What type of choral singers does the program accept?
The SERENADES Choral Travel program accepts 38 passionate and discerning choral singers, who have time in their busy schedules to learn the program's repertoire thoroughly and in detail before arrival in Sicily. These singers have the drive to give their best and are committed to choral excellence. Singing participants come from various choruses and ensembles from all over the United States and abroad. In addition, 60% of the ensemble of participants are made up of program alumni who choose to return for another unique Serenades summer
experience. The group consists of both enthusiastic amateurs who have good choral experience as well as professional musicians. Participants also have the ability to endure the moderate level of physical demands Sicily's hilly terrain requires. Above all, "Serenaders" possess a positive attitude and the ability to get along with others, which is part of the SERENADES Choral culture. Absolutely no curmudgeons are allowed.
Do I have to have a solo quality type of voice?
Not at all, on the contrary, all singers must be able to blend within an ensemble.
Straight tone or vibrato?
Either is acceptable as long as one’s voice is easily produced and sung in tune with head voice. A free and spun tone is preferred, as opposed to a wide, slow, heavy wobble. The ability to sing straight tone, too, is appreciated, but, not required. We like having different types of voices in the ensemble for a better blend. All must be able to sing a healthy piano tone. We also like flexible people who can sing in either style, are willing to sing different voice parts and sectional divisi to help achieve a better ensemble balance.
Do I have to sight-read?
There is no sight-reading required as the repertoire is learned thoroughly ahead of time, before arriving in Sicily.
Do I have to sing a solo piece during the application process?
No solo piece is necessary, just vocalises and about 9 measures of Josquin's "Gaude virgo, Mater Christi". Please visit the APPLY page for more details about the application process.
Are there any rehearsals in the USA prior to being in Sicily?
Yes. For summer 2022 there will be online Zoom rehearsals for all singers with both guest conductor, David Hayes, and founder and artistic director, Paulo Faustini, in the spring of 2022. Amount of rehearsals, dates and times to be determined some time in March 2022. Singers should not rely solely on these rehearsals, however, and should learn and work on their own or with the assistance of their voice teacher, choir director, or another professional musician, if necessary. In the event a participant cannot make the scheduled Zoom rehearsal a private make-up session will be scheduled at the convenience of the director and the program participant. All Zoom sessions will be recorded and study learning audio files available.
Does the music need to be memorized? How well do I need to know the music?
It is advised to have the music memorized so that the singer can feel confident and have a positive performing experience. There are no rehearsals in Sicily for note learning, but, only to bring the ensemble together, run-through the repertoire, and to check sectional balance. Rehearsals are very fast-paced. While the program does not expect perfection, we do expect all singing participants to know their voice part, be able to imagine and hear their part as well as sing the part alone, demonstrating a deep familiarity with notes, rhythms, intervals, words, diction, and execute given score markings. This is vital to the artistic integrity of the ensemble.
Does the program provide scores for its participants?
Some of the repertoire will be provided in pdf format and participants will need to download and print, or upload to their tablet. Other scores will need to be purchased by participants. All score information including where and how to purchase will be provided in March 2022. As said above, participants must arrive in Sicily with all the music organized in a black folder or uploaded to a tablet, all pdf's downloaded, printed, etc., and, obviously, with all the markings and notes that will be given during online rehearsals prior to arriving in Catania, Sicily. The order of the program will be finalized during our rehearsals in Sicily.
What is the 2022 program repertoire? How long are concerts? Are concerts free to the public?
The program repertoire has been confirmed and finalized at this time. We do like to program a wide variety of a cappella pieces dating from the Renaissance up through the 21st century choral repertoire, including Spirituals. To view the 2022 repertoire program click HERE and to view our repertoire history click HERE. Concerts usually last no longer than an hour, including clapping. All concerts are free to the public.
What is the concert dress? Do we use black folders? Tablets?
The concert dress is all black, summer comfortable for all singers. No colorful labels. Comfortable and sturdy black performing shoes. All singers must bring an all-black folder OR use a tablet for their scores. More detail to be discussed with 2022 participants in the spring of 2022.
Will we need to wear masks during the program or during concerts?
Depending on government safety regulations, both US and Italy, we may wear black masks. Please visit our Covid, Insurance, & Terms and Conditions page for more information regarding this important topic.