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 2018.

Singers are required to submit a recording for the first round of the audition process. Requirements for your audio submission are two contrasting arias from the Baroque and/or Classical periods, at least one of which must be in English. You may submit either an audio CD or electronic audio files (such as mp3), which may be sent by email or on a disc. You may also send a link to audio files on a website (please do not send a link to your Facebook page, which we may not be able to access). If the page you are linking to has several sound files please specify the ones you would like us to consider for the audition.

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. The deadline for submission is October 1, 2018. If you are mailing a CD it should be clearly marked with your name, voice type, and a list of works. Discs will not be returned.

After hearing the recordings certain selected singers will be invited to audition in person for our Artistic Director, Harry Christophers. 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 in late October whether or not you have been invited to the live audition. Mr. Christophers will determine who will be added to our chorus roster based on the audition.

In addition to your recording please submit a resume by either email or regular mail. Your resume MUST include a current mailing address and your voice type. If you are submitting your resume electronically please send it in PDF format. All materials should be sent to:

Jesse Levine, Personnel Manager
Handel and Haydn Society
9 Harcourt St.
Boston, MA 02116



We have no general instrumental auditions scheduled at this time. We do periodically hold auditions for the orchestra substitute list; please check this page for any future announcements.



Auditions for the principal oboe position with the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra will take place Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24, 2018 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 January 2, 2018 and be sent to:

Jesse Levine, Personnel Manager
Handel and Haydn Society
9 Harcourt St.
Boston, MA 02116

You may also email your resume to jlevine@handelandhaydn.org. If you are submitting it by email it should be in either PDF or MS Word format. Please be sure that your resume includes your current mailing address.

After the audition committee reviews your application, it may be determined that you will need to submit a recording of your playing to supplement your resume. You will be notified by January 15, 2018 if you need to submit a recording, or are invited to the preliminary round without one. Those who are asked for a recording must submit it no later than January 30, 2018.

Both preliminary and final rounds will require you to play on both baroque oboe at A=415 and classical oboe at A=430. The preliminary round will be in two parts; the first part will consist of 5 minutes of baroque oboe, at which point you will leave the room and be given approximately 30 minutes to prepare for the second part, which will be consist of 5 minutes of classical oboe. The final round will be run in a similar fashion, with a break in between baroque and classical rounds, but with a longer time period for each instrument (approximately 10-15 minutes per instrument).


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.  We do not perform on modern instruments, and orchestra members are not required to own or perform on modern instruments.


Please prepare the following pieces for both preliminary and final rounds:


one movement from a BAROQUE concerto of the applicant’s choice
Bach: Sinfonia from Cantata 21, “Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis
Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 1, movement 1
Handel: Arrival of the Queen of Sheba from Solomon
Handel: M’adoro L’idol Mio from Teseo


Beethoven – Symphony No. 3, “Eroica”   movement 2
Mozart: Oboe Quartet K.370  movement 1
Rossini – La scala di seta Overture

Parts for each of these pieces are available to download at www.imslp.org. For the final round you may be asked to play the Mozart Quartet with members of the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra.


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. 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.

Wages for the 2017-18 season and beyond are currently in negotiation. However, base wage scales for the 2016-2017 concert season are as follows:

Performance: $230.93 each
Rehearsal, per hour: $57.06

Principals receive an additional 25% of base wages.

A pension payment of 11.99% of scale wages is currently made in the musician’s behalf by Handel and Haydn. 1.5% union work dues are deducted from the musician’s scale wages.

When the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is ratified the updated wage scales for the 2017-18 season will be posted here.

There are currently 24 tenured positions with the orchestra, including this oboe position. Musicians who occupy tenured positions are expected to accept and play all requested services. Notwithstanding this, however, the contract allows the following minimums for services offered for the following concert season:

If the number of concert sets offered

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.