Auditions 2021: Reconciling quality and inclusiveness

Published Categorized as News
Join us and Sing Out!

As an inclusive group, we would of course like to welcome anyone who wants to join us. But that’s unfortunately not possible!

In 2020-2021, Sing Out Brussels! had 60 members… and 65 people joined our waiting list during the season. We could have doubled the number of members, or created a second choir.

From the start, we decided that Sing Out would limit the audition period to the beginning of each season. This is because it takes time to create cohesion (vocal and human) within the group. So we need stability. With very few exceptions (if a section becomes empty during the season, for example), we do not welcome new members during the season.

From the beginning, we have asked ourselves how we can balance our concern for inclusiveness with our desire for musical quality. We want to give everyone an equal opportunity to join us. At the beginning of our history, everyone who signed up on our waiting list was invited to audition. In season 1, our choirmaster saw more than 70 applicants. This model soon reached its limits. Since we only needed about ten new members per season, auditioning so many people no longer made much sense. In addition, there was a feeling of wasting time, as many candidates did not show up for the audition, and their motives were not always clear to us.

In the end, it was the pandemic that forced us to adapt. Since it was impossible to receive so many people in person in the summer of 2020, we tested a remote audition method. First, we adapted our online form so that each applicant could tell us why they wanted to join the choir. We then sent each person on our waiting list the sheet music for two of our songs and the recordings per voice. In order to audition in front of our choir director, the candidates have to send us a