Gustavus Orchestra Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion Audition Information


Do I have to audition to participate in the orchestras?

Yes. All students, new and returning, must audition for placement in ensembles. We (the music faculty) strongly encourage all of you to “make a case” for your desired placement by preparing your audition in a most serious and thorough manner. There is only one audition for all ensembles, there is no additional woodwind, brass, or percussion audition for the Symphony Orchestra.

When and where are the auditions?

First Year Students: Auditions for first year students will be on Saturday September 5th. The Music Department will be sending out a specific audition time slots in Mid-August. Please remember to register for an audition during New Student Registration. If you have any questions, please feel free to email Dr. Lin.

Returning Students: Auditions for treutning students will be on Sunday September 6th. Please sign up for audition at this link.
What should I prepare for my audition?

-a brief solo of your choosing (2-3 minutes total) with contrasting lyrical and technical passages -major scales
-a full range chromatic scale
-sight reading
-audition excerpts (emailed on August 1)

What are the things that the panels are listening for during my audition? (The list is not in order or priority since all of these things are equally important)
  • Faithful adherence to the written score
  • Good tone quality
  • Steady sense of pulse and rhythm
  • Good intonation
  • Expressiveness
Advice regarding auditions:
  • Be on time. This means being early and warming up before your audition, getting yourselves physically and mentally prepared for the audition.
  • Recordings can be helpful in preparing the orchestral excerpts, it may offer ideas concerning appropriate tempo, articulation, and style.
  • Be prepared. While it is often the case that returning students will successfully audition and be placed into the ensembles that they have previously participated, it is possible that ill prepared auditions may result in placement of a different ensemble. Therefore, take the auditions seriously and prepare thoroughly. If you find that you tend to be nervous for auditions, try to find opportunities before your audition to perform your solo piece in public. (i.e. churches, community centers, nursing homes) Although it may be more difficult to practice sight-reading, it is possible by starting your practice session everyday with sight-reading of 16 measures or so of exercises from your technique books. (If you would like more specific advice regarding sight-reading, feel free to email me)
  • Relax. While the music faculty places a great value on these auditions, remember that we sincerely want you to do well.