Sing out


At second-year Angie’s music-department vocal audition Tuesday, James Kallembach heard something that sounded a bit off. "I detect some north-suburbs 'aah' in your 'ahh'," said Kallembach, the University's director of choral activities. "Think like an opera singer." Angie, a University of Illinois transfer student, was the seventh to audition for the University's three vocal ensembles: University Chorus, the largest campus vocal group; Motet Choir, a smaller group that frequently performs a capella; and Rockefeller Chapel Choir, 30-40 professional singers and students who perform at Sunday morning services. The auditions began Tuesday and continue through next Wednesday, and Kallembach expects upwards of 200 undergrads, graduate students, and faculty and staff members to sign up.

After Angie sang the soprano line of a prepared song, "Never Weather-beaten Sail"—Kallembach had left copies of the piece at audition sign-ups—she moved to sight-reading. Placing a new piece on Angie's music stand, Kallembach then played a chord in E-minor and the first note. "Go as slow as you need to get the intervals correctly," he said.

At the end of the audition, Kallembach said that the results would be posted before noon next Wednesday. Because of Angie's sight-reading ability, he said, "Chapel Choir will probably be out." That group uses a standard repertoire; her talents would be more valuable in another ensemble.


Photo: Angie, a choral auditioner, sings for James Kallembach.

September 19, 2007