Join Us for the Musical Experience of a Lifetime

The May Festival Chorus welcomes singers of all voice types, ages 18 and up, with an interest in choral music. Join us to sing on the stage of Music Hall!

As the heart of the May Festival and the official chorus of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the May Festival Chorus offers high-level performance opportunities to skilled adult volunteer singers in our region.

For children and youth who love to sing, the May Festival Youth Chorus (mixed voices, grades 8-12) and the Cincinnati Boychoir (boys with unchanged, changing, and changed voices, grades 3-12) provide excellent training and unique performance opportunities. Visit their webpages to learn more about how you can join!

Auditions for the May Festival Chorus are typically held in January and August of each year, but we are always eager to hear from interested singers. Read on for more information and fill out the linked form below to schedule an audition. 


Questions? Please email us: [email protected].

May Festival Chorus

The May Festival Chorus seeks skilled singers of all voice types, ages 18 and up, with an interest in choral-orchestral music and a desire for excellence.

The audition will consist of three elements:

  1. Prepared Solo: Perform a brief (3 mins or less) solo of your choosing. Solos should be in a classical style with piano accompaniment (art songs, arias or arranged folk songs). Singing in languages other than English is encouraged, but not required. If your chosen work is longer than 3 minutes, please plan to perform only a portion.
  2. Required Excerpt: Prepare your voice part (soprano, alto, tenor or bass) to the final chorus of Handel’s Messiah as found here. The accompanist will play the piano reduction. Perform the work exactly as printed, observing all markings. 

    ▶ Messiah Amen - (Alto)

    Messiah Amen - (Bass)

    Messiah Amen - (Soprano)

    Messiah Amen - (Tenor)

    Messiah Amen - All Parts

  3. Vocal and Aural Exercises: In order to assess your vocal technique, the Director of Choruses will ask you to perform a series of simple vocal exercises. Aural skills will be assessed through pitch recall exercises and/or sight-reading.

The May Festival provides a pianist, but auditioning singers must bring a copy of their chosen solo work for the pianist to use. For works more than two pages, a double-sided copy in a binder is best (please, no staples or plastic sleeves).

Listed below are some common audition solos, and singers are welcome to offer these selections at their audition. For each work listed below, there are three files: a PDF of the score, a MIDI learning track, and a piano accompaniment. The learning track may aid in your preparation and mirrors the learning tracks made available to chorus members each week in preparation for our rehearsals. Be prepared to sing with a live accompanist in the audition, however.

Audition Piece Score   Learning Track   Piano Track  
Schubert, An Die Musik (D major) View Listen Listen
Schubert, An Die Musik (B flat major) View Listen Listen
Giordano, Caro Mio Ben (E flat major) View Listen Listen
Giordano, Caro Mio Ben (D flat major)   View Listen Listen
Mozart, O Isis und Osiris View Listen Listen
Traditional, The Water is Wide View Listen Listen
Purcell, When I am Laid in Earth View Listen Listen

Fill out the online audition form to indicate your interest. Our chorus manager will contact you to arrange a time. If you’re unavailable for the scheduled audition time, other arrangements can be made. The audition will last approximately ten minutes, and we’ll notify you of the result within one week.

We encourage you to read the FAQ below. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!

May Festival Chorus FAQ


Other questions? We are always glad to hear from you. Get in touch with our staff and we'll answer your questions.

Contact the Director of Choruses

Contact the May Festival Chorus Manager