Ensemble Auditions

Open Participation

All Western students are welcome and encouraged to join an ensemble.

While most large ensembles require an audition, we offer one instrumental and two choral groups that can be joined without prior placement. In addition, applied lessons are available on a space-available basis to non-majors who participate concurrently in a large ensemble.

Please see the audition requirements below.

Fall 2020 Ensembles & COVID-19

The department of music is adjusting our classroom procedures for fall, 2020 to ensure the health and safety of our students and faculty during the COVID-19 crisis. Please see below regarding modality for ensembles in fall 2020.

Registration & Credits

All students must register for an ensemble to participate. The only exception is Viking Band which is not offered as a course. Students will not be able to enroll in an auditioned ensemble until audition results have been posted or sent to students. Each course is repeatable for credit may be used towards graduation requirements, including upper-division, electives, and 180 total credits required.

Ensemble Audition Form

Deadline for Submission (Priority Consideration): September 19, 11:59 pm

Late Submissions: Students may submit a form after the priority consideration deadline. These submissions will be considered after priority submissions have been reviewed. Students are encouraged to submit forms even if they have missed the indicated deadline. Please see further choral ensemble details below.

All students auditioning for instrumental and choral ensembles must submit audition videos via the Ensemble Audition Form. Those auditioning for Jazz Ensembles must submit videos via the Jazz Ensemble Audition Form. Video submissions are accepted as links, rather than direct uploads, from video sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. Links from Google Drive and other file-sharing sites are acceptable, but students must provide all necessary permissions to view videos. Videos from smartphones are acceptable along with all dedicated recording devices.

Instrumental Ensembles

See jazz ensembles below for jazz big band, combos, and vocal jazz. Ensemble auditions will place all students into Symphony Orchestra, String Sinfonia, Wind Symphony, and Symphonic Band for the entire 20-21 academic year. In fall, 2020, Symphony Orchestra will begin as strings only with face-to-face meetings and remote learning if needed. String Sinfonia will also meet face-to-face with remote learning if needed. WBP players will keep their placement in Symphony Orchestra, but enroll in Wind Symphony or Symphonic band in fall, 2020. Wind Symphony and Symphonic band will begin remote-synchronous fall, 2020. Face-to-face rehearsals will be scheduled later in the quarter contingent on safety guidelines. Submit auditions through the Ensemble Audition Form.

Winds, Brass, Percussion

Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band

Students auditioning for Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, and/or Symphonic Band must submit a video of materials assigned to their instrument. Percussion students will submit a survey and optional video. Brass students who wish to audition for only Symphonic Band will select the folder “Brass-Symphonic Band Audition Only.”

Review audition requirements in this shared folder, and the "How to prepare excerpts" pdf.


Symphony Orchestra, String Sinfonia

Students auditioning for Symphony Orchestra and/or String Sinfonia must submit a video of materials assigned to their instrument.

Review audition requirements in this shared folder, and the "How to prepare excerpts" pdf.

Choral Ensembles

Submit auditions through the Ensemble Audition Form. Late submissions for choral ensembles will be considered up until Tuesday, September 22, 12:00 pm. Students who audition for Concert Choir and Advanced Treble Chorale must commit to enrolling each quarter: Fall, Winter, and Spring 2020-2021.

Concert Choir & Advanced Treble

One piece required.

Students auditioning for Concert Choir and Advanced Treble Chorale must submit a video of one piece that show their vocal potential. Students may submit videos without accompaniment (A cappella). 

Fall 2020 remote synchronous meeting times.
Concert Choir: MTWRF, 12-12:50 pm
Advanced Treble: MTWR, 1-1:50 pm

University Treble & University Tenor/Bass Choirs

No audition is necessary, 
As an online synchronous class in fall 2020, University Choir members may choose either:

  •  A performance-based choral experience (either joining small groups to perform virtually, or electing to have your focus be on receiving private/small group voice lessons)
  • A non-performance choral experience (guest speakers, musicianship lessons, listening and reacting to choral music)

Treble: MWF, 2-2:50 pm
Tenor/Bass: TRF, 2-2:50 pm

Jazz Ensembles

Jazz auditions are to be submitted via the Jazz Ensemble Audition form. Students also auditioning for classical ensembles must submit an additional Ensemble Audition form. Visit our shared Google Drive folder to review required materials.

Big Band & Combos

All instruments and voice

Big Band I and 400 level combos will meet synchronously online during their original meeting time. Big Band II and 200 level combos will also meet synchronously online with the potential of face-to-face rehersals contingent on safety guidelines. 

All student must submit videos of materials assigned to their instrument. Access this shared folder to review instructors and requirements. See the “Jazz Ensemble Audition Requirements” pdf for further details. 

Please contact Kevin Woods at Kevin.Woods@wwu.edu with any questions or concerns. 

Vocal Jazz

The WWU Vocal Jazz Ensemble is an auditioned group of 12-16 singers that perform a cappella and accompanied works in jazz and popular styles. 

Singers must submit a quality video of two contrasting pieces in jazz or pop style (ballad, swing, be-bop, etc). 

The class meets synchronously Tuesdays 
and Thursdays 3:00 -4:20 pm.

Small/Chamber Groups

Students interested in small groups and chamber ensembles should fill out the Ensemble Audition form to be considered. 

Small groups and chamber ensembles include the following.

  • Percussion Ensemble
  • Flute Choir
  • Western Brass
  • Western Voices
  • Western Winds
  • Western Strings
  • NowHearThis!
  • Collegium Musicum
  • Contemporary String Quartet

Looking for more information?

If you have any questions, we're happy to find you an answer. Call the Music Department Office 360-650-3130, or view the directory of faculty and staff.