Music Performance Ensembles Audition Information & FAQs

Note: to sign-up for a placement audition for the Concert Band, String Orchestra, or Small Ensemble, please visit AA338. To sign-up for a placement audition for the Concert Choir, please sign-up via the INTRANET.

Does UTSC have music performance ensembles and if so, what are they?
When and where are the UTSC Music Performance Ensemble rehearsals held?
Do I have to audition for the music performance ensembles?
When and where will auditions take place for the 2017-18 academic year?
Auditions make me nervous and I’m not sure I’m good enough. Should I audition anyway?
What do I need to prepare for my audition?
I’m interested in Jazz. Are there any opportunities to get involved?
Can I get a credit for participating in UTSC’s Music Performance Ensembles?
Do I have to take UTSC’s Music Performance Ensembles for credit in order to participate?
If I choose to participate as a non-credit member, what will be expected of me?
Does UTSC rent instruments for student use?
Does UTSC have space to practice?
What instruments are normally accepted in each of the UTSC Instrumental Ensembles?
What if I play an instrument that isn’t traditionally found in one of the UTSC Instrumental Ensembles?

 

Does UTSC have music performance ensembles and if so, what are they?

Yes! UTSC has several music performance course offerings from which to choose. Here is a list of our current offerings:

  • Concert Band (LEC01): VPMA73, VPMA74, VPMB73, VPMB74, VPMC73, VPMC74
  • String Orchestra (LEC02): VPMA73, VPMA74, VPMB73, VPMB74, VPMC73, VPMC74
  • Small Ensemble: VPMA68, VPMA69, VPMB68, VPMB69, VPMC68, VPMC69
  • Concert Choir: VPMA70, VPMA71, VPMB70, VPMB71, VPMC70, VPMC71

 

When and where are the UTSC Music Performance Ensemble rehearsals held?

The Concert Band, String Orchestra, and Small Ensembles each have a 2-hour weekly rehearsal. The Concert Choir meets for a 3-hour weekly rehearsal. The following are the rehearsal times:

  • Concert Band: Thursdays, 5-7pm (AA303)         First rehearsal: Jan 11
  • String Orchestra: Fridays, 1-3pm (AA303)         First rehearsal: Jan 12
  • Small Ensemble: Tuesdays, 5-7pm (AA303)    
  • Concert Choir: Mondays, 5-8pm (AA303)           First rehearsal: Jan 8

 

Do I have to audition for the music performance ensembles?

Yes. Auditions are held at the start of each of the Fall and Winter terms to determine placement within each of the music performance ensembles. In addition to fall and winter, the Small Ensemble course series is also offered during the summer months with auditions held in early May. Audition sign-up sheets will be posted on the instructor’s office door a minimum of one week prior to the auditions.

 

When and where will auditions take place for the 2017-18 academic year?

  • Concert Band: (Sign-up at AA338)
  • String Orchestra: (Sign-up at AA338) 
  • Small Ensemble: Please contact Dr. Brett Kingsbury at brett.kingsbury@utoronto.ca
  • Concert Choir: Please sign-up via INTRANET. For more information please contact Lenard Whiting at lwhiting@utsc.utoronto.ca

 

Auditions make me nervous and I’m not sure I’m good enough. Should I audition anyway?

ABSOLUTELY!!! It’s worth the risk and you won’t know until you try. The auditions are set up in a friendly environment. Instructors are here for you and will be able to provide you with valuable feedback in order to help you improve as a musician. And if you’re not quite ready to participate in one of the ensembles, there are several options we can suggest that may help prepare you for entry and membership during the following semester or academic year.

 

What do I need to prepare for my audition?

Audition requirements are specific to each ensemble. Please read carefully.

  • Concert Band: one 2-octave major scale and one 2-octave minor scale, your choice (NOT B-flat concert); one chromatic scale, 2-octaves (starting note professor’s choice); two contrasting selections (1-2 minutes each), your choice (excerpts permitted; percussionists MUST supply your own sticks and mallets – selections should demonstrate your work on EACH of the following – snare drum AND xylophone); sight reading (provided by professor); and a brief interview regarding your musical experiences and reasons for wanting to join the ensemble.
  • String Orchestra: one 2-octave major scale and one 2-octave minor scale, your choice; one chromatic scale, 2-octaves (starting note professor’s choice); two contrasting selections (1-2 minutes each), your choice (excerpts permitted); and a brief interview regarding your musical experiences and reasons for wanting to join the ensemble.
  • Small Ensemble:
    • Pianists: major, harmonic minor, melodic minor, and chromatic scales on a particular key, your choice, 2 or 4 octaves depending on the previous experience of the pianist (4 octaves if RCM Gr. 8 level or higher); two contrasting musical selections, 2-3 minutes each in length, your choice (excerpts permitted).
    • Woodwinds, Brass and Percussion: one 2-octave major and one 2 octave minor scale, your choice (NOT B-flat concert); one chromatic scale, 2-octaves (starting note professor’s choice); two contrasting selections, your choice (excerpts permitted; percussionists MUST supply your own sticks and mallets – selections should demonstrate your work on EACH of the following – snare drum AND xylophone)
    • String Instrumentalists: major, harmonic minor, melodic minor, and chromatic scales on a particular key, your choice, 2 or 3 octaves depending on the previous experience of the string player (3 octaves if RCM Gr. 5 level or higher); two contrasting musical selections, 2-3 minutes in length, your choice (excerpts permitted).
    • Acoustic and Electric Guitar, and Electric Bass: one 1-octave major scale and one 1-octave minor scale; two contrasting musical selections, 2-3 minutes each in length, your choice (excerpts permitted).
    • ALL AUDITIONERS: You will also be required to sight read a short excerpt and there will be a brief interview to discuss your musical experiences and expectations and goals in joining the ensemble.
  • Concert Choir: Sing and match a pitch played on the piano; Sing an exercise to demonstrate your vocal range by singing high and low; Sing a scale (major and minor); Sing back a couple of simple melodies played on the piano; Identify common chords used in standard Western music compositions (e.g.: major and minor triads, dominant 7th chords); Sight sing a music example; and sing a solo (optional).

