Music Ensemble Placement Auditions
Fall 2023 Auditions
September 1-4, 2023
Membership in a music ensemble is based on the results of ensemble placement auditions held in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center during move-in weekend and the first week of classes.
The Audition Process
- Click on the INSTRUMENTAL or CHORAL audition tabs above and carefully read the information regarding auditions.
- Complete the registration form and sign up for an appointment online. Links are provided at the bottom of the respective tab.
- Audition during your scheduled time.
- Ensemble directors will communicate personnel via lists on the bulletin boards in the back hallway of MBR, and direct contact by email.
- Confirm your registration via Banner by Monday, September 11. Zero credit ensemble registration can be found here. If you have questions regarding registration, contact Tabi Looper in the Music Office.
Instrumental Ensemble Placement Auditions
Mary Baker Russell Music Center, Room 322
- All scholarship recipients must audition regardless of your ensemble intentions or preference.
- All instruments will be asked to sight read.
- All scholarship percussionists (drum set players included) must audition here first. This is so you can have an appropriate placement should you not audition successfully for the Jazz Ensemble
- Friday, September 1 – Woodwinds, Harp, Piano & Percussion (9:00a-8:00p)
- Saturday, September 2 – Strings (9:00a-7:30p)
- Sunday, September 3 – Brass & Saxophones (9:00a-7:30p)
- Wednesday, September 6 – Jazz Rhythm Section (Piano, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Percussion/Vibraphone) (1:45-3:15p)
Flutes: A five-minute selection(s) of your choice displaying both lyrical/slow and technical/fast playing such as repertoire from the “Flute Music by French Composers” book, études, Solo and Ensemble repertoire, or a selection of several contrasting orchestral excerpts.
Clarinets: A five-minute selection(s) of your choice displaying both lyrical/slow and technical/fast playing such as études, Solo and Ensemble repertoire, or a selection of several contrasting orchestral excerpts.
Oboes: A five-minute selection(s) of your choice displaying both lyrical and technical/fast playing such as études (Barret or Ferling preferred), standard solo repertoire, or orchestral excerpts.
Bassoons: A five-minute selection(s) of your choice displaying both lyrical and technical/fast playing such as études, Solo and Ensemble repertoire, or a selection of contrasting orchestral excerpts.
Saxophones: 1) Perform one of the two orchestral excerpts provided: Bizet, m. 17-46, or Rachmaninoff, all. 2) Perform a solo work (movements or excerpts are acceptable) of approximately 3-4 minutes, or perform one fast etude from the Ferling 48 Studies.
Trumpets: Returning students: please perform the exposition (beginning up to measure 146) of the first movement of the Hummel Trumpet Concerto. Parts for Hummel Bb and Eb trumpet are provided. Please also perform at least one of the following excerpts: (1) Opening solo of Mahler’s 5th Symphony, (2) Opening Promenade from Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition, or (3) the Lyric Solo from the second movement of Respighi’s Pines of Rome. These excerpts may be played on a Bb or C trumpet, transposed or untransposed.
New students: please perform any of the above materials, or you may choose the Ropartz Andante et Allegro.
Horns: A five-minute selection(s) of your choice displaying both lyrical and technical/fast playing such as études, Solo and Ensemble repertoire, or a selection of several contrasting orchestral excerpts.
Trombones: See linked pdf here.
- Rachmaninov vocalise up to measure 18
- Sonata up to measure 50
- Hungarian March excerpt (bracketed section)
Euphoniums: A five-minute selection(s) of your choice displaying both lyrical and technical/fast playing such as études, Solo and Ensemble repertoire, or a selection of several contrasting orchestral excerpts.
Tubas: A five-minute selection(s) of your choice displaying both lyrical and technical/fast playing such as études, Solo and Ensemble repertoire, or a selection of several contrasting orchestral excerpts.
