Orchestra Audition Details

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.

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.

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
  3. 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

Fall

  • 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 sign in 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.

Spring

  • 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 at tng@mtholyoke.edu 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 join us for the Orchestra Welcome Tea on September 5, 2017, from 9.00 - 10.00pm in the Warbeke Room in Pratt Hall. This is an informal get-together, where returning orchestra members have the opportunity to catch up with each other, before rehearsals begin the following week. Hosted by our orchestra board, this is a great opportunity for interested students to meet returning orchestra members and to ask any questions they might have regarding the orchestra.
  6. Please find the excerpts to be prepared in pdf form here: 
Flute

Holst: I Mars. rehearsal 4 to 6, Neptune. rehearsal beginning to Rehearsal 2.
Part can be found on imslp here.

Oboe Holst: I Mars. rehearsal 4 to 6.
Part can be found on imslp here. 
Clarinet Holst: I Mars. rehearsal 4 to 6.
Part can be found on imslp here. 
Bassoon Holst: I Mars. rehearsal 5 to the 4th bar of rehearsal 6. rehearsal 11 to the end. 
Part can be found on imslp here. 
French Horn Holst: IV Jupiter. Beginning to rehearsal 2.
Part can be found on imslp here. 
Trumpet Holst: I rehearsal 4 to 6.
Part can be found on imslp here.
Trombone Holst: IV Jupiter. Beginning to rehearsal 2. 
Part can be found on imslp here. 
Tuba

Holst: I Mars. Rehearsal 7 to 8.
Part can be found on imslp here. 

Harp

Holst: II Venus. Rehearsal 6 to the end.
Part can be found on imslp here. 

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

Holst: I. Mars Rehearsal 11 to 12. Haydn: IV. b.31-58
Holst: Violin 1 Part
Haydn: Violin 1 Part

Viola Holst: I. Mars Rehearsal 11 to 12. 
Part can be found on imslp here. 
Cello Holst: I. Mars Rehearsal 11 to 12. 
Part can be found on imslp here. 
Double Bass Holst: I. Mars Rehearsal 6 to b.108.
Part can be found on imslp here. 
   

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 semester, results will be posted online by September 10th, 2017.
  • 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 September 12th, 2017, 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.
  • In addition, please take note that the orchestra's Fall Retreat will be on Saturday, September 16th, 2017, from 1 - 6pm.
  • All orchestra members should register for Music-191: Orchestra before the Add Deadline of (generally before the end of September).

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

  • the Academic Fair, Chapin Auditorium, Mary Wooley Hall, September 5, 2017 9.00 - 10.30am.
  • the Orchestra Welcome Tea, Warbeke Room, Pratt Hall, September 5, 2017, from 9.00 - 10.00pm (we have cookies!).
  • the Org Fair, Chapin Auditorium, Mary Wooley Hall, in mid-September (plan on coming to this only if you have missed the earlier opportunities by mistake, as our first rehearsal is also in September