Information for current and incoming music students

Click here to scroll down to general ensemble information for all Western students.

Click here to learn more about non-Music major opportunities.

Large Ensemble Participation

Every music student registered for Undergraduate Applied Music instruction (except Music 1925, 2925, 3925 or 4925) must participate in a Large Ensemble in each year of registration. Students registered in Graduate Applied Music instruction need only register in Large Ensemble for one of their two years (9528). Graduate students studying an orchestral instrument must also do an additional half course in Chamber (opera) Orchestra unless they are participating in the Early Music Studio.

**Please note that all students must audition on their principal instrument for every year that they are required to be in a large ensemble.

Students must be able to attend every weekly rehearsal in order to be placed in a choir/ensemble. Choristers and instrumental brass, woodwind and percussion players are advised to keep Mon-Thurs 3:30-5:30 p.m. available in their schedules until their ensemble is assigned.

If wind, brass, percussion, or string majors do not audition at an appropriate level, or skip the audition process, the ensemble directors may choose to refuse them instrumental ensemble placement. The instrumental ensemble directors will notify the appropriate students of non-placement by the Sunday following auditions. In such cases, it will be the responsibility of the student to arrange a choral audition by contacting Patrick Murray (pmurra29@uwo.ca) by Monday, September 9, 2019 to schedule an audition Placement in any ensemble is not guaranteed.

Please note, the audition is one step among several in determining Large Ensemble assignments. Other factors, such as course requirements, levels and ensemble assignments in previous years, will also be taken into account. The final decision on assignments rests with the Dean’s Office on the advice of the auditioners.

A note for non-music majors: please be aware that Large Ensemble is a zero-weighted course and cannot be counted for course credit. If you wish to have it appear on your transcript even though it does not count for credit, you may see the Undergraduate Assistant in Talbot College 210 prior to the deadline to add courses (Sept. 13) to pick up a signed Special Permission form and Add/Drop form to take back to your own Faculty.

Large Ensembles offered in 2019-2020 are:

*Admission to these ensembles is by audition and studio teacher permission. Also note that Opera does not fulfil the Large Ensemble Requirement for Undergraduate Programs; a separate course credit is offered.

Keyboard majors, guitarists: A few pianists will be able to elect Accompanying for Large Ensemble credit (see below), but most keyboard players and guitarists will audition on a secondary instrument or sing in a choir. They should therefore follow the audition instructions for voice or orchestral instruments.

Woodwind, Brass and percussion majors are eligible to audition for the Symphony Orchestra, any Band or the Jazz Ensemble.

All string players, other than guitar, must play in the Symphony Orchestra unless by permission of the department.

Large Ensemble Rehearsals

Large Ensemble rehearsals are not like other classes or labs, but rather like a professional service; attendance is mandatory. Instrumental rehearsals are normally held from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. two days per week. Choirs rehearse for one hour, four days per week. Extra dress rehearsals are scheduled before each concert and performances are generally held outside of the normal rehearsal times.

Rehearsal Details



Rehearsal Day

Rehearsal Time


Orchestra S. Luti Tues, Thurs 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. MB 27
Wind Ensemble C. Richardson Mon, Wed 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. MB 27
Symphonic Band C. Richardson Tues, Thurs 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. MB 227
Jazz Ensemble K. Watson Tues, Thurs 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. MB 27
Early Music Studio J. Lanza Mon, Wed 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. MB 210
Accompanying C. Tithecott N/A   MB 308
Western University Singers P. Murray, K. Allan Mon, Wed 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. MB 254
Les Choristes K. Allan, P. Murray Mon, Wed 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. TC 100
St. Cecilia Singers G. Gassi Mon, Wed
Tues, Thurs
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. MB 227
MB 254
Chorale P. Murray Tues, Thurs 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. TC 100
Opera La finta giardiniera:
Music Director: S. Luti
Stage Director: T. Baerg

The Mikado:
Music Director: S. Luti
Stage Director: M. Cavanagh

Opera/Musical Theatre Gala:
Music Director: S. Luti
Stage Direction: TBA
Mon 5:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. MB 254
Chamber Music T. Wiebe, J. Starling N/A

First Rehearsals for the 2019-2020 Season

Early Music Studio (Organizational Meeting) - Monday, Sept. 9: 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. (MB 210)
Symphony Orchestra - Tuesday, Sept. 10: 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. (MB 27)
Wind Ensemble - Monday, Sept. 9: 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. (MB 27) will be a general meeting (instruments needed, but no music required); Wednesday, Sept. 11: 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. (MB 27) will be the first rehearsal
Symphonic Band - Tuesday, Sept. 10, 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. (MB 227) will be a general meeting (instruments needed, but no music required); Thursday, Sept. 12: 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. (MB 227) will be the first rehearsal
Jazz Ensemble - Thursday, Sept. 12: 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. (MB 27)
Opera - Tuesday, Sept. 10: 5:30 - 9:00 p.m. (MB 227)
Choirs - TBA for Les Choristes, Chorale, St. Cecilia Singers, and Western University Singers (all choir rehearsal locations are listed above)

Choral Concert Attire

Men: black tuxedo, white shirt, black bow tie, black dress shoes, black socks. *Please note: All Men will also require a long sleeved black dress shirt (to be worn with a tie), black dress pants and a black dress belt.
Women: full-length black skirt, long-sleeved black blouse, flat or low-heeled black dress shoes.

**Please Note: All choir members are required to provide their own black folder.

Instrumental Concert Attire

Men: Black tuxedo, white shirt, and black bow tie, black dress shoes and black socks.
Women: Full-length black skirt or black pants, long-sleeved black blouse, and black dress shoes.

