Ensembles & Ensemble Auditions

All WWU students are welcome and encouraged to join an ensemble. Placement is determined regardless of major or year in school. See the information below to determine if an audition is required for your ensemble of interest!

Students interested in becoming a music major or minor should visit the Entrance & Scholarship Audition page

Ensemble Schedules and Registration

The following information is subject to change. Students should refer to Classfinder for up-to-date scheduling information. Please note, "R" stands for Thursday.

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 auditioned ensembles until after Ensemble Auditions have concluded. Each course is repeatable for credit and may be used towards graduation requirements such as upper-division (300 and 400-level courses), electives, and the 180 credits required to graduate from WWU.

  • Symphonic Band: T/R, 4:00-5:50 pm
  • Wind Symphony: T/R, 2:00-3:50 pm
  • Symphony Orchestra: MWF, 12:00-1:20 pm
  • String Sinfonia: MWF, 1:30-2:50 pm

  • Advanced Treble Chorale, MUS 371: MWRF, 1:00-1:50 pm
  • Concert Choir, MUS 471: MTWRF, 12:00-12:50 pm
  • University Choir, MUS 271: MWF, 2:00-2:00 pm

  • Jazz Big Band I, MUS 474: MWF, 2:00-2:50 pm
  • Jazz Big Band II, MUS 274: MWF, 3:00-3:50 pm
  • Jazz Combos, MUS 275 and 475: TBA
  • Vocal Jazz, MUS 284: TR 3:00-4:20 pm

  • Guitar Ensemble, MUS 282: MWF 4:00-4:50 pm
  • Bassoon Ensemble, MUS 281: TBA
  • Flute Ensemble, MUS 281: W 2:00-2:50 pm
  • Percussion Ensemble, MUS 281: TBA
  • NowHearThis!
  • Woodwind, brass, string chamber groups, and mixed ensembles, MUS 281: TBA

Viking Band is not a class students register for, but is open to everyone! All students of WWU are able to join the Viking Band! The Viking Band is not exclusive to students majoring in music but is open to students of any major/minor. Drumline members will be expected to complete a short audition at the start of the academic year. There is no audition for brass or woodwinds. Simply register through the Viking Band form!

General Audition Information

Live Audition Dates

  • Choir: September 19 and 20, 2022
  • Wind, Brass, Percussion: September 19 or 20, 2022
  • Strings & Harp: September 19, 2022
  • Jazz: September 19, 20, and 21, 2022

Audition Forms


Live Audition Location

All live auditions will be held in the Performing Arts Center (PA/PAC).


Video Auditions

All video auditions are due by the end of the day on September 18.

Video auditions are accepted only for instrumentalists who need access to a borrowed or rented instrument before coming to WWU. 

Submit a video audition through the Large/Chamber Ensemble Audition Form for choir band and orchestra, and/or the Jazz Ensemble Audition form for jazz ensembles.

Missed Auditions?

Please contact the ensemble director to inquire if an audition in the winter or spring quarter is possible! Symphonic Band and University Choir is open all year to non-majors and minors not enrolled in private lessons without an Ensemble Audition!

2023-2024 Auditions

New students during the 23-24 academic year will participate in Ensemble Auditions in September 2023 before the start of the academic year. All audition details will be posted on this website in July 2023.

Audition Results

Audition Results for concert band, choir, and orchestra will be sent via email after 5:00 pm on September 20. Audition results for jazz big bands and combos will be sent via email by the end of the day on September 21. 

Instrumental Rentals and Lockers

We offer low-cost instrumental rentals through our instrumental library. For more information regarding instrumental rental availability please email the instrumental library. The instrument library is not regularly active during summer intersession and may not respond until closer to the start of the fall term. 

Lockers are available on a first-come, first-serve basis starting September 1, 2022, via the  Music Locker Check-Out Form

Ensemble Audition Requirements

Please contact the following instructors with questions about auditions:

Choir

Choral hearings will be held on September 19 and 20 between 9:00 am - 5:00 pm in PAC 16 the "choir room."

Use the Performing Arts Center Map to review the room location on Lower Level 2 (LL2). Use the WWU campus maps to locate the PA/PAC on north campus. More details will be sent to students via email after they sign up for a live choral hearing.

A choral hearing is required for all students to be placed into Concert Choir or Advanced Treble. 

Additionally, all music majors, minors in lessons, and all voice scholarship recipients must complete a choral hearing to be placed in a voice studio, regardless of choir group interest. 

Non-music majors/minors not participating in voice lessons can enroll in University Choir without completing a choral hearing.