 

I’m interested in Jazz. Are there any opportunities to get involved?

Jazz Band is not offered during the 2017-18 academic year. Depending on enrollment, jazz combos may be available through the Small Ensemble series. Contact Dr. Brett Kingsbury (brett.kingsbury@utoronto.ca) for details. 

 

Can I get a credit for participating in UTSC’s Music Performance Ensembles?

Yes you can! Actually, there are two options from which you may choose:

  1. Graded stream for credit. Students will work to earn a numerical grade throughout the semester. Course work includes performance work (private practice, rehearsals, sectionals, and concerts); attending and writing about professional performances; and midterm and final performance assessments.
  2. Credit stream for credit. Students will work to earn a CR status on their transcript. Course work includes performance work (private practice, rehearsals, sectionals, and concerts); attending professional performances; and midterm and final performance assessments.

 

Do I have to take UTSC’s Music Performance Ensembles for credit in order to participate?

Concert Band, String Orchestra, and Concert Choir are open to the UTSC community for non-credit status, including students, staff, faculty, and alumni. Students interested in Small Ensembles must take the course for either graded or credit options.

 

If I choose to participate as a non-credit member, what will be expected of me?

A successful music ensemble comprises a dedicated and engaged membership. The performance and attendance expectations in this stream are the same as those of all members of the ensemble, ensuring a balanced and fair approach for all. This includes performance work (private practice, rehearsals, sectionals, and concerts); attending professional performances held on campus; and midterm and final performance check-ups and feedback.

 

Does UTSC rent instruments for student use?

UTSC has a limited number of instruments available for student use. These include: 1 piccolo; 1 oboe; 1 bass clarinet; 2 bassoons; 1 baritone saxophone; 1 trumpet; 2 trombones; 1 bass trombone; 2 euphoniums; 2 tubas; 3 violas; 2 double basses; and a broad range of percussion equipment (students are required to have their own sticks and mallets). These are available on a first-come first-served basis once the auditions have been completed. Please contact ACM Departmental Assistant (AA341) for policies and guidelines regarding instrument rental.

 

Does UTSC have space to practice?

Yes, we have a suite of on-site practice rooms equipped with pianos conveniently available for student use. Please contact ACM Departmental Assistant (AA341) for policies and guidelines regarding space usage.

 

What instruments are normally accepted in each of the UTSC Instrumental Ensembles?

UTSC music performance ensembles are made up of a different assortment of instruments. Here are the instruments that are normally found within each:

  • Concert Band: Piccolo; Flute; Oboe; English Horn; E-flat Clarinet; B-Flat Clarinet; Alto Clarinet; Bass Clarinet; Bassoon; Alto Saxophone; Tenor Saxophone; Baritone Saxophone; Trumpet; Cornet; French Horn; Trombone; Bass Trombone; Euphonium; Tuba; String Bass; Percussion
  • String Orchestra: Violin; Viola; Cello; Double Bass
  • Small Ensemble:    Piano; Guitar (Acoustic and Electric); Bass Guitar; Accordion; Voice; Violin; Viola; Cello; String Bass; Piccolo; Flute; Oboe; B-Flat Clarinet; Bass Clarinet; Bassoon; Soprano Saxophone; Alto Saxophone; Tenor Saxophone; Baritone Saxophone; Trumpet; Cornet; French Horn; Trombone; Bass Trombone; Euphonium; Tuba; Percussion
  • Concert Choir:    Soprano; Alto; Tenor; Baritone; Bass

 

What if I play an instrument that isn’t traditionally found in one of the UTSC Instrumental Ensembles?

If your instrument is not found on the lists above, please make an appointment to speak with us. We’d love to hear about you, your instrument, and your experiences as a musician. We will do our best to make sure you are able to engage with our music community during your time at UTSC.