Instrumental Audition Information
Includes information on:
- Scholarship/Performance Grant Auditions
- Ensemble Seating Auditions for Symphonic Winds and Philharmonia (for students in any academic major)
- Ensemble Fellowship Stipends
Scholarship/Performance Grant Auditions
“I play a woodwind, brass, string, or percussion instrument and am interested in auditioning for entrance into the School of Music as a music major.”
The Greatbatch School of Music welcomes auditions by potential music majors beginning in the fall semester for the upcoming academic year. Students may audition for acceptance into the School of Music either before or after acceptance by Houghton College. Music scholarship decisions are made in February and March; we encourage early auditions. Established audition dates; other dates may also be arranged by telephoning 585.567.9400 or e-mailing email@example.com.
Read about our Presidential Audition competition.
- Openings. The Greatbatch School of Music has no quotas per se but typically accepts a class of first-year students numbering from 30 to 45 for the Bachelor of Music degree.
- Auditions. Entrance auditions are required of all potential music majors. Please don’t be anxious about your entrance audition. It is held in a relatively relaxed environment and is hosted by friendly faculty members—including, when feasible, the applied music instructor on the student’s own instrument—who are “on your side,” wanting you to do your best. Try to view the audition as an opportunity to form a musical and personal acquaintance, as well as a basis for future instruction, rather than as a barrier.
- Scholarships. Each auditioning student is considered for Performance Grant scholarship funding at the time of his/her audition with faculty members. Performance Grants are renewable annually, assuming maintenance of appropriate criteria. The typical holder of a performance grant will be a talented student (any instrument or voice part) who chooses a bachelor of music curriculum and/or who possesses solid skills on an instrument of particular need to our major ensembles or programs. At Houghton, a student who receives a Performance Grant may also be considered for an academic scholarship or a grant from another area of the College.
- Audition/Application Procedure. To set up an audition, submit your audition request online, download our current auditions brochure (PDF, 96KB), telephone 585.567.9400, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For your audition, please prepare two brief excerpts of your choice:
1. An expressive movement, piece, or passage in a sensitive, lyrical vein (approx. 3-5 min.)
2. A faster passage that demonstrates technical capability (approx. 3-5 min.)
This audition material typically will come from solo literature, etudes in recognized collections, or major excerpts from large ensemble literature, where appropriate. Choose passages that demonstrate your abilities well; the order in which they are played is at your discretion. It is not necessary to bring additional copies of the music for the faculty.
3. Major scales may be asked.
4. Sight reading may be asked.
(Information for all players, regardless of major)
“I want to play in Symphonic Winds (concert band) or Philharmonia (orchestra).”
- Openings. Both the Symphonic Winds and Philharmonia generally have openings in several sections, and membership is open to students of all academic majors. Students may register for 0 credit or 1 credit, whether Integrative Studies credit is specifically desired or not.
- Seating Auditions. For those interested in performing in Houghton’s large instrumental ensembles, seating auditions are asked of all new students and returning students in designated sections. Hearing each student play allows for making helpful decisions about seating placement and part assignments. Players may be seated on a rotating basis. Harpists and pianists do not need to audition and are placed in ensembles in conference with studio teachers. Non-student community members are not asked to audition and are typically not asked to play principal parts.
- Sign-Up and Audition Procedure.
Instrumental Ensemble Placement Auditions
- CFTA Room 210
- August 30-September 2nd, 2013
- Seating Audition Material. For your audition, unless specific passages are specified by the director in advance, please prepare two brief excerpts of your choice:
- 1. A slow, expressive passage in a sensitive, lyrical vein (approx. 2-3 min.)
- 2. A faster, more technically challenging passage (approx. 1-2 min.)
It is acceptable to play excerpts from solo literature, etudes in collections, or from ensemble literature, where appropriate. Choose passages that help you feel comfortable as you play.
Sight reading is not typically asked in these auditions but may be requested, on occasion.
- First-week activities in the Philharmonia and Symphonic Winds include reading rehearsals, an information-sharing session, and officer elections for the role of freshman representative. Except in the case of students participating in off-campus programs (student teaching, studying abroad, etc.), students are assumed to be committing the ensemble for the entire academic year. Please communicate with the director in advance about any possible exceptions.
- Music majors who play wind and percussion instruments are assumed to be available for both the Philharmonia and Symphonic Winds and will be placed in one or both ensembles, based on audition results—as needed, based on repertoire requirements for the season, and in conference with the Director of the School of Music.
Special Note Regarding Student Teaching
Each fall at Houghton, several instrumentalists are involved in semester-long student teaching activities and are generally unavailable for ensemble participation during this period. According to the musical requirements of the ensemble, when the student teachers return in the spring, they will typically be seated alongside players who have been playing through the fall semester. If feasible, fall student teachers are encouraged to take an audition in the fall semester with other students, and to continue practicing their primary instruments during the student teaching semester, with a view toward the spring.
Houghton Ensemble Fellowships are awarded for excellence in musical achievement and for participation in small- and/or large-ensemble music-making while at Houghton College. These Fellowships are open to all talented musicians. Fellowship stipends—available in a limited number and in limited amounts—are recommended annually, based on ensemble needs and the anticipated scope of the student’s musical contribution to the School. Fellowship recipients may also be eligible for other merit-based awards at Houghton College.