Do I have to be a Music Major or Music Minor to participate in the performance program?
No. Membership in the performance ensembles is open to all University of Chicago students, both undergraduate and graduate, regardless of major or academic concentration.
Do I earn degree credit for my participation in the performance program?
No. All components of the Department of Music’s performance program are co-curricular, and thus do not require tuition payment nor contribute credit toward an academic degree.
How do I get into a performance ensemble?
Most of the ensembles hold auditions at the beginning of the academic year, starting during Orientation Week itself. Several of the ensembles do not require a formal audition for membership: i.e., Early Music Ensemble, Javanese Gamelan, and Middle East Music Ensemble. See individual ensemble descriptions for more information.
Are the auditions highly competitive?
The degree of competitiveness varies from ensemble to ensemble and also from year to year, depending on the particular pool of auditionees. For the main instrumental and vocal auditions, students may express their preference for a particular ensemble, but they are placed in accordance with audition results and ensemble needs. In the case of limited seating in an ensemble or section, preference for membership is given to registered University of Chicago students. The vast majority of students who audition for the performance program are placed in one of the ensembles, or in a chamber music group.
How often do the ensembles rehearse?
Most ensembles rehearse just once a week. Several ensembles – e.g., University Symphony and University Chamber Orchestra – have periodic sectional rehearsals as well, plus an additional rehearsal the week before a concert. One ensemble – i.e., the Motet Choir – rehearses three times a week. See individual ensemble descriptions for more information.
May I participate in more than one ensemble?
Yes. Rehearsal schedules and concert dates are all arranged to allow instrumentalists and singers to participate in more than one ensemble. The Department of Music encourages students to explore the full range of performance opportunities on campus.
Do I have to participate in a performance ensemble all year long?
Generally musicians are both encouraged and expected to participate in the performance ensemble(s) all year long. If a student is studying abroad for a quarter, or has other extenuating circumstances, then she or he can take a leave of absence from the particular ensemble and re-join later in the year.
Do I have to have my own instrument?
Generally, yes. The Department of Music does own some large band and orchestral instruments that are available for student use: e.g., string basses, a couple of violas, several bassoons, a bass clarinet, a tenor and baritone saxophone, as well as several school piccolos. Instruments are issued to the most qualified players who request them, and who plan to participate in a performance ensemble.
The Department also owns a number of specialty instruments for the Early Music Ensemble, and of course the Javanese Gamelan.
There are several instrument stores in the area that rent instruments. See repair options, listed below.
Where can I get my instrument repaired?
String repairs are best handled by the Bowen Violin Shop in Hyde Park, which also sells strings, rosin, mutes, etc.
Repairs to woodwind and brass instruments can generally be accomplished by Quinlan & Fabish, which has a representative who comes to campus once a week for pick-up and delivery.
Reeds and accessories are best purchased through a reliable online source.
For serious or complicated instrument repairs, ask Barbara Schubert, Director of Performance Programs.
Where can I obtain sheet music?
A range of printed music for solo instruments and ensembles is available in Regenstein Library. The music holdings are located in the third floor stacks, and are available for browsing as well as check-out.
Standard repertory sheet music as well as public domain orchestral parts can be obtained at the following website.
How can I find a private teacher in the area?
The Department maintains a list of affiliated and recommended private instructors who teach on campus or in the Hyde Park neighborhood.
For other recommendations, ask Barbara Schubert, Director of Performance Programs.
What pianos are available for practice purposes?
Goodspeed Hall has practice rooms on the first floor, which are available for student use on a first-come, first-served basis. Currently ten of the Goodspeed practice rooms have pianos.
The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, which will open at the beginning of spring quarter 2012, will include another twenty practice rooms: ten with grand pianos, and four with upright pianos, and six for other instrumental practice.
How can I get an instrument locker in Goodspeed or in the new Logan Art Center?
Instrument lockers in Goodspeed Hall can be requested through the Department of Music Main Office.
Procedures for requesting instrument lockers in the new Logan Center for the Arts have not yet been determined.
back to top