The Handel and Haydn Society holds vocal auditions for professional singers once a year for substitute positions with our professional chorus.

Vocal auditions are tentatively scheduled for fall of 2014.

Singers are required to submit a recording for the first round of the audition process. This should be an AUDIO CD (Please DO NOT send DVDs or discs only containing MP3s – the disc must be able to be played in a CD player, not just a computer) with two contrasting arias from the Baroque and/or Classical periods, at least one of which must be in English. One of the arias should demonstrate florid passage-work (similar to the sixteenth-note passages in Handel’s “Every Valley Shall be Exalted” or “Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion” from Messiah). Recordings of live performances are acceptable, as are recordings made in studios. If the recording includes more than two arias, please indicate which two arias you would like us to consider for the audition. The deadline for submission is October 1, 2014. CDs should be clearly marked with your name, voice type, and a list of works. Discs will not be returned.

After hearing CDs certain selected singers will be invited to audition in person. For those who are invited to the live audition, it will consist of two contrasting Baroque arias, at least one of which should be in English, and sight-reading. You will be notified sometime after October 1 by mail whether or not you have been invited to the live audition.

Please submit your CD along with a resume (which MUST include a current mailing address and your voice type) to:

Jesse Levine, Personnel Manager
Handel and Haydn Society
300 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

Horn Audition

Auditions for the principal horn position with the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra will take place Friday, October 10 and Saturday, October 11, 2014 in Boston. There will be 2 rounds of auditions: preliminary and final. The preliminary round will be held behind a screen, and the final round will be unscreened. Only highly qualified musicians with significant experience performing with period instrument ensembles should apply. Resumes should be received no later than September 1, 2014 and be sent to:

Jesse Levine, Personnel Manager
Handel and Haydn Society
300 Massachusetts Ave.
Boston, MA 02115

You may also email your resume to

After the audition committee reviews your application, it may be determined that you will need to submit a CD recording of your playing to supplement your resume. You will be notified by September 6 if you need to submit a CD or are invited to the preliminary round without one. Those who are asked for a CD must submit it no later than September 20.


Members of the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra are hired on a per-service basis. The number of services varies from year to year based on various factors. Generally speaking there are 6 full-orchestra subscription concert sets at Symphony Hall and 3 other subscription sets at other venues in Boston that may use smaller ensembles.  Normally there are 12-15 hours of rehearsal for each set, and two performances, although those numbers may vary depending on repertoire. There is no guarantee of a minimum number of services in any given season.

Handel and Haydn operates under a collective bargaining agreement with the Boston Musicians’ Association, local 9-535 of the American Federation of Musicians. In accordance with the CBA, once a winner of the audition is determined there will be a one year probation period, after which tenure may be granted. Generally speaking, Handel and Haydn is required to hire tenured players before offering any services to non-tenured players.

Base wage scales for the 2014-2015 concert season are as follows:

Performance: $219.82 each

Rehearsal, per hour: $54.32

Principals receive an additional 25% of base wages.

A pension payment of 11.99% of scale wages will be made in your behalf by Handel and Haydn. 1.5% union work dues are deducted from scale wages.

Musicians who occupy tenured positions are expected to accept and play all requested services. Notwithstanding this, however, we will allow the following minimums for services offered before June 30 for the following concert season:

If the number of concert sets requested:
is 2, then the Musician must accept and play 1;
is 3, then the Musician must accept and play 2;
is 4, then the Musician must accept and play 2;
is 5, then the Musician must accept and play 3;
is 6, then the Musician must accept and play 4;
is 7, then the Musician must accept and play 5;
is 8, then the Musician must accept and play 6;
is 9, then the Musician must accept and play 7;
is 10, then the Musician must accept and play 7.

If the number of concert sets offered is greater than 10, the Musician must accept and play 75% of the sets offered. A tenured musician who does not meet the minimum above is subject to losing tenure. All services offered after June 30 for the following concert season do not affect a player’s tenure status.


All musicians performing with the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra must own and perform on instruments that are appropriate for Baroque and Classical period historical performance.  Handel and Haydn performs music of the Baroque period at A=415, and music of the Classical period at A=430. You should be prepared to play both baroque and classical instruments for the audition.

baroque works should be performed at A=415, classical works at A=430 on the appropriate period instruments

Any Mozart horn concerto – exposition

Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 1
movement  1 bars 12-25
movement  4 – Trio II

Bach: Quoniam from B Minor Mass

Bach: Gloria from Mass in F Major BWV 233

Beethoven: Symphony No. 3
movement 3 Trio – first 38 bars

Beethoven: Symphony No. 6
movement 3  bars 132-161
movement  5 bars 5-9

Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
movement 3  bars 83-99

Handel : Overture to Samson

Haydn: Symphony No. 31
movement 3 Trio bars 41-76
movement 4  Variation 4

Mozart: Symphony No. 40
movement 3  bars 69-78

FINALS ONLY (in addition to excerpts above)
Mozart Horn Quintet K.407 (to be played with members of the Handel and Haydn orchestra)