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UMS Choral Union

UMS Choral Union

Auditions & Rehearsals

The next auditions will take place on Monday, August 28, 2023 from 5:30-10pm, and Monday, September 11, 2023 from 6-10PM in Palmer Commons. Appointments are required. To schedule an audition appointment or for more information about chorus membership, please email Kathleen Operhall, manager of the UMS Choral Union, at

Plan to arrive at least ten minutes before your audition. Bring a copy of your prepared solo in the correct key for the accompanist; the accompanist is not expected to transpose. Singers are notified of results after all auditions are completed.

Audition Content

Vocalization: A series of vocalization exercises to determine the range and color of the voice.

Prepared solo: Select a composition in any language that best demonstrates the timbre of your instrument. The prepared work may be an aria, lieder, or excerpt—either solo or choral—from a major work, musical theater piece, or hymn. In the interest of time, please perform 16-20 measures of your piece. We advise you not to pick music that tests the limits of your range or vocal technique; rather, bring a work that you can sing confidently and expressively.

Sightreading: We provide a short excerpt and ask you to sing your part while the other three parts are played by an accompanist.

Rehearsal Schedule

View the UMS Choral Union’s full 2023/24 rehearsal and performance schedule (PDF)

Upcoming Season

The 2023/24 season will include the following performances. Rehearsals will occur on Monday evenings from 7-9:30 pm.

Handel’s Messiah
Scott Hanoian, conductor
Saturday-Sunday December 2-3, 2023
Hill Auditorium

The Philadelphia Orchestra
Johannes Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem, Op. 45
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Sunday, April 21, 2024
Hill Auditorium

Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 9
Earl Lee, conductor
Saturday, May 18, 2024
Hill Auditorium

About the UMS Choral Union

Music Director Scott Hanoian

Scott HanoianScott Hanoian is the music director and conductor of the UMS Choral Union where he conducts and prepares the Grammy Award-winning chorus in performances with the world’s finest orchestras and conductors. Choruses prepared by Mr. Hanoian have sung under the batons of Leonard Slatkin, Iván Fischer, Osmo Vänskä, Peter Oundjian, Fabien Gabel, and Arie Lipsky.

Mr. Hanoian is active as an organist, accompanist, continuo artist, conductor, choral adjudicator, and guest clinician. He is the director of music and organist at Christ Church Grosse Pointe, where he directs the church’s four choirs and oversees the yearly concert series. Mr. Hanoian has served on the faculty of Wayne State University and Oakland University and was the artistic director and conductor of the Oakland Choral Society from 2013–15.

As an organist and conductor, Mr. Hanoian has performed concerts throughout the US and has led choirs on trips to Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, France, and Spain. In the summer of 2017, Mr. Hanoian led the Christ Church Schola during their weeklong residency at Westminster Abbey.

Before moving to Grosse Pointe, Mr. Hanoian was the assistant organist and assistant director of music at Washington National Cathedral where he played the organ for many services including the funerals for Presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. Mr. Hanoian has recorded the complete organ works of Johannes Brahms for the JAV label.

Learn more at

Choral Union History

Formed in 1879 by a group of local university and townspeople who gathered together for the study of Handel’s Messiah, the UMS Choral Union has performed with many of the world’s distinguished orchestras and conductors over the course of its long history. First led by Latin professor and organist Henry Simmons Frieze and then conducted by the University of Michigan’s first music instructor, Calvin Cady, the group has continued to perform Handel’s Messiah in Ann Arbor annually. In May 2015, UMS announced the appointment of Scott Hanoian as the Choral Union’s music director and conductor following Jerry Blackstone’s 12-year tenure.

The 175-voice Choral Union is known for its definitive performances of large-scale works for chorus and orchestra. In 2004, UMSCU participated in a rare performance and recording of William Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and of Experience in Hill Auditorium under the baton of Leonard Slatkin. The Naxos Records three-disc set of this recording won four Grammy Awards in 2006, including “Best Choral Performance” and “Best Classical Album.” The recording was also selected as one of the New York Times “Best Classical Music CDs of 2004.”

Other recent highlights include a recording project with the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance’s choral and orchestral ensembles of the rarely-heard Oresteian Trilogy by Darius Milhaud conducted by Kenneth Kiesler. In May 2013, chorus members joined the Detroit Symphony and Leonard Slatkin in a performance of Ives’s Symphony No. 4 as part of Carnegie Hall’s Spring for Music festival in New York.

Photo credit: Peter Smith

Summer Sings


Summer Sings, popular, participatory evenings of memorable music-making. No auditions are required…just bring your voices and enthusiasm to these choral reading sessions, led by outstanding conductors with talented local soloists.

Events coming soon.

Love great music, theater, and dance?

Love great music, theater, and dance?

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