What type of choral singers does the program accept?
The SERENADES Choral Travel program accepts about 34-36 passionate and discerning choral singers who are committed to choral excellence, who might enjoy singing in a chamber ensemble rather than a big symphonic chorus. Participants come from various choruses and ensembles from all over the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia.
Participants understand the extra work it requires to prepare and learn the program's repertoire despite having busy schedules with their own ensembles at home, work or travel schedules. They are committed to learning the repertoire between the months of February through May.
Usually 60% of the ensemble of participants are made up of program alumni who choose to return for another unique SERENADES summer experience. Meet some of our alumni and hear what they say about our program. CLICK HERE
The group consists of both enthusiastic amateurs who have good choral experience as well as passionate professional musicians.
Participants must have a clean bill of health and the ability to endure the moderate level of physical demands a choral performing, group touring, and sightseeing trip overseas requires.
Above all, "Serenaders" must possess a positive attitude and the ability to get along with others, which is an integral part of the SERENADES culture. Absolutely no curmudgeons 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 whichever style is required, as well as singers who 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 for the SERENADES program as the repertoire is learned during the months of February through May, before the program and singing participants arrive with the music learned and memorized.
Do I have to sing a solo piece during the application process?
No solo piece is necessary. You will be asked to vocalize so that the artistic director can get to know your voice for ensemble placement.
Are there any rehearsals in the USA prior to the program?
There are no in person rehearsals in the USA before the program.
There will be a couple of online Zoom meetings to talk about the repertoire with both guest conductor, David Hayes, and founder and artistic director, Paulo Faustini, in the spring of 2024. These meetings will be recorded. Dates and times to be determined in the spring of 2024.
Study and learning audio files will be available online so that participants can use the files for note learning, if desired.
All singing participants will have three individual 15 minute Zoom repertoire check-ins with the artistic director during the months of March, April, and May. In addition, any singing participant may sign up for extra sessions to learn the repertoire and work individually with the artistic director online over Zoom between February and May of 2024.
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 and not be a nuisance to others in the ensemble..
There are no rehearsals during the program for note learning, but, only to bring the ensemble together, run-through the repertoire, and to check sectional balance.
Rehearsals are very fast-paced, 3 hours a day.
While the program does not expect perfection, we do expect all singing participants to know their voice part, that is, to 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 by February of 2024 or sooner. Participants must arrive in Lisbon 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 meetings prior to the program. The order of the repertoire will be finalized during our rehearsals once we are all physically together.
What is the 2024 program repertoire? How long are concerts? Are concerts free to the public?
The program repertoire will be confirmed and finalized after the program payment deadline of January 5, 2024. 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 our repertoire history click HERE. Concerts usually last no longer than an hour, including audience 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 2024 participants in the spring of 2024.
Will we need to wear masks during the program or during concerts?
The program follows government safety regulations and mask requirements. Please feel free to wear a mask if you so choose. Please visit our Covid, Insurance, & Terms and Conditions page for more information regarding this important topic.