Ensemble Information for Non-Music Majors

Ensemble performers at Western University

Do you play an instrument or sing? Are you a current or incoming Western student?

If you answered "Yes" to both questions, consider auditioning for one of our outstanding music ensembles (If you're a current or confirmed incoming student in the Don Wright Faculty of Music, please click here for complete Ensemble info for Music students. The information below is specific to non-Music Western students.)

Being a member of an ensemble can be an integral part of your experience at Western. Our award-winning choral and instrumental groups perform a range of repertoire from early music to jazz.

  • Visit the Large Ensemble webpage for complete audition information, and rehearsal information once finalized*. Each instrument has separate requirements. Large ensembles are blended courses so instruction will be both in-person and online.
  • Most large ensemble auditions are taking place virtually during the summer of 2022 and the audition deadline is September 7, 2022 at noon. Please see more detailed audition information below and review the Audition FAQ. If it is not possible for you to audition virtually over the summer contact mpsdept@uwo.ca.
  • The recommended audition excerpts for winds, brass, percussion, and strings are available in the sidebar on this page. Non-Music majors interested in auditioning for winds or brass, may substitute an etude of their own choice for one or two of the recommended excerpts. We hope to see lots of new faces at the large ensemble auditions, especially low brass players.
  • If possible, it is recommended that students keep the Monday to Thursday 3:30-5:20pm time slot open in order to be considered for the largest number of ensembles.
  • A wide variety of additional Music courses available for non-Music majors are listed here.

2022 Audition Information

Woodwind, Brass, and String instruments

Recorded audition submission guidelines:

  • Audio/video is preferred but audio only will be accepted if a video is not possible.
  • Say your first and last name at the beginning.
  • Performance order:
    • Use the order specified on the revised excerpt list.
    • Include all of the specified scales/excerpts. However, Non-Music majors interested in auditioning for winds or brass may substitute an etude of their own choice for one or two of the recommended excerpts.
    • You are not required to include the optional excerpts. However, if you are able to play those excerpts, we encourage you to include them.
    • Those students interested in a jazz ensemble placement are expected to do the required excerpts plus the jazz excerpt.
  • When you finish, upload your recording to YouTube, and provide a link to it in your ensemble audition form by September 7, 2022 at noon.

If you cannot upload the video, please contact mpsdept@uwo.ca.


Percussion

Percussionists will audition in-person at the beginning of September given the wide range of instruments needed for audition purposes. Percussionists should contact mpsdept@uwo.ca by August 31, 2022 to request an in-person audition. Fill out the ensemble audition form by September 7, 2022 at noon and enter ‘NA’ in any box that asks for an audition video link.


Voice

Choir Placements

All students who wish to participate in a choir during the 2022-23 academic year must complete a Choir Placement. This includes completing an online Choir Placement Request form and submitting a short vocal range recording by Friday, August 12, 2022, and singing a short, prepared excerpt and a sight-singing exercise over Zoom with the choir conductors between August 31 and September 7, 2022.

Follow these steps to prepare for your Choir Placement:

1. Create a recording to demonstrate your vocal range. (You will be asked to upload a link to this recording when you complete the online Choir Placement Request form.)

  • You may record audio only or video with audio. Choose a recording device and platform that is easily accessible to you.
  • Be sure to say your name at the beginning of your recording.
  • Sing along with this recording of vocal exercises. It may not be possible for you to sing the full range demonstrated in the recording, so sing only to the limit of your comfortable vocal range in each exercise.
  • Upload your recording to an online platform that will allow you to share an access link with us (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, YouTube, etc.). The online Choir Placement Request form will ask you for this link. Double check that the access settings will allow anyone with the link to access the file without special permissions.
  • These recordings will help us determine both the tone quality of your voice and the most suitable choral part for you.

2. Complete the online Choir Placement Request form by August 12, 2022.

  • Questions on the form include basic contact info, 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 the online Choir Placement Audition. Available dates include August 31, September 1, 6 and 7, 2022.

3. Prepare the excerpt for your Choir Placement.

  • If you have very limited or no choir experience, please 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.
  • If you have previous choir experience, please prepare to sing your voice part from m. 1-8 of the Choir Placement excerpt.

4. Complete your short (5 min.) online Choir Placement with the choir conductors. (August 31, September 1, 6 and 7, 2022)

  • Check the  schedule for your Choir Placement time.
  • During the online meeting (via Zoom), you will have the opportunity to sing your prepared excerpt and complete a short sight-singing exercise using screen share. (If you know you will be in a location where your internet will not be reliable, please email mramsay9@uwo.ca in advance and we can complete the audition using phone and email.)

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


Contact Information

Thank you for your interest! We look forward to seeing you in September. For more information on joining an Ensemble at the Don Wright Faculty of Music, please contact us.

Undergraduate Assistant
Catherine Fraser
Talbot College, room 210
519-661-2111 x85402
mpsdept@uwo.ca

Academic Departments & Student Services Office Assistants
Laura Altenmueller and Olena Bratishko
Talbot College, room 210
519-661-2111 x85332
mpsdept@uwo.ca