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.

When and where are the auditions?

First Year Students: Auditions for first year students will be on Saturday August 30th. 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 contact the music office, 507-933-7364.

Returning Students: Due to the 50th anniversary celebration of the Nobel Conference, woodwind, brass, and percussion students currently in the Symphony Orchestra are automatically placed in the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra provided that they play a sucessful spring jury. Any new members placed into the Symphony Orchestra will be rotated into the section after the Nobel Concert. Please note: for placement in the Gustavus Wind Orchestra, you must prepare and play and audition in the fall, similar to previous years.
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.