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What do Goldilocks and the three bears have in common with singing in front of an audience? Choral Director Wendy Nixon Stothert claims that the fairy tale characters profess a method for “getting it just right,” which is exactly the same goal of every singer about to perform in an audition or performance. The fact of the matter is that musical performance anxiety is a real phenomenon—one that can take your breath away, literally.

As a choral director at Oregon State University and with Corvallis Repertory Singers, I do my best to help vocalists perform at their best. Getting them to find “just the right” balance between being excited, but not too frightened to perform is a challenge. Being too nervous can cause a vocalist to tighten, which is not a good combination for relaxed singing. On the other hand, being too relaxed can cause a performance to fall flat.

As a director, it is my job to help reduce stress and prepare myself and my vocalists to know their music well. When singers ask me what they can do to reduce anxiety, I often refer them to one of my “go-to” articles, “Overcoming Musical Performance Anxiety,” by Director Stothert, published in Chorus America. Ms. Stothert offers some excellent advice in the article found at this link:

Corvallis Repertory Singers will hold auditions for interested new members on Tuesday, Sept. 15 between 4 and 7 p.m. or by appointment. Read Ms. Stothert’s article and then come sing! Prepare a solo selection from classical repertoire or musical theatre. Accompanist provided. Call 541-737-5584 or email to arrange a time.

Tell us how you prepare for auditions.