What type of choral singers does the program accept?
We are looking for about 38 passionate, discerning choral enthusiasts with a positive attitude, who are able to learn repertoire thoroughly and in detail before our arrival in Sicily, who are committed to choral excellence. We draw our singing participants from various choruses from all over the USA and abroad. We accept both enthusiastic amateurs who have good choral experience as well as experienced professional musicians. A positive attitude and the ability to get along with others is essential. Absolutely no curmudgeons.
Do I have to have a solo quality type of voice?
Not at all.
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 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 for the hearing?
No solo piece is necessary; just vocalises and the below section of Josquin's "Gaude virgo, Mater Christi".
What is involved in the “hearing”?
After submitting a filled out application a singer will have the choice of scheduling a Zoom hearing or submitting a video recording. We ask to vocalize with different vowels in your middle, low, and high range. In addition, this year we are requiring applicants to sing a portion of “Gaude virgo, mater Christi” by Josquin des Prez, as indicated in the downloadable score below. Please sing the Josquin unaccompanied, at a tempo marking between 60 and 64 = half note. To get an idea of the piece we have below a YouTube video. Do not use the score in the video; the audio, however, matches the key of the downloadable score. Starting pitch for all voice parts is D. Please use regular church Latin for the diction. Breathe wherever feels right, but, maintain a steady beat.
Who rehearses and who conducts the concerts?
Founder and Artistic Director, Paulo Faustini, does all the application hearings, sectional and repertoire assignments, pre-Sicily Zoom rehearsing, coaching, and ensemble warm-ups during the program in Sicily. Guest Conductor, David Hayes, runs rehearsals in Sicily with Paulo’s assistance and conducts all of the concerts.
Are there any rehearsals in the USA prior to being in Sicily?
Yes. There will be some Zoom sectional rehearsals for repertoire learning, tempo markings, diction, breath marks, etc. That said, singers should not rely solely on these rehearsals and should learn and work on their own or with the assistance of their voice teacher, choir director, or another professional musician. Paulo will be available for individual coachings as well. The pre-program rehearsals will take place some time in the spring of 2022.
Does the music need to be memorized?
It is advised to have the music memorized or be at the point where the singer can look out into the audience and not have his or her head buried in the score. There are no rehearsals in Sicily for note learning, only to put the ensemble together, run-through the repertoire, and check sectional balance. Rehearsals are fast-paced. Every singing participant carries the responsibility of knowing his or her voice part, that is, to be able to demonstrate deep familiarity with notes, rhythms, intervals, diction, and score markings.
Does the program provide scores for its participants?
Some of the repertoire will be provided in pdf format. Other scores will need to be purchased by the participant. All score information including where and how to purchase will be provided. Participants must arrive in Sicily with all the music organized in a black folder, all pdf's downloaded, printed, etc., and, obviously, with all the markings and notes that will be given during online rehearsals. The order of the program will be finalized during our rehearsals in Sicily.
More Information soon...