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Singers needed for audio version of Church’s new hymnbook

The Church is looking for both soloists and choral singers; the application deadline is Sept. 17

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is looking for singers to record songs for the audio version of the hymnbook. Applications are due Sunday, Sept. 17. 

The Church is looking for both melody-only recordings to help Church members learn the hymns and four-part recordings for singalong for families and smaller Church units, according to the announcement on ChurchofJesusChrist.org. 

Singer qualifications 

Singers must be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Adults, teenagers and children are welcome to apply. Also, voices from a range of cultural backgrounds, including racial and accent diversity, are encouraged to apply. 

The recordings will require soloists to sing accurately and expressively and with a fairly moderate vocal style, according to the announcement. The choral singers will need to blend with other singers and “demonstrate an individual part with good vocal tone.”

Singers will need to incorporate direction quickly and efficiently and have strong vocal technique and musical expression. While studio recording experience is not required, it is a plus.

How to apply to sing 

Applications are due by Sunday, Sept. 17, and are found online by visiting churchofjesuschrist.org/serve/casting/new-hymnbook-audio-recordings and clicking “Apply Now.” It’s also listed under “Current Projects” on Casting.ChurchofJesusChrist.org. Select either solo or choral singer.

For solo singers, upload two audio recordings of yourself singing a verse of the melody line of two hymns. Select songs with contrasting tempos, styles, moods, etc. 

For choral singers, upload two audio recordings of yourself singing your vocal part of two contrasting hymns. Children and teenagers may opt for two contrasting Primary songs.

Singers who are applying for both solo and choral roles will need to submit two recordings for each role — a total of four recordings. 

Audition recording instructions 

  • Please record with a piano or a piano track, if possible.
  • Find a quiet room to record in; turn off fans, air conditioning, or other appliances that make room noise, and set your recording device on a stable surface, mic stand or tripod.
  • Record yourself singing two contrasting hymns. Please record them on separate files.
  • When you are finished recording, save the file as an MP4 or MP3.
  • Past recordings from performances, album tracks, etc., are OK to use.
  • Video recordings are acceptable but not required. Please prioritize recording the best audio sound possible.
  • Demonstrate good vocal technique and vocal range.
  • “Middle of the road” musical interpretations are encouraged.
  • Demonstrate musical phrasing and dynamic range.
  • Sing in time and with appropriate tempos.

Recordings: When and where

It will take several years to record the songs and singers will be contracted on a period basis, according to the announcement. Recording sessions will be scheduled during regular business hours and further details will be arranged during contracting. 

Recordings will take place at the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City. Applicants must be available to work as locals. Selected singers will be paid according to local industry standards with terms arranged during contracting. Applicants from outside the US may be considered and travel may be provided.

About the new hymnbook project

In June 2018, the Church announced plans to publish new, unified editions of “Hymns” and the “Children’s Songbook.” Leaders invited members to submit songs, lyrics and music for consideration and also to give feedback on the songs in both books. 

Latter-day Saints from 66 countries submitted more than 16,000 original songs and shared nearly 55,000 suggestions. Teams of volunteers have been reviewing the music, and the top 2% to 3% of the submissions then move on to the Hymnbook and Children’s Songbook committees.

Once the committees have reached a consensus on which pieces best meet the goals for sacred music, their recommendations will be reviewed by the advisors of the committees and other Church leaders, including members of each general presidency.

In the end, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will determine which hymns and songs are included in the new music collections.

All individuals who submitted a musical selection for consideration will be informed of the status of their songs when the review process is complete.

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