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Department of Music

Chamber Choir

The CNU Chamber Choir is the most select vocal ensemble in the Department of Music, comprising mostly junior and senior music majors in vocal performance and choral music education. Occasionally, students whose fields of study represent the broad diversity in a liberal arts education become members of this ensemble, dependent upon their exceptional background and experience in voice and choral music.

The choir performs a wide range of traditional to contemporary choral literature, including new compositions by emerging composers, including the works of both established artists and students, including Eric Whitacre in a masterclass during the Fall of 2011.

In addition to its own repertoire, the Chamber Choir sings combined works with the Men’s and Women’s Choruses and Orchestra in performances of choral-orchestral masterworks. These ensembles have combined for performances of Handel’s Messiah and Coronation Anthems, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Haydn’s Missa in Tempore Belli (Paukenmesse), Bruckner’s Mass in E Minor, Faure’s Requiem, Honegger’s King David, Poulenc’s Gloria, and Clausen’s The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere on its Conversations With A Composer Series, conducted by René Clausen.

The Chamber Choir is proud to have had the opportunity to work with outstanding conductors and composers, including Eric Whitacre in 2011 during a three-day masterclass, Jason Bahr in 2012, and sang a new work with New York Polyphony in 2015, and Robert Paterson in 2015 during their European tour.

The Chamber Choir has toured internationally in 2006 to Austria and Italy, Italy in 2009 singing Mass at St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice and St. John the Lateran Divine in Rome, in 2012 singing Mass at The Cathedral of the Holy Blood in Bruges, a concert at Bayeux Cathedral in Normandy, and Mass at La Madeleine in Paris. In Spring of 2015, the choir sang Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, and the Dom in Salzburg.

Rehearsal Schedule
Mondays and Wednesdays, 1 - 2:50 p.m., and Fridays, 1 - 1:50 p.m.

Auditions - August 25-27

Chamber Choir (MUSC 105) Audition Requirements

  1. Prepared Piece
    Memorize 1-2 minutes of a prepared selection. This can be an art song, aria, or folk song/hymn. An accompanist will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own accompanist if you have one. The staff accompanist will be sight-reading, so if you choose this option, keep the difficulty of the accompaniment in mind.
  2. Sight Reading
    You will be given a short example to read with some chromaticism. Take one minute to look at the line before singing. Solfège, numbers, or a single vowel are all acceptable methods. If you would like to practice before your audition, use a hymnal or basic music text and practice singing individual lines without the aid of a piano. Resources are also available online.
  3. Pitch Memory
    A series of pitches will be played on the piano. You will then be asked to immediately sing them back after the first hearing. There will be several examples.

An audition is required of all students at Christopher Newport University wishing to sing in the CNU Chamber Choir, including returning members. Upperclassmen, regardless of major, are encouraged to audition. Freshmen are invited to sing with the Men's or Women's Choruses.

Students interested in auditioning for any of the curricular choirs must leave the following times available in their class schedules:

Men's Chorus and Women's Chorus - Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Chamber Choir - Mondays and Wednesdays 1 - 2:50 p.m., and Fridays, 1 - 1:50 p.m.

Students are responsible for adding and dropping these courses during the first week of classes based on audition placement.


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