The Turtles Want You!


By Todd Camp

We offered some tongue-in-cheek audition suggestions last month, but as tryouts for the Turtle Creek Chorale’s upcoming season approaches, we thought it might be a good time to ask some of the folks involved in the process to share some tips.

TCC Associate Conductor Sean Baugh says the process is simple: Potential members collect their music at the open rehearsal on Aug. 19 and then take the next several days to prepare themselves for auditions on Aug. 23. During that week, Sean says it’s important to “take that time to prepare. We don’t require our members to have to read music but they do have to be able to learn it.”

Sean says it’s key that new members spend some time on the excerpt, so treat it seriously, and learn the notes but also remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect.

“This is not an American Idol-type audition. We’re not going to be judging them,” he says. “We want to help them become members of the Chorale.”

Steven Mitchell, one of the Chorale’s founding members, advises vocalizing in advance so your voice is ready. “You don’t want to go in cold.”

“If you love music, if you can sing, that’s what we want,” he says. “When you join, you’re expected to commit your time and effort: That means good attendance, learning and memorizing your music, and participating and getting involved. That’s part of the deal.”

One of the biggest audition traits the Chorale looks for is the ability to match pitch, Sean says. If you’re unsure about your strength in that area, he suggests hopping in the car with a friend and having them listen to you sing along with a song to see how close you sound. “If you’re way off, you probably have some pitch issues.”

But Sean asks that would-be members remember that, “this is a very, very casual and simple audition process. You don’t have to be a great musician; that’s my job to teach you to be.”

Mark these upcoming dates on your calendar!
Tuesday, Aug. 19: Open rehearsal, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 23: Open auditions, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Both sessions will be held at:
Sammons Center for the Arts
3630 Harry Hines Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75219.

So You Think You Can Sing (and Dance)?


By Todd Camp

Think you could be a Turtle? Starting next month, you can put your mouth where your … er, mouth is when Turtle Creek Chorale opens auditions for new members. Until then, check out these tips on what it takes to be a successful Chorale crooner:

1. Lighten up. A sense of humor is not only a key trait for Chorale members; it’s a key trait for humans. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Seriously.

2. Slice that ham extra thick. Performing in front of hundreds of people can be intimidating, so don’t be afraid to nurse your inner ham. It might not be necessary for all TCC shows, but you’d be surprised how much hamming it up can come in handy.

3. Gimme a beat. You don’t have to have the moves like Jagger, but being able to groove to the music, even a little bit, will work to your advantage. Leave that other left foot at home.

4. Make this stuff look good. A sense of style will make ’em smile. You’ll probably be workin’ a tux most of the time on stage, but still, it never hurts to always show up dressed for success.

5. Sing out, Louise. Vocal talent is no small factor here — remember, you are singing for an internationally recognized choir. But you don’t have to have been a choral prodigy at age five to make the cut. So …

6. Practice. Practice. Practice. Sing in the shower. Bust out some Duran Duran at a local karaoke night (which could definitely help you out next season …). Do whatever it takes to get your voice used to making beautiful music.

7. Don’t just love it, live it. What you might lack in solo virtuosity, you can definitely make up for in passion. A genuine love of music is a must for any Turtle worth his salt.

8. Broaden your iPod’s horizons. Fergie is fierce, but there’s a whole wonderful world of music out there and the Chorale is going to be exposing you to a lot of it. Seek out new sounds and you might find something beyond “Bootylicious.”

9. Take care of your instrument. Late-night drinking binges are fun — if you remember them. But do remember this: They are tough on your voice. Keep your chords lubricated, not pickled.

10. Have fun. Why is something so simple, so hard to remember sometimes? You have to enjoy what you’re doing for others to enjoy what you’re doing. The more fun you have, the more fun the audience will share in.

Open rehearsal will be held Aug. 19 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Sammons Center for the Arts. New member auditions will be scheduled on Aug. 23..

For more information email