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VOCAL MUSIC

Audition Procedure

All students must complete an audition in-person.

All auditions are closed to parents/guardians, family members or peers. If you leave during your audition, you may be disqualified.

If you have any questions, conflicts and/or health concerns, please contact the Admissions Office at admissions@ellingtonarts.org for further assistance.

Group of young dancers in red and green sweaters perform on stage

VOCAL MUSIC
AUDITION GUIDELINES

What We Are Looking For

Passion – A student must have a desire for singing and an eagerness to learn the technical aspects of the art form. Students must be willing to adapt to a scientific and holistic (healthy vocal technique) approach to singing.

o Students must have a willingness to learn to sing classical repertoire in multiple languages.

o Our program is mainly focused on classical music with small opportunities for exploration in other genres.

Vocal Potential – Students must have a clear ability to match pitch (good intonation and tonal memory), a good sense of rhythm and a suitable vocal range.

Performance Potential – Students must have a willingness to explore all possibilities of the art form through expression (taking chances) and vulnerability.

Academic/Artistic Success – As Ellington is a college preparatory school, we are looking for students who can be successful in their academic and art classes. As we are a dual curriculum program, students must understand the importance of dedicated time to both art and academic classes.

A Cooperative Attitude – Students must be able to work well with others in and outside of class. This includes students, faculty, and staff.

Endurance – Students must have the stamina and capacity to successfully manage the longer school day, which is 9+ hours in addition to daily homework, daily practice, and performances. One must be a dedicated student who practices regularly and strives for excellence.

What to Upload/How to Prepare

1. To prepare for your video submission, memorize one piece from the list below and

present your piece a capella (without instrumental accompaniment). We recommend all

applicants submit their pieces recorded on camera.

1. Categories: Below are the acceptable song choices for auditions. There is no

benefit in choosing a more difficult piece. The overall goal should

be accuracy, musicality, and expression in the piece chosen.

2. Upload a video file of you singing the memorized piece to our email,

admissions@ellingtonarts.org. We encourage you to submit a pre-recorded piece so you can

take your time, do as many takes as possible, and submit the BEST version of yourself!

1. The subject line should reflect the following:

1. Student Name, Vocal Music Audition Video 2024

2. The body should reflect the following:

1. Full Name, Current Age, Current Grade, Current School

 

Music Song List

 

1. Amazing Grace

o (Entire 1st verse ending with “Blind but now I see”)

2. Lift Every Voice and Sing

o (Entire 1st verse ending with “Til victory is won”)

3. America the Beautiful

o (Entire 1st verse ending with “From sea to shining sea”)

4. Climb Every Mountain

5. Star Spangled Banner

6. Art song in English, Italian or German

7. And/or a Ballad of your choice

 

NOTE: Students who do not upload their submissions by the My School DC application deadline are

still granted an opportunity to audition LIVE on the first day of Vocal Music Virtual Auditions.

The LIVE Audition Process

Only if you DID NOT UPLOAD A RECORDED VIDEO - During your audition for the Vocal Music Department at DESA, you will:

• Present a musical selection chosen from the approved list (sung a cappella)

• Be tested in aural skills via vocal exercises and pitch matching

Upon completion of the initial auditions, the Vocal Music faculty will select a group of students to

continue the audition process by participating in a two-day IN-PERSON afternoon vocal music callback

class. Students are required to attend all days of the callback class to remain a candidate for the Vocal

Music department. Students invited for callbacks will be notified by the Admissions Office if selected.

Please contact admissions@ellingtonarts.org with any questions or concerns related to attending either

or both days of the callback class. Make-up days can be scheduled for extenuating circumstances. Please

note that they must be completed in a consecutive two-day period.

Have a Successful Audition

To present yourself in the best light possible:

• Say your name clearly and answer questions completely.

• Prepare your piece well (make sure the piece is memorized) and sing with confidence.

• Be ready to talk about yourself, your past musical experiences, and your goals for the

future. Give these ideas some thought.

 

Please note 504 and IEP accommodation is available. Please contact admissions@ellingtonarts.org with

any questions or concerns.

