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School of Music

Ensemble Placement Auditions

Ensemble auditions will be held virtually rather than in-person for Fall 2020.

See "Audition Instructions" tab below.

ALL ensembles, except Marching Band, require an audition every fall and spring semester; 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 make note of audition schedules and requirements below as well as familiarize yourself with the Audition Policies and Procedures.

Questions? Please contact the School of Music office at music@butler.edu or 317-940-9065 or contact the ensemble director directly.

Ensemble Info & Rehearsal Times

Note: Schedules/format subject to change for Fall 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Bands

Wind Ensemble (upper level concert band)

  • Instructor/Director: Prof. Michael Colburn
  • Course #: ES 120
  • Rehearsals: Mon/Wed/Fri, 2:25-4:25 PM

Symphonic Band

  • Instructor/Director: Dr. Brian Weidner and Dr. Matt Smith
  • Course #: ES 116
  • Rehearsals: Mon/Wed/Fri, 2:25-4:25 PM 

Choir

University Choir

  • Instructor/Director: Dr. John Perkins
  • Course: ES 117
  • Rehearsals: Mon/Wed/Fri, 12:30-1:50 PM

University Chorale

  • Instructor/Director: Dr. Eric Stark
  • Course: ES 118
  • Rehearsals: Mon/Wed/Fri, 12:30-1:50 PM

Orchestra

Symphony Orchestra

  • Instructor/Director: Prof. Richard Clark
  • Course: ES 122
  • Rehearsals: Tues/Thurs, 2:30-5:30 PM

Jazz

Jordan Jazz (vocal jazz ensemble)

  • Instructor/Director: Prof. Erin Benedict
  • Course: ES 104
  • Rehearsal: TBA (typically evening times one weekday per week)

Jazz Ensemble

  • Instructor/Director: Dr. Matt Pivec
  • Course: ES 124
  • Rehearsal: Mon/Wed, 6:30-8:00 PM

Jazz Combos

  • Instructors/Directors: Dr. Matt Pivec, Prof. Sean Imboden, Prof. Jesse Wittman, Prof. Sandy Williams
  • Course: ES 127
  • Rehearsals: Fridays, 12:00-1:30 PM

Other Instrumental Ensembles**

**Do not require an audition during regularly scheduled ensemble auditions. Contact individual ensemble directors for information.

Percussion Ensemble

  • Instructor/Director: Jon Crabiel (jcrabiel@butler.edu)
  • Course: ES 106
  • Rehearsals: Tues/Thurs, 12:00-1:30 PM

​Composer's Orchestra//New Music Ensemble

  • Instructor/Director: Dr. Frank Felice (ffelice@butler.edu)
  • Course: ES 108
  • Rehearsals: Wednesdays, 8:00-10:00 PM

Marching Band

  • Instructor/Director: Dr. Matt Smith (mjsmith3@butler.edu)
  • Course: PWB 140 (Marching Band)
  • Rehearsals: Mon/Wed/Fri, 4:45-6:30 PM (until season ends shortly before finals)

Basketball/Pep Band

  • Instructor/Director: Dr. Matt Smith (mjsmith3@butler.edu)
  • Course: ES 121 (Spring)
  • Rehearsals: Friday, 4:35-6:35 PM

Audition Policies

Orchestra (bso), Wind Ensemble (buwe), Symphonic Band (busb)

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 anonymous 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

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 for Fall 2020

Instructions for Virtual Ensemble Seating/Placement Auditions for Fall 2020:

 

INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLES (incl. jazz ensemble)
  1. Record yourself (AUDIO ONLY to help us maintain anonymity) performing your excerpts in the order in which they are provided. Excerpts are posted at butler.edu/music/wwauditions. If you have any questions about the excerpts, contact your applied lessons instructor or music@butler.edu. As with live, anonymous auditions, please refrain from speaking during your recording.
  2. Once your audio recording is ready, fill out the following form which includes a section to upload your audio file: Ensemble Placement/Seating Audition Submission Form Fall 2020. It is important that you have the recording files ready to upload before you access the form as you will only be allowed one attempt to complete it. If you are auditioning for Jazz Ensemble/Combos, you will be prompted with a separate upload button specifically for your Jazz audition. NOTE: All audio files will be renamed before sharing with applied faculty and ensemble directors to maintain anonymity. Your identity will be revealed to ensemble directors and applied faculty AFTER they rank the auditions for seating.
  3. Your completed form with audio recording is due no later than 10:00 PM (EST) on Thursday, August 20, 2020. NOTE: Ensemble rosters will be announced via email prior to the start of classes. If there are any technological issues or if communication of the rosters is otherwise delayed, we will let everyone know ASAP.
CHORAL ENSEMBLES

