Participation in Department of Music ensembles and activities is, in most cases, by audition. There are just two ensembles that do not require prior musical experience in the idiom: the South Asian Music Ensemble and the Middle East Music Ensemble. In all cases, preference for membership in the Department of Music Performance ensembles is given to qualified students at the University of Chicago; faculty, staff, and interested community members are welcome to audition, however, and to participate in the ensembles as space permits.
No degree credit is granted for participation in any of the Department of Music’s performance ensembles or programs, but undergraduates who are accepted into one of the large performance ensembles may register for that ensemble on a zero-credit, pass-fail basis. Such quarterly ensemble registration is listed on the students’ official University of Chicago transcripts. Full information on registration procedures is provided to musicians after their acceptance into the particular ensemble(s).
Auditioning for Ensemble Membership
The main auditions for membership in performance ensembles and programs for the 2017-2018 season will be held September 20-27. Additional auditions will also take place during the first two weeks of the school year.
In some cases it is possible to audition for or join an ensemble later in the season, but most positions in the ensembles are filled at the beginning of the academic year, and thus all students are strongly encouraged to audition at that time. Returning musicians are required to re-audition each season, so there are no permanent seats within the ensembles. Undergraduate students are encouraged to participate in a variety of ensemble and program opportunities during the course of their four years on campus, in order to maximize their musical experience and growth.
How Do I Sign Up for Auditions?
To audition for participation in the Performance Program, interested musicians may register in person in the 8th floor lobby of the Logan Center for the Arts beginning Monday, September 18 at 11:00 a.m. Audition sign-ups continue through Monday, September 25.
The sign-up table will be staffed the following days and times:
Weekdays (M-F), 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Weekends (Sat/Sun), 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
For questions about auditions, call the audition hotline at 773.795.0500.
All auditionees should be sure to consult the “General Tips” listed here, and then study the specific requirements for the group(s) for which they will audition.
Arrive early in order to be on time for your appointment. Each director has a very large number of auditions to hear, and needs to keep on schedule.
Warm up thoroughly before the audition. Practice rooms on the first floor of Goodspeed Hall (1010 E. 59th Street) and the lower level of the Logan Center for the Arts (915 E. 60th Street) will be available for this purpose during the entire audition period.
You may indicate a preference for an ensemble at the time of your audition, although you will be placed in a particular group according to the directors’ evaluations of the audition.
Remember that the goal of these auditions is to involve you in our Department of Music Performance Program, and to foster your musical growth while you are at the University of Chicago. There is no reason to be nervous: come to the audition well-prepared, and demonstrate your musical strengths.