Gustavus Orchestra Strings 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 serious and thorough manner.

Audition for woodwind, brass, and percussion students.

When and where are the auditions and how do I sign up for auditions?

First year students: Auditions for first year students will be held on Saturday September 3rd in the afternoon in Music 308. Please be sure to register for an audition when your are on campus for summer registrations. You will then receive a mailing in early August with your exact time and location for auditions. If you forgot to register for an audition, please email Dr. Lin.

Returning Students: Sign up for fall auditions will be posted in mid April. If you forgot to sign up for an audition, please email Dr. Lin Auditions for returning students will be held on Sunday September 4th from 12 P.M. to 9 P.M. in Bjorling Recital Hall. Returning students' names has been submitted to Residential Life and you will be able to move in on Sunday September 6th at noon. Please go to your dorm for your keys. If you forgot to sign up for an audition, please email Dr. Lin.

What should I prepare for the auditions?

All strings students:

  • 3-5 minutes of solo, or sonata, or concerto repertoire. The solo repertoire does not need to be memorized, please bring one extra copy of music for the panel. You do not need to bring a pianist or worry about the accompaniment.
  • Two octaves of major scales up to three sharps and three flats.
  • Sight-read several small musical selections.
  • Prepare bracketed excerpts 
    • Please note that if you are interested in ONLY auditioning for the Gustavus Philharmonic Orchestra, you only need to prepare the excerpt marked "GPO." If you are interested in auditioning for the Gustavus Philharmonic Orchestra and/or the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, please prepare ALL of the marked excerpts. Please check out their respective pages for more information regarding each orchestra.
    • Violin
    • Viola
    • Cello
    • Bass

What will the faculty panels be listening for during my audition? (The list is not in order of priority as all of these criteria 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 and have fun. While the music faculty places a great value on these auditions, remember that we sincerely want you to do well.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Ruth Lin