Auditions are a drag. Auditions are not fun. Auditions are scary. Auditions are stressful. I hate them and want them to crawl into a hole so I can pour dirt and concrete over the top of the hole and then bomb it into oblivion.
Pardon my subtlety.
I suspect that I’m not the only one with such a “love” for auditions, which makes me happy that we don’t have any. Of course, that DOES give us two kinds of singers when all the dust settles: those who can sing and those who think they can’t (no, I didn’t say “can’t sing”, there’s no such thing). That first group slides right into the flow of things and that second group has more of a challenge.
There are a couple things that happen in every voice part in a non-auditioned choir: 1) there’s a wide variety of voices that create a unique sound and 2) there’s somebody who can’t immediately match pitch. Yeah, it can sound a little odd when it takes a bit for that voice to find its way but they ALL eventually do. You can hear it during warm-ups; there’s an initial dissonance that fixes itself.
Exactly how does that happen? Help from their friends and hard work. All of the it-comes-easy-to-me singers know who needs help and can offer it by singing toward that person trying to find their way. The first, best way to match a pitch is to have it right in your ear so be that assistance. The second best way to match pitch is the confidence to try and the support and encouragement of your section-mates will go a long way.
As for the hard work, there’s simply no substitute for it. If you’re having trouble nailing a pitch to start a line of notes your weapons are concentration and practice. Listen to both yourself and your neighbors during warm-ups and train your ears to find and adjust the difference. Sing along with the radio in your car to exercise and strengthen the muscles that make music happen (I’d bet good money that a lot of singers who have difficulties are simply “out of shape” in the singing department and can make a massive difference by working the singing machine regularly).
One final note for the veterans in the group, a reminder. That person who isn’t quite hitting the mark (yet) is working harder than you. A lot harder. Their dedication is to be acknowledged and encouraged so don’t be shy about lending a hand and letting them know that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel that sings in perfect tune.