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School of Music

Ensemble Placement Auditions

It is time to prepare for ensemble placement auditions for the 2018-19 school year. ALL ensembles, except Marching Band, require an audition; this includes Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra, University Choir, Chorale, Jazz Ensemble and Combos, and Jordan Jazz. Auditions are an important part of every semester as we want to get to know each person's present ability, level, and potential.

**Please familiarize yourself with the updated Audition Policies and Procedures (see tab below) as there are some important changes.

Questions?  Please contact the School of Music office at music@butler.edu or 317-940-9246 or contact the ensemble director directly.

Audition Policies

IMPORTANT: Please read the applicable documents in full as there are several new items this year, including updates to the frequency of auditions, who is evaluating, etc.

Orchestra (bso), Wind Ensemble (buwe), Symphonic Band (busb)--Updated Spring 2018

Audition Policies and Procedures for BSO, BUWE, BUSB (printable)

  1. We will audition for BSO, Wind Ensemble, and Symphonic Band placement at the start of each fall and spring semester. Auditions will happen just before the start of classes, as close to the first day of class as possible.  The Coordinator of Outreach and Recruitment will oversee this process coordinating with the Welcome Week schedule, New World Youth Symphony Orchestra (NWYO) retreat, and with faculty.
  2. For spring semester auditions, the schedule should be determined before the end of the fall semester. The fall semester audition schedule will be included with Welcome Week information to incoming students and emailed to all incoming and returning students.
  3. Every effort will be made to have ‘blind’ auditions where the identity of the performer is unknown to the evaluators.
  4. Auditions will be grouped in schedule blocks by instruments (i.e. all violins will audition in one schedule block). Logistical and scheduling details may prevent this in some cases, but every effort will be made to keep instruments grouped together.
  5. Auditions will be evaluated by studio teachers.  These may be grouped by individual instruments (i.e. bassoon students will audition for the bassoon instructor), by groups (i.e. double reed students will audition for the oboe and bassoon instructors), or by area (i.e. woodwind students will audition for the woodwind faculty).  Details will be arranged by each area and may depend upon schedules and availability.
  6. Evaluators will rank the auditionees based upon their performance in that audition only. After the order has been determined, the identity of the auditionees will be revealed to the evaluators.
  7.  Faculty will then present this ranking to the ensemble conductors and meet with them to determine ensemble assignments (BSO, WE, SB). Ensemble assignments will be decided jointly by the studio instructors and the conductors. A bona fide schedule conflict may preclude a student’s placement in a specific ensemble. Furthermore, faculty will take into consideration previous ensemble participation, the needs of the ensembles, and the best interest of individual students when determining ensemble assignments. (i.e. ‘Wind Ensemble needs a strong EH player this semester’; ‘This student needs more orchestral experience’, etc.)
  8. Conductors will consider audition results when making part assignments for their ensembles. 
  9. Percussionists will continue to be auditioned and assigned to ensembles by the percussion faculty.
Jazz Ensemble and Combos-- Updated Spring 2018

Audition Policies and Procedures for Jazz Ensemble and Combos (printable)

  1. We will audition for Jazz Ensemble and Combo placement at the start of each fall and spring semester. Auditions will happen just before the start of classes, as close to the first day of class as possible.  The Coordinator of Outreach and Recruitment will oversee this process coordinating with the Welcome Week schedule, NWYSO retreat, and with faculty.
  2. For spring semester auditions, the schedule should be determined before the end of the fall semester. The fall semester audition schedule will be included with Welcome Week information to incoming students and emailed to all incoming and returning students.
  3. Auditions will be grouped in schedule blocks by instruments (i.e. all saxophones will audition in one schedule block). Logistical and scheduling details may prevent this in some cases, but every effort will be made to keep instruments grouped together.
  4. Auditions will be evaluated by jazz faculty.  These may be grouped by individual instruments (i.e. sax students will audition for the jazz sax instructors), by groups (i.e. brass students will audition for the brass instructors), or by area (i.e. rhythm section students will audition for the rhythm section faculty).  Details will be arranged by each area and may depend upon schedules and availability.
  5. Evaluators will rank the auditionees based upon their performance in that audition only.
  6. Jazz faculty will then present this ranking to the ensemble conductors and meet with them to determine ensemble assignments. Ensemble assignments will be decided jointly by the jazz faculty and director of jazz studies. A bona fide schedule conflict may preclude a student’s placement in a specific ensemble. Furthermore, faculty will take into consideration previous ensemble participation, the needs of the ensembles, and the best interest of individual students when determining ensemble assignments.
  7. Conductors will consider audition results when making part assignments for their ensembles. 

