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Department of Music

Women's Chorus

The CNU Women's Chorus is a select ensemble of the university's talented sopranos and altos by audition. Members represent a variety of musical backgrounds and academic majors in the liberal arts curriculum who wish to sing in a year-long major ensemble.

The choir performs regularly on campus throughout the academic year. The repertoire includes a variety of styles and periods throughout history.

Students may register each semester, but no more than eight credits can be counted toward graduation.

Rehearsal Schedule
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.

Auditions - August 25-26

Women's Chorus (MUSC 106) 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 new students at Christopher Newport University wishing to sing in the CNU Women's Chorus; returning members need not audition. All students, regardless of major, are encouraged to audition.

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.

Contact Dr. John Irving with any questions.

Conductor

John Irving

Dr. Irving is Director of Choral Activities at Christopher Newport University (CNU) where he conducts the Chamber Choir and Women’s Chorus and teaches courses in choral conducting and literature. In addition to his responsibilities at CNU, he is artistic director of the Ad Astra Music Festival in Kansas. Dr. Irving has served as interim music director of the Denton Bach Society and men’s chorus director of Westminster’s Vocal Institute. Previously, he was director of choral music at Fordham High School for the Arts in New York City and founding choral workshop director to Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute Count Me In program. The New York Times praised his choirs in performance as “not just exuberant but polished and precise.”

Dr. Irving earned a doctorate in choral conducting from the University of North Texas. He holds a master’s degree in choral conducting from Westminster Choir College and a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Texas at Austin. His musical training began as a treble with the Texas Boys Choir.


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