Singers

We will be conducting new auditions on Saturday, April 15. Those wishing to audition need to attend the first rehearsal of the upcoming term on Monday, April 10th (6:30-9:30pm). This will be a chance for you to hear the Chorus in rehearsal, get to know some people, and determine for yourself if PGMC is a good fit for you.

Please submit your interest in audition by following this link: PGMC AUDITION REGISTRATION FORM

We will get back to you shortly. In the meantime, please take a moment to read the following information about the Chorus:

ABOUT PGMC:

“The Portland Gay Men’s Chorus aspires to expand, redefine, and perfect the choral art through eclectic performances that honor and uplift the gay community and affirm the worth of all people.” (The Mission of the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus.)

PGMC, as we call ourselves, is an arts group — an avocational choir whose repertoire runs the gamut of choral expression. We sing to entertain and uplift, and, especially, we sing to bring a positive light upon the gay community. Membership in PGMC is open to anyone who upholds our mission, and members are singers, dancers, volunteers, and board members. Those who sing are asked to honor our commitment to “perfect the choral art,” and the following are guidelines related to the expectations of those members who sing:

TIME COMMITMENT:

PGMC maintains an efficient rehearsal schedule that maximizes our success on stage. Here’s what is expected in terms of a singer’s time commitment:

  • All rehearsals, performances, and recording sessions are required of singing members
  • Rehearsals and performances are generally contained from mid-September through mid-June, with breaks in December and March. Monday rehearsals go from 6:30 to 9:30pm
  • Sectional rehearsals are offered to mitigate the occasions when a singer’s schedule takes them away from a Monday rehearsal
  • The rehearsals two weeks prior to a mainstage performance are considered “mandatory” (as are the performances and recording sessions)

NOTE: PGMC publishes a calendar of all rehearsals and performances in advance of each season. While rehearsals are “required,” we understand that other obligations will occasionally take a singer away. But singers should plan on missing no more than 2-3 Monday rehearsals per term. Members are encouraged to transfer or subscribe to this calendar in order to avoid conflicts with PGMC events.

FINANCIAL COMMITMENT:

All members of the PGMC community are expected to make a financial contribution to the ongoing success of the Chorus. That each member contributes to PGMC creates a community of “stakeholders” in our beloved organization. Realizing, however, that some members may be unduly burdened by the financial obligations of membership, PGMC offers scholarships, volunteer opportunities, and payment plans to ease this requirement. No prospective member should be dissuaded from participating in PGMC because of lack of financial resources. Here are some initial and ongoing expenses associated with singing membership in PGMC:

  • Wardrobe purchase: tuxedo (with shirt, bow tie, and studs), polo shirt, and the occasional colored shirt to accessorize the tuxedo. (There is a uniform style of tuxedo that PGMC uses)
  • Dues, which maybe paid by term (three times), in monthly installments, or once across the season. The current dues for the entire season are $225.
  • Transportation and lodging in conjunction with outreach performances

NOTES: As stated above, there are myriad ways that PGMC and its community can support members in meeting these performance-specific expenses. For instance, PGMC owns a large number of tuxedos which can be borrowed by members until they are able to purchase their own. Volunteer time in the office can substitute for dues, and there are always payment plans. For every out-of-Portland outreach performance, there are members who can offer a ride and hosting communities typically offer homestay opportunities for those who prefer not to stay in a hotel.

MUSICAL PREPARATION:

Singing members of PGMC come from a wide variety of performing backgrounds, and our “eclectic” concerts capitalize on this expanse of talent. While each PGMC concert is designed to be its own, original presentation, there are similarities in the way in which we prepare each concert. Mainstage concerts are generally prepared over the course of 10-12 weeks, and we almost always sing these mainstage concerts from memory. Here is what is expected of singers over the preparation period:

  • Be on time for each rehearsal and have a pencil in hand ready to mark your music. Those using e-readers should use a program that allows them to make notations
  • While PGMC rehearsals are typically quite lively, we focus our energy on perfecting the music. Cell phones should not be used during rehearsal. Socializing can be done before and after rehearsal, or during the snack break in the middle
  • As a guideline, we use the first several weeks of each term learning notes and the last weeks creating the magic. The memorization process starts on the third rehearsal, and all notes are expected to be learned by the midway point. Singers are expected to practice outside of rehearsal, if they fall behind the learning or memorization curve. Sectional rehearsals are offered to bolster the learning process. They are encouraged, but not mandatory
  • Memorization tracks are (almost always) provided to the singers for every concert
  • Movement and staging are integral to some, but not all, PGMC concerts. Nobody is expected to be a professional dancer, but singers are expected to put forth an effort to learn the movement. Our choreographer always keeps it easy to learn for movers of all shapes, sizes, and aerobic conditions! We post videos online to assist in this process

THE AUDITION:

PGMC is an auditioned chorus, and all new members go through an assessment to determine if they have the skill set to be successful in the Chorus. The audition is done with the artistic director, but is observed by some members of the artistic staff. Prospective members will:

  • Sing a short excerpt of a song of their choosing
  • Vocalize to determine range
  • Prepare two songs that are found on the PGMC website:
    • “America the Beautiful” melody (unaccompanied)
    • “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” part (unaccompanied, with other singers, or with the piano)
    • FOLLOW THIS LINK TO DOWNLOAD THE: PGMC AUDITION MUSIC
  • Demonstrate aural recall through a short series of ear exercises
  • Demonstrate the ability to follow/read a choral score

NOTES: Auditions for the Chorus are generally held the weekend after the first rehearsal of each term. Prospective members need to attend this first rehearsal. This will give them a chance to get a firsthand glimpse PGMC, especially how rehearsals run. The audition itself takes about 10 minutes, and we try to make it as stressless and enjoyable as possible. In regard to the “short excerpt,” we suggest 16 bars of a song that shows off your voice and style. It can be accompanied or acappella. (If accompanied, please bring a copy for the artistic director to read from the piano.) The reading portion of the audition is only meant to demonstrate that you can follow a score, which is essential for the rehearsal process. Singers aren’t expected to pull pitches out of thin air (though we will certainly be impressed if you can).