I recently answered this question on a choral music forum, and I wanted to share it here!
I have just taken a new middle school choral position. The previous teacher resigned in October, and there has been a series of subs in between. I know the previous teacher didn't hold auditions for 7th and 8th grade chorus. The school is grades 6-8. I am interested in how other people have handled auditions for middle school chorus. As far as I know, the administration is not the reason no auditions were held in the past. I am hoping it can be a recruitment tool, because I have found in other settings that raising the bar with an audition (even if pretty much everyone is accepted) can increase the appeal of the ensemble.
I look forward to your responses.
Many people audition their middle school students and have super programs. It's an individual decision for sure. In my own program, I've opted not to audition students to enter my program. I have found that many students in this age group are very nervous to sing alone, but they are often very enthusiastic about being a part of a large group performing ensemble. I have also found that the best recruiting tool is to make choir an enjoyable place to be. We have to laugh with them. We have to give them structure. We have to share our passion with them. They will see it and respond to it. For example, I love musical theater, so each year, we do a musical theater revue that is our major fund-raiser for the year. I audition the kids for that show, but it is completely voluntary. it's awesome to see children who've never auditioned for anything overcome their fear.
Wishing you the best of luck as you embark on your new journey!