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The Ensemble department at McNally Smith College of Music strives to bring together a diverse student body to broaden and develop their musical skill sets while exploring a wide range of contemporary music styles. Over twenty faculty members direct more than thirty groups, including six touring ensembles. In addition to winning awards at numerous national and regional festivals and competitions, our Premier ensembles have traveled to New York, New Orleans and as far as Peru and Guatemala.

Ensembles meet as regular classes. Based upon your program focus, the minimum number of ensembles needed to graduate range from 2 to 6. Many students choose to take more because ensembles also count as elective credits. All students, regardless of their major field of study, are encouraged to audition for ensembles that interest them.

Preparing for an ensemble audition

Scroll to the bottom of this page and select one of the ensembles that interest you. Click on the link to see information about the group and audition requirements. It will be clear if you are to prepare a specific piece of music, or just arrive at the audition and play by ear. If you plan to audition for more than one ensemble, be comfortable playing the music requirements for those groups.

When do ensemble auditions occur?

Auditions for the fall ensembles are offered to current students during the prior spring semester. During the late part of the summer, any remaining spots will be opened up to incoming freshmen and returning students who did not audition in the spring. These second round auditions for fall ensembles are scheduled individually with the ensemble department during fall orientation.

For fall 2016, ensemble auditions take place Monday, September 5th (2–5pm) and Tuesday, September 6th (11am–1pm). Ensemble auditions will be held in early November for the spring 2017 semester. Reminder: some of the ensembles have already been filled during the spring, so students won’t be able to audition for those groups — at least not for the fall.

Please contact Steve Jennings or Scott Agster to set up an audition time.