Advertise on ChoralNet 
ChoralNet logo
The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Professional Choral Ensembles

My daughter, a sophomore music major, asked me some questions to which I
know not the answers.

Are threre any professional choral ensembles extant, which use only women's
voices?

If so, what kind of salary might a singer in said ensembles expect to earn?

How much do singers in the Dale Warland ensemble earn per year?

If any of you have any knowledge in this area, please reply to me at:

desta(a)succeed.net

Many thanks.....

Dean M. Estabrook



Time is that which prevents everything from happening at once (although,
one must admit the phenomenon of coincidence).

Dean M. Estabrook
Director of Music
St. Andrew Presbyterian Church
Yuba City, CA

desta(a)succeed.net


on January 5, 2003 12:25pm
Dean M. Estabrook wrote:

>My daughter, a sophomore music major, asked me some questions to which I
>know not the answers.
>
>Are threre any professional choral ensembles extant, which use only women's
>voices?

That's a pretty restrictive criterion. The only one that immediately comes
to mind is Anonymous 4. And their success suggests that the way to create
such an ensemble is, well, to create it! And I'm not joking. It's one
thing to ask whether there are jobs available for the taking, or at least
the auditioning, as once there were with Fred Waring, Robert Shaw, Norman
Luboff, etc. It's quite another to undertake the creation of something
unique.

There are certainly more ensembles that use only men's voices, including
the King's Singers, Take Six, and Chanticleer. But there will always be
more that use mixed voices. Even the choral ensembles attached to the top
military bands have gone from all male to mixed, and I suspect that the
service academy glee clubs have done the same.

>If so, what kind of salary might a singer in said ensembles expect to earn?

Depends on a lot of factors. Whether it's a yearly contract or a
per-service arrangement. Whether payment takes into consideration living
costs in that area. Whether it can be considered a full-time job and
therefore has to provide a living wage without outside gigs or teaching.
Whether that Grammy Award has come through!

I'm most familiar with Chanticleer (12 men), which is a full-time job, has
a yearly contract, pays enough to get by with careful budgeting in the San
Francisco area, does have the Grammy, and does not really pay enough to
support a family. New York Pro Musica was also a full-time job with a
yearly contract, but with enough time off so that members could do some
teaching or take other gigs. One has to remember that the music business
is, and must be, a business to succeed and survive.

John


John & Susie Howell
Virginia Tech Department of Music
Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.A. 24061-0240
Vox (540) 231-8411 Fax (540) 231-5034
(mailto:John.Howell(a)vt.edu)
http://www.music.vt.edu/faculty/howell/howell.html


on January 5, 2003 10:54pm


Dean Estabrook wrote:

> My daughter, a sophomore music major, asked me some questions to which I
> know not the answers.
>
> Are threre any professional choral ensembles extant, which use only women's
> voices?


Anonymous four could perhaps qualify. The Women's Chorus of Dallas,
although volunteer, is a professional level ensemble with a paid staff.


>
> If so, what kind of salary might a singer in said ensembles expect to earn?
>

If you are lucky enough to be one of Anon 4, you would do quite well,
mainly from the sale of recordings and their many concert tours.


> How much do singers in the Dale Warland ensemble earn per year?
>

IIRC, the Warland singers do not earn a full time wage. There is only
one Full time professional choral ensemble in the US: Chanticleer. Most
of the others are part time. My choir, the Helios Ensemble, is
professional because everyone gets paid, but as we are in our infancy,
the salaries are very token. This is true of the other two professional
choirs in Dallas as well.

One can piece together a living singing in choirs if one a: lives in a
city that has several, like Minneapolis, New York, LA or Dallas, and b:
if one is both a completely nails sight-reader, is ultra-dependable, and
is not a jerk. The fastest way to be out of work in the choral world is
to be contra to one of the items abovementioned. All the conductors in
most cities are usually friends, or at least colleagues, and a small
singer pool usually makes up the core of all of the ensembles in an
area. For example, there are 3 professional choirs, and two other
organizations which hire singers frequently here in Dallas. I conduct
one of them, sing in two of them ,and hire singers from all five of
them. (and they hire my singers too.)

Hope this helps.

Kevin Sutton
Artistic Director and Conductor
The Helios Ensemble, Dallas
maestro2(a)sbcglobal.net

  • You must log in or register to be able to reply to this message.