Newark Voices—NJSO Community Choir

Sing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Xian and the NJSO!

Newark Voices is a project-based community choir supported by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. It will be conducted by Dr. Heather J. Buchanan and accompanied by Steven W. Ryan. The choir formation is specifically to engage talented singers and experienced choral musicians from the Greater Newark community to join the NJSO in celebrating its 2018–19 season opening. Newark Voices will partner with the Montclair State University Chorale to perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 “Choral” for the two NJPAC performances—Friday, October 5 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, October 7 at 3 pm.


Auditions for the Newark Voices have concluded. If interested in future community projects, please contact Monika Szumski, Education & Community Engagement Coordinator at [email protected] for more information.

Participation requirements

We welcome experienced musicians with a passion for classical choral singing and professional-level artistry to audition. Ages: advanced-level high school students and beyond.

Successfully pass an individual audition with the conductor and accompanist (10 minutes duration) comprising:

  1. Vocalize: to determine divisi voice-part and aural acuity
  2. Sing prepared Beethoven 9 excerpts (in German preferred)
  3. Sight-reading

Audition excerpts, instructions and rehearsal schedule downloads

Required musical skills

  1. Secure vocal technique sufficient to handle the repertoire
  2. Ability to learn assigned voice part thoroughly and accurately in advance of ensemble rehearsals. Professionally-produced song learning/part tracks will be provided.
  3. Fluent and accurate sight-reading
  4. Comfortable singing in German (diction coaching provided in rehearsals)
  5. Ability to listen and respond quickly to instructions from the podium

Additional Requirements

100% punctual attendance for all rehearsals and performances as listed on the Rehearsal & Performance Schedule.

Music and black performance folders will be provided by the NJSO. We are using the Edition Peters Vocal Score.

Choristers are responsible for organizing their own formal performing attire within the guidelines set out below. If needed, NJSO can provide assistance with attire.


  • Elegant long-black attire, i.e. long black skirt & black blouse with long, 3/4 or elbow length sleeve OR long black dress. Floor-length hem!  Sleeveless/strapless, short sleeves and exposed midline not acceptable.  Pants are also not acceptable.  Black closed-toe dress shoes with black stockings/knee highs.  Pumps, character shoes or ballet flats with a non-slip rubber sole are recommended. No nude color hose/stockings or bare legs. 
  • No visible jewelry on face/ears/neck.
  • Hair must be worn off the face with long hair tied back or secured in an up-do. Long bangs pinned back.


  • Black tuxedo (black bow-tie, white wing-collar, black cummerbund), black dress shoes (sneakers not permitted) and black dress socks. (See pictures below)
  • No visible jewelry on face/ears/neck.
  • Hair must be off the face, with long hair tied back.


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