Chicken Feet for Breakfast

The hotel food in Singapore is plentiful, savory, and endlessly fascinating. Particularly noticeable when I put on my concert duds last night and realized that Weight Watchers points actually do count in Asia, too. Sigh.

OK, the first round of pre-audition tour numbers for those who are interested.

If this kind of information messes with your mind, skip today’s post. The power of individual talent and determination can lay waste to all analyses.

If you find facts and figures more clarifying than torturous, read on.

Voice Types

The applicant pool vocal distribution breaks down as follows.
  • 49.9% soprano (I would’ve rounded up to 50%, but this is the first time the sopranos haven’t been in the majority, and I thought this number might be more comforting:)
  • 18.5% mezzo
  • 13.3% baritone
  • 11.1% tenor
  • 5.9% bass and bass-baritone (60% call themselves bass-baritones; 40% prefer bass. It’s all terribly subjective for guys in their 20’s)
  • 1.3% countertenor

The Young Arist Profile

We also look at the phase of training our applicants are currently engaged in. Segments in bold represent what we feel is our target demographic.

  • 35% still doing graduate/post-graduate study
  • 30.5% finished grad school between 2005-2007
  • 17.2% finished grad school or fulltime YAPs 2004 or earlier (as I’ve mentioned before, this is where our reach as a young artist program begins to fall off)
  • 10.9% fulltime (more than summer-long) YAP participants
  • 5.1% other (didn’t go to grad school, no formal degree, etc.
  • 1.2% still doing undergrad work (these folks should be applying to the Studio instead)


Which audition sites attract the most applicants?
  • 37% New York (duh)
  • 13% Chicago
  • 12% Cincinnati
  • 11% Philadelphia
  • 10% Vienna VA
  • 7% Houston
  • 8% LA
  • 2% Seattle
59.9% of this year’s applicants are new to us – have never auditioned for WT before. If you have sung for us before (particularly if it was multiple times), and you didn’t get invited to sing this year, please know that we have to allow space for new folks to get in the door. If you were just finishing school, I’m guessing you’d be pretty testy if your chance to be heard the first time was being taken away by folks 5-10 years older.

  • 28: the average age of this year’s applicants (higher than ever before)
  • 21-49: the age range of this year’s applicants
My Ears are Bleeding
343 applicants who sent in optional audio samples as part of their applications. Exponentially higher than ever before, due largely (I’d guess) to the ease with which one can now make a decent recording and distribute the content. Not sure I can keep up with this…

What Does It All Mean?

A more useful layer comes later – with any luck by sometime next week. I’ll interpret all of those numbers above and show how many of which groups of applicants we were able to pass on to the live audition process. With almost 800 in the pool this year, the numbers are a little startling. I’ll try to make some sense of them.

And by the end of the audition tour, all of these figures will be evaluated in the light of who were we able to designate as finalists for the 2008 company. Stay tuned.

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