2024-25 ensemble audition excerpts have been updated. Access information is in the grey sidebar of this webpage. The Ensemble (Instrumental) Audition Form will be available in early August.

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. 

All MMus in Performance students are required to participate in at least one Large Ensemble to fulfill the degree's Ensemble milestone.

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 Monday to Thursday, 3:30 to 5:30pm 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 mramsay9@uwo.ca 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: 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, email mpsdept@uwo.ca prior to the deadline to add courses on September 13, 2024.

2024-25 Large Ensembles

*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, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic 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 5:30pm, two days per week (see the Rehearsal Details section below for complete information). Extra dress rehearsals are scheduled before each concert and performances are generally held outside of the normal rehearsal times.

2024-25 First Rehearsals

Early Music Studio – Monday, September 9, 3:30pm (Organizational Meeting)
Symphony Orchestra – Tuesday, September 10, 3:30pm
Wind Ensemble – Monday, September 9, 3:30pm
Symphonic Band – Tuesday, September 10, 3:30pm
Jazz Ensemble – Thursday, September 12, 7pm
Opera – Monday, September 16, 5:50pm
Les Choristes – Tuesday, September 10, 3:30pm
Chorale – Monday, September 9, 3:30pm
Western University Singers – Monday, September 9, 3:30pm

Check with your ensemble leader or mpsdept@uwo.ca for rehearsal location information.

2024-25 Rehearsal Details



Rehearsal Days

Rehearsal Time

Orchestra TBA Tue & Thu 3:30 to 5:30pm
Wind Ensemble Colleen Richardson Mon & Wed 3:30 to 5:30pm
Symphonic Band TBA Tue & Thu 3:30 to 5:30pm
Jazz Ensemble Kevin Watson Tue & Thu 7 to 9pm
Early Music Studio Joseph Lanza Mon & Wed 3:30 to 5:30pm
Accompanying TBA N/A  
Western University Singers (SATB) Mark Ramsay Mon & Wed 3:30 to 5:30pm
Les Choristes (SA) Tracy Wong Tue & Thu 3:30 to 5:30pm
Chorale (SATB) Tracy Wong Mon & Wed 3:30 to 5:30pm
Opera Die Fledermaus
Music Director: TBA
Stage Director: TBA

Die Zauberflöte
Music Director: TBA
Stage Director: TBA

Opera Gala
Music Director: TBA
Stage Direction: TBA
Mon 5:30 to 9pm

Concert Attire

Choral and Instrumental Concert Attire

Full-length black skirt or black dress pants, black blouse or dress shirt (at least three-quarter length sleeves), black socks or tights, black dress shoes.

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

Ensemble Auditions

Admission to all Ensembles is by audition. 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 just in case they are not admitted to accompanying for credit.

Accompanying for credit auditions for all returning students will take place in a live audition on Friday, September 6 from 9am-12pm. Check with Christine Tithecott at ctithec@uwo.ca for location information. Students will sign up for an audition time online. 

Audition requirements include: one solo piano piece, one collaborative test piece and a quick study that will be distributed 24 hours before the audition time. The collaborative test piece will be announced in August. Any students interested in auditioning for accompanying for credit should contact Christine Tithecott at ctithec@uwo.ca to express their interest throughout the summer months.


Choir Placements

All students who wish to participate in a choir during the 2024–25 academic year must complete a Choir Placement.

  1. Complete the online Choir Placement Request Form ASAP.

    • Questions on the form include basic contact information, program of studies, previous choral experience, and choir preference for this year.
    • You will have the opportunity to indicate what day you would like to complete your Choir Placement. Available dates include September 3, 4, and 5.
  2. Prepare the Choir Placement Excerpt.

    • If you have previous choir experience, prepare to sing a voice part of your choice from Choir Placement Excerpt #1 OR Choir Placement Excerpt #2 (Choose ONE.)
    • If you have very limited or no choir experience, prepare to sing a short (1 min. max.) excerpt of an unaccompanied song of your choice. It can be in any style and any language.
  3. Complete your Choir Placement with the choir conductors (September 3, 4, and 5).

    • Check the Choir Placement Schedule for your time.
    • During the Placement, you will have the opportunity to sing your prepared excerpt and complete some simple vocal exercises and sight-singing exercises with the choir conductors.

If you have any questions about the process, please contact Dr. Mark Ramsay, Coordinator of Choral Activities at mramsay9@uwo.ca

Large Instrumental Ensembles – Strings

2024-25 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. Those auditioning for violin, viola, cello, and double bass may prepare 2 of the 4 listed excerpts.

String auditions will be on September 6. Students must also complete an Ensemble Information Form and book an audition time online

Large Instrumental Ensembles – 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. Students wishing to audition for the Jazz Ensemble must play an additional Jazz piece for the Director of the Jazz Ensemble. Rhythm section auditions for Jazz Ensemble will take place on September 6.

Winds, brass, and percussion auditions will be on September 3 and 4. Students must also complete an Ensemble Information Form and book an audition time online.

2024-25 Ensemble Placement Lists

Ensemble placement lists for 2024-25 will be available on Monday, September 9 at 12 pm on a password-protected page.