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 . 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.
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.
Auditions for participation in the Autumn Quarter 2020 have ended. Typically, auditions are only held once per academic year, at the beginning of autumn quarter. Due to the current circumstances, a second round of auditions for the Performance Program will be held at the beginning of winter quarter. More details will be announced soon.
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.
Musicians who are unable to submit a pre-recorded video for any reason may email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a live audition via Zoom or to make other arrangements.
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.