At 53 I've fallen in love with singing. I'm taking two one-hour voice lessons a week. I'd like to someday join a choir. If I work diligently at it how long might that take and what steps might I want to take? (Yes, I'll ask my voice teacher but I'd like other input as well.) My teacher tells me that I have a nice voice and that I'm a first tenor. Apparently male tenors are desirable in choirs but I still need some skill to get there!

There's a chorus at my community college that will take beginners - no audition needed. That chorus does a performance at the end of the 16 week semester. That's an obvious step to take but I'm curious about getting into a choir when an audition is involved.

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    The voice is only a part of it. You may well be expected to be able to sightread. This is difficult to answer, not enough info. You could join an amateur choir tomorrow. Or go to open mic sessions.
    – Tim
    Dec 13, 2016 at 9:11
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    Auditioned choirs sometimes have age limits and I'm sorry but you may be considered a bit too old for some. Don't worry about that too much - there are lots of choirs around so there will always be some who do not take age into consideration.
    – JimM
    Jun 24, 2017 at 22:55

2 Answers 2


First of all, voice lessons is a great start! Your teacher will teach you proper singing techniques like breath control and voice placement. You might also want to ask your teacher about sight reading as well, which is not always required, but definitely a skill to have as a choir member. For an audition, you might actually have to sight read something, so be prepared for that!

I'm not sure of your religious affiliation, but many churches have choirs that you could join. In my experience, a church choir will hold a very small audition, just to get a feel for your voice and see where you are best suited in the choir.

I would definitely start off small, with some kind of community choir that doesn't require an audition. You mentioned your community college has one, and that is a wonderful place to start your choir experience! You could also ask the head of the music department there if they know of any other choirs that you could join.

Another thing I should mention is that it is possible to be in multiple choirs at one time. The only thing to consider is how open your schedule is compared to each choir's practice times and performances and make sure none of them conflict, which can be very difficult. Also take into consideration the amount of music you are able to learn in a given time.

I think it is wonderful that you are looking for a choir to join! Almost every choir needs more tenors, so you've got a leg up on the competition! Don't be afraid to ask your voice teacher any questions you have about auditions. I would also suggest going to any music stores and asking them if they know of any choirs in your area, although most music stores are geared more toward instrumentalists.

Finally, I would like to mention that, in the event you are turned down after an audition, do not get discouraged! Auditions, just like job interviews, can be very stressful, and you might not do your absolute best at every single one. But, with each audition, you grow stronger as a musician, so just keep that in mind. And good luck with your search!!


From what you've told us, the steps you need to take are up to the door of your community college on choir practice night. From there, all will follow. You will be singing alongside people who also sing in other choirs, with policies ranging from 'fully inclusive' to 'must have excellent voice and music reading skills'. With two hours of tuition each week, I suspect you will be way ahead of many of them! Get going.

As to auditions. Remember, a choir that holds auditions is looking to recruit suitable members. They are overjoyed when they find one. They WANT you to be good. But that's in the future. Spend a term in your community choir and find out what choral singing is all about.

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