Percussion: Choose one short solo on either keyboard, timpani, or snare drum. You will be asked to sight read on one of the instruments you did not choose. Remember, even if you only plan to play in the Jazz Ensemble, ALL SCHOLARSHIP PERCUSSIONISTS MUST AUDITION HERE FIRST.
Strings: please use the “String Audition Repertoire (suggested)” link above.
- Prepared piece – play the appropriate excerpt below:
- Improvisation – improvise for several choruses of a 12-bar blues progression in the key of your choice. Rhythm section players must know the blues chord changes from memory.
Both horn players and rhythm section players must sign up for an audition time slot.
Horn players: Your audition will take place on Sunday, Sep. 3, 2023.
Rhythm Section players: your audition will take place on Wednesday, Sep. 6, 2023.
Choral Ensemble Placement Auditions
Mary Baker Russell Music Center, Room 306
PLU choral ensembles are open to students in all fields of study. All groups require audition. We will be posting sign up lists for auditions online by mid-August. Initial auditions will be held on:
- Saturday, September 2 (10:00a-3:00p)
- Monday, September 4 (11:00a-5:00p)
Student choral ensembles at PLU include:
- Choir of the West, a mixed chorus of 30-40 members (primarily juniors and seniors), rehearses Monday thru Thursday, 3:40-5:10 PM. Conducted by Dr. Brian Galante.
- University Chorale, a mixed chorus of 40-50 members (primarily freshmen and sophomores), also rehearses Monday thru Thursday, 3:40-5:10 PM. Conducted by Dr. Tiffany Walker.
- University Singers, our soprano-alto chorus from all class ranks, meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1:45-3:15 PM. Conducted by Dr. Tiffany Walker.
- Knights Chorus, our tenor-bass chorus from all class ranks, rehearses Tuesday and Thursday, 1:45-3:15 PM. Conducted by Prof. Barry Johnson.
PREPARING FOR YOUR AUDITION
The initial audition is six minutes, and we try to make it as user-friendly and stress free as possible. The choral faculty (Dr. Galante, Dr. Walker, and Prof. Johnson) will hear you sing a solo piece—something you may have worked on with a voice teacher or for solo and ensemble when you were in high school, or even a simple hymn or carol. A professional accompanist will be provided, and we will have hymnals for you if you need one. Whatever you choose to sing, try to show us the full range and expression of your voice. After the solo piece, we may vocalize you if we want to hear more of your range.
After we have heard everyone, we may ask you to come back to sing a second audition, beginning on Tuesday, September 5. These recall auditions last throughout the first week of classes, and choir lists are posted online at 6:00p on Friday, September 8. Rehearsals begin the following week.
As you are aware, we also have an outstanding studio voice faculty. Regardless of your chosen major, you can take private voice lessons. Many students think they don’t have room for choir and voice in their schedule, but it is relatively easy to move classes around at this time of year to make it possible; your advisor can help with this. You can register for voice lessons by completing the online form available here. If you have any questions about vocal study, please contact Dr. James Brown, Chair of Vocal Studies.
Our choirs perform both on and off campus, several times each year. Opportunities for outstanding choral performances are plentiful at PLU!
We hope that you will audition for one of our ensembles. College is one of the great times in your life, and singing in a high-level choir can bring memories that last forever. You’ll meet great people, sing fantastic music in inspired performances, and share in many unforgettable moments. If we can answer any questions for you, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Best wishes for a great year at PLU, and we look forward to seeing you in Choral Auditions!
Questions? Please contact the PLU Music Office at 253-535-7602.
Ensemble Placement Results
After the auditions, ensemble personnel lists will be posted on the bulletin boards in the back stage areas of Mary Baker Russell Music Center and communicated by ensemble conductors.
Once the ensemble placement result lists have been posted, all students must verify correct ensemble registration via Banner by Monday, September 11. If you need to register for an ensemble for zero credit, please use this link: Fall 2023 Zero Credit Ensemble Registration.
Questions? Contact the PLU Music Office at 253-535-7602.