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Ensemble Auditions

Cellist, seated behind piano and music stands playing.

Ensemble-Specific Audition Info


For Concert Choir, Glee Club, Oriana Singers, Essence of Joy, and University Choir

Tuesday/Wednesday, January 19-20: 9:30AM-12:00PM and 1:00PM-4:00PM.

We are intending to offer choral experiences in a hybrid fashion – rotating smaller groups of singers rehearsing safely in person, with others attending via Zoom. We also hope to perform via Livestream.

Only new students to the choral program, or returning students who wish to add a choir, or change choirs will need to audition. If a student was in a particular ensemble last semester, they can register for that group in the Fall.

All auditions will be remote using the Zoom platform. Links will be shared with you once you have signed up for your audition.

The sign-up form and audition form must be completed prior to the audition.

It is not necessary to prepare a piece for the audition, and tests include sight-singing, ear tests and simple vocalizes to determine range and voice part.

Questions should be directed to Dr. Christopher Kiver, Director of Choral Activities at

Link to Choir Audition Sign-up Form to be completed before your audition.

Concert Bands

For Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band:

Auditions are required for all students wishing to participate in Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band. This Fall, auditions will occur through recorded video submission. For students wishing to be considered for orchestras as well, only one video needs to be uploaded. 

Woodwind and Brass Auditions are due MONDAY, AUGUST 24th by NOON. 

Percussion Auditions are due FRIDAY, AUGUST 28th by NOON. 

CLICK HERE to fill out the audition form and to upload your audition video 


Audition Material: 

Prepare the required etudes/excerpts for your studio:  

Click here for audition materials


Submitting Your Video: 

Submit your audition as an unlisted Youtube video following the guidelines below: 

Before submitting a video, please make sure you have time in your schedule to participate in the ensemble you wish to be placed in.  Click here for ensemble rehearsal times.

Note: Those who audition for Symphonic Wind Ensemble or Symphonic Band who are not placed in one of these ensembles are invited and encouraged to participate in Concert Band. 

If you have questions, please contact Dr. Tonya Mitchell-Spradlin, 

For Concert Band:

There is no audition for Concert Band in the Fall. Please attend the first class meeting of Music 82 (TR 4:35-5:50) in the O. Richard Bundy Blue Band Building with your instrument for the first rehearsal. Music will be assigned to you during the first class meeting. Please contact Robert Hickey with any questions.

Jazz Ensembles

August 24 and 25, 2020

Audition for all big bands, jazz combos, etc…. Tell your friends to come and join us.

For Centre Dimensions, Inner Dimensions, Outer Dimensions, Vocal Dimensions and Combos

All auditions occur in room 128, Music Building II.

Monday, August 24

6:30 p.m. Rhythm section (big bands and combos),  Horns (combos only)

Tuesday, August  25  ( Jazz Big Band Horns Only)

4:30-6:00 p.m.   Saxophones

6:00-7:30 p.m.   Trumpets

7:30 – 9:00 p.m. Trombones

All auditions occur in 128 Music Building II.

Wednesday, August 26

Vocal Dimensions auditions will be by appointment only. Audition sign up sheet posted on the Jazz Office Bulletin Board, 105 Music Bld. II.  Vocalists will be asked to sight read, sing intervals and perform a jazz standard or pop tune of your choice.

For All Instrumentalists:

Rhythm Section Players: For big band and combo auditions, students should be able demonstrate good characteristic style for comping (piano, guitar, vibes), walking (bass), and time-keeping (drum set) in a variety of different types of jazz (e.g. swing, bossa nova, ballad, etc.). Students will be asked to perform/sight read standards (as a group), as well as improvise in these styles.

Please bring a Real Book (if you have one) and prepare the following:

Blue Bossa

one of the following blues: Now’s The Time, Billy’s Bounce

one of the following ballads:  Body and SoulIn a Sentimental MoodMisty.

Saxophones, Trumpets, and Trombones: For big band auditions, horn players will be asked to sightread a section from a standard big band chart both individually and in like-instrument groups. Also, each horn player will be asked to interpret (sight read) part of a ballad. Saxes may be asked to perform on multiple instruments (e.g. alto and tenor) in addition to being asked about potential doubles (flute, clarinet, etc.)

For combo auditions, horn players will be asked to perform (sight read) standards from the Real Book with a rhythm section, as well as improvise in a variety of styles. Please bring a Real Book if you have one.

Combos will be formed by the directors in an effort place together students with similar and complementary ability and experience.

Opera Theatre

Program and Audition Information TBA


For Philharmonic Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra

Auditions are required for students interested in participating in the Philharmonic and/or Chamber Orchestras. Please submit a YouTube link of your playing with two contrasting pieces from two different composers. Movements from sonatas, concertos, suites and etudes or orchestral excerpts are acceptable.

*Woodwinds and brass applicants may submit the excerpts required for the band audition but please make sure you add at least a solo piece of your choice.


Here it is the link to fill out the audition form and upload your video:


Deadlines for submitting your videos:

Strings: Wednesday, August 26th at Noon

Woodwinds, Brass: Monday, August 24th at Noon

Percussion: Friday, August 28th at Noon

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and university regulations, the make-up of the orchestras will be quite different this semester. We will work together to ensure you have a valuable, meaningful and rewarding experience.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at if you have any questions.

Prof. Gerardo Edelstein, Director of Orchestral Studies

For Campus Orchestra

Auditions are required.

In accordance with best practices for Penn State’s return to campus, and to accommodate students who have opted for remote learning, Campus Orchestra will only be accepting video auditions for the Fall 2020 semester. For students already enrolled in MUS100, audition materials will be sent out via email during the first week of August. If you are not yet enrolled in MUS100 but would still like to audition, please contact the director (listed below), as soon as possible to request your audition materials. Your audition for Campus Orchestra will consist of the following:

  • 2 excerpts from the upcoming semester’s program, approximately 1 minute in length each.
  • 2 contrasting samples of the performer’s choosing. Approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute in length.
  • A sight-reading sample may be done live over zoom during the first day of class.

Videos must be done in a single take and may not be edited. Videos must be submitted by the first rehearsal (Tuesday, August 25th, 8PM). Audition materials will be sent out with recommendations for recording your audition as well as instructions for video submission. If a student is unable to meet the deadline or would like to schedule a live audition over zoom, they should contact the director as soon as possible. Please also contact the director if you are a student for whom a video audition may not be physically possible.

The director, David Flowers, can be reached at