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California State University, Sacramento

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School of Music

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Ensemble Auditions


Auditions for the University Chorale (142C, Section 2, T/Th 3:00-4:50pm) are available to all Sac State students, and are typically held on the Friday before the start of the Fall semester.

Look for a sign up sheet to be posted on the door to Capistrano 421. Sign up for a 10-minute slot. 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! You will also be asked to sight-read from a choral score to determine your abilities to read and sight-read music. Contact Dr. Kreckmann if you have any questions. NOTE: Auditions for the Concert Choir (142C, Section 1, T/Th 1:30-2:45pm) are not required, and the ensemble is open to any Sac State student with singing experience.

Dr. Andrew Kreckmann, Director of Choral Activities
(916) 278-6805

Symphony Orchestra

The Symphony Orchestra is open via audition to any qualified Sac State student, regardless of major. Wind/Brass auditions are held concurrently with Concert Band/Wind Ensemble auditions, which are typically held on the Friday before the start of the Fall semester (see the audition info below).

String entrance and seating auditions will happen on the first Tuesday of class each Fall. Strings will be asked to play a major and minor scale and some excerpts from the upcoming orchestra season. Please contact the orchestra director, Ryan Murray, to sign up for a specific audition time and to receive a copy of the audition excerpts and scales.

Ryan Murray, conductor

Concert Band/Wind Ensemble

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble is our select wind band, while the Concert Band provides an additional outlet for those wishing to further their studies in wind literature and performance. Any Sac State student with music experience can audition for either group. Placements in these ensembles are determined by audition. The Symphonic Wind Ensemble rehearses MWF, Noon – 1:15 p.m. The Concert Band rehearses MWF, 1:30-2:45 p.m.

Auditions are typically held on the Friday before the start of the Fal semester. For general information, review the Audition Guidance Sheet.

Each audition will last about four minutes. Wind and Percussion placement in the Symphony Orchestra will also be part of this audition process. All auditions are performed unaccompanied. Sight-reading or scales will not be included in the audition process. Please be warmed up ahead of time arrive early to the posted audition time for your instrument to fill out the required paperwork.

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

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. Auditions are typically held on the Friday before the start of the Fall semester in Room 303.

Horn Players (trumpet, trombone, saxophones):
The sole basis for placement in the large instrumental jazz ensembles will be sight-reading. During the sight-reading audition, consideration will be given to time, feel, tone quality, intonation and assertiveness. Several styles, such as swing, contemporary, funk, ballad and Latin, may be used in the audition. Those students interested in playing a jazz chair in a band and/or playing in a jazz combo will be asked to improvise on a standard set of chord changes at sight with a play-a-long recording.

Rhythm Section (piano, bass, drum set, guitar, vibes): 
Each student will be asked to read a variety of jazz literature as well as just playing time (comping). In addition, each rhythm section player will be asked to solo over a standard set of chord changes. Drummers should know all styles of drumming including, but not limited to, up-tempo and medium swing, jazz waltz, funk, shuffle, bossa nova, samba, etc.

  • Jazz Ensemble I (MUSC 143J, section 1 meets on T/Th 1:30 – 2:45 pm)
  • Jazz Ensemble II (MUSC 143J, section 2 meets on T/Th 3:00 – 4:20 pm)
  • Jazz combos are arranged following the placement of the Sac State Jazz Ensembles

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

Vocal Jazz Ensembles

Auditions for Sacramento State Vocal Jazz groups are held throughout the summer by appointment only. Auditiions 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.

Professor Gaw Vang, Director
(916) 842-0346