Ensemble Auditions

Admission to all Ensembles is by audition. Auditions are held during the first week following Labour Day, and, if necessary, during the first week of classes. Accompanists are only required for the Opera auditions.

Accompanying for Credit

Accompanying for Credit is permitted as an alternative to participation in a choir for piano students in second, third or fourth year, and in first year with permission of the instructor and the Performance Department Chair. To obtain this credit, accompanists must accompany for all lessons, rehearsals, juries, and/or recitals, one Performance major or two non-performance majors. All piano performance majors are required to accompany for credit for at least one year.

Students registering for accompanying for credit should audition for a choir or other ensemble in the event that they are not admitted to accompanying for credit.

Students interested in taking Accompanying for Credit please email the Accompanying for Credit Coordinator: Christine Tithecott ctithec@uwo.ca

Date of Auditions (2019): Thursday, September 5, 9:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

Please sign up for an audition on the door of MB 308 and contact the coordinator before the audition date if you require an accommodation due to a course conflict.

Audition requirements:

  • 2 contrasting solo pieces (memorization not required)
  • Green from Ariettes oubliées by Claude Debussy
  • Sight reading

All accepted students are required to attend a meeting on Friday, September 13 at 12:30 p.m. in MB 308.


2019-2020 Choral auditions will be held in MB 541 on:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 4: 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 - 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 5: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 - 5:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 6: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Voice auditions are 5 minutes in length. There will be a range test, scales, arpeggios and sightsinging. Please sign up for an audition early in the week because there are too many singers to be heard near the end of the week. Sign-up sheets for choirs will be on the door of MB 545.

Early Music Studio

Early Music Studio (EMS) is available as a course credit (course 2971a/2972b, 3971a/3972b, 4971a/4972b, 9568a/9569b).

2019-2020 Auditions for Early Music Studio will be held in MB 210 on:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 4: 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, Sept. 5: 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Sign-up sheets for EMS will be on the Performance Department bulletin board across from the Music Library.

The Early Music Studio focuses on music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries - sometimes a little earlier, and sometimes a little later. We strive to recreate music of this period by discovering the performance style in use at the time of its composition. Because the ensemble includes performance on copies of period instruments, it operates at a lower pitch: usually, A=415, sometimes, A=430. At the audition instrumentalists must be prepared to perform a short excerpt from the period 1600-1750.


2019-2020 String auditions are held for the Western Symphony Orchestra and Chamber (opera) Orchestra. All string majors will audition for placement in The Western Symphony Orchestra for their Large Ensemble credit. Sign up sheets for Strings will be on the Performance Department bulletin board across from the Music Library. Those auditioning for violin may prepare 2 of the 4 listed excerpts.

Auditions will take place in von Kuster Hall on: 

  • Friday, Sept. 6: 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. (Violins and Violas)
  • Friday, Sept. 6: 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (Celli and Basses)

Winds, Brass and Percussion

All wind, brass and percussion students will audition for the Western Symphony Orchestra, the Western Wind Ensemble, the Western Symphonic Band, and the Western Jazz Ensemble (Winds and Brass only for Jazz Ensemble) and the Chamber (opera) Orchestra on the following 2019-2020 dates. Students wishing to audition for the Jazz Ensemble must audition during the regular audition times listed for all Winds and Brass, plus play an additional Jazz piece for the Director of the Jazz Ensemble. Rhythm section auditions for Jazz Ensemble will take place on Friday, Sept. 6 in MB 27 beginning at 4:30 p.m. Sign-up sheets for Winds, Brass and Percussion will be posted on the Performance Department Bulletin Board across from the Music Library.

Auditions will take place in MB 27 unless otherwise noted:

Wednesday, September 4

Saxophones 8:30 a.m. - 10:36 a.m.
Euphoniums 10:40 a.m. - 10:55 a.m.
Oboes 11:05 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.
Bassoons 11:55 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Clarinets 1:00 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.
Flutes 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Trumpets 3:36 p.m. - 4:48 p.m.
Trombones/Tubas 4:54 p.m. - 5:24 p.m.
Horns 5:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Percussion 7:00 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.

Thursday, September 5

Saxophones 8:30 a.m. - 9:11 a.m.
Euphoniums 9:12 a.m. - 9:17 a.m.
Oboes 10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
Clarinets 10:50 a.m. - 11:30 p.m.
Bassoons 11:40 p.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Flutes 1:00 p.m. - 2:10 p.m.
Trumpets 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Trombones/Tubas 4:15 p.m. - 4:56 p.m.
Horns 5:10 p.m. - 5:50 p.m.
Percussion 7:00 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.

Large Ensemble Audition Excerpts for Instrumentalists (Updated April 2019):

  • All excerpts can be downloaded from the secure page on our website: click here.
    (use the username and password listed below for access).
  • All wind and brass students auditioning for Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Chamber (opera) Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble shall prepare all excerpts listed on the secure page.
  • Percussionists should prepare all percussion excerpts, also listed on the secure page.
  • All string audition repertoire can also be downloaded from the secure page on our website: click here.

username: excerpts
password: 2019


See the "Opera Audition" section of the Music Performance Studies (MPS) Department Handbook.

Chamber Ensembles, Contemporary Music Studio, Collaborative Musicianship

Visit the Chamber Ensembles, Contemporary Music Studio, Collaborative Musicianship section of the Music Performance Studies (MPS) Department Handbook. Please note these are not Large Ensembles.