Thursday, January 21, 2016


So this is a funny story...

I got this email last week from DMCO...apparently they've added a pre-screening voice recording to their audition requirements.  I can't even tell you how much I dislike recording my own voice...
Dear Singer,  
Thank you for your interest in auditioning for Millennial Choirs & Orchestras (MCO).  This email contains information you need to complete the pre-screening requirements for the audition process.  Please read this entire email so that you are well informed. By auditioning for MCO you are agreeing to abide by its Code of Conduct and Terms of Participation found in the Participant Handbook.  We require that you read the handbook before auditioning.  For more details about MCO or for a schedule of the semester, please visit our website and select the "Texas" location.  Please review the semester schedule to make sure you do not have major schedule conflicts, as 75% attendance at weekly rehearsals is required.  Additionally, 100% attendance at concert run-throughs, dress rehearsals, and concerts is expected of all MCO participants. PRESCREENING RECORDING AUDITION (mp3 format)You are required to send, via email, a brief recording of yourself singing the melody of one verse of a hymn from the list below.  DO NOT SUBMIT ENHANCED OR STUDIO-QUALITY RECORDINGS as we want to hear your “unplugged,” unaltered voice.  The easiest way to record yourself is to use “Voice Memos” on an iPhone, or any recording app on any smart phone, and then email the recording directly from the phone.  If you do not have this capability, you will easily find family or friends who can record you singing and send it for you on their phone.  The process can take as little as one minute. Your recording must be emailed in a separate email (not as a reply to this email) to no later than Friday, January 22 at 11:59 PM. The following are instructions for your recording:  
·        State your full name and preferred voice part.   
 ·        Sing the melody of only one verse of a hymn from the list below. 
This should be a cappella (no piano or instrumental accompaniment), you may start on any pitch, and the hymn should be sung in a sacred classical-choral style.  Most of these hymns can be found in standard Christian hymnals or online. 
 “America the Beautiful,” by Ward  
“Be Still, My Soul,” by Sibelius
“For the Beauty of the Earth, by Kocher 
“God Be with You Till We Meet Again,” by Tomer  
“It Came upon the Midnight Clear,” by Willis  
Also, it is not required, but it is highly recommended that all female singers refer a qualified male singer for an audition.  There are often women who are not accepted into the choir simply because there are not enough qualified men who auditioned to provide a balanced choir.  If you refer a male singer, please indicate the name of your male referral(s) in the email submission of your recording, AND​ on your​ audition form. You will be notified via email by Monday, January 25 and informed of the results of your pre-screening recording audition.  If you are invited to attend a live audition, you will be scheduled for an audition time and provided with any additional requirements for the live audition.  Live auditions will be held on the evening of Wednesday, January 27 at Messiah Lutheran Church in Plano. You will also need to block out the evening of the first Grand Chorus rehearsal, Thursday, January 28, in the event you are accepted. Should your schedule conflict with the above dates please let me know and do not let that discourage you from auditioning. Thank you, and we look forward to receiving your prescreening recording! Good luck!

Well, the thing is due tomorrow so yesterday I realized that I probably needed to stop procrastinating and just get the darn thing recorded and sent.  But it was SO hard because I wanted to be able to hear something in my ears and not just sing it acapella, and because I really don't like the sound of my own voice, and because...well, I'm just ridiculous and make easy things way harder than they need to be.  

So I spent the ENTIRE day finding a recording of one of those five song options (in my range) that I could use as a crutch (after an entire morning on YouTube and Spotify, I settled on a VoiceMale arrangement of Be Still, My Soul,) finding the Voice Memos app on my phone (I had to text Emma at school to get help with that,) figuring out how to use one device to plug earbuds into and have the song play in my ears while recording my voice onto another device, practicing it for an hour with and without earbuds, and then actually recording it...257 times.

Seriously...THE. ENTIRE. DAY. on a 90 second recording of my voice.  So much for "this process can take as little as one minute."

Finally, at 8:00 last night when the kids were off at a youth activity, I picked the recording I hated the least and sent it to the DMCO audition folks.  I can't even describe the amount of courage it took to hit the SEND button.  And then I spent the rest of the night trying to actually make my soul be still, and not think about all the possible ways DMCO could tell me that I'm not going to be singing with them this season.  

It was a long, restless, worry-filled night.

This morning, I received this email...
Hi Haunani-
I emailed Stephanie for some clarification, but I think you can skip the prescreen and move to a live audition (that is, if you even have to reaudition at all). I meant to follow up when I saw your audition request but it slipped my mind. So sorry. She should get back to me tomorrow and I'll let you know if we both remember protocol the same way.
Welcome back ;o)

Sarah Ferguson
Grand Chorus Auditions Coordinator  
DMCO l Dallas Millennial Choirs and Orchestra

I'm sure there's some kind of life lesson in there, but I haven't yet figured out what it is...probably that I need to just calm the heck down about stuff and RELAX.  

But at least I lived through a hard thing.  Eleanor Roosevelt would have been proud.

Hey Haunani! 
I am so excited to hear that you are able to be back singing with us this semester. I made an executive decision that you do not need to reaudition. Please register ASAP by following the link here (it's a new program so you might need to sign up before you can sign in): 
Can't wait to see you!
Hooray!  There are not enough smiley emojis to convey the amount of relief and happiness I feel right now.   

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