Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus

About Us

The 2017-2018 season marks the 28th anniversary of the Virginia Symphony Chorus, and its twenty-first under the direction of Chorus Master Robert Shoup.  In addition to regular appearances with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the chorus has performed outside Hampton Roads to remarkable acclaim.  Under the baton of Mr. Shoup, the Chorus has traveled to sold-out houses as far afield as Prague, Vienna, Berlin, Leipzig, Munich, Salzburg and closer to home at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.  The Chorus has appeared twice at the Breckenridge Music Festival in Colorado, was an integral part of the 400th anniversary of Jamestown Celebration, and in 2010 was the featured chorus of the critically-acclaimed Virginia Arts Festival performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass.  In 2012, the Chorus was a key participant with the Virginia Arts Festival presentation of Mahler’s 8th Symphony.  Most recently, an acclaimed performance of Stravinsky’s Les Noces was presented in Norfolk, in May of 2013.

It’s a wonderful creative outlet. I love sining in general. It’s always been a part of my life and I just recently, because of the Virginia Symphony Chorus, found a love of classical music.

-Chris Ebarb, Core Singer

Performances

The VSO Chorus typically performs 3 or 4 programs (2-4 performances per program) with the orchestra each season.  Additional performances are also scheduled, such as events in cooperation with the Virginia Arts Festival.

Rehearsals

Chorus rehearsals are held weekly, from early September to late May.  Regular piano rehearsals are held on Tuesday evenings, with additional rehearsals scheduled as needed.  During performance weeks, the chorus will have additional rehearsals with the orchestra.

Membership

Membership with the VSO Chorus is by audition.  There are two types of membership – volunteer and professional core.  The majority of members are volunteer, with a smaller number of core members selected annually by audition.  Auditions are held frequently;  information on VSO auditions can be found below.

To apply for an audition, or if you have additional questions about the chorus, please contact Ray Landon, VSO Chorus Manager, via email at vscmgr@cox.net or call (757) 288-3148

** Repertoire planned for the 2017-2018 season includes Holst’s Planets, Bach’s Cantata #80, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah, Holiday Pops, a collaboration with Old Dominion University, featured participation in the 2018 Virginia Arts Festival — and much more!

Frequently Asked Questions

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Do you have to audition for the VSOC?

Yes, all VSOC members are required to complete an audition. Core members re-audition annually; New volunteer members are given a 1-year term, following their first successful audition.  Returning volunteer members may qualify for a 1-year, 2-year or 3-year term, following their re-audition.

What are the audition requirements?

Audition requirements are developed in the spring, for the upcoming season; a separate listing details all of the audition requirements. These are also posted on the VSO Web site.

How long do the auditions last?

The auditions generally last 15-20 minutes.

Do I need to provide an accompanist for my audition?

No – a professional accompanist is provided for each audition.

Do I need to have my solo (or the required excerpts) memorized?

No – you may use music for the solo requirement and the required excerpts.

When will I know the results of my audition?

Feedback is provided immediately following the audition by the chorusmaster.

If I audition for a core position, but do not qualify, can I still join as a volunteer?

The chorusmaster will discuss this option with you before beginning each core audition.

Who adjudicates my audition?

The chorusmaster is the sole adjudicator for the audition.

When does the chorus rehearse?

During a normal season, the chorus will rehearse on Tuesday evenings each week from 7:30-10:00 pm. Other rehearsal evenings are added, as required by the music being prepared.  A season schedule is published well in advance.

What is a typical schedule for the chorus?

The chorus typically is featured on 3 or 4 VSO programs annually.

Does the chorus ever perform separately from the Virginia Symphony Orchestra?

Yes. Occasionally the chorus will perform separately from the VSO; for example, the chorus often participates in the Virginia International Tattoo, sponsored annually by the Virginia Arts Festival.

The Best of Wagner’s Ring Cycle • 10/20-10/22

Friday, October 20, 2017 | 8PM | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News Saturday, October 21, 2017 | 8PM | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk Sunday, October 22, 2017 | 2:30PM | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach Wagner’s 15-hour Ring Cycle is to opera...

Halloween Spooktacular • 10/29

Sunday, October 29, 2017 | 3 PM | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts Dress up in your favorite Halloween costume and join Robert Shoup and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra for a ghoulish afternoon of monstrous fun! The Orchestra will perform some of the spookiest...

From the Music of Bach to the Reformation Symphony • 11/3-11/5

Friday, November 3, 2017| 8PM | Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News Saturday, November 4, 2017 | 8PM | Chrysler Hall, Norfolk Sunday, November 5, 2017| 2:30PM | Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach We mark the 500th Anniversary of the...

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 • 11/9 & 11/11

Thursday, November 9, 2017 | 8PM | Crosswalk Community Church, Williamsburg Saturday, November 11, 2017 | 8PM | Regent University, Virginia Beach The second installment of the series begins with Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály’s Dances of Galanta. Kodály based the...