We hold individual auditions for Vitamin L and do most of them each year mid April through May. We like to get most of them done by the end of June.
We do continue limited auditions beyond June, and if you are interested in auditioning and it’s past June I encourage you to contact me and see if we still have openings in the chorus.
This document is long, but it has important information you need to know to prepare properly. Please read all of this information.
The Vitamin L Project
Auditioning for Vitamin L
Area youth may audition for Vitamin L as early as the spring of 5th grade and as late as the summer before 11th grade.
What we are looking for:
- Kids who love to sing
- Kids who sing on key
- Kids who can be (or can learn to be) animated and enthusiastic in presenting our songs.
- Kids who appreciate the opportunity to spread positive messages through song.
- Kids who are doing well enough in school that they can sometimes miss school to perform with Vitamin L (It is an excused absence).
- A diverse group of singers
A Vitamin L concert is a lively performance with some movement and choreography. We emphasize a musical theater type of presentation to engage the audience to the maximum of our potential.
We work on having the chorus members use their eyes, faces, and body to express the song, along with their voices.
Each chorus member has the job to do their best to spread love and goodwill to the audience and to get across the meaning and content of the songs as fully as possible.
Vitamin L Audition Instructions
Auditions take place at the home of Jan and Janice Nigro, which is at 105 King St., between Tioga and Aurora St. in the Fall Creek neighborhood. Their phone is 273-4175. Please call to schedule your audition.
Janice Nigro, the director of The Vitamin L Project, and Jan Nigro, Vitamin L’s songwriter and adult singer, will be at the auditions.
Parents are 100% welcome to attend the audition. Some children want their parents at the audition, some don’t. The audition usually takes around 10 – 20 minutes.
Preparing for the Audition
You need to audition with 2 Vitamin L songs.
All youth auditioning must fully memorize the first song on the Walk a Mile CD: “I Want To Get To Know You,” and one other Vitamin L song of their choosing.
To the youth:
Try to sing “I Want to Get to Know You” an octave higher than it is sung on the CD unless you are an older boy and your voice has changed. If parts of the song are too high for you, that’s OK, just drop out on those words or sing falsetto on them.
If the key of this song on the CD is an absolutely terrible key for you, Jan Nigro will find a good key for you at the audition and will accompany you on the guitar.
**** We can lend you the Walk a Mile CD if you don’t have it. Just call or email and ask. The lyrics are inside the CD cover and are also on our website: vitaminL.org.
The 2nd audition song may be any other Vitamin L song from any of our 4 recordings.
Be sure to practice WITH the CD, because at the audition, you will sing along to the soundtrack with the lead vocal taken off, and you need to be familiar with the instrumentation.
When you come to the audition and sing:
- SMILE a lot
- Move to the music
- Have a lot of life and expression in your face
- Use your arms and body and facial expressions to present the song theatrically. Please do not stand still with your hands by your side the whole time. Convince the audience to believe what you are singing about!
- Present the songs in an engaging, enthusiastic manner.
- HAVE FUN PREPARING!!!
The presentation is of extreme importance. A singer may have a wonderful, on key voice, but if the presentation is dull, it would not work for Vitamin L.
Janice and Jan Nigro have been doing this work for MANY years and we need to see an audition that at least has a fair amount of potential to be engaging in a way that will fit into our concerts.
When possible, we will film your audition for us to review if we need to.
*Please understand that your child should be fully prepared before they come to the audition. This means they have fully memorized the 2 songs to the point where the words and melody are second nature, and they can focus on an engaging, enthusiastic presentation.
*Please don’t waste your time and ours by coming unprepared to an audition.
For the vast majority of kids, it is totally normal to be nervous at an audition. We know that in many cases, audition nervousness prevents the singer from doing their best, and we take that into consideration.
In most cases, you will be given an answer within 2 – 4 weeks of the audition.
In some cases, you may be given some direction and you may be asked to come back for a 2nd audition. We have had many Vitamin L members over the years who had to have more than one audition.
If You Get Into Vitamin L...
If you get into Vitamin L, you will enter into a year of training, starting in July.
We are training our singers to be part of a professional organization.
What for you to expect:
- Training in public presentation
- The opportunity to focus on and deeply absorb the positive messages in the Vitamin L songs
- The benefits of this training: poise, self-confidence, leadership skills, working as part of a team, making a positive contribution through the concerts, and more.
The new Vitamin L member will be given training DVDs, our CDs, and a welcome folder with instructions.
TIME COMMITMENT and REHEARSALS
The biggest time commitment a new member puts into Vitamin L is in learning all of the songs and choreography at home with the help of our training DVDs and CDs.
