Handel Choir

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Handel Choir Auditions


Handel Choir Singers

Please note: The June 2 vocal soloist auditions for the 2018-2019 concert season are spoken for. Please check back on this page for additional information about soloist auditions.

Handel Choir will hold auditions for volunteer community members and professional choristers for the 2018-2019 concert season on Friday and Saturday June 8 and 9, 2018.

Handel Choir will hold additional volunteer community singer auditions Friday and Saturday August 24 and 25. Check back on this page after June 9 to sign up for the August auditions.

Click a link above to sign up now, or keep scrolling for info about what to expect and what to prepare.

You'll need to use an email address to sign up for your audition. If you don't have an email address, call the office at 667.206.4120 and we'll sign you up over the phone.

Please note: The office will be CLOSED Friday, May 18 through Memorial Day, Monday, May 28. We'll return voicemail messages beginning Tuesday, May 29.

Led by Artistic Director and Conductor Brian Bartoldus (appointed in April of 2018), critically acclaimed Handel Choir of Baltimore brings together excellent singers and players from across the mid-Atlantic to perform repertoire ranging from early music to newly commissioned works. The ensemble performs three subscription concerts per season (September through May), including Handel's Messiah, which the Choir has performed every year since 1935.

Handel Choir promotes the artistic health and growth of the community through its collaborative work with other organizations, recently including performances with Children’s Chorus of Maryland, Deer Creek Chorale, Occasional Symphony, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Camerata of University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore Baroque Band, Harmonious Blacksmith, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and Peabody Early Music.


What should I prepare for an audition?

You should prepare a song or aria that effectively demonstrates your vocal and musical ability—a folk song, hymn, patriotic song or aria are all fine for volunteer community member auditions. You will most likely perform no more than 16-20 measures. Associate Conductor and Accompanist Thomas Hetrick will accompany you. Please bring two copies of your song or aria to your audition. We advise you not to pick music that tests the limits of your range or vocal technique; rather, bring a work that you can sing confidently and expressively. You should also be prepared to sing a series of exercises to determine the range and color of your voice, and to sight-sing.

Those auditioning for a soloist role should prepare at least two works of contrasting styles. Handel Choir's repertoire for the 2018-2019 season is not yet final. Current opportunities include soloist roles for Handel's Messiah in December 2018.

What should I expect in an audition?
Handel Choir singers

Singers audition individually with the artistic director. You will be asked to sing vocal exercises as demonstrated, to further assess voice category and color, and you will sight-read a relatively simple melody and rhythm to demonstrate musicianship skills. Prior instrumental and/or vocal solo or ensemble experience is strongly recommended. Your audition will last approximately eight minutes. 

Where does the Choir rehearse?

Handel Choir rehearses at Towson Unitarian Universalist Church, 1710 Dulaney Valley Road, Lutherville-Timonium, Maryland 21093.

What is the rehearsal schedule?

Rehearsals for the new season begin the day after Labor Day, Tuesday September 4, 2018. After that rehearsal, Handel Choir rehearses Monday nights from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m., with four Tuesday night sectional rehearsals per season, and mandatory working and dress rehearsals during the two weeks prior to a subscription concert. In addition to our subscription concert performances, there are several performances in the community.

Choir members are expected to sing in all scheduled appearances. In each of the subscription concert periods (September-December for Messiah and January through early May) a maximum of two absences is permitted. Singers are expected to work on their music individually in between rehearsals, preparing assigned passages and reviewing music that proved challenging during prior rehearsals.

When do rehearsals begin?

Rehearsals for the new season begin the day after Labor Day, Tuesday September 4. After Messiah performances in December, rehearsals will resume on Monday January 7, 2019. 

Who sings in Handel Choir?

Our singers have a wide range of musical backgrounds; several are professional musicians. Singers range in age from early 20s to early 60s, and we come from the Baltimore/DC/Pennsylvania and Western Maryland regions. Handel Choir is a friendly group, and we get to know each other as friends as well as musicians.

Dues and music?

Annual membership dues of $170 are collected at the start of the season or may be paid in two installments in September and the following January. Vocal scores for the season are available to members to purchase at cost. Members are welcome to use scores from their own collection provided the editions are the same. Black music folders are required for concerts. A limited number of folders are available for purchase. Financial aid is available to ensure that all qualified singers are able to participate.

What does Handel Choir wear?

Members are responsible for providing their own concert attire. Men wear a black dinner jacket (tuxedo) with white shirt, black bow tie, black pants, black socks and black dress shoes. Women wear a long sleeved black top, floor length black skirt (hem 1/2 to 1 inch from floor) or dressy, loose fitting, floor length black pants, black hosiery and black dress shoes.

Additional responsibilities:Handel Choir singing

Members support Handel Choir with volunteer work and ticket sales. Each member helps to set up or re-set concert venues before and after performances, publicizes concerts and events to their friends, family and associates, and  purchases or sells tickets to subscription concerts. These activities are essential to the health of the organization, and all members are expected to participate.


SUSTAINING SUPPORT for Handel Choir's 2017-2018 subscription concert series is provided by Preston and Nancy Athey.GuideStar logo

Handel Choir's 2017-2018 season is SUPPORTED by the Maryland State Arts Council, William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, creator of the Baker Artist Awards, and by the Citizens of Baltimore County, Harford County Cultural Arts Board, the City of Baltimore and Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, and the Venable Foundation.

Maryland State Arts Council celebrates 50 years Baker Fund Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences Harford County Cultural Arts Board Creative Baltimore Fund Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts Venable Foundation


Handel Choir of Baltimore is a MEMBER of Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance.

Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance