Audition Feedback

John Howell was a longtime choir director at Virginia Tech and one of the most frequent contributors to Choralnet discussions for many years. One of my favorite ideas he shared was about audition feedback.

Post-audition feedback is not something to be taken lightly, and can be divided into two categories. For his jazz/show choir he sent a form letter to every accepted member in the week following auditions. Basically a congratulations followed by important information and dates.

For every auditionee not accepted, he sent a personal response listing strengths and weaknesses and providing actionable items for the future. He argued passionately of the importance of this step. Don’t just post a list and walk away – give as much as you can to the students who are walking away disappointed.

I must admit I haven’t reached that pinnacle, and am not sure I will – particularly at 14 or 15, some students want distance after a disappointing audition, rather than interaction. But I feel it’s incredibly important to be ready with information and advice, and do my best to take notes in auditions so I can provide that feedback.