In the first year of training, new members are expected to come to many rehearsals throughout the year so we can give you individual attention as needed and be sure you have the moves right.
Our rehearsals are almost always on Saturday mornings from 10:30 – 12:30.
In July and August we have additional special rehearsals for new members, on Wednesday nights from 6:00 – 8:00. If a new member is away for the whole summer or a big chunk of the summer, that’s fine. They can work on their own during the summer if their circumstance permits, or they can catch up in the fall.
* We haven’t finalized our rehearsal dates for July and August yet, but we expect kids to come if they can, and we understand if they are away with camp, vacation, etc.
No one is expected to attend every single rehearsal.
After the first year, we ask that the youth member attend at least one rehearsal a month.
Janice Nigro directs the rehearsals from September through June Her husband Jan wrote the songs and joins the chorus on stage at the concerts. Rehearsals are always at the Nigro’s house - 105 King Street.
We enlist the assistance of older members to help in the training rehearsals of the new members, especially in the summer.
Most of our concerts are held out of town - usually within a two hour radius of Ithaca. On rare occasions we have to spend the night if a concert is far away. A rare overnight concert would have a cast of experienced chorus members, rather than new ones.
During the school year the majority of our concerts are at elementary schools. This does entail missing part or all of the school day for our chorus members.
During the summer the concerts are mostly at summer festivals or camps. The group also performs occasionally for education conferences.
When you start Vitamin L in middle school, it is a gradual entrance into Vitamin L over 2 years or so.
When you start Vitamin L in high school, we try to make the entry is a bit quicker.
We make every effort to get each chorus member in at least 2 or 3 concerts the first year, but this is not guaranteed.
We place children in concerts when they are consistently doing well at presenting our songs at the rehearsals and also of course, when they are totally confident with the movements and details of what the chorus sings.
We never know from year to year how many concerts bookings we will get. This status of our concert bookings for the next school year is more uncertain than ever. We have worked hard to raise funds that can provide partial scholarships to schools in need so they can have Vitamin L perform for their students.
Government cuts to the arts in education have affected our concert bookings. We are doing our best to maintain a schedule of at least 50 concerts a year.
Expectations for Vitamin L Families
Vitamin L is a project of a non-profit organization called The Center for Transformative Action at Cornell University.
We ask each Vitamin L family, if they are able, to make a voluntary tax-deductible donation to support the work of The Vitamin L Project each September - $250.00 per year if you have one child in Vitamin L, and $100.00 per year for each additional child.
These funds are a necessary and vital part of our annual operating budget.
NO YOUTH WILL EVER BE TURNED AWAY FROM BEING IN VITAMIN L IF THEIR FAMILY CANNOT MAKE THE SUGGESTED ANNUAL CONTRIBUTION.
Most families make the full donation. Some make a partial donation and ask (on a return form) to be exempt from the remainder. Some families ask for a total exemption.
The size of the donation, from zero to the full suggested amount, has ABSOLUTELY NO BEARING on how many concerts a Vitamin L member does.
The donation is not a fee to participate, but rather a contribution to the overall efforts of The Vitamin L Project to continue to offer our unique youth training and performance opportunities each year, as well as reach thousands of children a year in concerts with the character building messages that are the basis of Vitamin L.
More info about our family donation policy will be given to Vitamin L members when they join Vitamin L.
Eventual Pay Structure for Chorus Members
We have a pay structure in our organization that provides a small payment per performance day to our chorus members after they have gained a lot of experience doing Vitamin L concerts. This is really for youth who stay in Vitamin L for many years, because it takes effect after they’ve done a lot of concerts.
Getting paid eventually for a performance should not be a motivation for being in Vitamin L. It should be thought of as a small bonus. Some of the youth members even choose to donate their pay back to the Vitamin L project for some of their concerts.
More details will be provided about the pay policy when a child gets into Vitamin L.
Fundraisers, Advisory Board, Committees, and Transportation
Vitamin L is dependent on volunteer help from Vitamin L families and community members. We have many ways parents can help if they have the time. This is not a requirement, but we hope there will always be some parents who can serve on committees and on our advisory board. We also have occasional fundraising activities that we ask families to participate in. In addition, we ask for help with transportation to Vitamin L concerts from families that express interest and availability.
We also ask our Vitamin L families to provide names of friends and family for our mailing list. Those people would then receive Vitamin L’s fall and spring newsletter, and the annual appeal that we send out to the public each fall.
For more info about Vitamin L, please go to our website: VitaminL.org
Please feel free to call Vitamin L’s director, Janice Nigro, after reading all the information I have sent, with any questions about auditioning for Vitamin L at 273-4175.