively challenged.
Singing in a TWU choir is a Christian faith affirming experience. You will be singing wonderful texts that have stood the test of time.
TWU Choir students are motivated, committed, and interested in sharing their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
TWU Choir has a solid track record of excellence. To be part of a TWU experience is to be part of something that is very good.
Adding choir into your schedule is a great way to bring variety and balance to your studies. Choir members come from every major. Most singers are not music majors, and that's fine! Singers from all majors are warmly welcome.
The choral experience is a community; it's a place to belong, enjoy relationships and be part of something that is special and unique.