Interviews / Auditions
There is no audition or interview for preschool to second grade. For third through fifth grade, there is an informal interview to determine the child’s ability to match pitch (sing back a given note). Students in middle school and high school are placed into the approprate choir based on vocal skills and experience, which is determined by a more formal audition and a written music theory quiz.
In an interview (for third through fifth grades), the director will meet with the student and parent(s) to explain Cantabile’s teaching approach and to verify that the student is ready for group singing. The student is also welcome to give a brief performance, although this is not required for this age group. For sixth grade and higher, the student is expected to perform a prepared piece in front of the director and Cantabile's accompanist. They can allow their parents to listen as well. Students can perform an art song, a folk song (in any language), a pop song, or a musical theater show tune. The student must provide a copy of the sheet music for the piece or song being performed. The student is asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to his/her appointment in order to complete a brief and simple music theory quiz, demonstrating his/her ability to recognize notes, time signatures, durations, accidentals, key signatures, dynamic and tempo markings and intervals.
All interviews and auditions are designed to be a positive experience. The student will receive encouragement and be placed in the choir that is the best match for his or her musical skills. Cantabile’s goal is always to place the student in the most advanced choir based on his or her proficiency level.
Auditions & Demonstration Classes:
Preparatory 1 & 2 - no audition necessary, but families are invited to bring their young singers to a demo class in late August, early January and early June in Los Altos. To sign up for our next demo class, please send an email to
Prior music experience is not required for singers in junior training choirs and the audition will consist of an evaluation of each singer’s skill and maturity through vocalization, pitch matching and responsive singing. Singers will be recommended for the appropriate level choir upon completion of the audition.
Prospective singers for Cantabile’s senior choirs are asked to sing an unaccompanied or accompanied song of their choosing as well as take a written theory test. The Artistic Director will evaluate the singer’s overall musicianship, pitch-matching ability, melodic memory, rhythmic ability and sight reading skills in order to place the student in the appropriate choir level. The senior performing choirs have a high level of skill and achievement with many performances throughout the year that requires dedication and prioritization.