How long have WashU’s choirs been around? 

WashU has had a choir for well over a century!The WashU Men’s Glee Club was formed in 1880, in partnership with the Mandolin Club (really: it was a club for mandolin players). The Women’s Glee Club was formed in 1907. The Glee Clubs were on hiatus for a number of years, replaced by the Concert Choir and Chamber Choir. Now the Concert Choir occasionally divides into Treble and Bass Glee Clubs, keeping the spirit of the old groups without the gender binary!

What kind of music will we sing?

Our repertoire is usually a mix of classical, spirituals, other folk music, and vocal jazz. In spring 2016, our concert was called "American Voices" and included music by Randall Thompson, Eric Whitacre, Abbie Betinis, and more. We also premiered a new composition by one of our members! In another spring concert, the choirs and orchestra combined to perform Poulenc's Gloria.

Is it an activity or a class?

It’s a class. Or an activity. It’s a classtivity! There’s no fee to participate. We offer a 0-credit option for people who are at their credit limit. You can do traditional grading, pass/fail, or audit. There are no exams, only participation in rehearsals and concerts. The attendance policy is very reasonable and offers flexibility to those who need it. Many people make it work in their class schedule for every semester that they’re here. We also strive to create social opportunities for singers to get to know each other outside of rehearsal, including trips to the Fabulous Fox Theatre, group dinners, Blues games, and impromptu Ted Drewes runs.

When and where do we meet?

Rehearsals are held in the 560 Music Building, north of the main campus at the west end of the Delmar Loop. You can walk, carpool with your new choir friends, or take the Green Line shuttle. Concert Choir meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 5 to 7. Chamber Choir meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 5:30.

How do I register?

Concert Choir's course number is L27-237-010. You can register for 0 to 2 credits. Chamber Choir's course number is L27-238-010. You might wish to audition before you register, particularly if you're not sure whether Concert or Chamber Choir is the right one for you.

What if I’m new to this singing thing, or I can’t read music?

No worries, you are among friends! Many people in the group hadn’t sung in a choir before they got to college, or hadn’t sung in years. Rehearsals are sometimes sort of like group voice lessons, so that everyone improves together. Learning to read music is also a part of what we do in class, and Dr. Aldrich is available outside of class to help you learn your music and improve all of your skills.

What is the audition like?

Definitely not anything to be nervous about! You’ll sing a piece that you think shows your voice well (could be in any style), we’ll figure out how low and high you can sing, and we’ll assess your tonal memory and sight reading skills (i.e., can you echo back a short pattern the director sings? Have you had the opportunity yet to learn how to read music?).
Some singers will be offered a call-back audition for Chamber Choir. These singers will receive a piece of choral music to learn on their own. At the callbacks, prospective members will rehearse the piece along with returning members and will be heard in small groups. The results of the auditions will be posted that evening.

One of the objectives of the choirs is education, so we don’t expect you to know how to do everything perfectly. Think of the audition as a chance for the director to get to know you and your voice—not an opportunity to be embarrassed or rejected!!

What if I have more questions?

Contact the groups’ director, Dr. Nicole Aldrich (naldrich@wustl.edu or 314.935.5597).