Office of Student Activities

Audition and Ensemble Information


Piano Class Auditions

Auditions will be held Friday, August 25th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in ESM 209, 320, 442, 443. (Required for all entering undergraduate ESM students, except applied piano and organ majors and students whose primary instrument is piano). An audition is designed to place incoming students in appropriate piano class or to exempt students from piano class study. Students exempted on the basis of previous experience and achievements have the option of electing private secondary piano lessons. Students with no previous piano instruction will be placed in PCL 101; no audition is needed.

Students who have studied piano are required to play two solos (one Baroque and one of any other style) representing performance ability on the piano, whether as the result of formal lessons or self-study. Solos should be chosen from standard teaching repertory. Students should prepare a list of repertory studies encompassing the last two or three years. For further information on the Class Piano Program at Eastman, go to

Students who are exempted by audition from any required piano class instruction may take private, half-hour lessons (6PA 103, two credits per semester) as an elective. Information concerning registration for lessons and assignment to a piano teacher will be available at the piano class auditions. 

Instrument Ensemble Auditions

Instrument Ensemble Auditions: Wednesday, August 30th – Friday, September 1st

Only string students who wish to be considered for principal positions in the orchestra are required to perform an audition during Orientation in the fall. This is a change from previous years. An audition for all freshmen and new transfer students will be held in December, but not during Orientation. Eastman conductors, members of the RPO, and ESM String Department will be listening to auditions. A website will be established that will allow students to sign up for an audition time on-line.

If you would like to be considered for a principal position, please log in through the following link using the password below for complete details and required repertoire:
Password: 2017auditions

If you have any questions about these auditions, please contact Kathy Zager, Ensemble Librarian and Operations Manager at or 585.274.1447. 

Wind, brass, percussion and harp students are not required to audition for ensemble participation.  Studio faculty in these areas make the ensemble assignments throughout the year.


Eastman conductors, members of the RPO and ESM String Department will be listening to auditions.  Auditions will be 10 minutes in length.  Sign-up sheets will be posted outside the Ensemble Library, OSL 201.

Instrumental Ensemble Orientation Session
Required of all students in instrumental ensembles (choral or jazz ensembles not required).

Friday, September 1, 1:45 p.m. -2:30 p.m. 
Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

Come meet the conductors and assistants and learn about “Guidelines for Ensemble Participation.” Please gather in the Hall not on the stage!

Large Jazz Ensembles and Small Group Auditions

Specific audition details will be posted on the Eastman School Annex 6th floor “Jazz Bulletin Board” and outside the Copy/Mail Room – Music Department, River Campus 1-315 Dewey (for the interest of River Campus students). 

For Jazz Majors Only
Wednesday, August 30 is auditions for large and small jazz ensembles.

Rhythm Section:  2:00-3:30 p.m.

Saxophones (and doubles): 3:30-5:00 p.m.

Trumpets:  6:00-7:00 p.m.

Trombones:  7:00-8:00 p.m.

Improvisation: 8:00-9:00 p.m.

For NON-Jazz Majors Only

Thursday, August 31  Room  RWR 120

6:30-9:30 p.m. Saxophones (and doubles), Trumpet, Trombones and Improvisation (optional). The schedule will be in the above order, the duration of each portion to depend on the number of students auditioning. A rhythm section will be provided for the improvisation portion.

Horn, Tuba, Vibraphone: please come and fill out a card so that we have your information. You will be contacted if and when these instruments are needed.

For River Campus Jazz Ensemble Auditions
Those interested should call 585.273.5157

Choral Auditions for Eastman Chorale, Repertory Singers, Women’s Chorus, and the Eastman-Rochester Chorus

All singers, new or returning, who intend to participate in choral ensembles either semester must audition. Students should sign up for a specific eight-minute audition. Signup sheets will be posted on the bulletin board outside of Room 606 in the Annex. Auditions will be heard in Annex 606 as well.

Friday, August 25th 2 p.m. -5 p.m. – FRESHMAN WOMEN 

Monday, August 28th 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Tuesday, August 29th 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Choral rehearsal times are as follows:

Chorale: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 1:35 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Repertory Singers: Monday and Wednesday 3:35 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Eastman-Rochester Chorus: Tuesday 7:30 p.m. – 9:45 p.m.

Women’s Chorus: Thursday 6:45 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.

Choral Rehearsals begin Wednesday, August 30th. 

Chorale Ensemble Participation Requirements for Voice Majors
All incoming voice majors and all returning singers who will participate in choral ensembles either semester must audition at the beginning of the fall semester.

Undergraduates: Six semester, 12 credit requirement from first semester freshman year through second semester junior year

Undergraduate Transfers: Every semester through the second semester junior year.

Graduate Students: All entering graduate students in voice are required to participate in a choral ensemble and must audition in August.  They will participate in a minimum of one semester during the first year of graduate study, as determined by the director of choral activities.

Opera Auditions for Voice Majors

Auditions for opera roles: October 2nd and 3rd, 2017 

All singers, both new and returning, interested in performing opera roles must audition. These auditions will be for the casting of the spring production (The Light in the Piazza – Kodak Hall – April 5, 6, 7 & 8, 2017). Auditions will be limited to eight minutes. Wilson Southerland will be available to accompany (or you may provide your own accompanist). The requirement for this audition will be one selection from the show or from the style of the show.

