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University Choirs

There are three choirs offered for credit. All groups are open to any student at DePauw regardless of major – you do not have to study music to join!

Two ensembles require an audition to join:

  • Chamber Singers Mixed Group (M/W/Th from 4 p.m. – 4:50 p.m.) 
  • Women’s Chorus (M/W/Th from 5 p.m. – 5:50 p.m.)

One ensemble that is non-auditioned:

  • Festival Choir Community Group (Tuesdays from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.) Everyone is welcome regardless of singing experience, no audition needed! Just come to the first rehearsal on Aug. 31, 7 p.m. in Green Center, Kresge Auditorium.

Auditions for Chamber Singers and Women’s Chorus will be held in GCPA 0112 on:

  • Monday, Aug. 23, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 24 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 25 from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. (for CLA musicians only)

Please sign up for an audition online (link will be provided in August) and prepare a piece of your choice that you think presents your voice in the best possible way. It can be of any style or genre. Accompanists will be provided; please bring a copy of music for them to play from. 

For music majors who plan to take choir to fulfill their large ensemble requirements: 

  • Please audition either on Aug. 23 or Aug. 24 (do not audition on Aug. 25). You can indicate your preferred ensemble but will be assigned to one of the two groups based on your audition and needs of the ensembles. 

If you have any questions or would like to audition but none of the time slots work for you please contact ericschmidt@depauw.edu.



The DePauw Symphonic Band is a curricular, non-auditioned band that provides maximum enjoyment with limited performance demands for students who wish to continue to perform in a large concert ensemble as part of their collegiate educational experience. Auditions are not required, but are optional for chair placements and part assignments (these take place after our first rehearsal). The only prerequisite is prior experience on a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument (or string bass). Be sure to add MUS 181 Symphonic Band to your Fall semester schedule.  Instruments are available to Symphonic Band musicians to borrow through the School of Music. To request an instrument, complete this form.

NOTE: All School of Music instrumental majors, as well as College of Liberal Arts students receiving Music Performance Awards, cannot declare the Symphonic Band as their major ensemble, but must, instead, seek placement in an auditioned ensemble (University Band, Jazz Ensemble, Orchestra),  They may, however, elect to participate in the Symphonic Band (as a second large ensemble) on a secondary instrument.

Any questions? Contact Professor Craig Paré, Director of University Bands, at cpare@depauw.edu.



(University Band, University Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble)

This year, the School of Music Major Instrumental Ensembles will feature a rotational system, with the primary goal of allowing a more cross-ensemble experience for woodwind, brass, percussion, and keyboard students. String students could also be involved when appropriate.

Note: Symphonic Band, our curricular, non-auditioned band, is not included in this rotational system.

Rotational System Overview:

  • Every two-three weeks, one major ensemble will be designated the primary ensemble (Orchestra, University Band, Jazz Ensemble). Student musicians will be rotated into that ensemble to rehearse then perform with that group.
  • All woodwind, brass, percussion, and interested keyboard students will be placed into the pool of musicians from which the rotation is selected.
  • Instrumentation and number of musicians needed will be determined by the requirements of the repertoire to be studied and performed.
  • The primary ensemble will rehearse five days per week from 4:00-5:30 pm, then present a performance at the end of the rotation.
  • Student musicians not rotated into the primary ensemble will rehearse with their "home" ensemble. 


All returning School of Music instrumental students and CLA ensemble musicians do NOT need to audition for placement in a “home” ensemble.  Select and register for your choice of ensemble before the Fall semester begins.

All auditions for first-year woodwind, brass, percussion and keyboard students that must participate in instrumental ensembles (music majors and CLA Honor Performance Award recipients) will be held together during Orientation Week.  Each musician should select a “home” ensemble for which to audition.  All major instrumental ensemble directors, Dr. Craig Paré (Bands), Dr. Steven Snyder (Jazz Ensemble) and Prof. Orcenith Smith (Orchestra) will sit on a panel to hear all students auditioning. First-year string players will audition for Prof. Smith during a different scheduled time. 

Audition sign-ups will be made available in August.


See each large ensemble’s requirements below.


DePauw Jazz Ensemble

All instruments except for piano:


All sheet music is available by clicking here.

Improvisation is encouraged, but not required. If you wish to improvise for your audition, some suggestions and materials are listed below.

1.) Choose a piece from this list, and use either the link for accompaniment or you may elect to have live piano accompaniment provided.

2.) Choose something else to improvise on that you like to play. General suggestions are pieces that come from the repertoire of standard songs known as the Great American Songbook, or a piece that has been recorded by a well-known jazz artist. Please bring a lead sheet for the panel during your audition. You can choose to bring your own accompaniment (YouTube link or other recorded accompaniment) or play with a pianist we provide.

If you have any questions, please be in touch with Dr. Snyder stevensnyder@depauw.edu


DePauw University Band

For incoming First-Year and transferring students, you are invited to audition to make the University Band your “home” ensemble.  Follow the two-step process below as you prepare your music.  Returning University Band musicians do NOT have to audition for placement in the ensemble.  Simply register for MUS 273 for the Fall semester.

Two-step audition process:

1. Prepare a one-page solo or etude that you are familiar with and have performed in the past.  Demonstrate your best technical and expression musicianship.

2. Prepare all excerpts included in the downloadable packet of excerpts.  Excerpts are clearly are labeled with beginnings and endings, and tempo indications (you’ll note that the selected passages are bracketed with BLUE marker).  Find and listen to an exemplary recording of each piece for tempi and style (contact Dr. Paré if you’d like some suggested recordings to reference). Then, prepare all excerpts completely on your instrument for your audition.  Any specific effects or accessories needed for a part (mutes, specialty sticks or mallets, etc.) must be used in the performance of your part.  Sight-reading will also be part for the audition. 

Sign-ups for all large ensemble auditions will be available in August. 

Any questions?  Feel free to contact Dr. Paré at cpare@depauw.edu


DePauw University Orchestra

Auditions for the DePauw University Orchestra are generally at the start of the academic year (although, there are additional auditions in December/February for second semester). 

Audition materials for 2021-2022 are divided into three groups:

  1. Incoming first-year woodwind, brass, percussion, and keyboard students
  2. Incoming first-year string students

    Incoming first-year students, please prepare all the audition material as noted above in the general explanation about Instrumental Ensembles.
  3. Upperclass students - There will be auditions for all upper class string players. There will not be auditions for upper class woodwinds, brass, harp, and percussion students.  You will be put in a rotation for Band, Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble.

All sheet music is available by clicking here.

For students needing an instrument, University-owned instruments may be available for your use. To request an instrument, complete this form.

Contact Professor Orcenith Smith (osmith@depauw.edu) with any questions.