EXIGENCE is a professional vocal ensemble that highlights the artistry within Black and Latino communities. Led by founding conductor Eugene Rogers, EXIGENCE is comprised of vocal artists, including solo performers, voice-teachers, conductors and composers who recognize the power of community and expression through choral music.

Inspired by the mission of Sphinx, the mission of EXIGENCE is to promote excellence and diversity through choral music within Black and Latino communities by creating a platform for soloists and composers of color while inspiring and challenging audiences around the country and world.

EXIGENCE gives vocal artists a first-rate professional vocal experience within a context that champions the sounds of Black and Latino composers. Selected through audition, 32 vocalists have the opportunity to use their voices as vehicles for change within the cultural landscape of concert choral and vocal music.

The name EXIGENCE is inspired by the definition of the word – ‘an urgent need or demand.’ Like its definition, EXIGENCE believes that vocal concert music continues to need more voices at the table from disparate backgrounds and perspectives.  EXIGENCE seeks to foster that perspective through the lens of professional vocal artistry within the Black and Latino communities.


Eugene Rogers, Founding Director

Eugene Rogers What an honor it is to be a part of launching this important and much needed professional ensemble that highlights and expands the conversation of diversity within the professional vocal and choral community.  -Eugene Rogers

A 2017 Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipient, a two-time Michigan Emmy Award winner and a 2015 GRAMMY® Award nominee, Eugene Rogers is recognized as a leading conductor and pedagogue throughout the United States and abroad.  In addition to being the founding director of EXIGENCE, Dr. Rogers is the associate professor of conducting and the associate director of choirs at the University of Michigan, where he will assume the director of choirs position in July 2018. His choirs have toured throughout China, South Africa, and the United States and have appeared at national and regional conferences. He currently serves as the National Chair of Diversity Initiatives for the American Choral Directors Association.

Audition online to be part of one the nation’s most unique professional vocal ensembles celebrating the rich tradition of choral music and the unique compositional voices of Black and Latino musicians.

Nov. 18, 2017: deadline to be considered for the inaugural Exigence performances (auditions will be considered on a rolling basis thereafter for consideration at future performances)
Jan. 31 – Feb. 4, 2018: Inaugural Exigence performances in Detroit, MI (members of Exigence will receive transportation, housing, vocal artist’s fee, and a few complimentary meals)

To apply online, you must submit recordings of the following repertoire and excerpts. Your recordings must be submitted online via YouTube and Vimeo links. You may choose to post your audition recordings as private or unlisted.


1. Submit a song recording that highlights your solo voice
2. Submit a song recording that highlights your ability to sing in an ensemble
3. Bach excerpt (Download PDF: Soprano, Mezzo/Alto, Tenor, Bass)
4. Bolcom excerpt (Download PDF: SopranoMezzo/AltoTenorBass)
5. Vocalization: Using the assigned starting key below per your voice part, sing a 1-3-5-8-5-3-1 sequence on any vowel ascending to your highest key.
Sopranos begin in D major
Altos begin in B- flat major
Tenors begin in C major
Basses begin in A flat major
6. Vocalization: Using the assigned starting key below per your voice part, sing a 5-3-1 sequence on any vowel descending to your lowest key.
Sopranos begin in E flat major
Altos begin in C major
Tenors begin in D major
Basses begin in B major
7. Vocalization: Each voice part should record the vocal exercise below in the following three ways: 1) forte 2) piano and 3) without vibrato, please sing a 1-3-5-8 sequence on the vowel “ah” and hold the top/final note for three beats. Use instructions below for your starting pitch per voice part.
Sopranos A flat
Altos C major (begin on middle c)
Tenors F# major
Basses D major

Booking EXIGENCE gives you the chance to experience the rich sound and power of Black and Latino solo voices all in one concert through the power of one professional ensemble – EXIGENCE.  The breadth of repertoire of EXIGENCE highlights the multi-faceted personnel of the ensemble, gives voice to composers of color and challenges the audience to consider pertinent issues affecting our world today.

Attend the inaugural EXIGENCE performances:
February 2, 2018 at SphinxConnect
February 4, 2018 at the 21st Annual Sphinx Competition

For more information, contact Exigence@SphinxMusic.org or view the press release.Repertoire will range from traditional classical concert repertoire to newly commissioned works; works by Black and Latino composers will also be programmed with the goals of highlighting the multi-faceted personnel of the ensemble, giving voice to composers of color, and challenging the audience to consider pertinent issues affecting society today.

The inaugural EXIGENCE ensemble


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