MONDAY 2/5

IN-PERSON

2:00 PM
LIVE AUDITIONS

(MAKE-UP ONLY)

TUESDAY 2/6

IN-PERSON

2:35 PM
CALLBACKS GROUP 1 
(A - J)

WENESDAY 2/7

IN-PERSON

2:35 PM 
CALLBACKS GROUP 2 (K - Z)

THURSDAY 2/8

IN-PERSON

2:35 PM 
CALLBACKS GROUP 1 (A - J)

FRIDAY 2/9

IN-PERSON

2:35 PM CALLBACKS GROUP 2 (K - Z)

What We are Looking For

Passion – A student must have a desire for singing and an eagerness to learn the technical aspects of the art form. Students must be willing to adapt to a scientific and holistic (healthy vocal technique) approach to singing.

 

Students must have a willingness to learn to sing classical repertoire in multiple languages. Our program is mainly focused on classical music with small opportunities for exploration in other genres.

 

Vocal Potential – Students must have a clear ability to match pitch (good intonation and tonal memory), a good sense of rhythm and a suitable vocal range.

 

Performance Potential – Students must have a willingness to explore all possibilities of the art form through expression (taking chances) and vulnerability.

 

Academic/Artistic Success – As Ellington is a college preparatory school, we are looking for students who can be successful in their academic and art classes. As we are a dual curriculum program, students must understand the importance of dedicated time to both art and academic classes.

 

A Cooperative Attitude – Students must be able to work well with others in and outside of class. This includes students, faculty, and staff. 

 

Endurance – Students must have the stamina and capacity to successfully manage the longer school day, which is 9+ hours in addition to daily homework, daily practice, and performances. One must be a dedicated student who practices regularly and strives for excellence.

How to
Prepare

To prepare for your video submission, memorize one piece from the list below and present your piece a capella (without instrumental

 accompaniment).We recommend all applicants submit their pieces recorded on camera.

 

 

Categories- Below are the acceptable song choices for auditions. There is no benefit in choosing a more difficult piece. The overall goal should be accuracy, musicality, and expression in the piece chosen.

 

Upload a video file of you singing the memorized piece to our email,

admissions@ellingtonarts.org. We encourage you to submit a pre-recorded piece so you can

take your time, do as many takes as possible, and submit the BEST version of yourself!

  • The subject line should reflect the following:

    • Student Name, Vocal Music Audition Video 2024

  • The body should reflect the following:

    • Full Name, Current Age, Current Grade, Current School

Music Song List

1. Amazing Grace

o (Entire 1st verse ending with “Blind but now I see”)

2. Lift Every Voice and Sing

o (Entire 1st verse ending with “Til victory is won”)

3. America the Beautiful

o (Entire 1st verse ending with “From sea to shining sea”)

4. Climb Every Mountain

5. Star Spangled Banner

6. Art song in English, Italian or German

7. And/or a Ballad of your choice

 

 

NOTE: Students who do not upload their submissions by the My School DC application deadline are

still granted an opportunity to audition LIVE on the first day of Vocal Music Virtual Auditions.

The Live
Audition Process

Only if you DID NOT UPLOAD A RECORDED VIDEO - During your audition for the Vocal Music Department at DESA, you will:

  • Present a musical selection chosen from the approved list (sung a cappella) ​

  • Be tested in aural skills via vocal exercises and pitch matching 

Upon completion of the initial auditions, the Vocal Music faculty will select a group of students to

continue the audition process by participating in a two-day IN-PERSON afternoon vocal music callback

class. Students are required to attend all days of the callback class to remain a candidate for the Vocal

Music department. Students invited for callbacks will be notified by the Admissions Office if selected.

Please contact admissions@ellingtonarts.org with any questions or concerns related to attending either

or both days of the callback class. Make-up days can be scheduled for extenuating circumstances. Please

note that they must be completed in a consecutive two-day period.

Group of young performers sing and dance beside one another

Having a Successful Audition

To present yourself in the best light possible: 

  • Dress appropriately – dress your best! Auditioners should wear business casual or Sunday best clothing. 

  • Say your name clearly and answer questions completely. 

  • Prepare your piece well (make sure the piece is memorized) and sing with confidence. 

  • Be ready to talk about yourself, your past musical experiences, and your goals for the future. Give these ideas some thought. 

Please note 504 and IEP accommodations are available, please contact us at admissions@ellingtonarts.org with any questions or concerns. 

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