Audition Advice from a Recruitment Chair

Medina Keita '20

Being one of the Recruitment Chairs for the Chorus has given me a new outlook on the process that goes into gaining new members. Between talking to some students who are 100% certain that they want to audition and trying to sway some that are on the fence about putting themselves out there, I have really learned that the best thing one can have when auditioning for one of our ensembles is a positive attitude. It’s hard to think back to when I was a freshman getting ready to audition for the choral program, but what I can remember is never being afraid of the decision I made to actually go out and do it.

The most important advice I could give to anyone looking to find a choral community here at Cornell is to give it your all and never doubt yourself or your love for singing. The actual audition is so low pressure; there are a few quick vocal warm-ups that last about 5-10 mins which help our directors get to know you and your voice a little bit better. Then the hard part is over! In my experience, as long as you come in with a positive mindset, your abilities will shine through. Whether you’re a classically trained musician or have only been singing in school choirs your entire life, if you have the passion to learn, sing, and learn while singing, you can find a place in our choral department. (For me, that was a spot in the Chorus, and I can’t thank my younger self enough for being courageous enough to take that first step towards finding a community, even though I had only arrived on campus a few days before.)

If there is anything you as a prospective member debating on auditioning should keep in mind, it’s what you want out of your Cornell experience. If you want to be able to find a community of lifelong friends, make an impact on others, to expand your musical abilities, and to travel places you’ve never been before to bring joy to people who wholeheartedly love your sound, then you need to sign up for an audition. Make future you proud of the courage you have now and just go for it. I promise you won’t regret it.