Come join the voices of the Peoria Area Civic Chorale!           

When you are prepared for an audition, please complete the online application found here.

The Peoria Area Civic Chorale is currently accepting audition applications for the 20232024 concert season which includes both the annual American Family Christmas concert series on December 15, 16, & 17, 2023 and Songs of Hope and Inspiration with the Fauré Requiem (1893) on May 3, 4 & 5, 2024. Both concert series will be hosted in the Caterpillar Performing Arts Auditorium at Five Points Washington. High School singers (junior or senior standing) are also encouraged to apply. Sing with a communitybased choral ensemble consisting of professional and dedicated avocational musicians from throughout the greater Central Illinois area.

The Peoria Area Civic Chorale (PACC) is an auditioned, community-based vocal ensemble of professional and dedicated avocational musicians from throughout the greater Central Illinois area, who are passionately committed to bringing a diverse program of choral literature excitingly to life. Of great pride to the organization is the acknowledgement that throughout its thirty-nine existence, the PACC has developed the reputation for being an ensemble of consequence, recognized with enthusiasm throughout the region and the State of Illinois for its dedication to music education and the highest standards of musical performance in the presentation of choral repertoire in all styles and genres.

In addition, throughout its history, the PACC has consistently remained a strong advocate for collaborative efforts with many other Central Illinois performance organizations including the Peoria Symphony Orchestra, the Central Illinois Jazz Orchestra, the Heartland Festival Orchestra, Opera Illinois, Peoria Ballet, the Air National Guard Band of the Midwest, and most recently, WTVP Peoria.

Members of the Peoria Area Civic Chorale discover weekly opportunities to grow, develop, and excel as musicians along with opportunities to stretch their creative imaginations and musical skills resulting in artistic presentations of extraordinary beauty. If this sounds interesting, then the Peoria Area Civic Chorale is for you. Prior experience of choral singing is essential, and you must be able to read music. Adults, college students, and high school students (with at least junior standing) are eligible for consideration.

When you are prepared for an audition, please complete the online application found here. Once we have reviewed your application, the PACC Business Office will contact you to coordinate your audition, either virtually or in person.

The 2023-2024 Concert Season

  • PACC WEEK for An American Family Christmas: December 11-17, 2023 at Five Points Washington
  • PACC WEEK for Songs of Hope and Inspiration with the Fauré Requiem: April 29-May 5, 2024 at Five Points Washington and First United Methodist Church (Peoria)


In-person auditions for the Civic Chorale are typically scheduled annually in January and August.  Please note that virtual auditions can be submitted at any time during the year prior to the start of either season. For more information about Peoria Area Civic Chorale auditions, contact the artistic director and conductor, Dr. Joseph Dean Henry at


Send the following materials to both and

  • A description of your musical background and skills.
  • Two recordings (YouTube links, mp3s, etc.) of music that you feel best represents your current level of musicianship.
  • In addition, please fill out the online Peoria Area Civic Chorale Audition Application

In-person auditions from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on August 15, 2003 and January 9, 2024 will be conducted in the Sanctuary of First Christian Church on 6400 North University, Peoria, IL.

For those wishing to audition in-person, following your audition application submission, the Peoria Area Civic Chorale will call to provide additional instructions. Please read the information below.


  • Complete and submit the online audition application. Once submitted, the PACC Business Office will call you to coordinate an audition time.
  • Bring two songs of your own choosing (i.e., anything from a hymn tune to an operatic aria or a folk melody to a popular song). 
  • You may not be asked to sing both selections in their entirety, but obviously you must be prepared to do so. Although memorization is not required, you should select pieces that you feel best represent your current musicianship.
  • Bring two copies of each selection: one copy for the artistic director and the second copy for our piano accompanist.
  • You may be asked to demonstrate music reading skills (rhythmic and tonal) and tonal memory. The excerpts used in the audition will test your sense of pitch, rhythm, and ability to self-correct. Keep in mind that very few singers regard music reading (especially reading music at first sight) as their strength!
  • It’s advised that you arrive 5-10 minutes before your audition in order to compose yourself or briefly vocalize before entering the actual audition. There will be a designated warm-up area and a waiting area. Auditions typically last between 10-15 minutes.

