Earlier this week, we had the chance to discuss auditions and forming a new a cappella group with Acaville Radio’s John Lamppost, host of the radio show “Talkappella.” If you didn’t get a chance to hear that interview, the show will be rebroadcasting that segment this Saturday at 7 AM and 7 PM Eastern. Visit this
link to listen.
The conversation got us thinking that a great audition process doesn’t start when the Fall arrives and everyone is back on-campus. It starts now. You’re looking for the best talent who will contribute both their voice and manpower (or womanpower) hopefully for the next four years.
To ensure that your group maximizes its potential this upcoming school year, we’ve come up with a few ideas on how to improve the quality of your auditions. Recruitment Starts Now
Getting the word out about your group shouldn’t begin during the first few weeks of the new semester, it should be happening now.
If your group has not signed up for organization fairs, those events where the university allows student organizations to promote themselves during student orientations, then you are missing out. Sign up for as many as you can, even if you only have one member who can attend them. Use events like this, social media, and even word of mouth to pitch your group to all incoming students you come across.
Chances are good that interested musicians are already researching your group for the Fall, especially recent high school graduates, so get the ball rolling now. Set A Date
I know this may sound like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how this simple task can fall by the wayside. Set a date for your Fall auditions now, before your group’s schedule starts filling up. This helps everyone plan around this all too important event. Once you’ve set a date, book a location. Chances are good that rooms in your university’s music building will start being reserved by other musicians before the next term starts, so get a jump on it now. Recruit Alumnus Help
Alumnus support is continually one aspect that I see groups not take advantage of. No one wants your group to succeed more than the people who were once in your shoes. Contact all local alums and see if any would be willing to help with the audition process during the new school year. From developing artwork for flyers to acting as the person who greets auditionees when they arrive, there is so much for past members to assist with so that current members can simply focus on the actual audition. Begin Brainstorming Creative Audition Elements
Part of the joy of being in an a cappella group is that you don’t have to hold the standard, cookie-cutter audition. This isn’t an audition for a classical vocal group, this is for a young, exciting college a cappella group. Have some fun with it. In Mickey Rapkin’s book Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory
(yes, the book that inspired the hit movie) he talks about how Tufts University’s Beelzebubs allow auditionees to show off one unique talent during their audition, usually it’s something completely separate from music.
This helps to gauge the personality of the auditionee and can help determine what this person can bring to the group outside of simply their voice. So, find a way to make your auditions just as fun and exciting for both current and prospective members.
It may seem a bit crazy to get the ball rolling now on auditions, but you’d be surprised on how quickly the Fall will sneak up on you. Help your group succeed in the future by starting the work now.