Brown University Orchestra
MUSC 0610/0611

About Auditions

Each fall, all students interested in joining the orchestra are required to audition, including returning members. Only students who were abroad or away during the fall are required to audition at the start of the spring semester. Orchestra auditions are held each September during the first week of classes of the fall semester. The audition lasts approximately 10 minutes and begins with a three-minute excerpt of a work of your choice - a piece that displays your best playing (usually an etude or movement of a suite, partita, sonata, or concerto). You may bring a second contrasting piece, but it is not required. In addition, you will be asked to sightread and play scales. Any student who plays a secondary instrument, like piccolo, English horn, E flat clarinet, bass clarinet, etc., is encouraged to bring it to the audition, if possible. No distinction is made between music and non-music concentrators in the orchestra - our philosophy is to judge chair placement based on audition and performance in rehearsal/concerts. Inital chair placement will be determined by the fall audition and is subject to change.

For Prospective Members

Freshman are encouraged to join and visit the Orchestra Open House, where they can meet the conductor as well as upperclassmen in the orchestra. Chair placement is not determined by class year - freshman have the same shot as everyone else who auditions. Although orchestra is a time commitment, students taking the most difficult course loads at Brown still find the time to perform.

Music for an audition can be obtained at the Orwig Music Library. Instruments to use or practice on for an orchestra audition (especially large instruments such as the marimba, harb, tuba, etc.) can be arraged by emailing the conductor. There is no reason that you should not be able to audition for the orchetra. If you have any concerns at all, don't hesitate to contact the conductor by email.

Course Information

A practical study of the orchestral repertoire from Bach to the present, offered through rehearsals and performances. Enrollment is by audition and written permission. Restricted to skilled instrumentalists. May be repeated for credit. Written permission required. S/NC.

Guidelines for Participation
  1. Membership in the Brown University Orchestra is open to all undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty, staff and members of the Brown community. Membership is also open to RISD students and members of the RISD community. Students from other area colleges and universities, pre-college students and community members may also audition for the orchestra and may be offered membership if openings exist. Generally, Brown University undergraduates comprise about 90% of the orchestra, undergraduates from RISD and other colleges about 5%, and community members about 5%.

  2. Sign up for an audition even if you have been a member of the Brown University Orchestra in a previous year. All prospective and returning members are required to audition each September. To get an audition time, go to the Music Department homepage and click on the appropriate link for audition sign-ups.

  3. Play an audition during the first week of classes in September. Bassists, harpists, and percussionists should audition in AlumnaeHall.

  4. Once auditions have been completed, the roster of Brown University Orchestra will be announced on the date of the first rehearsal. If selected as a member of the orchestra, then you should register for MUSC 0610. Registration for MUSC 0610/0611 is not required for membership in the orchestra, but is strongly encouraged. The Music Department staff in Orwig 101 will have a copy of the roster and be able to sign your permission slip.

  5. One half-credit will be awarded for each semester of participation in the Brown University Orchestra with registration for MUSC 0610 or 0611. Students who do not register for credit are encouraged to register as an Audit.

Rules of the Course
  1. Attend all rehearsals, which take place each Tuesday and Thursday evening from 7:15-9:45 p.m. Come 30 minutes prior to the beginning of rehearse to assist with the set-up and help strike the equipment at the end of each rehearsal. Most rehearsals take place in Alumnae Hall; most dress rehearsals and performances in Sayles Hall.

  2. Practice your music diligently in order to come to rehearsals as prepared as possible, and strive to achieve the highest level of music-making of which you and the orchestra are capable.

  3. Participate in all concerts.

  4. Notify the personnel manager and conductor as early as possible in advance if unable to attend a rehearsal, or part of a rehearsal.

  5. Grades for MUSC 0610 and 0611 (S/NC only) are based on musical achievement, personal effort and attendance.

  1. Each member of the orchestra will be given a folder and music for each piece in which they have a part to play.

  2. Rehearsal schedules are sent out by email prior to each rehearsal.

  3. Seatings are determined by the September audition and subsequent achievement in rehearsals and concerts. Rotating seating is used in the string sections, with new seatings for each concert. Principal string players are selected from the pool of principals determined by the auditions. Seating in the rest of the orchestra rotates to varying degrees according to each section.

  4. String principals will meet with the conductor to determine bowings for each concert and are responsible for making sure that bowings are distributed to all members of their sections.

  5. Music is returned by leaving all parts on your stand following the final performance of each program. Folders are returned at the end of the year following the final concert.

  6. Sectional rehearsals are held periodically throughout the year.

  7. Scores and recordings of most works played by the orchestra are placed on reserve for MUSC0610/611 in the Orwig Music Library. All members of the orchestra are strongly encouraged to use these materials in order to learn the music as thoroughly as possible.

  8. Digital recordings are made of all Brown University Orchestra concerts and are available for downloading shortly after each concert take place.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7:15-9:45 p.m. Alumnae Hall


For more information contact the Department of Music
(401) 863-3234