Who do I contact should I have questions about an audition?
Please contact the Artistic Director at

Who attends the “In-Person” Audition?
Generally, the auditions are conducted by the Artistic Director and accompanied by the Chorale’s primary piano accompanist. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by a Civic Chorale representative who will guide you to the waiting area or warm-up room, answer questions you might have, and alert you when it is time for your audition.

When are the Audition Results Available?
Generally, auditions are held a week prior to the beginning of a rehearsal season. You will be informed by email shortly after your audition. If you are offered membership, you are asked to reply within 24 hours by return email. Failure to respond may cause your place to be offered to another singer.
Why was I rejected?
You may not be invited to join the Peoria Area Civic Chorale because of a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, an (1) incompatible timbre for the existing blend of the ensemble, (2) insufficient vocal training, (2) poorly prepared audition music, (3) another candidate vying for the same position presented a stronger audition or, (4) you are auditioning for a voice section that is currently not in need of expansion.

If I am not offered singing membership following my audition, may I re-audition at a later date?
If you auditioned and were not offered membership, you may re-apply following one full, performance season of the Chorale (i.e., either fall or spring). For instance, if you unsuccessfully auditioned in August, you may re-audition in January.

What are the typical expenses for singing membership?
The new member financial commitment for participating in the Peoria Area Civic Chorale includes a tax-deductible $50 assessment per season (both fall & spring). Women (sopranos and altos) must purchase a matching dress (which is typically less than $100). Men (Tenors and Basses) are responsible for a tuxedo (a one-time purchase of approximately $200 if the new member does not already own one). Also, men may be required to purchase a color-coordinated vest and tie during some semesters.

When/where are the ensemble’s rehearsals?
The Peoria Area Civic Chorale rehearses on Tuesday evenings from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at First Christian Church on 6400 North University from mid-August through mid-December and then again from mid-January through mid-May.
When are/ where are the ensemble’s performances?
The Civic Chorale’s annual An American Family Christmas is presented in December while an annual spring concert is presented late April or early May. On occasion, the Peoria Area Civic Chorale also collaborates with area symphonies in the production of major, choral/orchestral masterworks.

What is PACC Week?
Currently, the final, full week of rehearsals followed by performances has traditionally been called PACC Week. During PACC Week, mandatory rehearsals (described below) occur every night leading up to the performances.
  • Monday: Last rehearsal at our regular location to solidify music memorization.
  • Tuesday: Tech night (lights & sound) and the ensemble’s first night in the performance venue.
  • Wednesday: 2nd TECH night in the performance venue
  • Thursday: Dress rehearsal (full concert dress required for pictures and full performance)
  • Friday-Sunday: Friday night opening with three evening performances in December and two evening performances in the Spring.
Is it true that the Peoria Area Civic Chorale memorizes all repertoire?
Since its debut in 1982, PACC singers have proudly memorized all music for both the Winter and Spring concert series. A memory calendar is distributed to the ensemble at the very first rehearsal to assist. PACC singers DO NOT memorize major choral/orchestral collaborations or additional performances.


Do singers find memorization an overwhelming challenge?
The thought of memorizing music can be daunting for many potential ensemble members, yet memorization determines the singer’s ability to be responsive to the conductor, to sing more freely, and to be more communicative with the audience. The good news is that within the PACC rehearsal environment, music memorization has always been an easily achievable ensemble goal mitigated by audio rehearsal files that contain all vocal parts with individual parts highlighted.



Any Peoria Area Civic Chorale singer who has missed a concert season(s) but desires a return to active singing membership, will be required to re-apply for active membership with the Artistic Director via email communication at least one month prior to the start of the concert season in which s/he wishes to return. Re-applications will be handled on a case-by-case manner and determined primarily by the current musical needs of the Peoria Area Civic Chorale. Singers who wish to be considered for re-admission to active membership will not be required to re-audition.