Category: Audition Season


So we’re smack dab in the middle of audition season right now. I was looking at some of the stats on the blog the other day and noticed a couple of searches surrounding how to recruit for a cappella groups. Hence a post on recruiting talent.

Here’s my top tips for recruiting to auditions:

1) Scout the Local Talent:

Karaoke Event put on by the freshman orientation counsel? You better be there to see what could be walking into your auditions. What’s more, if you hear something you want in your group, extend a personal invitation. No karaoke event? Host one. I hope I just changed a group’s recruiting forever. (If you do this, let me know how it goes.)

2) Advertise Everywhere:

Plaster your campus with posters and flyers, but make sure they have two things – A memorable graphic or phrase and the audition information. Sounds simple, but I once had an assistant director bring me a wonderfully eye-catching poster that did not have the audition date and time on it. Also, make sure you’re postering during daytime hours. Give people a chance to see you posting and ask you questions. My college group made a mistake of posting after rehearsals on Sunday nights. 9pm on Sunday is not exactly a high traffic time at most Universities.

Don’t underestimate Facebook events, but don’t count on them either. Make sure you get the word out on social media sites and invite you friends. Even that friend who you know can’t sing. They may have friends who can and could pass along the information about your auditions.

3) Personal Invitations and Follow-Up:

The power of a personal invitation cannot be truly measured. As I mentioned in #1, if you hear somebody you like, ask them to come to auditions. Same goes for friends of yours or that person you sing with in University Choir. And once you’ve asked them, follow-up with them before auditions. The saying  “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” is especially true about auditioning for a cappella. I’ve known many people who have said they wanted to be a part of a singing group but in the final weeks decided they might be too busy, not good enough, or they just forget about auditions because they didn’t write it down. A simple email, text message, wall post, or even *gasp* conversation in person can be what it takes to guarantee that next great soloist shows up at your auditions. I really can’t over state this point: Extended personal invitations and follow-up before auditions.

I hope these tips help your group find the talent you’re looking for. I’m definitely using the ones that apply to my post-collegiate efforts right now. If you have more tips, post them in the comments. I and my readers always appreciate additional insight.

 

So since I last posted information about auditions, some things have changed. First, the date and time. The new audition date and time is:

Saturday, September 15th at 2pm

Additionally, the location has been moved. Some of you who have inquired were told that we would be hosting auditions at one of our member’s homes in Andersonville. Now auditions will be held at Vocomotion Studios in Skokie. What’s more, this will be where a majority of our rehearsals will be held.

I will follow up by email with those of you who have already contacted me about auditioning. If you’re interested in being part of the group, please email us at suspensionacappella@gmail.com.

Finally, we settled into a musical direction last night. Our goal is to sing more indie style/lesser covered music as well as different takes on more popular songs. An imperfect simile is to think Sonos with 10 people or so. We’ve got a bit of talent in our founding members including a cappella producer Freddie Feldman on vocal percussion.

Several times each week, A Cappella Midwest will be blogging about different topics surrounding College A Cappella focusing in the Midwest. In our topic Audition Season, we’ll talk about one of the most important things your group can do: Recruit.

For some, Audition Season is the most fun time of the year; time to grow as a group, find new members, new talent, and help to carry on the legacy laid down by your founding members. For others, this is the most stressful part of being in an a cappella group; battling with other groups to find the best, mixed groups trying to find men, the constant grind of recruiting. Whichever camp you find yourself in, I’m sure we can all agree on the importance of recruiting.

The Collegiate A Cappella world is wide and varied due to some obvious reasons. Perhaps the most influential on the recruiting process is the size of the school. I come from a smaller school background and having started the group at my school, I faced different issues from larger schools with double digit ensembles.

So what are the most effective ways to recruit new members? We’ll explore these across this semester in most of our audition posts, but let me tackle what I feel is the most important.

Get Your Group Out There.

Whether you’re constantly singing in various parts of campus, performing at your schools freshman orientations, or singing at family day, it’s important to get your group out in front of the student body, especially the incoming freshman. This year one of the best recruiting tools for our ensemble was simply having a member sit at a table at the student organization fair. This year: Make the Glee Connection. Most people by now have heard about the show, and while most of what they do isn’t expressly a cappella, people will still connect it to your group. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of how “cool” Glee has become.

Getting your group out in the public sphere will help improve potential auditionee interest, but will also help to bolster your concert attendance. I can’t tell you how many times people have said “That’s so cool, I didn’t know we had a group like that!” The more opportunities you give yourself to gain fans, the more it will help your institutional support and longevity as an ensemble.

Finally, if your group hasn’t made it to the digital era yet, get there soon. I’ll be covering some news was to digitally market your group in the coming posts.

Good luck with those of you who are completing your fall auditions and congratulations to those of you who are being accepted into the college a cappella group at your school. I’ll be posting results from various auditions on the AcaMidwest twitter account as I become aware of them. Follow @AcaMidwest.