ISLAND VOICES is comprised of CHORISTERS who

  • Sing confidently and independently based on strong reading and listening skills.
  • Learn challenging repertoire through personal practice and sectionals.
  • Commit to active participation in all rehearsals, retreats, and performances.
  • Learn, grow, change, and adapt as part of an ensemble that requires teamwork and cooperation.
  • Share a positive and encouraging spirit to foster camaraderie among choristers.
  • Pay an annual fee or make alternative arrangements.
  • Share in the operational duties of a small organisation.

Island Voices Chamber Choir usually incorporates new choristers in September for an annual season, but expressions of interest are received throughout the year. Each chorister is unique and brings a distinctive set of skills—both musical and personal. Individual voices vary and the combination of those voices create the particular sound of the choir.

Auditions for the choir are always mutual. Choristers audition the choir and the choir, through its director, auditions choristers. Auditions aren’t necessarily limited to a single individual vocal session, rather they include informal conversations, shared experiences,  potential collaborations and ongoing interactions. The chorister handbook and season schedule help to outline the nature of the chorister-choir relationship.

Singers currently in the choir are in essence always “auditioning” during each rehearsal and performance, demonstrating the skills and commitment required to contribute to Island Voices. There is not a “set” number of singers in the choir or in each section, yet overall membership reflects the nature of a chamber choir.

An initial conversation is the starting point for a prospective new chorister. It involves sharing information and ideas to explore potential choral involvement. If appropriate, a time will be set for some one-on-one singing time.  Like a mini-lesson, it will include some vocalizes—range and flexibility of pitch, dynamic, vowel, and tone colour—some aural patterns and tonal memory, as well as some sight reading of individual lines and choral scores. If a potential match is possible, plans can be made for the next step.

Both choristers interested in returning and selected prospective participants join in an open rehearsal/call back audition at which everyone has equal opportunity to sing and listen in a supportive group environment. Vocalizes as a full group, sections, small groups, and individually give everyone the chance to hear everyone else as the process of developing a sense of ensemble begins. Sight reading and rehearsal of selected choral scores provides a context of the scope and nature of the rehearsals to follow. Full group, sub-sectional, and independent small group singing are part of that process. Blend, balance, independence, a cappella singing, adaptability, learning speed, sense of ensemble can all be demonstrated and evaluated in a choral context. 

After this, each prospective chorister (new or returning) and the director can make some decisions about the compatibility for the upcoming season. Both the chorister’s acceptance of the choir and the choir’s acceptance of the chorister is needed for a season relationship.