Ensemble Audition Information

[July 2020] The University of Wisconsin-Madison will welcome students back to campus as scheduled for the start of fall classes on September 2. For more information on the campus response to COVID-19, visit smartrestart.wisc.edu.

In response, Mead Witter School of Music faculty and staff, and especially our conductors, aim to have specific guidelines related to the school available soon. The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our number one priority.

This page will be updated accordingly if decisions are made regarding changes to ensemble placement auditions.

Click here to learn about large and small ensembles at the Mead Witter School of Music.

Auditioning for entry into the Mead Witter School of Music? Please visit our undergraduate or graduate admissions pages.

On this page you will find:

  • Excerpts to prepare
  • Audition forms
  • Audition advice
  • Links to online sign-ups

FALL 2020 AUDITIONS: Marching Band

Auditions for the 2020-21 season are now CLOSED.

Registration is required to audition for the UW-Madison Marching Band.
Information about auditions for the 2021-22 season will become available Spring 2021.



The audition consists of two elements: MARCHING and MUSIC.

Marching Audition: ALL INSTRUMENTS – In-person during Reg Week

UW-Madison Marching Band fundamentals and marching while playing. All fundamentals will be taught during the audition process.

Music Audition: PERCUSSION – In-person during Reg Week

Refer to the Marching Percussion Handbook.

Music Audition: WINDS – Online video submission


  1. Chromatic scale (demonstrate as much of your range as possible)
  2. C major scale (concert pitch, two octaves if possible)
  3. A-flat major scale (concert pitch, two octaves if possible)


Two of your choice; approximately three minutes of music total. EXAMPLES: Solos, honor band audition music, concert music.

  1. One selection should demonstrate technical abilities.
  2. Second selection should demonstrate lyrical abilities.

Instrument rental request

Instrument rental request

More information at badgerband.com.
Email badgerbandinfo@music.wisc.edu.

FALL 2020 AUDITIONS: Choral Ensembles, AUGUST 26 UPDATE

Because of a different approach to instruction in Fall 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many students will not need to audition for choir. See FAQs for more information on choral offerings.

All continuing students that were enrolled in a choral ensemble for Spring 2020 should enroll in the same ensemble for Fall 2020 (no audition is required)

New students that are NOT voice majors can choose to enroll in either Chorale or Women’s Choir (no audition required).

Both continuing and non-voice students should email Bruce Gladstone or Kristie Halverson directly to request a permission number to enroll. Be sure to include which specific ensemble you need to enroll in.

Bruce Gladstone bruce.gladstone@wisc.edu (Chorale/Concert Choir/Madrigal Singers)
Kristie Halverson khalverson3@wisc.edu (Women’s Choir)

New voice majors will need to complete an audition prior to enrollment.

Step 1: Complete and submit the Choral Audition Form.

Step 2: Sign up for an Audition Time Slot – Auditions will take place September 2nd and 3rd

Step 3: Complete your audition.

Step 4: Enroll in your assigned ensemble.

FALL 2020 AUDITIONS: Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Symphony Orchestra

Auditions for Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, & Symphony Orchestra are now CLOSED for Fall Semester 2020.

Woodwind/Brass/Percussion auditions for Spring Semester 2021 will be held in December 2020.
Requirements will be updated on this page when they become available.

Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Symphony Orchestra auditions are required for:

  • All UW-Madison undergraduate music majors with a classical focus degree in woodwind, brass, percussion, and strings.
  • All UW-Madison music majors who have been awarded a scholarship while pursuing a classical focus degree in woodwind, brass, percussion, and strings.
  • All Summer Music Clinic Tuition Waiver recipients.

Additionally, any UW–Madison student wishing to be considered for placement in the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Symphony Orchestra can audition.

Note: If a non-major undergraduate or graduate student wishes to play in a non-auditioned ensemble, they are invited to register for either All University Strings (Mus. 60, section 1 or 2), or a University Band (Music 43, section 1, 2, or 3.) These ensembles meet one evening a week and perform regularly throughout the semester.

To audition for Fall 2020, students should complete both an audition form and sign-up for an audition time before the deadline.

Students playing string instruments audition once a year.  Auditions are held during the days leading up to the first day of classes for the fall semester.

