It's not as easy to join DepList as it might once have been. Our requirements have got stiffer over the years as the number of applicants has increased. We have a lot of members — more than we need — and we get new applications to join every week.
Unfortunately, it takes only one insufficiently skilled applicant slipping through the net to bring the whole organisation into question. Word of incompetence spreads fast in the musical world, and the last thing we want is for our users to lose faith in DepList and its quality-control systems. Over the years, we have had occasional complaints which have involved having to remove people from our books. They were lovely people, but unsuited to DepList. It's unpleasant for them and unpleasant for us to have to terminate their memberships. The only way to avoid such risks is to raise the entry barriers to a point where all doubt about an applicant's suitability is eliminated. Having said that, it's not impossibly difficult to attain the required standards — you just need the right type of training and enough of the right kind of experience. The main thing is not to apply before you are ready and/or if the bulk of your experience is in a different field of music-making.
If you received a rejection letter from us, you may find some clues as to why in our page about the type of qualifications and attributes we look for. Usually it's a question of experience, or rather lack of enough of the right type of it. The skills we demand from singers can more or less be summarised as follows:
- Knowledge of, and excellent sight-reading in, the kind of repertoire that is DepList's staple diet
- A voice that is sufficiently well trained to hold a line on its own
- Impeccable credentials when it comes to professionalism, reliability and timekeeping
- A good deal of professional experience in a particular type of context involving minimal rehearsal
We have to err on the side of caution when admitting new members. If just one of those four conditions falls anywhere short of the "excellent" end of the spectrum, you will not be admitted. Those who are not admitted to Full Membership are free to join as Associate Members.