an important lesson I've learned is to never be afraid to ask for (and in that particular case, pay for) help. As this past week I auditioned my elementary chorus students for solo singing and speaking parts in our musical revue, "The Lion King", I realized that I've been asking for help for years when it comes to our elementary school auditions.
Collaborating with my colleagues is something that I really enjoy, and when I started producing musicals at the elementary level, I valued their opinions and input when casting the students. So, I sent out an email asking for help to all staff at both of my buildings, and together with my volunteers, we listen to each student sing, read, and then worked on the cast list together. Often, the other teachers on the audition team serve as extra eyes and ears and may catch something that I missed.
Not every music director likes to work in this way, but I appreciate the extra insight that my fellow teachers can provide. For example, before entrusting a large role to a student, I consult their classroom teacher on how reliable they are in the classroom. This is often a valuable indicator of how well the student will memorize lines and songs.