Aella Choir

Power Through Voice


Going into the audition I felt nervous, but as soon as I arrived I was made to feel very welcome, and I felt surprisingly comfortable right away.
— Ellen Badcock, current Aella member

Auditions for the 2019-20 season will take place in late August 2019! If you are interested in auditioning, please send an email* to Aella's artistic director Jennifer Berntson at

*We keep track of singers who express an interest in joining the group via email. We will contact you with the date(s) and available time slots of upcoming auditions once they have been determined.



What do our auditions involve? Aella's auditions consist of:

  • Blending exercises with Aella singers

  • Singing two choral excerpts in 4-part harmony with Aella singers; the excerpts will be sent to you in advance so that you can prepare

  • Sightreading exercises

  • A brief conversation with the Aella singers present at your audition

When are our 2019-20 performances? Information coming soon!

When do we rehearse? Sundays from 2 - 5 pm. Every month, we get one Sunday off -- usually the Sunday during a long weekend, if the month has a statutory holiday.

How many concerts a year do we do? We perform two-three full concerts per year, usually in late winter & late spring. In addition, Aella makes a few (shorter) appearances on other programs: at choral festivals, church services, or special events. We generally sing already-learned repertoire (i.e. taken from our full programs) during these extra performances.

 What is your rehearsal attendance policy? We do not have formal attendance policy, however we ask that members prioritize rehearsal attendance. As a conductor-less choir, we often spend rehearsals working on togetherness and ensemble. In addition, since we are small (often 1-3 voices a part), absences have a significant impact on our rehearsals.

What is the time commitment outside of normal rehearsals? Each season, Aella holds two Ottawa-based "retreats," during which we spend one weekend together introducing ourselves to new repertoire and, if possible, doing a session with a clinician. (Retreats are usually scheduled for early autumn and early spring.) Apart from these retreats (and dress rehearsals) we rarely schedule extra rehearsal time. We do expect choristers to practice outside of rehearsal time.

What's the fee for the year? Do singers buy their own scores? Aella members aren't required to pay membership fees or purchase scores. We are committed to making our choir accessible to all potential singers (and our performances accessible to all audience members!) regardless of their financial situation.