Auditions

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.

Each audition typically lasts 10 to 15 minutes.

During the audition, players will be asked to:

1. present a piece of their choice, preferably one that contains contrasting sections, that allows them to demonstrate their full expressive and technical range

2. play a prepared extract taken from the repertoire for the upcoming season

In addition, there will be a short interview where players share with the Director of Orchestra his or her aspirations regarding orchestra, their orchestral background, and any intention to take on any leadership roles.

Audition Times for Spring 2014

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, there is only one audition time scheduled on the department's audition day, Wednesdays, January 22, 2014, from 4.30 - 5.30pm. If you cannot make this audition time, please email Tian Hui Ng at tng@mtholyoke.edu to schedule an alternate time. Current students who would like to audition before the end of Fall Term should also email him.

If you are joining the orchestra in Spring 2014, click here to schedule an audition time: http://bit.ly/19aFIIf.

Audition Times for Fall 2013

Please note that the first five sets of audition times have specific sections assigned. Brass, Percussion, Strings and Woodwind faculty members will be present at their respective audition times. You may therefore audition for your private lessons with them at the same time. The remaining two sets of audition times on Thursday and Friday 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.

Click here to schedule an audition time: http://bit.ly/18rni5m.

If you have difficulties making the audition times below, please email Ng Tian Hui at tng@mtholyoke.edu, to schedule an alternative time.

Date Time Venue Section
Tue Sep 3 2013 2.00 - 4.10pm 301 Pratt Hall Winds only
Wed Sep 4 2013 12.00 - 2.30pm 215 Pratt Hall Strings only
Wed Sep 4 2013 2.50 - 5.00pm 215 Pratt Hall Strings only
Thu Sep 5 2013 2.30 - 4.00pm McCulloch Auditorium, Pratt Hall Percussion only
Thu Sep 5 2013 4.30 - 6.00pm 301 Pratt Hall Brass only
Thu Sep 5 2013 7.30 - 9.00pm 301 Pratt Hall All Instruments
Fri Sep 6 2013 1.00 - 4.00pm 301 Pratt Hall All Instruments

Audition Guidelines

For the Fall 2013, 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.

Before Auditioning

  1. Complete an audition form below if you are new to the orchestra or have details you would like to update.
  2. Sign up for your audition time slot by using this link: Spring 2014: http://bit.ly/19aFIIf. Fall 2013: http://bit.ly/18rni5m.
  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:
Flute Berlioz: Rehearsal 63 to the 4th bar of Rehearsal 64 from the Symphonie Fantastique
Oboe Bizet: Second Movement Rehearsal 1 from Symphony in C
Clarinet Berlioz: Rehearsal 63 to the 4th bar of Rehearsal 64 from the Symphonie Fantastique
Bassoon Berlioz: Rehearsal 71 to 73 from the Symphonie Fantastique
French Horn Berlioz: Rehearsal 54 to 56 from Symphonie Fantastique
Trumpet Berlioz: Rehearsal 54 to 56 from Symphonie Fantastique
Trombone Berlioz: poco animato before Rehearsal 86 to the end
Tuba Berlioz: Rehearsal 66 from Symphonie Fantastique
Percussion Snare Drum: Etude No. 2, from Cirone’s Portraits in Rhythm, or other piece of similar difficulty. Rolls at various dynamic levels.
Timpani: Etude No. 5, from Hochrainer’s Etuden für Timpani, Vol. 1, or other piece of similar difficulty. Interval tuning.
Marimba: Etude No. 7 from Goldenberg’s Modern School for Xylophone, Marimba, and Vibraphone, or other piece of similar difficulty
Link to pieces mentioned.
Violin Berlioz: pick up to Rehearsal 81 to Rehearsal 82, from Symphonie Fantastique
Viola Berlioz: pick up to Rehearsal 81 to Rehearsal 82, from Symphonie Fantastique
Cello Berlioz: pick up to 6 bars before Rehearsal 74 to 9th bar of Rehearsal 74, from Symphonie Fantastique
Double Bass Berlioz: pick up to Poco memo mosso before Rehearsal 71 to 3 bars before Rehearsal 72
Harp Berlioz: Rehearsal 32 to 34 from the Symphonie Fantastique

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 Fall 2013, results will be posted online by Sunday, September 8, 2013.
  • 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 2013 is Tuesday, Sep 10 2012, from 7.15 - 9.30pm at McCulloch Auditorium.
  • All orchestra members must be available for all rehearsals and concerts. Please check the schedule of rehearsals and concert dates posted online.

More Information

For more information relating to auditions, please drop by our booth at

  • the Academic Fair, Kendall Sports and Dance Complex, Tuesday, Sep 3 2013, 9:00 - 11:00AM
  • the Orchestra Information Session, Warbeke Room, Pratt Hall, Tuesday, Sep 3 2013, 4.30 - 5.30pm (we have cookies!)
  • the Org Fair, Chapin Auditorium, Mary Wooley Hall, Wednesday, September 11th, 2013, 7.00 - 9.00pm (plan on coming to this only if you have missed the earlier opportunities by mistake, as our first rehearsal is on Sep 10th, 7.15- 9 .30pm)

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 director at tng@mtholyoke.edu.

Click here to access the Online Audition Form