All-West Choir turns to blind-auditions


Eva Winfrey

The WSHS Men and Women’s Choir rehearsing some pieces.

A student enters a classroom and sees a black curtain. The audition chair tells them to remain absolutely silent. The student begins his piece while the judges on the other side of the curtain begin their critique. This is the new process for auditions for the West Tennessee Vocal Music Educators’ Association (WTVMEA) All-West Choral conventions. The All-West Choir auditions have transitioned from their traditional face-to-face auditions to blind auditions, a style that the other All-West groups, band and orchestra, have done for years.

“It’s just a blanket that separates you and the judge,” Jaren Logan (12) said. “It’s not like they’re not in the room. They’re still in the room, they still make noise, they still do everything that they’d do when they could see you. It’s not a big change.”

Besides the new audition style, the overall process has stayed the same. The student performs the given pieces and sight-reads; the results are posted two to three days later.

With both styles of auditioning, blind and face-to-face, there are positive and negative aspects.

“A pro with the previous style…when you have a judge in front of you, you feel like you’re actually auditioning,” Maya Morris (10) said.

A notable difference between choir’s new auditions to previous years is that there is less pressure for students overall. Caleb Thompson (12) has auditioned for the West Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association’s (WTSBOA) All-West Orchestra convention for many years  and is experiencing All-West Choir for the first time.

“The environment [of All-West Choir] is a lot more relaxed [than All-West Orchestra]. The preparation for it is less rigorous than Orchestra. It’s a smoother process in my opinion,” said Thompson.

Even with this new auditioning process, White Station has sixteen students participating in 2017-18 WTVMEA this year, proving that a change in audition style does not change the results.