Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who sponsors the chorus?
  2. What kinds of music do you sing?
  3. What kind of musical experience do I need to have?
  4. Wha are your auditions like?
  5. The last time I sang was in my high school chorus. Is that OK?
  6. Is the chorus for college students only?
  7. When are rehearsals?
  8. Does it cost anything to be in the chorus?
  9. How do I join?
  10. When are performances?
  11. Who is the conductor? How do I contact him?
  12. How do I contact the Community Music Division?
  13. How long has the chorus been in existence?
  14. Where can I hear how they sound?
  15. What other pieces have you performed in the past?
  16. Where else have you performed?
  17. Is it fun being in the DePaul Community Chorus?

 

1. Who sponsors the chorus?

The DePaul Community Chorus is a part of the Community Music Division of DePaul University's School of Music. With campuses throughout the Chicagoland area, DePaul is the largest Catholic University in the nation. The School of Music is located on DePaul's Lincoln Park Campus.

2. What kinds of music do you sing?

Our singers (and audiences) enjoy music that makes them both think and feel what it means to be truly human. That includes a good helping of European classical concert and sacred music, folk traditions from the USA and beyond as well as dramatic music from Broadway and opera. Our spring concerts usually feature secular music and in Winter we sing a major choral masterwork with full orchestra. In addition to our own Fall concert, we are the “chorus in residence” for DePaul University's annual Christmas at DePaul holiday concerts.

3. What kind of musical experience do I need to have?

We're a chorus where you can come develop your skills and enjoy the experience. Usually, new members have at some choral singing background (it may have been a while…) and know at least the basics of reading music. If you have a passion for singing and commitment to making the best music that you can, we would love to have you join us.

4. What are your auditions like?

Auditions for this chorus are not "pressure-cooker" events. We simply want to hear your voice, see what vocal range is comfortable for you and check out your basic instincts for melody and harmony. Confident music reading skills or prior choral experience is a plus, but not a requirement – especially if you have a "good ear" for music. Auditions do have a sight-reading component, but it’s very simple and straightforward. You might want to brush up on "My Country Tis of Thee" or a favorite hymn or song – nothing very fancy!

5. The last time I sang was in my high school chorus. Is that OK?

Absolutely.

6. Is the chorus for college students only?

No, the chorus is open to adults of any age. The chorus has an even mixture of ages, from university-aged on up.

7. When are rehearsals?

Rehearsals are on Tuesday nights from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm in the School of Music Building of DePaul University (804 W. Belden) near the corner of Fullerton and Halsted. The first rehearsal of the season is generally the third Tuesday in September. Current rehearsal info is located on our Join Us page.

8. Does it cost anything to be in the chorus?

The fee for membership in the DCC covers the cost of your music and some administration expenses. For the 2017-18 season that comes to $58 for each of our three academic terms or $135 for the entire concert season. Once a year, chorus members are encouraged to pitch in with a bit of fundraising (usually to help us pay for our professional orchestra) but this is done on a strictly voluntary basis.

9. How do I join?

See our Join Us page for details.

10. When are performances?

We typically have one concert during the November pre-holiday season, one during mid-March, and one in early June. Each December we also perform as the “chorus in residence” for the DePaul University's Christmas at DePaul holiday concerts.

11. Who is the conductor? How do I contact him?

A biography of our conductor, Stephen Blackwelder, is on the conductor's page. His contact info is on the Contact Us page.

12. How do I contact the Community Music Division?

Susanne Baker is Director of the Community Music Division at DePaul University. Her contact info is on the Contact Us page.

13. How long has the chorus been in existence?

The chorus has been in existence since 1989.

14. Where can I hear how the chorus sounds?

There are samples on the audio page. Take a listen.

The chorus has also produced a CD of the Mozart Requiem that we performed on March 9, 2003. It was the first performance in the Chicago area of the revised, complete edition by Robert Levin of Harvard  University.

15. What other pieces have you performed in the past?

Over the years the chorus has sung Haydn's Creation, Nelson Mass and Mass in Time of War, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Bruckner’s Mass in D Minor, Mozart's Requiem, Coronation Mass and Mass in C Minor, Brahms' Ein Deutches Requiem, Beethoven's Mass in C Major, Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, Orff's Carmina Burana, Handel's Messiah (Part I), Saint-Säens's Christmas Oratorio, Schubert's Mass in G and Mass in E-flat, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Robert Ray's Gospel Mass, Rutter's Requiem, Respighi's Laud to the Nativity, and Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms – all with full orchestral accompaniment.

16. Where else have you performed?

Members of the chorus have appeared at the Shedd Aquarium, on the Daley Center Plaza Noontime Series, have participated in memorial ceremonies at the Chicago Historical Society in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and have sung with the DePaul University Orchestra and Chorus under Margaret Hillis. The chorus had been invited to participate in several programs at Orchestra Hall, Symphony Center, including performances of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, Holst's The Planets, and 'Songs of Rejoicing' conducted by Duain Wolfe. Most recently, the DCC traveled to perform the Beethoven Mass in C with the Waukegan Symphony Orchestra.

17. Is it fun being in the DePaul Community Chorus?

Yes! But come and find out for yourself.

Back to top