 Choral Hearing Requirements

  • Sing a song of your choice, accompanied or acapella. A pianist will be provided for live hearings.
  • Given a series of pitches, sing back what you hear.
  • Sightread a simple melody. 

A hearing is not required to join University Choir unless you are a music major or taking private voice lessons at WWU. 

If you are a music major or taking private lessons, please see the hearing requirements in the section above.

University Choir, MUS 271

Band and Orchestra

Instrument Date Time Room
Strings/Harp 9/19 8:30-5:00 pm Concert Hall
Percussion 9/19 1:00-4:00 pm PAC 24 "Band Room"
Saxophone 9/19 11:00 am-12:31 pm PAC 24 "Band Room"
Oboe 9/19 5:30-6:05 pm Concert Hall
Bassoon 9/19 6:15-6:43 pm Concert Hall
Clarinet 9/19 7:00-8:17 pm Concert Hall
Flute 9/20 3:00-4:03 pm Concert Hall
Horn 9/20 8:30-9:26 am Concert Hall
Trumpet 9/20 9:26-10:57 am Concert Hall
Trombone 9/20 10:57-12:14 pm Concert Hall
Tuba/Euph. 9/20 12:14-12:56 pm Concert Hall

Use the Performing Arts Center Map to review the room locations. Use the WWU campus maps to locate the PA/PAC on north campus. More details will be sent to students via email after they submit the Large/Chamber Ensemble Audition Form.

Brass, Percussion, Woodwind

All music majors, music minors, music scholarship recipients, and those in private lessons at WWU must complete an audition. 

Non-music majors/minors interested in Symphonic Band do not need to audition and can register through Web4U. This only applies to non-music major/minor students who are not in applied lessons or music scholarship recipients. Percussion non-music majors/minors interested in Symphonic Band only should submit the Percussion Survey to assist in part assignments.

Strings and Harp

All students must audition to be placed into String Sinfonia or Symphony Orchestra. This includes non-music majors/minors, music majors, music minors, and music scholarship recipients.

Jazz

Students who also want to audition for jazz ensembles should see the jazz ensemble requirements. Please note, that music majors, music scholarship recipients, and students enrolled in applied lessons at WWU must complete a band or orchestra audition to meet their status requirements. 

Brass, Percussion, Woodwind

To audition for band and orchestra, students should prepare audition requirements assigned to their instrument through the link below.

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


Strings and Harp

To audition for Symphony Orchestra and/or String Sinfonia students should prepare the audition materials assigned to their instrument through the link below. Students who complete the orchestra audition materials will be automatically considered for both ensembles. 

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

Students will be considered for brass, woodwind, string, and mixed chamber groups based on their band and orchestra auditions. Students who missed auditions can contact the area coordinator directly for more information. An official audition may not be required.

Students can email the following directors to inquire about joining other small ensembles.

Jazz

A audition is required for all jazz ensembles.

Some students may need to complete a band, choir, or orchestra audition to meet their status as a   music major, music scholarship recipient, or co-requisite to applied lessons. See the "who must audition" under choir or band/orchestra.

All jazz auditions will be held in PAC 023 on Lower Level 2 (LL2).

Use the Performing Arts Center Map to review the room locations. Use the WWU campus maps to locate the PA/PAC on north campus. More details will be sent to students via email after they submit the Large/Chamber Ensemble Audition Form.

Prepare the following:
  • Dizzy Gillespie’s A Night in Tunisia (download below)
  • 2-octave major scales in Bb and F 
  • Sight reading

Those wanting to be section lead players may also be asked to demonstrate sound/range.  Saxophones will be asked about doubles (flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, etc…) 

Improvisation

Students may choose to improvise on Dizzy Gillespie’s A Night in Tunisia.

A Night in Tunisia Download

Download the A Night in Tunisia PDF and backing track MP3. The download includes the following keys C, Bb, Eb, and music in bass clef.

Prepare the following:
  • Performance of the melody from Dizzy Gillespie’s A Night in Tunisia (download below)
  • A full chorus with Freddie Green style chord comping on Dizzy Gillespie’s A Night in Tunisia (download below)
  • Two 2-octave major scales in the keys of your choosing
  • Sight reading of both melody and chords
Improvisation

Students may choose to improvise on Dizzy Gillespie’s A Night in Tunisia.

A Night in Tunisia Download

Download the A Night in Tunisia PDF and backing track MP3. The download includes the following keys C, Bb, Eb, and music in bass clef. 

