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The choral/vocal program at Hanover consists of Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, Men's Vocal Quartet, and a Private Voice Studio. Under the creative leadership of Dr. Madlen Batchvarova the choirs have toured nationally and internationally, and have performed at the American Choral Directors Association Central Division Convention. The annual Christmas at Hanover concert is well-received and attracts a large audience. Another holiday favorite is the Hanover College-Madison Community performance of Handel's oratorio "Messiah."
The Hanover College Concert Choir concentrates on several musical styles from Baroque to contemporary. The group performs both a cappella pieces and works with a variety of instrumental ensembles. Its repertoire includes larger choral masterpieces such as Handel's oratorio Messiah, Vierne's Solemn Mass, Schubert's Mass in G, and Leoš Jánaček's Otčenaš . The group enjoys multicultural choral works representing music of the world. The Hanover College Concert Choir rehearses Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 4:00 pm until 6:15 pm depending on the academic term. There are usually between two and six performances each semester. The Concert Choir also performs at Baccalaureate and Commencement Ceremonies of Hanover College. The concert tours occur either during Spring Break, or in the summer. For more information on the Concert Choir literature, please see our Repertoire page.
Hanover College Chamber Singers is a select vocal ensemble. Members are chosen after an audition among singers in the Concert Choir. This is an advanced vocal ensemble numbering 16-24, whose members are predominantly Music Scholarship recipients, music majors or minors. The group currently practices twice a week, on Tuesday from 4:00 pm till 6:00 pm, and on Thursday, for an hour.
Chamber Singers perform primarily a cappella, and present works from Renaissance and contemporary choral heritage. The group strives to achieve a captivating performance atmosphere, relying on authentic performance practices. Its plans for the upcoming season include American premieres of new musical works. For more information on the Concert Choir literature, please see our Repertoire page.
The Hanover College Men's Quartet is a men's chamber ensemble that presented its inaugural performance on Valentine's Day 2007. The members of the group are selected after an audition among the vocal program's members who exhibit the highest level of participation and commitment.
The choral/vocal program at Hanover College offers individual voice lessons for beginners, and advanced singers. Members of the voice studio of Dr. Batchvarova have the opportunity to present solo voice concerts at the end of Winter Term. The singers are trained in the bel canto vocal technique, with emphasis on beautiful, healthy sound, highest level of expressivity. The students are trained in the standard Italian, German, French, Latin, and Spanish art song, and operatic repertoire. They also have the unique opportunity to study the solo heritage of the Russian, Bulgarian, and Check compositional masters.
The members of the voice studio have numerous solo opportunities. They are regular soloists for the annual "Messiah" concert, the Fall and Spring Choral Ensembles' concerts. They sing at the Department of Music Performance hour, and present a studio voice recital. Some recent class productions include: Under the Tuscan Sun - An Evening of Italian Art Songs, and Opera Arias '05, Magical Mozart Night '06, An Evening at the Opera '07, Operetta - The European Musical ' 08.
Regardless of your musical background-whether you were a soloist in high school or if your performances have so far been limited to the shower-if you love to sing, your chances at being admitted to the Concert Choir are good. Here is some information that should be helpful if you want to join the choir:
The Hanover College Concert Choir rehearses Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 4:00 pm until 6:15 pm depending on the academic term. There are usually between two and six performances each semester; these are generally scheduled on Saturday afternoon, or Sunday morning (if at church). The Concert Choir also performs at Baccalaureate and Commencement Ceremonies of Hanover College. The concert tours occur either during Spring Break, or in the summer. Members are expected to attend all rehearsals and performances.
The Concert Choir does not charge its members any dues or fees. Formalwear for gentlemen is a black tuxedo, and for ladies a custom order black dress. Each singer is financially responsible for their formal outfit. For more casual performances, members are expected to own a white dress shirt, a Hanover College logo T-shirt, khaki pants, and dark shoes. Generally, the College pays for travel and lodging expenses during tours, except in the cases of international travel and/or a national tour (e.g. Carnegie Hall performance)
The audition process
Auditioning for the Concert Choir is a short, painless process. There are two ways to audition: contact the director to set up a time during the first week of classes or attend the first few rehearsals and audition at the end. The audition is not meant to be an intimidating process, rather a way to determine a singer's ability.
During the audition, the director will play several different pitches on the piano and ask the singer to match them. Pitches will be within a natural range for the female and male voices. If the singer can successfully match pitch, the director will then test the singer's range for placement within the Concert Choir by asking the prospective member to sing five-note scales with the piano, moving upward or downward by half-steps. By exploring the singer's full range, it will be possible to determine where (s)he would be comfortable in the choir (Soprano I, Soprano II, Alto I, Alto II, Tenor I, Tenor II, Baritone, or Bass). Once the singer has been assigned a part, the director will assess his knowledge of musical notation. He/she will be asked to identify clefs, a time signature, the signs for sharps and flats, and a few pitches. The audition will conclude with a short interview regarding the singer's prior music experiences.
The audition is not a scary experience. The single most important issue is determining if the singer can match pitch well. If so, he is well on his way to becoming a part of a Hanover tradition!
The "Elite" Ensemble
If you are an experienced musician, and have been accepted into the Concert Choir, you are eligible to audition for the Chamber Singers. This is an advanced ensemble numbering 16-24, whose members are predominantly Music Scholarship recipients, music majors or minors. The group currently practices twice a week, on Tuesday from 4:00 pm till 6:00 pm, and on Thursday, for an hour.
Yes, you can get college credit for participating in a choral ensemble. Both Concert Choir and Chamber Singers are offered as academic courses by the Music Department. Both ensembles have credit (0.25) and non-credit options.
If you have questions about any part of the audition process, feel free to contact Dr. Madlen Batchvarova, Director of Choral Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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