Prior to auditions, arrange a rehearsal with Wilson on the sign-up sheet posted outside his studio, Room 808A.  Please consult with your voice teacher before auditioning.  Mr. Steven Daigle, Mr. Stephen Carr and Mr. Benton Hess are available to answer any questions about auditions and opera courses.  Please sign up for an audition time on the sign-up sheet posted outside Room 805A the last full week of September. Further details regarding the opera audition process will be discussed at the Voice Majors Meeting.

New Graduate Student Informal Sing
Tuesday, August 29th starting at 7:00 p.m. in Room 804A.

All new graduate students must sign up for a time. Please prepare one aria of your choice. An accompanist will be provided. Please sign up for a time on the sign-up sheet which will be posted outside Room 805A on Tuesday, August 22nd.

Meeting for all Voice Majors Graduate and Undergraduate (applied music, music education, theory)
Wednesday, September 6th, 5:00 p.m., Hatch Recital Hall. The entire vocal faculty will attend this meeting. This is your chance to meet with members of the department and ask questions about the curriculum.

Chamber Music Information and Course Offerings

Orientation MeetingAll brass, woodwind, string, and keyboard undergraduate and graduate students interested in registering for chamber music at Eastman this year are required to attend an orientation meeting on Wednesday, August 30, 5:00-6:00 p.m. in Hatch Recital Hall.

One group only! Except in unusual cases, we will limit your participation to one chamber music group per semester. All group members must be registered for some section of Chamber Music (even for zero credit) in order to receive coachings.

Auditions for anyone wanting to participate in ESM Chamber Music:

Pianists: Auditions will be on Thursday, August 3 and Friday, September 1; a sign-up sheet will be posted for these outside ESM 315 before the first week of classes. These informal auditions are required for all pianists interested in playing chamber music for the first time at ESM in 2017-18. Plan to play parts of 2 contrasting solo pieces. If you have played chamber music in the last year at ESM, you don’t need to audition.

Strings: Auditions are only required for incoming transfer students, new grad students, and any current students who have never taken chamber music at Eastman. A sign-up sheet for these will be posted for these outside ESM 315 before the first week of classes.

Winds and Brass: No auditions necessary.

Chamber Music HoursOfficial chamber music hours at Eastman are T/Th, 3:30-5:30 p.m.. If you are taking chamber music, you should be free at this time. Please plan to use this time to schedule weekly coaching or rehearsals.

Music For All is the community performance component of the chamber music program. More details about the how the program works will be shared at the organizational meeting and at the beginning of the spring semester.

Honors Recitals: Groups that have prepared an entire work during the semester may audition to take part in the chamber music honors recitals in Hatch Recital Hall at the conclusion of each semester.

Course Offerings
For more details on all these courses and other information about chamber music at Eastman, please attend the orientation meeting on August 30, 5:00-6:00 p.m. in Hatch Recital Hall.

Introduction to the String Quartet CHB 181/182 (Strings)
First year violin, viola, and cello performance majors should register for this required yearlong course taught by the Ying Quartet.  The first class session will be on Tuesday, September 5, 12:35-1:25 p.m..

Introduction to the Woodwind Quintet CHB 181/182 (Winds)
All freshman and transfer wind players (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and horn) are required to participate in this seminar and will be assigned to a woodwind quintet as space allows. There will be a short, mandatory meeting on Tuesday, August 29, at 2:00 p.m. in ESM 320.   Please contact Professor Anne Harrow at for more information.

Chamber Music CHB 281/282 for Brass
All brass players who want to participate in chamber music must attend the chamber music orientation meeting on August 30 mentioned above.

Two Piano/Four-hand Piano Seminar CHB 281/282
Open to all undergraduate and graduate piano performance majors (freshmen must have permission of their studio teacher). The first class will be on Monday, September 11, 12:30-2:30 p.m. in ESM 442. Students can register as pre-formed duos or individuals, and everyone should plan to play a short solo selection for Prof. Freer at this first class meeting in order to be paired into duos and assigned repertoire.

Chamber Music 281/282 (undergraduate) and 481/482 (graduate)
Sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students who want to participate in chamber music should register for this course.  Students can register as pre-formed groups or individuals. If registering as an individual, the faculty will form groups as they are able, based on the level and availability of players.  Repertoire will be suggested/assigned by faculty; student requests for repertoire are encouraged and, in most cases, honored.

Chamber Music Intensive is an advanced course geared towards upperclassmen and may not be offered each semester. Enrollment is by invitation of the faculty only. The course combines coachings with seminar meetings, and is designed for chamber music groups who are seeking a higher level experience, particularly those who may be preparing for special performance projects or competitions. 

Graduate Chamber Music Seminar is open to graduate instrumentalists wishing to pursue an in-depth, pre-professional chamber music experience. It is especially designed for grad students with prior experience in chamber music and is open to individuals as well as pre-formed groups.

Students interested in the course will need to play an audition for Prof. Hwang on Thursday, August 31, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. There will be a sign-up for these posted outside ESM 315.

Baroque Chamber Music (CHB 277)
The Baroque Chamber Music Ensemble performs Baroque chamber music (trio sonatas, quartets, duets, cantatas, etc.) on modern or historical instruments. Participants will be divided into ensembles according to their own preferences as well as the requirements of the instructor to create manageable and viable groups. The class meets on Mondays, 6:35-8:25 p.m.

For more details on all these courses and other information about chamber music at Eastman, please attend the orientation meeting on August 30, 5:00-6:00 p.m. in Hatch Recital Hall.

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