Audition Instructions

Butler Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Symphonic Band (bso, buwe, busb)

Brass, Woodwinds, Strings

  1. Report to the audition proctor outside of your assigned audition room at the appropriate check-in time (see "Schedules and Sign-Up Sheets" tab below). The audition proctor will have the sign-in sheet.
  2. Sign your name on the first available time slot on the audition sign-in sheet. You will be assigned a number at this time (ex. “Trumpet 4”). Your number will be called when it is your turn to audition. The audition panel will only receive your assigned number, your identity will be anonymous until all auditions are completed. NOTE: If you did not submit an Ensemble Audition Information Form online prior to your audition, you will be asked to complete a paper form when you sign in.
  3. You may warm-up in practice rooms on the 2nd floor at any time before your audition.
  4. Return to the audition room at least 5 minutes prior to your specific audition time slot.
  5. When your number is called, please enter the room, wait for the door to shut behind you, and begin playing the excerpts in the order you have prepared them. NOTE: To maintain anonymity, please do not communicate directly with the audition panel who will be situated with their back(s) to you. Any questions should be directed to the audition proctor before you enter the audition room.
  6. Once your audition is complete, you are free to leave. Each audition will take approximately 10 minutes.

Percussion

  1. Report to Lilly Hall room 320 (Percussion Studio) approximately 5 minutes prior to your scheduled audition time (see "Schedule and Sign Up Sheet" tab below). You may warm up in practice rooms on the 2nd floor at any time before your audition.
  2. Enter the audition room when your name is called.
  3. Follow instructions provided by the audition panel (percussion faculty).
  4. Once your audition is complete, you are free to leave.

Jazz Ensemble, Choral Ensembles, and Jordan Jazz

All Instruments and Voice

  1. Report to the designated audition room approximately 5 minutes prior to your scheduled audition time (see "Schedule and Sign Up Sheet" tab below). You may warm-up in practice rooms on the 2nd floor at any time before your audition.
  2. Enter the audition room when your name is called.
  3. Follow the instructions of the audition panel.
  4. Once your audition is complete, you are free to leave.

Audition Requirements and Excerpts

SPRING 2019

Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Symphonic Band

Auditions should consist of the excerpts provided below (arranged by instrument area). NOTE: For non-music majors auditioning for Symphonic Band only, you will be exempt from certain pieces; please see instructions included on the excerpts.

ATTENTION BRASS and WOODWIND students: please be sure to complete the Ensemble Audition Information Form prior to your audition (form will close at 3:00 PM on Friday, Jan. 11).

BRASS

  • Euphonium
  • Horn -- coming soon
  • Trombone -- coming soon
  • Trumpet (same as fall 2018)
  • Tuba -- coming soon

WOODWINDS

STRINGS

PERCUSSION

Jazz Ensembles/Combos (instrumental)

Jordan Jazz (Vocal Jazz Ensemble)

Choral Ensembles

  • Students should bring a short solo work/excerpt that you can sing comfortably and confidently. A work from the 24 Italian Songs and Arias, a Hymn-Arrangement or Folk-Song Arrangement is also permitted. Please bring a copy for the accompanist. The audition may also include some vocalizing and sight reading.
  • Students who do not have a solo selection may choose to sing “America the Beautiful” (click piece title for printable score).

