Apollo’s Musettes Ensemble – Treble Youth Choir

Talented young singers, age 10-17, are chosen by audition for their clear, pure voices and outstanding musicianship. The ensemble rehearses on a project basis under the direction of AF’s Artist-in-Residence, Amanda Powell. The Musettes ensemble performs under the direction of Jeannette Sorrell with the professional musicians of Apollo’s Fire in programs where children’s voices are appropriate for the repertoire. Singers chosen for solos receive individual coaching from Ms. Powell and Ms. Sorrell.

Since its founding in 2005, the Musettes Ensemble has performed in nearly 30 concerts with Apollo’s Fire, including Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas and Vivaldi’s Gloria. The Musettes also appear on AF’s acclaimed CD recording of the Christmas Vespers by Michael Praetorius and have been heard across the country on national radio broadcasts of that program.

“The opportunity to work with a world-class conductor before you are out of high school, or in your early years of college, is amazing. To have the real-life experience of working with professional musicians is fantastic. It helps keep the rest of life in context.”

“I first got to sing with Apollo’s Fire when I was 16, and the experience opened up new horizons for me. It inspired me to pursue a career in music.”

Audition Notice for Apollo’s Fire Musettes
For sopranos/trebles age 10-17

Apollo’s Fire announces auditions for treble ensemble singers for the December concerts of the acclaimed Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain – An Irish-Appalachian Celebration.

This popular program created by Jeannette Sorrell in 2017 features the cast of the original “Sugarloaf Mountain” program (now a best-selling CD) alongside an expanded company to include fiddlers, dancers, Apollo’s Singers, and the Musettes. The show begins in Old Ireland on Christmas Eve and makes the voyage (as many did!) to the Appalachian Mountains for Christmas Day. The project includes local Cleveland concerts as well as a performance at the Met Museum in NYC. 10 Musettes will be selected to perform in NYC with the cast!

The director of the Musettes is Apollo’s Fire’s Artist-in-Residence for Outreach Performances, AMANDA POWELL. Amanda is a respected voice teacher and frequent soloist with Apollo’s Fire and is known for her command of both early music and folk styles. Performances will be conducted by Jeannette Sorrell.

Please scroll down for the rehearsal and performance schedule. (Note: The Musettes rehearse on a project basis during the weeks leading up to the concert run. Rehearsals are scheduled on evenings and weekends in Cleveland Heights. There are usually 3-4 rehearsals with Amanda Powell and piano, followed by 2-3 rehearsals with Jeannette Sorrell and the Apollo’s Fire orchestra during the week of the concert series. Ensemble singers will be permitted to miss one of the 5 concerts.)

Audition Materials

Singers will be asked to perform What Child is This [download PDF] OR Here we Come A-Wassailing [download PDF], as well as a second Christmas Carol or song of their choice. (examples include a folk song, art song or hymn) At the audition, singers will also be asked to vocalize.

Audition Times & Location

Saturday, July 7, 10am-1pm OR Tuesday, July 31, 6-8pm
Disciples Christian Church
3663 Mayfield Road
Cleveland Heights, 44121

Audition Sign Up

CLICK HERE to sign up online.

For information & questions, or if you are interested in auditioning for the Musettes but neither of these dates work for you, please email Amanda Powell.

Tentative Performance Schedule*

Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain

Friday, December 7, 8:00pm
Saturday, December 8, 3:00pm (tbc)
Saturday, December 8, 8:00pm
Sunday, December 9, 4:00pm
Monday, December 10, 7:30pm
Friday, December 14, 8:00pm
Sunday, December 16, 2:00pm

*Musettes can rotate out of one performance

Watch the Musettes performing the world premiere of René Schiffer’s “Figli di Dio” (Children of God) with Apollo’s Fire, November 2016

Come my brothers, come my sisters, let us sing as the children of God!
Black and white and brown and yellow, each will rejoice with our song of love.

Most recent activities

In the 2015-16 season, 12 Musettes won the hearts of AF audiences in sold-out performances of Jeannette Sorrell’s beloved holiday program, Praetorius Christmas Vespers. Many patrons commented that this year’s group of Musettes was the most polished ever. In addition, this year saw AF’s commercial CD recording of that program re-released internationally, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the initial release. The album features the original Musettes (soloists and ensemble) who performed in the premier concerts in 2015. Several of these “Musette alums,” who are now graduate students pursuing musical careers, returned to Cleveland and attended the performances. The re-release of the album attracted glowing reviews from the NEW YORK TIMES and GRAMOPHONE, both commenting on the “delightful” homespun charm of the children’s voices.

In 2016-2017, the Musettes were heralded as “admirably disciplined” (ClevelandClassical.com), as they sang with the orchestra in sold-out performances of the Love in Venice subscription concerts in November. In the spring, the Musettes were featured in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater in two concerts with AF’s Young Artist Apprentices, presented in Cleveland Heights and Hudson.

“The U.S.A.’s hottest baroque band.” –CLASSICAL MUSIC MAGAZINE (UK)