For Fall 2020, we will likley have groups of 4-8 singers each instead of our traditional University Choir and Chorale ensembles in order to maximize social distancing space while singing. Please attend an organizational meeting for all choral ensemble members at 12:30 PM on Monday, August 24 to discuss details. With these changes, only certain student groups will be required to complete an audition/hearing by submitting an audio recording. Please view specific audition and registration guidelines for each student group in the table below, including audition instructions below the table:

STUDENT GROUP NEED TO AUDITION? NEXT STEPS:
First-year students and non-majors (including EPS winners) No Register now for ES 117 “University Choir”
Sophomores and above who wish to join University Choir No Register now for ES 117/317/517 as appropriate
Students who wish to join Chorale for the first time (must be sophomores or higher) Yes

Register now for ES 118/318/518 as appropriate

Submit audition recording here by 10:00 PM (EST) Thursday, August 20. See instructions below table.

Returning Chorale members from 2019-20 No Register now for ES 118/318/518 as appropriate.

Any student wanting to join Chamber Singers
(regardless of class standing, including those who may have been in Chamber Singers in a previous semester)

Yes

Submit audition recording here by 10:00 PM (EST) Thursday, August 20. See instructions below table.

Wait for invitation to a call-back audition, to be held on Friday, August 28, 2:00 PM

 

INSTRUCTIONS for AUDITION RECORDING SUBMISSION:

  1. Record yourself (audio only) singing no more than 16 measures of a solo selection (art song, folk song or hymn tune arrangement) a cappella with no piano or recorded accompaniment.
  2. Once your audio recording is ready, fill out the following form which includes a section to upload your audio file: Choral Hearing Submission Form 2020. It is important that you have the recording file ready to upload to the form before you access the form as you will only be allowed one attempt to complete it.
  3. Your completed form with audio recording is due no later than 10:00 PM (EST) on Thursday, August 20, 2020. NOTE: Ensemble rosters will be announced via email prior to the start of classes. If there are any technological issues or if communication of the rosters is otherwise delayed, we will let everyone know ASAP.

Audition Requirements and Excerpts

FALL 2020

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.

BRASS

WOODWINDS

STRINGS

  • Bass-- updated 7/1/2020 to include optional Bartok excerpts
  • Cello
  • Violin I, Violin II NOTE: All violins are encouraged to prepare the Violin I excerpts; however, students who do not feel they are suited for those parts may choose to prepare the Violin II excerpts instead. You do NOT need to prepare both.
  • Viola

PERCUSSION

Jazz Ensembles/Combos (instrumental)
Jordan Jazz (Vocal Jazz Ensemble)
Choral Ensembles
  • For Fall 2020, see "Audition Instructions" tab. All students who are required to submit an audition recording should record themselves (audio only) singing no more than 16 measures of a solo selection (art song, folk song or hymn tune arrangement) a cappella with no piano or recorded accompaniment.
  • 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 2020-21

FALL 2020

INSTRUMENTAL ENSEMBLES

Concert bands and orchestra will be reconfigured for the fall semester in order to maintain social distancing protocols while still providing high-quality ensemble experiences. Specific details will be shared directly with students via email announcements throughout the summer.

  • Butler Symphony Orchestra, Butler University Wind Ensemble, Butler University Symphonic Band: virtual auditions only. See "Audition Instructions" tab. Audition recordings must be submitted by 10:00 PM (EST) on Thursday, August 20 via the Ensemble Placement/Seating Audition Submission Form Fall 2020.
  • Jazz Ensemble/Combos: TBA
CHORAL ENSEMBLES

For Fall 2020, we will likley have groups of 4-8 singers each instead of our traditional University Choir and Chorale ensembles in order to maximize social distancing space while singing. Please attend an organizational meeting for all choral ensemble members at 12:30 PM on Monday, August 24 to discuss details. With these changes, only certain student groups will be required to complete an audition/hearing by submitting an audio recording.

  • Only certain groups will be required to audition, please view specific audition and registration guidelines for each student group in the "Audition Instructions" tab. Those groups who are required to audition must submit their audition recording on the Choral Hearing Submission Form by 10:00 PM (EST) Thursday, August 20.

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. If you did not complete the Keyboard Skills Placement Exam at your registration date, you will need to complete it during Welcome Week. Email music@butler.edu with questions/ to set up a 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