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Background Vocal Recording Techniques

Music and Performing Arts Professions Ensembles

The ability to sing excellent background vocals at a recording session is one of the hallmarks of a truly professional singer.

The Background Vocal Recording Techniques Ensemble明升体育-即时比分 teaches the skills needed to excel at singing contemporary background vocals in small groups for recording. The course focuses on BGV’s in a recording setting. We will use a portable recording set-up similar to what many people use in their home studios. Starting with a discussion about vocal blending, we’ll move on to work on a basic understanding of recording mics, mic technique, vocal technique, and more. Groups of three will record background parts focusing on all aspects of genre-appropriate blending.

Who Can Join

Vocalists who pass the audition can join.

Audition Information

The vocal audition will be on Wednesday, September 4, 2019, from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm in the Education Building, 35 West 4th Street, room 770.
Email: for a time slot to audition.

What to Prepare for the Audition:

  1. Prepare one uptempo/fast song. By uptempo/fast, we mean a dance tempo but not necessarily a dance song. Examples are: "Heartbreaker" (Pat Benatar), "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" (Whitney Houston), "Firework" (Katy Perry). Bring a lead sheet for the piano accompanist.
  2. Prepare a ballad or medium tempo song. Bring a lead sheet for the piano accompanist.
  3. Prepare a song of your choice and sing it a cappella.

Write, then print out the answers to the following 5 questions. Bring the printout of the answers to the audition:

  • What is your voice type? (soprano, mezzo, alto, tenor, baritone, or bass)
  • What is your email address and your N number?
  • What is your previous singing experience?
  • What interests you about this ensemble and what do you hope to learn from this class?
  • What is your previous experience singing harmony and/or background vocals? (for BVRTE)
Rehearsal/Class Information

The class meets on Wednesdays from 4:55 pm to 6:35 pm in the Education Building, room 778. Singers are required to attend all classes and to practice with their classmates outside of class. There is no final performance. There is a midterm assessment and a final exam. The final exam takes place during finals week (which is after classes end).


The class is taught by veteran singer Janice Pendarvis.

Contact Information

Instructor: Janice Pendarvis (
Vocal Performance Admin: Scott Allen (

MPAVP-UE 1181.011
MPAVP-GE 2181.011

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