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The audition for the North Carolina Governor’s School in Choral Music has two parts: Solo Performance and Sight-Singing.

The judge may open with comments to help the nominee feel at ease and perhaps ask questions during the audition that are performance-related. Nominees will be asked to perform vocal exercises (warmups) to determine vocal range. Nominees will be asked to audition in a different vocal part if their vocal range warrants. However, judges will not make comments, provide feedback, offer instruction or make suggestions for improvement. Ratings will not be shared with the nominee, his/her family, or his/her school.

Solo Performance

  • Nominees will select a formal repertoire piece for solo performance from a 20th-century or 21st-century composer. They should not select a piece from genres of pop/rock, Broadway, film, or gospel, or voice parts from choral repertoire.
  • Suggested composers are Samuel Barber, Ned Rorem, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Benjamin Britten, Aaron Copland, Gwyneth Walker, Abbie Betinis, and Jocelyn Hagen. Other modern classical composers are acceptable. Nominee should consult with a music teacher for a piece that is suitable for his/her voice. In addition to local music stores, sheet music is available for legal download at a nominal fee at and other sites.
  • The solo performance must be between 90 seconds and two minutes in length.
  • The nominee does not have to start at the beginning of the selection; an excerpt is acceptable.
  • Nominees must bring at least one original of their selection for the judge's reference during the audition, and additional copies if necessary for use by the nominee and/or accompanist. Nominees arriving for auditions with only one original of their selection must be prepared to sing their selection by memory. Illegal photocopies are not acceptable.

If the solo performance requires accompaniment, then the nominee must bring his/her own accompanist. Parents may not accompany their own child. A keyboard instrument will be in the audition room. Students using a recorded accompaniment must provide the recording and the playing equipment. No equipment or internet access will be provided; electrical outlet access cannot be guaranteed. Judges will not assist with accompaniment. If the nominee chooses to sing his/her solo performance a cappella, the judge will play the beginning and ending pitch on the piano to ascertain that the nominee has sung in the key in which the solo is composed. If the nominee is transposing the solo (singing in a different key from what is written), the judge must be clearly informed of this transposition before the nominee sings.


  • The sight-singing task will be performed a cappella, without accompaniment.
  • The nominee will be given a brief period to read and study the sight-singing excerpt(s). The judge will then supply a starting pitch and tempo and the nominee will sing the passage without accompaniment, including dynamics and text.

Students will be emailed information about other details (location, time, date, preparations, etc.) several weeks prior to audition day.