Gustavus Orchestra Strings Audition Information

2014-2015

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: Due to the 50th anniversary celebration of the Nobel Conference, the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra will return early to campus for rehearsals starting on August 25th. Therefore, strings auditions for the orchestras this year will be different than in previous years.

Strings: Please contact Dr. Ruth Lin (rlin@gustavus.edu) once you have your New Student Registration time slot for an audition time on the same day.

Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion: your auditions will proceed as usual during the move-in weekend. Please be sure to register for an audition during the summer registration time.

What should I prepare for the auditions?

First year 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.
  • Prepare all of the bracketed excerpts
  • Two octaves of major scales up to three sharps and three flats.
  • Sight-read several small musical selections.

Returning strings students: Your spring juries will also serve as your orchestra auditions for the 2014-2015 school year.

  • 3-5 minutes of solo, or sonata, or concerto repertoire.
  • Prepare all of the bracketed excerpts
What will the faculty panels be listening for during my audition? (The list is not in order of priority as all of these criterias 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