Cleveland Orchestra

Children's Choruses

Frequently Asked


 PLEASE NOTE: Due to the current pandemic, the spring semester of the

Children's Choruses 2020-21 season will be held remotely to ensure the

safety of our choristers and staff. To learn more, CLICK HERE. 

Why should my child audition?

If your child is passionate about singing and expanding their music education, then they should definitely consider auditioning for the Children's Choruses. Our singers come from different schools and diverse backgrounds, and enjoy being in a supportive environment with peers who share their love for music. The Children's Choruses are part of the greater Cleveland Orchestra Chorus family, and are encouraged to continue their musical journey through high school and even into adulthood. 

How long is one season?

Each year, choristers commit to attending rehearsals and performances for one season, which typically runs from September through May. During the summer, the Children's Chorus may also be asked to perform with The Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Music Center if the repertoire calls for children's voices. Such summer performances are highly encouraged but are not usually mandatory.

When and where are rehearsals?

Rehearsals will take place online for the entire season (October - May). Online rehearsals will take place during the usual times. Please see below for more details.

Rehearsals occur on Monday evenings throughout the school year. The Preparatory Chorus rehearses from 6:00 to 7:30 pm for most of the school year. The Children’s Chorus rehearses from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. During a normal season, rehearsals typically take place at University School in Shaker Heights.


What will the 2020-21 season look like?

The Children's Choruses will continue to meet online in the spring. Choristers will engage as a full ensemble about once per month between February 15 and  May 24. They will also participate in private or small group vocal lessons with Mr. Looney or Mr. Watkins. Additionally, choristers will have the opportunity to attend exciting masterclasses hosted by guest artists and professionals in the field. The season will conclude with a year-end celebration, in which our choruses will showcase their talents to their families through synchronous and digital presentations.

So, there are two groups?

Yes. Many of our students spend at least one year in the Preparatory Chorus, where they work on solidifying their foundation in musical literacy and vocal technique. Students can then audition to move up to the Children’s Chorus, where they’ll work on more technically complex music while committing to a more robust concert schedule, including performances alongside The Cleveland Orchestra each year.


Is there a cost to participate?

Due to the revised online schedule, tuition fees will be waived for for this season ($60 annual fee for the Preparatory Chorus and $85 annual fee for the Children's Chorus). Choristers will only be required to purchase a $12 chorus t-shirt, which is standard. 

The t-shirt will be used for any virtual performances. Choristers will not need to purchase formal uniform attire in fall 2020, but may be required to do so in spring 2021 if the Children's Chorus performs live in May.

Families typically pay a yearly tuition fee of $60 for the Preparatory Chorus and $85 for the Children’s Chorus. Families also purchase their child’s concert attire (about $60 + shipping), which can be worn year after year and is the same for both groups. Additionally, choristers are required to purchase a $12 t-shirt to be used for dress rehearsals and some community events. Families are never turned away due to financial hardship, and tuition and attire scholarships are readily available through a simple application.


What is an audition like?

Auditions for the 2020-21 season will take place online, via Zoom. For more information, please visit, AUDITIONS.

Auditionees should try to relax and not get too nervous. Our directors are welcoming and will do their best to make your child feel comfortable. Also, keep in mind that there is no such thing as a "perfect audition." Making some mistakes will not automatically exclude your child from being accepted into the program. Students will be asked to complete the following:

  • Sing the first verse of "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" ("America") in the key of F major, using the piano accompaniment recording provided on our website (sing from memory or with the copy of music provided on our website)

  • Sing the first verse of "America the Beautiful" ('Oh beautiful, for spacious skies') in the key of D major, a cappella - without accompaniment (sing from memory or with the copy of music provided on our website)

  • Sight read a simple melodic line and rhythmic exercise

  • Short exercises to assess a variety of vocal production skills


Accepted students will be placed in the appropriate ensemble – Children’s Chorus or Preparatory Chorus – at the directors’ discretion.

When will my child know the results of their audition?

Students are typically informed the result of their audition via email within one week of the audition date. 


How can my child prepare for their audition?

Preparing for an audition is easy! Simply go to our PREPARE FOR YOUR AUDITION web page to access a variety of audition study materials that our directors have put together for you to use. Resources include sheet music downloads and accompaniment tracks of the audition pieces listed above, as well as rhythmic and melodic sight-reading examples.

Don't worry if the sight-reading passages seem confusing to you or your child. The directors will explain what to do during the audition, and they recognize that many auditionees do not have any sight-reading experience. Performance on the sight-reading component does not affect acceptance and only helps us place students in the ensemble where they can achieve the most success.

How do I schedule an audition for my child?

Visit our AUDITIONS web page. There you will find simple step-by-step instructions to complete the audition process from start to finish.

I have more questions. Who should I contact?

Contact the Chorus Office at We'll be happy to assist you!

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© 2020

Cleveland Orchestra

Children's Choruses

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Chorus Office 

Severance Hall

11001 Euclid Avenue

Cleveland, OH 44106




(216) 231-7374

Cleveland Orchestra

Children's Choruses photography 

© by Roger Mastroianni

and © by Colleen Albrecht