Perform with us
Interested in playing or singing with us? Please read our Frequently Asked Questions below!
How can I play or sing with West Suburban?
Send us an e-mail through the "contact us" page on this website! We offer volunteer instrumentalists and choristers opportunities to play or sing in our concerts as guests, without audition, or as members following audition.
What's the time commitment?
Our symphony orchestra annually presents five public concerts, usually on Sunday afternoons, and one weekday of educational concerts for schoolchildren, between October and May. Rehearsals are primarily on Tuesday evenings, with occasional Friday evening or Saturday morning rehearsals.
Our festival orchestra annually presents two public concerts, most often on Saturday evenings, indoors and outdoors. It rehearsals primarily on Monday and Tuesday evenings, with occasional Friday-evening rehearsals.
The West Suburban Symphony Singers, our chorus, performs in 2 or 3 of our orchestra concerts each year. Rehearsals with piano are on Sunday evenings, usually 6-7 per concert, plus 1-2 rehearsals with an orchestra, most often on a Monday, Tuesday, or Friday evening.
What are the concerts and rehearsals like?
Our concerts are energetic and audience-friendly, with engaging audience interaction by our conductor. We give our audiences a memorable musical experience as we perform a wide range of music, from Baroque to contemporary pops. We offer fast-paced rehearsals that emphasize interpretive style. Our rehearsals are rich in humor, camaraderie and insights into composers' lives and the history of the music we perform.
What are the musicians like?
While many of our orchestra players earn their living as musicians, our ranks include individuals from varied trades and professions. Many of our players also perform regularly in classical trios and quartets, jazz groups, and rock bands; most of our singers perform regularly with other choruses. Our members are very sociable. They enjoy routine post-rehearsal and post-concert get-togethers for food and drink, parties in members' homes, and concert tours.
How do I request an audition?
Individuals age 18 and older may audition for membership, as volunteers, in our orchestras and chorus. We welcome musicians who are passionate about their art and committed to continually honing their skills. We seek singers and players who take a team perspective, participate regularly in rehearsals and concerts, and excel in ensemble performance. If you'd like to audition, respond to one of our formal calls for auditioners or, if we do not have such a call active at present, contact us.
Our audition process begins with solos performed for our music director and a few current members. Orchestra auditioners play:
- Music we provide in advance: excerpts from standard literature, 1-3 minutes in length. In the interests of fairness, we distribute these excerpts to all auditioners at the same time and do not identify the excerpts before they are distributed.
- Music we provide for sight-reading during the audition, 1-3 minutes in length and representative, in difficulty, of music that our current members sight-read successfully.
- Music of the auditioner's choice, again 1-3 minutes in length.
Chorus auditioners sing:
- 1-3 minutes of music of their choice, a cappella, but with a starting keyboard note/chord provided, and with a copy of their music provided to the music director at the time of the audition
- 1-3 minutes of vocalizations as requested by the music director, with a starting note/chord provided.
How are the groups managed?
In the tradition of volunteer community orchestras and choruses, we are a self-managed organization of volunteers. Our orchestra and chorus members constitute the membership of the West Suburban Symphony Society, the not-for-profit Illinois corporation that operates our performing groups. The Society is led by a volunteer board. Volunteers also carry out our business functions, as we have no paid support staff. The Society complies with all applicable nondiscrimination laws and does not tolerate sexual harassment.