Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus
The 2018-2019 season marks the 29th anniversary of the Virginia Symphony Chorus, and its twenty-second 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
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.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call (757) 288-3148
** Repertoire planned for the 2018-2019 season includes Poulenc’s Gloria, Mahler’s Symphony # 2, Handel’s Messiah, Holiday Pops, featured participation in the 2019 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.
Sunday, August 26, 2018 | Scope Arena, Norfolk | 4:30 - 6 PM Check-in begins at 2:30. Optional Community Rehearsal 3:30-4:00 Join the VSO in a celebration of brotherhood, unity, and peace in remembrance of 9-11. Created in 2017 in the wake of the violence...
Thursday, August 30 | Lake Matoaka Amphitheater, Williamsburg | 7:00PM - 9:00PM Saturday, September 1 | Yorktown Riverwalk Landing | 7:30PM - 9:30PM Sunday, September 2 | Chesapeake City Park, Chesapeake | 7:30PM - 9:30PM Grab your picnic baskets and lawn...
Friday, August 31 | Waterside District, Downtown Norfolk | 7PM Celebrate the start of Labor Day weekend with a free concert from the Virginia Symphony Orchestra brass ensemble. Bring a chair or blanket and we'll see you Friday, August 31st! Key, arr. David...
September 6, 2018 | Neptune's Park (31st Street / Atlantic Avenue) | 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm The Symphony by the Sea Series, presented by The Breeden Company, is back for another year, and is better than ever! Beachfront pops will once again fill the air for...