A Celebration of Student Performers and Composers

Student Showcase is an event sponsored each year by the Pacific Lutheran University Orchestras as a service to the musical community at PLU. Upper class students studying with one of our many studio faculty members are eligible to audition. The soloists are chosen in November by a panel of non-PLU-affiliated judges from among a talented group of candidates, who all represent their respective performance areas with distinction.

In recent seasons the Student Showcase concert in March has also featured the premiere of a new work by a PLU student composer. The composers are selected by the Composition faculty.

Students may also choose to audition to perform works with wind band accompaniments, subject to the approval of the University Wind Ensemble conductor. Winners who have chosen this option will be scheduled for performance on a UWE concert during the spring semester following the audition.

Who is eligible?

Any PLU student of sophomore level or above who is currently registered for classes, and who is studying with one of our studio faculty, and is registered for private instruction credit (MUSI 202-219 or 402-419).

How to audition

Auditioning to be a Student Soloist requires the permission of both the studio instructor of record and the conductor of the University Symphony Orchestra or University Wind Ensemble, whichever is appropriate for the work being performed, evidenced by their signatures on the application form (See download below).

What does the audition include?

During the audition candidates must play the entire program that they intend to play with the orchestra or wind ensemble if chosen as a soloist. The selection must be:

  • At least 10 minutes in length and no longer than 20 minutes (This restriction may mean that an instrumentalist needs to choose just part rather than all of a concerto, or that a singer needs to choose a selection of arias rather than just one.)
  • Any material played at the audition must be approved by the USO or UWE conductor prior to the audition. Candidates can help with this process by doing as much research as possible to determine if the orchestra accompaniment is available. The conductor may also base his or her judgment on the suitability of the accompaniment for the ensemble.

Students considering an audition may contact the conductor at any point during the year prior to the audition (or even earlier) to receive pre-approval of a work. Many students and studio teachers have found pre-approval to be a wise step before spending a great deal of time on music that might not be available or suitable.

Do selections need to be memorized?

Our rules state that the material should performed from memory at the audition and at the concert. Exceptions may be made, but the effect of an exception on audition will be up to the judges to determine.

Will an accompanist be provided for the audition?

Candidates are responsible for providing an accompanist for the audition. Auditioning without an accompanist is not allowed. Your studio teacher may help you find a suitable accompanist.


  1. Discuss the possibility of an audition with your studio teacher. It’s a good idea to have this discussion in the spring semester prior to the audition, or even earlier. Identify some appropriate literature.
  2. Though not required, it’s wise to check with the USO conductor or UWE conductor to receive pre-approval for your selection.
  3. Obtain a Student Showcase Application form either from the Music Office or by downloading it from the link below.
  4. Obtain the required signatures by the deadline specified.
  5. Turn the document in at the Music Office.
  6. Schedule an audition time in the Music Office.
  7. Secure an accompanist.
  8. On the day of the audition, dress appropriately for a formal audition, and be prepared to announce your name, your accompanist’s name and the composer and title of the work that you will play.

Student Showcase Entry Form and Rules (PDF) 

Student Showcase and Composer for the 2021-2022 Academic Year

Hugh Davis – Three Songs to Poems by Rückert by Gustav Mahler, arr. Max Puttman

Benjamin Martin  – Concerto for Alto Saxophone and String Orchestra, op. 109 by Alexandre Glazounov

AJ Moore – Concertino Pastorale by Philip Wilby

Cole Strichertz – Concerto for Marimba and String Orchestra by Eric Ewazen

TJ Wheeler, composer – The Five Stages

2022-23 Auditions

Thursday, November 3

Available times begin at 8 am.