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What are the qualifications for paid chorus positions?

I'm a long time choral singer who has been taking voice lessons for a few years, and I'm curious about what it takes to get a paid position in a chorus. I would like to make some extra money and it would be fantastic to get paid for singing. But I have no idea if I'm good enough. Basically, how good do you have to be? How competitive is it? I consider myself a pretty good choral singer and I'm good at sight reading and singing in various languages. I have lots of instrumental experience as well. I'm really a mezzo, but I've been  singing alto in groups. I live in the DC area.
on March 9, 2015 3:41pm
Hi Anne,
 
There are different levels of paid chorus postions and in a place like DC, probably sub-variants of those. Are you thinking about a totally professional (paid) choir which is not connected with a worship community (like a symphony chorus)? Or are you thinking about a professional church choir?  Or are you thinking about being a paid soloist/section leader in a church choir with the rest of the singers being volunteers and church members?  These require similar, but different, skills sets for each. Often paid choral singers do a combination of those, may sing in a professional chorus, sing in a professional church choir or are a soloist/section leader.
 
I've directed paid singers in a church choir as well as BEING a paid singer in a (different) church choir and had a time in a symphony chorus.  The easiest (for me) was the symphony chorus.  Church section leaders have it a bit tougher since there is some leadership involved.
 
The best advice I can give you, other than ask your voice teacher what they think, is to audition for a paid position and see what happens.  Here at ChoralNet check out the Classifieds under Auditions: paid chorus members or Employment: Vocal soloists in you area. 
 
Hope this helps,
Marie
 
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