Fall 2020 Music Ensemble Placement Auditions

All large ensembles will be split into smaller groups to allow necessary physical distancing for in-person rehearsals and better facilitate virtual ensembles. Students will choose one of the following three options for ensemble participation in the Fall:

    • Blended. Small ensembles (8-10 students in each) will meet for rehearsal 1-2 times per week. These rehearsals will be no longer than 30 minutes, and scheduled to allow adequate time for air exchange (at least 30 minutes) in between. On days that students are not meeting in person, there will be opportunities for virtual coaching, collaboration, preparation, etc.
      • Students in choral ensembles will meet in Lagerquist Concert Hall.
      • Students in string ensembles will meet in Lagerquist Concert Hall on Mondays, MBR 322 on Thursdays.
      • Students in wind and brass ensembles (Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, or Wind Ensemble) will meet outdoors.
      • The Jazz Ensemble rhythm section will meet in MBR 322.
      • Percussion students should enroll in MUSI 381: Chamber Ensemble, which will meet in MBR 322.
    • Virtual. Students will meet regularly for virtual coaching, collaboration, preparation, and recording. Students electing to participate virtually are still required to submit a placement recording.
    • No Participation. Students may elect not to participate in an ensemble in the Fall semester. Students who are on scholarship will receive an automatic exemption from the expectation to participate in an ensemble, though the requirement to enroll in private instruction remains. The credit requirement for music majors is not waived: a music major who does not participate in an ensemble in the Fall will need to make up the credit during a semester later in their degree program.All ensemble placement will be handled virtually, and will involve a submitted recording and subsequent Zoom appointment with relevant faculty. Placements will be for Fall only. If we are able to return to regular rehearsals in the Spring, auditions will be held in early February.

Placement auditions for our Fall 2020 ensembles will be a two step process. The first component of the audition involves submitting a video recording following the requirements listed below. After the faculty have a chance to review all recordings, you will be contacted to schedule a subsequent Zoom chat. These appointments will last approximately 5 minutes, and replace the opportunity that our live auditions give us to meet face-to-face, catch each other up, and answer questions that you may have. We know that there will be a lot of questions regarding the Fall semester!

Recorded auditions are due by 5:00pm on Friday, September 4. Follow up Zoom appointments with faculty will occur during the first week of classes.

To submit recordings, please complete the relevant placement form linked below:

CHORAL

JAZZ

STRINGS

WINDS AND BRASS

Please remember that these auditions are friendly! We look forward to hearing you all.

Music Ensemble Placement Auditions

Mary Baker Russell Music Center

Instrumental Auditions

Audition Material:

Brass, Winds, and Jazz repertoire and requirements are listed below.

For information on placements in a String Ensemble, please visit our String Audition Repertoire page.

Winds and Brass Audition Material

Repertoire. Record a 2-3 minute video, with selection(s) of your choosing, that demonstrates both lyrical/slow and technical/fast playing. Selections may be taken from a common repertoire book, études, State Solo and Ensemble repertoire, or a selection of several contrasting orchestral excerpts.

Scales. Woodwind players play a two octave “concert” F major scale in quarter notes at 90 beats per minute. Brass players play a two octave “concert” Bb major scale in quarter notes at 90 beats per minute. These scales are for the purpose of hearing your tone and intonation in multiple ranges of your instrument.

To submit a recording, please complete the WINDS AND BRASS ENSEMBLE PLACEMENT FORM.

NOTE: strings, please use the “String Audition Repertoire” link above.

Jazz

For students interested in a Jazz ensemble download the appropriate PDF of the music AND play-along audio file available here (you must be logged into your PLU account to access materials in Google Drive folders).

For all horns:

  1. Download the PDF and play-along audio file referenced above;
  2. Video record yourself playing with the play-along file the excerpt of letter A and improvising over two choruses of letter B. Make sure both your performance and the play-along file can be heard in your video (you might need to play the audio file through a computer and video record over the phone, for example). The improvised section is highly recommended, but if you do NOT wish to improvise, you may play just the A section of the excerpt.

For rhythm section:

  1. Download the PDF and play-along audio file referenced above;
  2. Video record yourself playing with the play-along file the excerpt of letter A and improvising over two choruses of letter B. Make sure both your performance and the play-along file can be heard in your video (you might need to play the audio file through a computer and video record over the phone, for example). The improvised section is highly recommended, but if you do NOT wish to improvise, you may play just the A section of the excerpt.

To submit a recording, please submit a JAZZ ENSEMBLE PLACEMENT FORM.

Fall 2021 Choral Audition Information

All groups require audition. We will be posting sign up lists for auditions online by mid-August. Auditions will be held on:

  • Saturday, September 4 (10:00a-3:00p)
  • Sunday, September 5 (2:00p-6:00p)
  • Monday, September 6 (11:00a-4:00p)

The auditions will take place in the Mary Baker Russell Music Center, room 306.

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. Richard Nance.
  • 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. Brian Galante.
  • University Singers, our soprano-alto chorus from all class ranks, meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1:45-3:15 PM. Conducted by Dr. Richard Nance.
  • 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
We require a six-minute audition, and we try to make it as user-friendly and stress free as possible. The choral faculty (Dr. Nance, Dr. Galante, and Prof. Johnson) will hear you sing a solo piece—either something you may have worked on with a voice teacher or for solo and ensemble when you were in high school, or 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, please be sure 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, and we will ask you to sing a brief series of tonal memory exercises.

After we have heard everyone, we may ask you to come back to sing a second audition, beginning on Tuesday, September 7. These recall auditions last throughout the first week of classes, and choir lists are posted online at 6:00p on Friday, September 10. Rehearsals begin the following week.

VOICE LESSONS
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 in the music office or during the choral audition weekend. If you have any questions about vocal study, please contact Dr. Brown.

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!

All best,

Dr. Richard Nance, Director of Choral Activities
Dr. Brian Galante, Chair of the Department of Music
Prof. Barry Johnson, Conductor of Knights Chorus

Ensemble Placement Results:

TBD

Ensemble Registration:

Once notified of ensemble placement results, all students must complete their ensemble registration via Banner by the first Friday of Fall semester.

Questions, please contact PLU Music Department staff via one of the emails listed below:

Tabi Looper, loopert@plu.edu

Ryan Marsh, marshrl@plu.edu

Mercedi Benien, mbenien@plu.edu