Participation in Department of Music ensembles and activities is, in most cases, by audition. For the 2020-21 academic year, auditions may be completed via pre-recorded video or live over Zoom (non-jazz instrumental auditions only). Your audition helps performance program directors get to know you and your musicianship, enabling them to match you with performance opportunities best suited to you.
Ensemble directors aren't looking for a professional quality recording or a pristine performance. They just want to get to know you and hear how you play, so choose audition repertoire that will allow you to put your best foot forward. For tips on recording an audition video, see our basic recording guide here. Please note that video auditions are recommended whenever possible, since access to practice rooms will be limited during Week 1 of Autumn Quarter.
Preference for membership in the Department of Music Performance ensembles is given to qualified University of Chicago students (both undergraduate and graduate). Faculty, staff, and interested community members are welcome to audition for the Department ensembles as well, and will be invited to participate as space permits.
All students who participated in a performance ensemble or program in the 2019-20 academic year may register for the same ensemble this year without re-audition. For information on how to register, visit the "Registration & Credit" page (link in sidebar). Students who want to participate without formally registering, or non-students who are interested in continuing in an ensemble, should contact the ensemble or program director by email to confirm their interest.
Returning students interested in placement in a different ensemble should follow the instructions below to submit an audition.
Musicians New to the Performance Program
All students who have not previously participated in the Performance Program, including incoming undergraduate and graduate students, as well as returning students interested in joining a new ensemble, are required to complete an audition for placement in the large instrumental ensembles (University Chamber Orchestra, University Symphony Orchestra, University Wind Ensemble, and Percussion Ensemble), large choral ensembles (Motet Choir, Rockefeller Chapel Choir, University Chorus, and Women's Ensemble), or the Chamber Music, Vocal Studies, and Piano Programs. The Early Music Ensemble, Middle East Music Ensemble, South Asian Music Ensemble, and Afro-Cuban Folkloric Ensemble do not require auditions. Instead, interested musicians should attend the digital open house for the appropriate ensemble during Week 2 of the quarter. Visit each individual ensemble page for more information and to sign up for the open house.
For the 2020-21 academic year, auditions can be completed by submitting a pre-recorded video or by auditioning live over Zoom from October 1-5 (instrumental auditions only). Because access to campus practice rooms and University instruments will be limited, all students are encouraged to submit a pre-recorded audition video whenever possible.
Instrumentalists, including pianists, who are unable to submit a pre-recorded video may sign up to perform a live audition via Zoom. Live auditions for all instruments except piano will take place from October 1-5; live piano auditions will take place after October 5 and will be scheduled individually by the director of the Piano Program.
All new students interested in the large instrumental and choral ensembles as well as the Chamber Music, Vocal Studies, and Piano Programs are encouraged to submit a pre-recorded audition video. The deadline for video submissions is Friday, October 2 at 5 p.m. Access to practice rooms on campus will be limited, so students are encouraged to record their audition before arriving on campus. Students will not be allowed to sing or play their instruments in their dorm rooms at any time.
Specific requirements for instrumental, jazz, vocal, and piano auditions and links to submission forms are available below:
Real Time Zoom Auditions
Instrumentalists, including pianists, who are unable to submit a pre-recorded video may sign up to perform a real-time live audition via Zoom. Select your audition time via the audition link provided below. Vocalists who are unable to submit a pre-recorded audition video should email choral directors Mollie Stone and James Kallembach to inquire about alternative options.
Live auditions for all instruments except piano will take place from October 1-5; live piano auditions will take place during Weeks 2 and 3 and will be scheduled individually by the director of the Piano Program.
Students living in the dorms will not be allowed to play their instrument(s) in their dorm room at any time. Students will need to come to the Logan Center and conduct their audition from one of the designated Zoom audition rooms at their scheduled time.
If you are unable to perform a live Zoom audition during the October 1-5 period because you do not have access to your own instrument or because you are subject to the extended 14-day quarantine, you should still schedule a Zoom audition for October 1-5. In that Zoom meeting, the Director of Performance Programs will work with you to discuss procedures to access a University instrument and to schedule a subsequent audition.