Prepare the following:
  • Performance of the melody from Dizzy Gillespie’s A Night in Tunisia (download below)
  • 1 Chorus comping on Dizzy Gillespie’s A Night in Tunisia (download below)
  • Two 2-octave major scales in the keys of your choosing
  • Sight reading of both melody and chords
Improvisation

Students may choose to improvise on Dizzy Gillespie’s A Night in Tunisia.

A Night in Tunisia Download

Download the A Night in Tunisia PDF and backing track MP3

Prepare the following:

  • A performance of the melody from Dizzy Gillespie’s A Night in Tunisia (download below)
  • A walking bass/bassline chorus on Dizzy Gillespie’s A Night in Tunisia (download below)
  • Two 2-octave major scales in the keys of your choosing
  • Sight reading of both melody and chords
Improvisation

Students may choose to improvise on Dizzy Gillespie’s A Night in Tunisia.

A Night in Tunisia Download

Download the A Night in Tunisia PDF and backing track MP3.The download includes the following keys C, Bb, Eb, and music in bass clef. 

Voice-Can be copied from HORNS

 

Prepare the following:
  • The following grooves at the following tempos: Swing, Funk/Straight 8th, Bossa Nova, 3/4 Waltz - Quarter note = 90, 120, 180, 220.
  • A solo piece for drumset or a solo transcription may be played. 
  • Sight-read simple excerpts from a big band chart.

We may be asked a drummer to play along with a horn player.

The following requirements are for vocalists who want to audition for a jazz big band and combos. Vocal jazz will have an audition process during the first or second week of the term.

Prepare the following:
  • Dizzy Gillespie’s A Night in Tunisia (download below)
  • Two major scales of choice
  • Sight reading
Improvisation

Students may choose to improvise on Dizzy Gillespie’s A Night in Tunisia.

A Night in Tunisia Download and Lyrics

Download the A Night in Tunisia backing track MP3.

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.

Audition requirements will be posted during the first week of term with auditions happening the second week of school.

Lyrics

 

The moon is the same moon above you

Aglow with it's cool evening light

But shining at night, in Tunisia

Never does it shine so bright

 

The stars are aglow in the heavens

But only the wise understand

That shining at night in Tunisia

They guide you through the desert sand

 

Words fail, to tell a tale

Too exotic to be told

Each night's a deeper night

In a world, ages old

 

The cares of the day seem to vanish

The ending of day brings release

Each wonderful night in Tunisia

Where the nights are filled with peace

 

Each wonderful night in Tunisia

 

Written by: Frank Paparelli, John Gillespie, John Dizzy Gillespie

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Frequently Asked Questions

Students will not be able to enroll in auditioned ensembles until after placement results have been emailed to students. Each course is repeatable for credit and may be used towards graduation requirements such as upper-division (300 and 400-level courses), electives, and the 180 credits required to graduate from WWU.

Students may register for University Treble and Tenor/Bass choirs at any time through Web4U. Non-majors and minors may enroll in Symphonic Band at any time through Web4U without an audition.

Yes! Practice rooms are located on LL1 and LL2 of the Performing Arts Center and are first-come, first-serve. Priority is given to students enrolled in ensembles and lessons and majors and minors between 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. At this time reservations are not needed.

Ensembles rehearse in the Performing Arts Center, in the Concert Hall, the choir room (PAC 16), our band room (PAC 24), and in smaller classrooms if needed for chamber, jazz combos, and sectionals.

Yes! Students are welcome to join University Choir and Symphonic Band any quarter throughout the year. Those that prefer to join jazz ensembles, Concert Choir, Advanced Treble, Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, or String Sinfonia should reach out the directors for information about joining mid-year.

  • Jazz: Kevin Woods
  • Band: Christopher Bianco
  • Choirs: Tim Fitzpatrick and Angie Kasper
  • Orchestras: Ryan Dudenbostel

Yes! Private lessons are open to all students at WWU who have previous experience on their instrument or voice. Placement in studios is on a space-available basis after all majors have been scheduled. Some studios may require an official audition to be considered. Please contact the instructor or area coordinator if you are interested in taking lessons. Note that there is an applied lesson fee for these courses. It may also be possible to take lessons on a more informal basis (not for-credit) from a music student. Please contact the applied instructor for student recommendations.

Yes! We offer low-cost instrumental rentals through our instrumental library. For more information regarding instrumental rentals, please email the instrumental library (Instrument.Library@wwu.edu). The instrument library is not regularly active during summer intersession and may not respond until closer to the start of the fall term. We cannot guarantee instrument rentals for ensemble auditions.

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.