Founded in 1985, Choral Arts Ensemble (CAE) has established a reputation as one of the finest choral groups in the region. CAE performs a wide range of choral repertoire, with an emphasis on a cappella singing of music from the Renaissance to the twenty-first century. A nonprofit organization, CAE is governed by a Board of Directors with an annual budget of over $300,000, and managed by paid staff with offices at Assisi Heights. CAE is committed to its mission to inspire, educate and enrich the community at large through outstanding choral performances.
Rehearsals are 6:45-9:45 pm on Tuesdays, beginning in late August. Thursday or Friday dress rehearsals are also called the week of each concert series. There are 4-5 regular concert series per season, plus several non-season concert opportunities, including our annual benefit A Singing Valentine.
Approximately 48 singers (SATB) will be accepted each year to sing with CAE. Auditions for solo opportunities will be held throughout the season as needed.
Scheduled auditions for Choral Arts Ensemble are held in May each year, although we will hear interested singers on a case-by-case basis throughout the year. Any interested adult singer in the SE MN region with a musical background (preferably with experience singing the repertoire CAE presents) may audition; all singers must audition annually. The 10-minute audition consists of tonal memory and rhythm exercises, sight singing, and range tests. Auditions are held at the CAE offices at Assisi Heights.
Auditions for the 2019-2020 Season have been completed, however additional voices welcome!
To request a summer or mid-season audition time:
• experience in choral singing
• ability to learn music quickly and independently
• commitment for the entire season
• conscientious advance preparation before rehearsals
Benefits to singers:
• opportunity to perform with a professional conductor, accomplished peers, and professional instrumentalists from SE MN
• opportunity to perform a variety of challenging repertoire — from Renaissance masterworks to 20th-century works and newly commissioned pieces
• rehearsal & performance space, office support, and publicity provided
• educational opportunities/enrichment to other musical pursuits
• soloist opportunities
• music and learning mp3s &/or CDs provided
• congenial environment/opportunity to befriend those with similar interests
Expectations of singers
Be on time and be prepared for a great rehearsal
Attend all regular rehearsals. One absence per concert series is allowed if necessary – more than that needs to be discussed with the conductor.
Make a season-long commitment
CAE does not request any dues, but we would appreciate any financial donation you are able to give.
Assist with the success of the Annual Benefit in February.
Make a concerted effort to participate in as many extra performances as possible
Be an advocate for Choral Arts Ensemble and all the arts in general within the community
Men: Standard black tux with a (backless) 3-button vest. For more informal situations - a black shirt & tie with a black coat and pants.
Women: Black floor-length dress, available from performer supply catalog Formal Fashions, Inc. The dress comes in all sizes, costs approx. $78.00. Orders will be placed through the Choral Arts Ensemble after the first rehearsal of the season. More information will be sent out prior to the first rehearsal.
Concerts in 2019 -2020 Season
Oct. 26 & 27, 2019 - In Giving We Receive (a tribute to the 140 years of service of the Sisters of St. Francis -Lourdes Chapel, Assisi)
Dec. 13, 14, 15, 2019 - Christmas at Assisi (Lourdes Chapel, Assisi)
Dec. 14, 2019 – Family Holiday Concert (Rochester Public Library)
Feb. 15, 2020 - The Annual Benefit ~ A Singing Valentine
Feb. 25, 2020 - Annual H.S. Choral Festival ~ Singing for Life (starting at 5:30, but otherwise in a regular Tuesday evening rehearsal slot)
Mar 14 & 21, 2020 - Where we Love (St. John's - Northfield & Christ United Methodist Church - Rochester)
May 9, 2020 - Half the Sky (a concert of all women composers in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment - CUMC)
June 2020 - Community Sing - Date & location TBD
Choral Arts Ensemble • Assisi Heights, Suite 900, 1001 14th Street NW, Rochester, MN 55901