By Linda Parker
Special to The PREVIEW
Auditions for the 2016-2017 Pagosa Springs Girls Choir (PSGC) have been set for May 7 from 9 a.m. to noon in the Pagosa Springs Middle School (PSMS) band room. The choir is open to girls who will be in the fifth through eighth grades in the 2016-2017 school year.
Audition packets for public school girls have been sent home. Any girls who are home-schooled or are in an online educational program can obtain an audition packet by calling Linda Parker at 264-1434 or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. The packet will also be available on the Pagosa Springs Girls Choir Facebook page.
The PSGC is an auditioned community choir of girls who love to sing and who would like to further their music education. The choir is a wonderful opportunity for girls to learn about vocal and choral techniques and to perform in a select choral group.
Girls will learn and perform high-quality choral music in a variety of styles, including pop, folk and country (some music will include choreography and props). The girls also have the opportunity to study with a professional vocal coach during rehearsal time where private mini voice lessons will be taught. This is a service that is provided by the PSGC as part of the tuition charge.
The PSGC performs regularly throughout the school year, both for community events and organizations, and it presents its own concerts in December and May. Additionally, featured soloists and choral groups are invited to be a part of the concerts, giving the girls the opportunity to work and perform with other talented musicians.
The girls are also provided opportunities to participate in summer educational trips. The girls have traveled to Santa Fe, N.M., to study opera, they spent eight days in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area last June attending performances of professional music theater and, this July, the girls will travel to Vail, Colo., to attend a performance of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
Rehearsals for the choir will be held on Monday afternoons from 4 to 5 p.m. in the band room at PSMS beginning the first Monday after school starts.
There is a nonrefundable audition fee of $10 which will be credited toward the tuition fee of $200 per year if a girl is ultimately selected. Scholarships are available; no student will be excluded because of financial reasons and a scholarship application is included in the audition packet. A payment plan for tuition will be available, so it can be paid throughout the year.
To help girls prepare for the audition, two coaching classes will be held on Wednesday, May 4, and Thursday, May 5. Both classes will be held at 7 p.m. In the middle school band room. The cost for each class is $5.
The classes will be led by Parker, PSGC director, who will assist the girls with the music for the audition and present them with vocal techniques. While girls may attend either of the classes, it is recommended that girls attend both so that they can do their best on the audition.
“While the audition is meant to be nonthreatening, most everyone has some nerves when auditioning,” said Parker. “The classes will help the girls know exactly what is expected in the audition and give them confidence to audition well.”
No specific audition times will be assigned; girls may simply come to the band room during the audition times. If a girl has a conflict on the audition date, please call Parker to set up an alternative day and time.
Girls should prepare the song, “America (My Country ‘tis of Thee)” to sing by memory without accompaniment. Pitch matching and echo clapping will also be part of the audition, but no preparation is necessary for that part of the audition.
“I hope the young girls in Pagosa will take advantage of this opportunity to learn about singing, to improve their own instrument and to see the possibilities that exist for them through working and performing in the arts,” said Parker. “We have many very talented young women in Pagosa, and I look forward to beginning this musical journey with them as well as continuing the journey with current PSGC members.”