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background vocal technique

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 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

Vocal Audition

Wednesday, January 29, 2019, from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm in the Education Building, 35 West 4th Street, room 778. 
Sign up for an audition time.

You can take the class for 0-1 credits.
The audition will consist of you singing a verse and chorus (and a bridge, if the song has one) from:

  1. One uptempo, really fast song. By uptempo/really fast, we mean a dance tempo (150 BPM) but not necessarily a dance song. Examples are: "Heartbreaker" (Pat Benatar), "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" (Whitney Houston), "Firework" (Katy Perry).
  2. One ballad or medium tempo song. 
  3. One song of your choice to be sung a cappella.

You only need to bring TWO things to your audition: A lead sheet or sheet music for EACH of the songs that you perform with the piano accompanist.

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