The 175-voice NYCHORAL (New York Choral Society), led by music director David Hayes, has been performing in Carnegie Hall and other exciting venues for over 50 years. Our members are a diverse community of people who have come together to share their passion for music. We hope you'll join us!
NYCHORAL members sing on a volunteer basis, but many of us have studied music or vocal performance. We are all committed to the chorus: we pay our membership dues, prepare our music, attend rehearsals, sell tickets to our concerts, and contribute in other ways when we can (volunteering our time, soliciting charitable contributions, making personal contributions). It's not inexpensive to rent Carnegie Hall, let alone pay the professional orchestra and soloists, purchase scores, rent rehearsal space, and so on.
[Photo: Taking bids for the silent auction at the annual Spring Gala. Photo by Karen W. Solorow]
Benefits of NYCHORAL Membership
We contribute to the chorus in all these ways because it gives us so much in return. And once you have auditioned and been accepted as a member, an exciting and satisfying musical experience awaits you, too! Here are just some of the benefits of being a NYCHORAL member:
- Singing, and improving, as a singer and musician under the direction of David Hayes, our very talented and accomplished music director.
- Performing exciting classical masterpieces, rarely performed choral gems, and exceptional new music with other highly talented and dedicated singers, and often with a professional orchestra and soloists.
- Singing at Carnegie Hall and other wonderful venues.
- Enjoying a substantial member discount on NYCHORAL concert tickets.
- Being part of a wonderful community of friendly people who love to sing, and socialize. Many of us develop friendships in the chorus that have lasted for many years, and we enjoy meeting new singers who join at the start of each season.
- Socializing with fellow members; many of us go out together after rehearsals and there is an annual benefit Gala and an end of season member party.
- Traveling and singing around the world on NYCHORAL Summer Tours.
- All members have the opportunity to audition for the NYCHORAL Chamber Chorus (separate auditions held later).
- Being challenged, and striving to elevate our personal musicianship and the excellence of the chorus as a whole.
NYCHORAL rehearsals are a good mixture of focused, challenging work; humor; and socializing. It is always a relief to put the cares of the day aside and just sing!
Our season typically runs from early September to May. Weekly rehearsals are regularly on Tuesday evenings, 7 to 10pm, at a church on the upper East Side. During concert weeks, other daytime or evening rehearsals are scheduled according to orchestra and hall availability (usually two orchestra rehearsals and a dress rehearsal). In addition, there are always several all-day Saturday rehearsals (10am to 4pm) during the season.
For a professional-sounding performance, there is no substitute for weekly practice and consistent attendance. We expect that each member will attend each rehearsal and, in addition, practice each week outside of rehearsal. We provide online study aids to assist members in preparing their music.
Members who miss a specified number of a performance’s rehearsals are required to participate in a note check, to demonstrate that they know the music. Those missing more than a certain number of rehearsals for a performance are not permitted to sing in that concert.
Important NYCHORAL Member Responsibilities
Membership dues for the season are $225 and are due at or before the season’s first rehearsal. Members (except those paying reduced membership dues) may request to pay their dues in two installments (early September and early October; specific dates/amounts TBD). We also offer need-based reductions in membership dues on a case by case basis. To be considered for reduced membership dues, applicants and current members contact the Membership Chair before start of rehearsals (specific deadline TBD; a response is given before the season's first rehearsal).
Each member is expected to sell a minimum of 6 tickets to each concert produced by NYCHORAL (this may be modified for some concerts, such as those at smaller venues, and it does not apply to guest engagements such as the Richard Tucker Gala). When members can not find attendees, ticket obligations can be met by contributing to our Community and Student Outreach Program: members purchase $30 tax-deductible tickets, which are then distributed free to those who otherwise may not have been able to attend our concerts.
A member is not permitted to sing a concert unless they wear the appropriate attire. Men are required to wear tuxedos. Women are required to purchase our standard concert skirt and top (cost is $85 and orders are taken early in the season).
Each member is reviewed annually based on their overall participation and contributions to NYCHORAL throughout the season. Members are also evaluated musically at a minimum of every two years, and all new members are re-auditioned at the end of their first season (the audition format is announced in advance).
A special note to former members:
We encourage former members to return -- we’ll be glad to see you! But first you need to audition, ideally during regular annual auditions in late August. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an audition (there’s no need to contact music staff or a chorus manager directly).
We hope that you will join NYCHORAL, and soon be as glad as we are to be a part of this chorus! You can learn more about auditions here. Please email us at email@example.com if you have questions about membership or auditions.
Current members can access the member website here.