GC Music Ensemble Audition Information – new for 2019-20!

Ensemble Audition

Information updated Sunday, August 25, 2019

Goshen College music ensembles are open by audition to any GC student, regardless of major. Auditions are held before each academic semester. Interested students can sign up for an audition at the Music Audition Table, located outside of the Music Center Main Office beginning Monday, August 19, 2019. Be sure and sign up for an audition as soon as possible in order to receive your choice of audition slot!

Below are listed requirements and procedures to audition for each music ensemble. Additional information will be added as it is made available.


Choirs (Chamber Choir, Men’s Chorus, Voices of the Earth)

For the 2019-20 academic year, Chamber Choir and Men’s Chorus will be directed by Scott Hochstetler. Voices of the Earth will be directed by Marcia Yost. Voices of the Earth and Men’s Chorus rehearse Mondays 4-5 p.m. and Thursdays 4-5:30 p.m. Chamber Choir rehearses Wednesdays 4-5:30 p.m.

Auditions for GC choral ensembles will be held in MC 217 (Dr. Hochstetler’s office). All interested singers should sign up for one audition slot; the sign-up sheet will be on the Music Audition table outside of the Music Center Main Office. Auditions will be held every day from Monday, August 26 through Friday, August 30, 2019; please see the table for exact times. Also please note that some audition slots will be for tenors and basses only; please note those when signing up for an audition.

Singers may be in either Voices of the Earth or Men’s Chorus.  Singers who are members of Chamber Choir are also members of either Men’s Chorus or Voices of the Earth. We aim to make auditions as painless as possible! The goal is to find out where you are in your singing ability and knowledge.

The following will be the components of your audition:

  • Prepared song:    Prepare a short solo to sing a cappella or with piano accompaniment. Examples might be a verse from your favorite hymn, a song you sang at solo/ensemble festival, a worship song that you sang at church, an art song/aria that you learned in your voice lessons, etc. Please bring an extra copy if you have the music.
  • Sight-singing:    You will sight-sing a short piece, 4-8 measures of music. No preparation necessary.
  • Range-check:   We will have you sing a few vocal warmups to check your range.
  • Tonal memory:    You will sing back several patterns of notes that we will play on the piano.

If you are auditioning for Chamber Choir:  In addition to the above requirements, please download and print out the prepared piece (“Haec Dies” by William Byrd [pdf]and prepare the voice part that you usually sing (ex. Sop 1, Bass 2, etc). Prepare pp. 1-2, measures 1-22. Please audition with the Latin text, and bring your score to your audition.

***PLEASE NOTE: All students who are music majors/minors or on scholarship with voice as their primary instrument are required to audition for both Men’s Choir/VoE and Chamber Choir. Pianists should check their specific ensemble requirements.

Students who will be on fall SST should either:

  1. Audition during the fall auditions for spring choir participation, if on campus OR
  2. Indicate interest in spring choir participation by email to Profs Hochstetler (scottmh@goshen.edu) and Yost (myost@goshen.edu) before you depart.

All Music Department ensemble rosters will be posted by 10:00 p.m. Friday, August 30, 2019. Rehearsals for all choirs will begin on Monday, September 2, 2019.


Symphony Orchestra

Symphony Orchestra Auditions will take place  in GCSO director Brian Mast’s studio (MC205).  Interested students can sign up for an audition at the Music Audition Table, located outside of the Music Center Main Office.  

Auditions will take place Monday, August 27 through Wednesday, August 30, 2019.  Exact audition times are available for sign-up at the Audition Table in the Music Center Lobby. If you are not able to audition during one of the listed slots, please contact Brian Mast to schedule an audition.

GCSO rehearses Tuesdays and Fridays from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. in MC150 (Brembeck Instrumental Hall)

Audition Requirements


  1. two-octave scale of your choosing (or scale commensurate to the range of your instrument, i.e. winds/brass/string bass)
  2. Three-minute excerpt of a concerto, sonata, or etude


  1. Solo on either xylophone, marimba, vibraphone, snare drum, or timpani.  Memorization is not required.  The solo portion should be three minutes or less.
  2. Two-octave scale of your choosing.


Lavender Jazz


Lavender Jazz auditions will take place in MC150, Brembeck Instrumental Hall on Tuesday, August 27 from 3-6 p.m. and Thursday, August 29, from 4-6 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Auditions are open to saxophone, trombone, trumpet, piano, guitar, and drum set. Other instrumentalists with experience in jazz and/or improvisation are welcome to audition. All that are interested should sign up for an audition slot; the sign-up sheet will be on the Music Audition Table outside of the Music Center Main Office. If you are not able to audition in one of the listed time slots, contact Greg Smucker (gsmucker@goshen.edu) to arrange an audition time.

All rhythm players should come to MC150 on Wednesday, August 28 at 7 p.m. for auditions and information. 

Lavender Jazz rehearses Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. in MC150 (Brembeck Instrumental Hall).

Audition Requirements


  • Two octave scale of your choosing
  • Three minute selection of your choice — jazz tune, hymn, or melodic etude
  • Sight reading

Bass, guitar, and piano

  • Two octave scale of your choosing
  • Three minute selection of your choice – jazz tune or hymn
  • Sight reading

Drum set

  • Demonstrate swing pattern
    • Various tempos slow, medium fast
    • with brushes
  • Demonstrate Bossa Nova pattern
  • Demonstrate Rock pattern
  • Solo demonstration (trade 4’s), i.e. swing pattern for 4 bars, solo for 4 bars.
  • Sight reading.