Choirs

National Choir and Audition Information
2024 choirs will be in Chicago, Illinois March 13 – 16, 2024 (Wednesday – Saturday)

If your music teacher sent you here, that’s wonderful news! They’ve identified your child as a potential participant in the OAKE National Conference Choirs! Many families have found this choral endeavor to be life-changing for their young singers.

What is OAKE, the OAKE National Conference, and the National Conference Choirs?

The Organization of American Kodály Educators has a mission to support music education of the highest quality, promote universal music literacy and lifelong music making, and preserve the musical heritage of the people of the United States of America through education, artistic performance, advocacy and research.

The OAKE National Conference occurs in a different city each year, bringing together music educators and clinicians over the course of four days and culminating in the performance of singers selected to participate in the National Choirs.  The audition-based OAKE National Conference Choirs are each led by a nationally renowned conductor.  Accepted singers will learn and memorize programmed music at home, with their own teachers, before going to the conference city where they participate in a rigorous 4-day rehearsal schedule, culminating in a final performance. 

 

Children’s Choir
(SSA)

Youth Treble Choir
(SSAA)

Concert Treble Choir
(SSAA)

Chamber Choir
(SATB)

Grades 4-5

Grades 6-8

Grades 9-12

Treble voices in
grades 4-5

Sopranos and Altos in grades 6-8
*8th graders with changed voices may audition for Tenor or Bass in Chamber

Treble voices in grades 9-12

Tenors and Basses, plus Soprano and Alto singers selected from the “Concert Treble” auditions, grades 9-12, Tenors and Basses in grade 8

There is currently no audition limit per teacher for any of the choirs. OAKE values having participation from a variety of schools and teachers and in cases of close results may prioritize singers from schools with fewer accepted singers.

 

NATIONAL CONFERENCE CHOIRS CONCERTS

 

Our annual National Conference culminates in a performance of singers selected to participate in the OAKE National Honor Choirs. There are four audition-based OAKE National Conference Choirs, each led by a nationally renowned conductor. Accepted singers learn and memorize music at home with their own teachers before going to the conference city. The National Conference Choir Concerts are a beautiful expression of bringing singers from across the country to make music together.  

This year’s 50th Anniversary concerts will be held in Orchestra Hall, the home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Incredible music is made here, and we’re excited for OAKE singers to perform in this amazing place and feel what it’s like to look out from a world-class stage! We know for many of you, it will not be the last time.

We’ll share more later. For now, learn more about the history of Orchestra Hall and the CSO.

 

2024 NATIONAL CONFERENCE CHOIR CONDUCTORS

Children’s Choir – Judith Chan  (SSA grades 4-5); Cecile Johnson Sponsored Conductorship
Youth Treble Choir – Sandy Knudson  (SSAA grades 6-8)
Concert Treble Choir – Tracy Wong  (SSAA grades 9-12)
Chamber Choir – Árpád Tóth  (SATB grades 9-12)


HELPFUL INFORMATION FOR FAMILIES:

Please explore the OAKE website and speak with your music teacher to learn more. 

  • If your family can commit to these dates and financial obligations, complete the Student Info Form in the Family Brochure and return it to teachers who will then work with singers to complete the audition process. Many audition for this artistic experience and acceptance into the choirs is not guaranteed. 
  • $26 audition fee: must be paid for auditions to be considered. Your teacher will email you a payment link unless your school is covering that cost. Families do not need to create any accounts on the OAKE or Opus websites.
  • Full financial commitment, if accepted: $300 registration fee, plus travel and hotel: Once accepted, choir registration and fee are a very quick turnaround in December. Do estimate other travel expenses.
  • Should your singer be accepted, register quickly by the deadline, then music packets will be shipped to teachers who will work with singers to prepare! The OAKE website will have all the info you need and we’ll alert you to updates by email. 
  • Families must stay at the official conference hotel: It’s close to rehearsals and these reservations defray the cost of rehearsal space and other aspects of the choirs which would otherwise drive up the cost of registration itself. Plus, it’s just fun to see everyone, including the teachers enjoying their own professional conference!
  • Travel plans: Be at the conference hotel in time for Wednesday afternoon Check-in and Orientation. Concerts are Saturday and we recommend Sunday departure.
  • Supervision: The National Conference Choirs Committee will take care of students only during rehearsals. Families or a designated chaperone must accompany them during all down-time, including meal breaks. The rehearsal schedule will be finalized in the weeks just prior to their trip.

Please be mindful that if your singer is accepted but then turns it down, another deserving singer has lost the opportunity. 

Audition Guide for Teachers

Family Brochure and Student Info Form

Teachers Submit Auditions through Opus

Helpful Tips for Auditions

 

Important Dates and Financial Obligations

Auditions

Dates

Fee

Responsibility of

Audition Applications Open Online

August 15

Teacher educates families and singer about opportunity to participate

Audition and Fee Deadline
paid online through Opus Events

NEW:
October 16

$26 USD
non-refundable

Family completes student info form and returns form to teacher. Family pays fee online (unless school pays). Teacher submits audition.

Audition Results emailed
accepted or declined, all will be emailed 

by November 15

OAKE

If Accepted

Dates

Fee

Responsibility of

Student Registration & Fee Deadline
music packets can only be sent for singers registered by the deadline

December 1

$300 USD
non-refundable

Family pays and submits registration 
(unless the school covers the fee)

Music Packets Mailed to Teachers

mid-December

OAKE / music distributor

Singers Learn Music with Teachers

ongoing

 

Teachers, Singers rehearse regularly

Teacher Conference Registration Deadline

Early Bird
January 20

Teacher

Choir “Extras” Order Deadline
t-shirts, additional concert tickets, etc

January 15

 

Family or Teachers are welcome to order extra
(both optional)

Event Information

Details / Cost

Responsibility of

Accepted Singers In-Person:  Chicago, IL   MARCH 13-16, 2024 (Wed-Sat rehearsals, Saturday performance) 
*Teachers may arrive later than Wednesday, conference attendance and registration are required.

Visit the Choir Menu at oake.org for 
Rehearsal Locations & Hotel Lodgings and group rate booking link

Chicago Palmer House Hilton
OAKE Rate: $165/night + tax
Special Rate Ends Feb 12, 2024
Parking rates may also apply

Parent arranges for student/family.
Teachers arrange for themselves.

WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND booking hotel long before the OAKE special rate deadline as the hotel block may fill sooner.

Flight/Travel to Chicago, IL (if accepted)

Costs Vary

All arrange for self/family


REIMBURSEMENT

$26 Audition fees are non-refundable. If your singer is accepted, $300 participation/ registration fees are due early December. OAKE incurs expenses in anticipation of the event and cannot refund these fees.

CURRENT AND PAST RECORDINGS – PHYSICAL MEDIA FOR PURCHASE

For Current and Past Recordings and Media, please visit http://www.choirslive.com/


Have Questions?

Please check our Choir FAQ for Frequently Asked Questions by teachers, parents and students.
If you need further assistance, please feel free to Contact Us

(updated 6-20-2023)