Learn more about the CSO Chorus

The Columbus Symphony Orchestra Chorus was established in 1970 to perform large-scale choral-orchestral works with the symphony each season at the historic Ohio Theatre.

The 130-member Chorus, composed entirely of skilled volunteer singers drawn from across the Central Ohio region, performs major works from Bach through the twenty-first century. Past performances have included the requiems of Brahms, Verdi, Fauré, Mozart, and Duruflé; the Bach B Minor Mass; Mozart’s Grand Mass in C Minor and Coronation Mass; Haydn’s Lord Nelson MassHarmonie MassCreation, and The Seasons; Paul Moravec’s Sanctuary Road; Orff’s Carmina Burana; works by Rossini, Walton, Britten, and Prokofiev; and concert performances of operas, including Bizet’s Carmen and Puccini’s La Bohéme. In 2013, the chorus premiered Stephen Paulus’ Of Songs and Singing! 

The CSO Chorus holds general auditions in July and January, attracting singers with substantial choral experience to join the organization in performing choral masterworks with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra under the inspiring leadership of Music Director, Rossen Milanov, and Principal Pops Conductor, Stuart Chafetz.

The Chorus is prepared for performances by our newly appointed Chorus Director, Stephen Caracciolo: a professional conductor and published composer who holds degrees in conducting from Westminster Choir College and the Jacobs School of Music-Indiana University.

People who commit to the Chorus’ dynamic performing season find the organization to be a diverse ensemble of friendly, welcoming, and supportive choral music enthusiasts who hail from many walks of life and professions, and enjoy varied interests inside and outside of music. The Chorus is a family of talented, dedicated, and hard-working singers who focus their efforts to present magnificent works of musical art to the citizens of Central Ohio.

View the CSO Chorus Handbook

When and where does the Chorus rehearse?

Weekly rehearsals are held Tuesday evenings 7:00-9:30pm in the spacious rehearsal room 1 at the Ohio Theatre. Safe and convenient parking is available at the Columbus Commons Underground Parking Garage.

Are singers expected to prepare for rehearsals?

Chorus members are sent weekly emails from Dr. Caracciolo specifying precisely what titles will be rehearsed the following two Tuesdays. Singers are expected to target and master those portions of the program ahead of each rehearsal. Links to recordings, part tracks, and language diction helps are provided to aid in rehearsal preparation. Preparing for your Chorus audition, therefore, imitates on a smaller scale the same pattern CSO Chorus members follow when preparing for rehearsals.

What may I expect the evening of an audition?

Singers are greeted by members of the CSO Chorus Board when they arrive. You will be guided to a comfortable place to wait while you enter contact data into our files and sit for an informal picture.  A space will be provided for those who wish to warm up for a few minutes.

When you meet with Dr. Caracciolo, other Chorus Board members will be in the room to assist and to listen. He will check your range, note your singing tone, and assess your musical acuity in about 10-minutes of time. Singers who audition for Dr. Caracciolo routinely note that the experience was enjoyable, engaging, and not at all what they expected!

Sightreading is not assessed. Rather, the skill to thoroughly master the prepared excerpts and sing them accurately, musically, and beautifully at your audition is what we find most important! There is no expectation that those who audition will memorize the choral excerpts for their audition and singers are asked to bring the scores they downloaded in preparation. (see below)

How do I schedule an audition time?

While the CSO Chorus schedules larger audition events in July and January, singers are encouraged to schedule an individual audition any time during the season to be considered for seats in upcoming performances. To express your interest and to schedule an audition, contact Chorus Director, Dr. Stephen Caracciolo at [email protected]. Kindly offer several dates and general times in your email to detail your availability. Expect a return communication within 48 hours. 

Where are the auditions held?

Auditions are held at All Saints Lutheran Church, 6770 N High Street in Worthington.

What are the materials for me to prepare and bring to the audition?

Print the audition excerpts for Mozart and Handel, and kindly complete the included Audition Form and bring it to your audition.  

‘Credo’ excerpt (from Mass in C Minor K427) – W.A. Mozart

You will sing with this recording at your audition.

Soprano 1 Part Track

Alto Part Track

Tenor Part Track

Bass Part Track

‘Worthy Is the Lamb’ excerpt (from Messiah) – G.F. Handel

You will sing with this recording at your audition.

Soprano Part Track

Alto Part Track

Tenor Part Track

Bass Part Track

See you soon! The CSO Chorus looks forward to meeting you soon. If have questions about the audition process, you are welcome to email Dr. Stephen Caracciolo at [email protected] .