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 Fall 2015

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. 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 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.

Please sign up for an audition time slot by logging into your MHC email, and using this online sign up sheet here:

Please note that students interested in private study and needing to sign up for an audition time should also use the same sign up sheet here.

Audition Times for Spring 2015

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, Wednesday, January 21, 2015, from 4.30 - 5.30pm. If you cannot make this audition time, please email Tian Hui Ng at to schedule an alternate time. Current students who would like to audition before the end of Fall Term should also email him.

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

Date Time Venue Section
Wed Sep 3 2014 12.00 - 2.30pm 215 Pratt Hall

Strings only

Wed Sep 3 2014 2.50 - 5.00pm 215 Pratt Hall Strings only
Thu Sep 4 2014 2.30 - 4.00pm McCulloch Auditorium, Pratt Hall Percussion only
Thu Sep 4 2014 4.30 - 6.00pm 301 Pratt Hall Winds and Brass only
Thu Sep 4 2014 7.30 - 9.00pm 301 Pratt Hall All Instruments
Fri Sep 5 2014 1.00 - 4.00pm 301 Pratt Hall All Instruments

Audition Guidelines

For the Fall 2014, 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. NB this has changed this year as Google has disabled appointment slots. Please sign up for your audition time using the paper sign up sheet posted on the orchestra noticeboard in Pratt Hall, on the wall facing the Music Department Office. 
  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 Mussorgsky: 9th bar of Rehearsal F to Rehearsal G. Rehearsal Z to end.
Oboe Mussorgsky: last two pages
Clarinet Mussorgsky: last two pages
Bassoon Dvorak: Rehearsal 10 to 12
French Horn Dvorak: Rehearsal 10 to end.
Trumpet Mussorgsky: Rehearsal R
Trombone Dvorak: Rehearsal 10 to end.

Mussorgsky - First Page

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 Mussorgsky: Beginning to Rehearsal A, Rehearsal B.
Viola Mussorgksy: First Page.
Cello Mussorgsky: Rehearsal O to Q
Double Bass Mussorgsky: b.1 - 24
Harp Mussorgsky: Page 2.

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 2015, results will be posted online by Sunday, September 13th, 2015.
  • 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 2015 is Tuesday, September 15th, 2015, 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, September 8, 2015, 9:00 - 11:00AM
  • the Orchestra Information Session, Warbeke Room, Pratt Hall, Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 6.15 - 7.15pm (we have cookies!)
  • the Org Fair, Chapin Auditorium, Mary Wooley Hall, Wednesday, September 15, 2015, 7.00 - 8.30pm (plan on coming to this only if you have missed the earlier opportunities by mistake, as our first rehearsal is also on September 15, 2015 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

Click here to access the Online Audition Form