Ensemble Placement Auditions

Large Instrumental Ensembles

Woodwind, Brass, Keyboard, & Percussion. Orchestra Strings, see section below.

All students interested in participating in large instrumental ensembles on the UConn Storrs campus during the Fall 2021 semester must complete a brief placement hearing audition. Students will have the option to select which ensembles they would like to be considered for, but ultimately placement will be at the discretion of the directors.  Students may be placed in one of the following ensembles:

The UConn Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Symphony Orchestra will select ensemble members by placement audition. These groups are composed of undergraduate and graduate music majors and non-music degree program students. All students hoping to be considered for these ensembles should sign-up for a short audition here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1FrUFT6t7Wspam92pPXKDcJdYQMRR_9Jt-D1vnWMWIzc/edit#gid=0

Students who are unable to audition during any of the listed windows of time should contact the ensemble directors to arrange an alternative time.

  • Winds/Brass: Prepare one 5-minute audition performing excerpts from two pieces of contrasting style (fast and slow) in succession. Please prepare to play approximately two minutes of each piece. Email a pdf of your music to the directors prior to your time or bring paper copies with you at the time of your audition. If you have already received audition excerpts from your studio professor, please select from their list.
  • Percussion: Prepare brief excerpts totaling no more than 7 minutes on snare drum, marimba or xylophone, and timpani. You should sign up for two consecutive slots to allow for transition between instruments. 
  • All auditionees must complete the UConn Ensemble Placement Hearing/Audition Application and submit your response by Monday, August 30th.
  • If you have any semester-long course enrollment conflicts (i.e. overlap, class conflicts, account hold, etc) please send an email to the director(s) describing your conflict in detail.




Orchestra Strings

Orchestra Strings


Placement auditions for Strings in the UConn Symphony Orchestra will take place on August 30, 31 and September 1, 2021.  The in-person auditions will take place in von der Mehden Recital Hall.  All string players hoping to be considered for the Symphony Orchestra, should sign up for an audition at the link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1VbryEX5ATAkcbQiwc5sxK05gbyGraRRzflDI2YHmTUE/edit?usp=sharing


Additionally, please complete the UConn Ensemble Placement/Hearing Application and submit your response before Monday, August 30, 2021.


For the audition, please prepare two selections in contrasting style (one fast and one slow.) These selections can be all or part of a larger work, for example, an etude, concerto movement, sonata movements or any excerpt from a lesson book.  The duration of the audition will be five minutes.

UConn Choirs

Current singers come from all majors and disciplines across campus, undergraduate and graduate. We have a thriving group of music majors who are the core of Concert Choir but our choirs are filled with engineers, chemists, Pre-Med students, varsity athletes, English majors, and more. If you like to sing, we encourage you to be a part of the joy in musical excellence with UConn Choirs.  “No-stress Placement Hearings” will be held at the beginning of the Fall 2021 semester in August and you can sign up for a hearing below. Please contact Dr. Spillane in the UConn Choral Office at UConnChoirs@uconn.edu if you have any questions.

For more information about UConn Choirs please see the information below.

For Information about Choral Placement Hearings and contact information- click here!

To schedule a Choral Placement Hearing – Click here!

Jazz Ensembles & Combos

Auditions for placement in the UConn Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Lab Band and jazz combos will be submitted electronically. Students are to video record themselves playing:


  1. A 12-bar blues (or jazz standard of your choosing,) with recorded accompaniment from jazzstandards.com.  For your convenience here are direct links to Billie’s Bounce (F blues): https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/jazz-standards/billies-bounce/ and Sonny Moon For Two (Bb): https://www.learnjazzstandards.com/jazz-standards/sonnymoon-for-two/


Ideally, we would like you to play the head twice, followed by 3 choruses of improvisation, and then the head once again.


Pianists and guitarists: please “comp” for two choruses prior to playing the out-head.

Bassists: In addition to demonstrating your improvisation skills with a play-a-long track, please record 2 choruses of bassline walking on a 12 bar blues in F, at a metronome marking of quarter note = 144.

Drummers: in lieu of the above, demonstrate the following “feels,” playing each sample for approximately 30 seconds.

  • Medium swing
  • Bossa Nova
  • Samba
  • ¾ jazz waltz
  • 12/8 afro Cuban
  • Up-tempo swing
  • Brushes at a ballad tempo
  • Swing brushes on the snare at a medium-up tempo

Finally, to demonstrate your soloing, trade 4 measure phrases with yourself, alternating swing time-keeping and soloing.


  1. Any song (jazz or otherwise) which will serve as a representation of your musicianship (demonstrating sound, accuracy, rhythmic interpretation, facility, etc.) A prepared jazz transcription or etude would be preferable, but a classical excerpt would also be acceptable.


Please upload your video audition to the following Google drive before 5 PM on Thursday, Sept. 2nd:



Label your video with your name and instrument (John Coltrane – tenor saxophone).