Orchestra Audition Details

2017 Violin Section

Talk to us to find out more about the Orchestra and our plans for the coming year, auditions or any other questions you might have. If you can't meet us in person, you can also email our music director Tian Hui Ng.

All players interested in playing with the orchestra should sign up for an audition during the annual audition period at the start of the academic year. Both new and returning members are required to audition. This allows us to more fairly account for progress in each returning player's ability for the year's seatings and rotations.

For returning members: We would like to hear just the audition excerpts for your instrument.

For new members:
Each audition typically lasts 10 to 15 minutes. During the audition, players will be asked to:

  1. play a scale of their choice (2-3 octaves)
  2. present a piece of their choice, preferably one that contains contrasting sections, that allows them to demonstrate their full expressive and technical range
  3. play a prepared extract taken from the repertoire for the upcoming season
  4. In addition, there will be a short interview where players share with the panel his or her aspirations regarding orchestra, their orchestral background, and any intention to take on any leadership roles.

Audition Times

Current audition times are here.


  • Students in time zones where none of the offered audition times are convenient, should write to Tianhui Ng at [tng@mtholyoke.edu] to arrange for alternate times.
  • Please note that some audition times have specific sections assigned. Brass, Percussion, Strings and Woodwind faculty members will be present at their respective audition times. If you are not a returning member, and would also like to audition for private lessons at the same time, these would be the best slots. The remaining audition times are for anyone who cannot make it to those initial time slots. Schedule an audition time there only if you cannot make the section specific times.
  • Please sign up for an audition time slot by logging into your MHC email, and using the online orchestra audition sign up sheet.
  • Please note that students interested in private study and need to sign up for an audition time should also use the same sign up sheet.
  • Finally, all students who are auditioning for orchestra for the first time should complete the orchestra audition form.


  • The orchestra listens to much fewer auditions in the Spring term because members who are admitted in the Fall do not need to re-audition. As such, please email Tian Hui Ng to schedule a time. Current students who would like to audition before the end of fall term should also email him.

Before Auditioning

  1. Complete the orchestra audition form if you are new to the orchestra or have details you would like to update.
  2. Please sign up for your audition time using the online sign up sheet.
  3. Thoroughly prepare your audition repertoire.
  4. Be sure to warm up before the audition. Practice rooms on the basement floor of Pratt Hall will be available during the entire audition period.
  5. Please find the excerpts to be prepared in pdf form here:

Audition pieces will be added in August for the fall 2022 semester.

During the Audition

  • Be on time for the appointment. If you are late, you will have a shortened audition.
  • Each audition will last between 10-15 minutes
  • Prepare 4 to 6 minutes of music to play at the audition. Contrasting excerpts from solo or orchestral literature are recommended: for example, a fast and technically demanding excerpt accompanied with a slow and lyrical excerpt.
  • You will also be asked to prepare an excerpt from the orchestra's upcoming season and also to play a two or three-octave scale of your choice.

After the Audition

  • For the Fall semester, results will be posted by Saturday , September 4th, 2021 at 12pm.
  • All musicians accepted for membership are expected to attend the orchestra's first rehearsal. This will be an opportunity to meet and greet your new musical family and receive all important announcements pertaining to the course.
  • Our first rehearsal for Fall is on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021 7:15 - 9:30pm in McCulloch Auditorium.
  • Please check the schedule of rehearsals and concert dates posted online.
  • In addition, please take note that the orchestra's Fall Retreat will be on Saturday, October 2, 2021, from 12:30-5:30 pm. We usually go off-campus for some activities, but will meet online instead this year.
  • All orchestra members should register for Music-191: Orchestra before the add deadline (generally before the end of September).

For more information relating to auditions, please join us at any of these occasions:

  • the Academic Fair, venue and time to be announced
  • the Involvement Fair, venue and time to be announced