Schedules and Sign-Up Sheets 2018-19

SPRING 2019: Sunday, January 13, 2019 (~3:30-8:00 PM)

BRASS and WOODWINDS (bso/buwe/busb)

>>ACTION ITEM: All Brass and Woodwind students must complete the following Ensemble Audition Information Form prior to auditioning (form will close at 3:00 PM on Friday, January 11).
Instrument Check-In Time** Audition Timeframe
(approximate)
Location
(LH=Lilly Hall)
Bassoon   4:30-5:30 PM LH 141
Clarinet  (incl. Eb Clarinet)   3:30-6:30 PM LH 133
Flute   5:30-8:00 PM LH 141
Oboe   3:30-4:30 PM LH 141
Saxophone   3:30-5:30 PM LH 230 (Chamber Music Room)
Euphonium   2:00-3:00 PM LH 152 (Colburn studio)
Horn   3:30-5:00 PM LH 209 (Lewis studio)
Trombone   3:30-5:00 PM LH 235 (Brass studio)
Trumpet   5:00-7:00 PM LH 235 (Brass studio)
Tuba   3:30-4:15 PM LH 152 (Colburn studio)

 

PERCUSSION (bso/buwe/busb)

Sign up for an audition slot here: Percussion Auditions Sign-Up Spring 2019

Timeframe: TBD Location: LH 320 (Percussion Studio)

 

STRINGS (bso)

Instrument Check-In Time** Audition Timeframe
(approximate)
Location
(LH = Lilly Hall)
Bass   3:30-4:30 PM LH 213 (Murray studio)
Cello   4:30-5:30 PM LH 211 (Grubb studio)
Viola   3:30-4:30 PM LH 154 (Clark studio)
Violin   4:45-7:30 PM LH 110

 

JAZZ ENSEMBLE and COMBOS

Instrument Timeframe Location Sign-Up Sheet
Bass TBD TBD

Sign up for an audition time slot here:
Jazz Ensemble/Combos Audition Sign-Up Spring 2019

 

Drums TBD TBD
Guitar TBD TBD
Piano TBD TBD
Saxophone TBD TBD
Trombone TBD TBD
Trumpet TBD TBD

 

JORDAN JAZZ (vocal jazz)

Audition Sign-Up Sheet/Audition Order Timeframe Location
Jordan Jazz

Jordan Jazz participants in Fall 2018 do NOT need to re-audition.

Students interested in joining Jordan Jazz, please contact Prof. Erin Benedict to set up an audition time at ebenedic@butler.edu

determined individually LH 212

 

CHORAL ENSEMBLES

Audition Sign-Up Sheet/Audition Order Timeframe (approx.) Location
Choral Ensemble Hearings

Sign up for an audition slot here: Choral/Voice Sign-Up Sheet Spring 2019
(you must log into GoogleDrive using your Butler email and password)

TBD TBD
Voice Studio Placement Hearings
(for First-Year and Transfers only)
Fall semester only    

 

Placement Exams (new Music Majors only)

Keyboard Skills Placement Exam

If you are an incoming first-year or transfer Music Major and DID NOT take your required Keyboard Skills Placement Exam at New Student Registration, you are required to do so during Welcome Week. NOTE: You will be emailed individually regarding your specific exam time.

Music Theory 101/111 Exemption Exam-- INVITATION ONLY

Based on the results of the Music Theory Placement Exam taken by all first year/incoming tranfer music majors, some students will be invited to take the MT 101 and/or MT 111 exemption exams. Students will be contacted individually by Dr. Jeff Gillespie, Coordinator of Music Theory, via email if they are eligible for the exam(s).

Questions?

If you have questions about the audition process or about specific ensembles, please contact the School of Music office at music@butler.edu OR contact the appropriate ensemble director below:

Chorale
Dr. Eric Stark
317-940-9981
estark@butler.edu 

University Choir
Dr. John Perkins
317-940-9636
jdperkin@butler.edu

Instrumental Jazz Ensembles
Dr. Matt Pivec
317-940-9068
mpivec@butler.edu

Vocal Jazz
Prof. Erin Benedict
ebenedic@butler.edu

Orchestra
Prof. Richard Clark
317-940-8031
rclark@butler.edu

Wind Ensemble
Prof. Michael Colburn
317-940-6672
mcolburn@butler.edu

Percussion Ensemble
Prof. Jon Crabiel
317-940-9488
jcrabiel@butler.edu