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School of Music College of Arts & Letters

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Ensemble Auditions

Band

Wind and Percussion Auditions for Fall 2021 will be conducted by video submission. Completing the video audition is a three-step process. You do not need to be a music major to participate in these ensembles, but you must complete an audition.

First, students interested in Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, and the Symphony Orchestra wind and percussion sections should fill out the Audition Registration form:

Audition Registration

Second, once they have filled out the form, students should download the appropriate excerpts for their instrument and prepare the excerpts for recorded performance. Please perform the excerpts in the order they are presented. Practice pads are OK for the snare drum excerpts if a snare drum is not available.

Audition Excerpts

Third, students should then video themselves (with a phone or webcam or some other video recording device) performing the excerpts. The camera device should be placed where the student and the instrument the student is playing is in full view and not with the bell pointed directly at the camera. Videos should also not be edited in any way and students should perform all required excerpts in one sitting. Once students complete their videos, they should upload them (you may have to sign in with your Google credentials):

Upload Your Video

Audition video submissions are due by midnight on Monday, August 23, 2021. Videos will be reviewed students placed in the appropriate ensemble prior to the start of school. The excerpts went live on Monday, August 2, 2021, so you have three weeks to prepare them.

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble (MUSC 142W) meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12:00-1:15pm. The Concert Band (MUSC 142B) meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1:30-2:45pm.

Contact
Dr. Matthew Morse, Director of Bands
(916) 278-6468

Choirs

Auditions & Hearings will take place in Capistrano 151 on Friday, August 27 from 10:00am-5:00pm & Sunday, August 29 from 2:00-6:00pm. *Masks and social distancing will be observed for all auditions. Proof of vaccination will permit the student to remove their mask for the actual audition/hearing.

Sac State offiers three Classical choirs:

University Singers (M/W; 12:00-1:15) - 142C-01

Choral Union (Tuesdays, 6:00-8:30) - 142U-01

University Chorale (T/Th, 3:00-4:50) - 142C - 02

SIGN UP TO AUDITION

The Sacramento State UNIVERSITY CHORALE, a highly-select group of 36-40 singers (SATB choir), performs challenging a cappella and accompanied choral literature reflecting a variety of styles, genres, and time periods. Membership is open to ALL students by audition, regardless of major or classification. It is expected that members are able to learn notes and rhythms outside of class. Conductor – Dr. Andrew Kreckmann (Contact)

The Sacramento State UNIVERSITY SINGERS, a select group of 20-24 singers (treble voices [SA]), performs difficult a cappella and accompanied choral literature reflecting a variety of styles, genres, and time periods. Membership is open to ALL students by audition, regardless of major or classification. It is expected that members are able to learn most notes and rhythms outside of class. Conductor – Dr. Andrew Kreckmann (Contact)

What do you need to prepare for the audition (University Chorale or University Singers)?

  • Not much - a great attitude and a love of singing!
  • We will vocalize you to determine range/voice part.
  • Bring a solo to sing, ANY style or genre. It should display the best qualities of your voice. A hymn-tune or folk song work just as well.
  • I will ask you to sight-read from a choral score to determine your abilities to read and sight-read music.

The Sacramento State CHORAL UNION is a larger ensemble (SATB) open to any student with some prior singing experience, regardless of major or classification. The ensemble performs annual seasonal concerts and sings a variety of a cappella and accompanied choral music. All music is learned in class and is geared towards those individuals developing their vocal skills. Also, this choir is a great way to meet people and friends from other majors! Conductor – Dr. Brett Judson (Contact)

**There is no formal audition required for Choral Union. Please schedule a hearing time from the audition link above, so that you can be placed according to appropriate voice part.

Contact
Dr. Andrew Kreckmann, Director of Choirs

Jazz Ensembles (Instrumental)

Placement in all Sacramento State Jazz Ensembles - big bands and combos - is by audition only. You do not need to be a music major to be considered for these groups.

Instrumental jazz ensemble auditions for Fall 2021 will take place on Friday, August 27, in Capistrano Hall 303 starting at 10:00 am.

