GC Music Ensemble Audition Information – new for 2020-21!

Ensemble Audition Information

Information updated Thursday, August 13, 2020

Goshen College music ensembles (Choirs, Symphony Orchestra, Lavender Jazz) are open by audition to any GC student, regardless of major.  Due to COVID-19, audition sign-ups will NOT be held at the usual audition table outside of the Music Center Office. 

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)

Profs. Scott Hochstetler and Roz Woll

Full information and virtual audition sign-up form

Because of the pandemic, choir will be different this fall. Rehearsals will be a mix of Zoom rehearsals and in-person, masked, socially-distant, outside rehearsals, weather-permitting.  We will have the opportunity to improve our individual singing and musical skills as we delve deeply into the background, text, and origin of each of our musical selections. Though there will be no public performances with audiences, each choir will work towards 1-2 virtual choir projects that we will present at the end of the term. We will be enlisting those of you who have expertise in audio and video production and would like to help with these virtual projects. We’re excited for the opportunity to focus on what we CAN do for ourselves, our community, and our world at this difficult moment. Now, more than ever, we need to sing!

Auditions will be held on Zoom with both directors (Scott Hochstetler and H. Roz Woll) present.

Please be ready with a short song to sing (a hymn, worship song, pop song, camp song, Broadway song, classical song, any song from voice lessons). You may choose to sing it a cappella, or with a pre-recorded accompaniment, played from your phone. No other preparation is needed (there is no extra piece for Chamber Choir). We’ll also check your range, have you do a little sight-reading, and have you sing back some patterns that we play on the piano. It’s painless, and everyone leaves smiling!

Those auditioning for both Vox Profundi and Chamber Choir only need to sign up for one slot. Please note: anyone on a music scholarship for voice must audition for Voices/Vox AND Chamber Choir, and, if selected, must participate.

Vox Profundi and Voices of the Earth rehearse Monday from 4-5pm and Thursday from 4-5:30pm.   Chamber Choir rehearses Monday from 5-6pm and Wednesday from 4-5:30pm.

  1. Please sign up for one (1) time slot.
  2. PRIOR to your audition, you must fill out this Google Form. Do this right away so you don’t forget, like right now!
  3. Just before your audition, make sure you have the best sound settings for your laptop (link) or your phone or Ipad (link)

Here is the Zoom link for your choir audition:


All Music Department ensemble rosters will be posted by 10:00 p.m. Friday, August 21, 2020. 


Symphony Orchestra

Brian Mast, conductor

The main purpose of individual auditions  for the GC Symphony Orchestra is to give the conductor a chance to meet with each individual for the following purposes:

  • To learn more about each musician’s (new and returning) interests and goals for their participation in the orchestra, i.e. are you a Music Major planning on further musical study or you have another major and you participate because you enjoy collective music making. (Both great reasons to be a part of the orchestra!)
  • To learn what each musician’s musical background is, i.e. how many years have you played, have you taken private lessons, what other instruments do you play etc.
  • To hear each musician play their instrument to understand where they might best contribute to the ensemble.

Auditions for Goshen College Symphony Orchestra will be held in Sauder Concert Hall (Tuesday, 8.18.20) and MC 150 – Instrumental Rehearsal Hall (Wednesday – Friday).  Please sign up for a slot on the Google sheet shared here and in the announcement.  If there are no slots available that fit your schedule, please email Brian to arrange another time.  Please arrive promptly for your audition and have your instrument unpacked and ready to play as there are only 10 minute per slot.  Feel free to tune and warm up in a practice room and then bring your instrument and music over at your audition time.

Sign up for an audition slot here (Google Sheet)


I would like to hear each musician play the following:

  • 2-3 octave scale of your choice.  I may ask for several different rhythmic patterns, articulations,  or tempos, i.e  quarter, 2 eighths, triplets etc.
  • A short solo of your choice.  This could be something that you have prepared for a recital or played in church, or it could be a hymn or other orchestral part you have played.
  • Some basic sight reading from music that we will perform this fall.

This is not meant to be a stressful audition.  My goal is to find a place for everyone to contribute to the ensemble as we all work toward a common goal.  Feel free to email me with any questions at brianm@goshen.edu. I really look forward to making great music with each of you this semester!

Lavender Jazz

Greg Smucker, director

Auditions are open to saxophone, trombone, trumpet, piano, guitar, drum set and vibes. Other instrumentalists with experience in jazz and/or improvisation are welcome to audition. In-person, socially-distant auditions will take place in Music Center 150 on Tuesday, August 18. If you are not able to audition in one of the listed time slots, email Greg Smucker to arrange an audition time.

Click here to sign up for an audition time slot!

Audition requirements


  • Two octave scale – your choice of key (demonstrate range and tone)
  • Two – three minute selection of your choice – jazz tune, hymn, or melodic etude
  • Sight reading

Bass, guitar, vibes and piano

  • Two octave scale – your choice of key
  • Two – three minute selection of your choice – jazz tune or hymn
  • Sight reading – both note reading and chord progression

Drum Set

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