Student playing woodwind, brass, or percussion instruments audition twice, once before the fall semester, and again in December for the Spring semester.

  • Audition dates for Fall 2020: pre-recorded video submissions and online audition forms (linked below) must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, August 23 (woodwinds, brass, strings). The deadline for percussionists to submit audition forms and videos is by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, August 31.
  • Audition dates for Spring 2021: December 7 – December 10 [specific schedule coming soon]

Students can audition only once per instrument in an audition cycle. The panel, consisting of applied instrument and conducting faculty members, will determine ensemble placement for each auditionee. Results will be definitive and announced via email after the audition cycle is completed.

Information for Spring 2021 auditions: not yet available.

FALL 2020 AUDITIONS: Jazz Ensembles


During the COVID-19 crisis, the UW Jazz Ensembles will move online as recording ensembles. Under the production guidance of the ensemble directors, students will record songs/projects that are made up of layered instrument tracks recorded individually by the students. Students will sign up for a single section of MUS 262 (undergraduate students) or MUS 562 (graduate students), which will be team-taught by four ensemble directors, Johannes Wallmann, Les Thimmig, Peter Dominguez, and Nick Moran. Personnel will vary for each project, and performers will be assigned to projects based on instrumentation needed, experience, and personnel interests. Over the course of the semester, each student will participate in multiple projects, covering a range of different jazz styles.

The jazz ensemble class will meet weekly online on Wednesdays, 6-8 pm, to discuss logistics and technology, assign personnel to new projects, and listen to completed recordings and works-in-progress. Individual recording projects will work largely asynchronously under the direction of a project producer who may also schedule other online check-ins or discussion.

No prior recording experience is necessary, and students new to multitrack recording will be guided through the process. Minimum hardware requirements will be any setup that allows the student to play back an audio file through headphones, while recording themselves playing along with the audio file. A relatively inexpensive USB-microphone is optional but can enhance students’ experience; however, we recommend that students do not make any such purchases until they have met with their studio instructors (in the case of music majors) or have received notice of a successful audition (in the case of non-majors). The recording software for the jazz recording ensembles is Audacity, which is a freeware program available for Mac, Windows, and Unix.

Pending several factors, including the successful suppression of viral spread on campus and exemptions to the state, county, and university mask requirements for wind players, optional-attendance in-person rehearsals and a live or live-streamed performance of some of the recording projects may be scheduled for November.


Jazz studies majors do not need to audition and will receive a permission code to enroll directly.

Other music majors and non-majors are welcome to audition for the jazz ensembles. For full consideration, interested students should send a link to a private YouTube audition video to wallmann@wisc.edu no later than 8 pm on Tuesday, September 1. The audition video should show the student playing the jazz standard “East of the Sun” using the sheet music and play-along tracks posted at https://uwmadison.box.com/v/JazzAudition

Wind instruments: 1 chorus melody, 2 choruses improvised solo
Voice: 1 chorus melody. Optional: 1 chorus improvised scat solo
Guitar, piano, vibraphone: 1 chorus melody, 1 chorus improvised solo, 1 chorus comping
Bass: 1 chorus with a 2-feel, 1 chorus walking, 1 chorus improvised solo
Drums: play the entire chart (please note that the drum chart and play-along are for a different piece)

Wisconsin Singers Band Auditions: Visit www.wisconsinsingers.com for updated information

AUDITION NOW for the 2020–2021 Season

Do you have a passion for the stage? Interested in gigging with other great instrumentalists? Looking for a way to gain performing experience in a variety of popular music styles while sharing the stage with some of UW’s top talents? Wisconsin Singers, the UW’s premier Broadway-caliber pop music entertainment troupe, has openings for instrumentalists, singers, dancers, and stage technicians. Auditions for the 2020–2021 season will be held in spring 2020 or by appointment (online audition also available). As a Wisconsin Singer, you will work with professional choreographers and arrangers while learning how to stylize all genres of pop music. Band members work with arrangements written to challenge and showcase your individual strengths. We are also interviewing for theater techs in sound, lighting, and stage management. All performers and techs receive scholarship dollars and UW course credit.

Visit wisconsinsingers.com/bandauditions or call (608) 263-9499 or (608) 609-1303 to schedule your audition time.