Sign Up to Audition

  • Wind instruments (trumpet, trombone, saxophone): Prepare two medium-tempo or up-tempo jazz standards or etudes in contrasting styles. Be prepared to accurately perform the melody of the tune and improvise over the chord changes accompanied by live musicians or accompaniment tracks provided by you. We provide a sound system for laptop computers, iPods, iPhones, and similar devices. We do not provide accompanying musicians for auditions. You will also sightread a jazz etude or an excerpt from big band literature to evaluate rhythm, time, and note accuracy in a consistent time feel.
  • Guitar, Piano, and Vibraphone: Prepare two medium-tempo or up-tempo jazz standards or etudes in contrasting styles. Be prepared to accurately perform the melody of the tune, perform a chord melody (solo guitar), “comp” the chord changes, and improvise over the chord changes accompanied by live musicians or accompaniment tracks provided by you. We provide a sound system for laptop computers, iPods, iPhones, and similar devices. We do not provide accompanying musicians for auditions. You will also sightread a jazz etude or an excerpt from big band literature to evaluate rhythm, time, and note accuracy in a consistent time feel. A guitar amp and vibraphone are provided.
  • Bass: Prepare two medium-tempo or up-tempo jazz standards or etudes in contrasting styles. Be prepared to accurately perform the melody of the tune, provide a bass line (comp), and improvise to the chord changes accompanied by live musicians or accompaniment tracks provided by you. We provide a sound system for laptop computers, iPods, iPhones, and similar devices. We do not provide accompanying musicians for auditions. You will also sightread a jazz etude or an excerpt from big band literature to evaluate rhythm, time, and note accuracy in a consistent time feel. A bass amp is provided.
  • Drum set: Prepare two medium-tempo or up-tempo jazz standards or etudes in contrasting styles accompanied by live musicians or accompaniment tracks provided by you. We provide a sound system for laptop computers, iPods, iPhones, and similar devices. We do not provide accompanying musicians for auditions. You will also be asked to demonstrate proficiency in a variety of jazz-related styles and meters and to sightread an excerpt from a big band chart to demonstrate your ability to play a consistent groove in the style, play set-up figures, and notated ensemble cues. A drum kit is provided, but candidates should provide their own cymbals and sticks.

The Jazz Ensembles (MUSC 143J) meets on Tuesday and Thursday from 1:30 – 2:45 pm (section 1) and from 3:00 – 4:20 pm (section 2).

Contact
Dr. Steve Roach, Director of Jazz Studies
(916) 278-7987

Orchestra

Winds/Brass and Percussion - auditions for orchestra, wind ensemble, and concert band are held concurrently. Please see the Band section of this page for more information

Strings - New string players should contact Ryan Murray to set up an audition time. Please prepare both a major and minor scale (preferably 3 octaves) and a short solo piece. For returning string players, no entrance audition is required and seating auditions will take place during class time a few weeks into the semester.

The Symphony Orchestra meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30-6:30pm.

Contact
Ryan Murray, Director
(916) 278-7987

Vocal Jazz

Auditions for Fall 2021 Sacramento State Vocal Jazz groups will be held by appointment only (zoom or live-in person) now through July. Auditions typically consist of the following:

  • Performance of a prepared song, preferably a jazz standard. Examples: "Summertime," "Autumn Leaves," "Route 66," and "My Funny Valentine", etc. You can also audition with a pop song. Please have the sheet music and/or lead sheet available at your audition. If you have questions about this requirement, feel free to email Professor Williams and she will help guide you. Improvisation is not required in your audition.
  • Ear training exercises. You will hear a melodic line of three or four pitches on the piano, and you will be asked to sing them back. You will hear a chord with 3-4 notes and in no particular order will be asked to sing each individual note within that chord. You'll be given a starting pitch and asked to sing notes that are certain intervals away (up a 5th, down a minor 3rd, etc.).
  • Range testing. You'll be asked to sing major and/or minor triads from starting pitches, and your comfortable and usable voice range will be determined.
  • Quick sight-reading and part learning. You will be given a short, one-page section of a vocal jazz ensemble tune, and you'll be asked to sight-read your part along with a recording of the song. The accompanist will work with you on the part briefly and give you another chance to read the line with the recording. Be prepared to stay focused, relaxed, and to demonstrate your flexibility and quick-learning skills, while watching your intonation and blend as well.

Contact
Professor Gaw Vang, Director
(916) 842-0346