Auditions for Ensembles

Ensembles at UNI School of Music are the best way to get involved. If you are a music major, get involved in several groups and fill your days and nights with performing amazing music under the direction of our top notch faculty and conductors. If you’re not a music major but love music, join a group and stay involved in making music while you pursue other dreams. Not looking to join a group but still love music? Come and be a world-class audience member.

Concert Ensembles are open to all university students regardless of major by audition each semester.

All instrumental music majors and scholarship non-majors/minors are required to audition for a concert ensemble every semester. Please see the Large Ensemble Requirements document for additional information for music major ensemble requirements for your degree. 

Current students: once you have been assigned to an ensemble after auditions, please be sure to check your schedule and make sure that you are registered for the correct ensemble(s) in your class schedule

Wind and Percussion: Ensemble Auditions

flute player


Auditions for the fall 2024 semester will be held for placement in Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band or Orchestra. Placement in an ensemble is determined by the conductors.

Auditions are held in either Graham Hall (inside Russell Hall) or Davis Hall (inside the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center). Visit the schedule and repertoire page for specific locations.

(Fall auditions only: auditions for Jazz Bands will be held in Room 101 of Russell Hall. Please see the jazz auditions section for details.)


Concert Band is an ensemble consisting mostly of non-music majors. Rehearsals are most Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:15-6:30 p.m. The rehearsal schedule is carefully coordinated with the Pep Band schedule to avoid conflicts and is designed to be manageable and easy for non-music majors.

Non-majors who wish to be considered for Concert Band only should prepare the assigned etude. Materials can be found here: Concert Band Audition Material. Auditions are by video. Share your video of the assigned etude with the band GAs, Mary O'Connell ( and Sophia Patchin ( on Google Drive.

Videos should be sent to the band GAs by December 15, 2023 at 4 p.m. (spring 2025 deadline will be announced soon!). 

For more information regarding Concert Band, click here.


UNI Singers

Make UNI Choirs part of your story.

Choral Auditions will be held Friday, August 23 through Tuesday, August 27. Auditions will be held in GBPAC 86 or there will be a sign on the door directing you to an alternate location.

Orchestra: Ensemble Auditions

cello player


Fall 2024 String Ensemble Auditions

String auditions for the Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra will be held: 

  • Violin: Friday, August 23 in Graham Hall (Russell 111)
  • Viola, Cello, Bass: Saturday, August 24 in Davis Hall (GBPAC 002) 

If you have previously auditioned for acceptance into the School of Music or for Scholarship consideration, then this audition is for chair placement. For all others, this will serve as your audition for the orchestra.

The following excerpts will be used for fall 2024: 

To sign up for an audition time follow the link below:

String Ensemble Audition Signup

All wind players and percussionists who wish to be considered for orchestra please see the information under Wind and Percussion: Ensemble Auditions

If there are questions or concerns, please contact: Erik Rohde, Conductor, Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra (

Jazz: Ensemble Auditions

trumpet player

Large jazz ensemble participation (Jazz Band I, II or III) is REQUIRED for students in the BM: Jazz Studies degree program. These ensembles satisfy the large ensemble requirement in each semester for students in this track. In addition, jazz ensembles (big bands and combos) are open to ANY UNI student, by audition.

Jazz auditions for the various wind instruments will consist of sight reading and improvisation. There is no required piece to prepare for this audition. Improvisation is required of all students wishing to be considered for combos. Students wishing to be considered for large jazz ensembles only (big bands) are strongly encouraged (but not required) to improvise in their audition. Choice of tune is up to the individual. You are strongly encouraged to bring your own play along device (phone, tablet, or computer) to the audition, preset for your desired tempo (iReal Pro, for example, is a perfectly acceptable play along app to use).  Auditions will be held on the Thursday and Friday prior to the first day of classes. 

Jazz auditions for rhythm section instruments (piano, bass, drum set, guitar, and vibraphone) will be held on the Saturday prior to the first day of classes, and will consist of two parts. In the morning, each student will audition individually. These auditions will consist of demonstration of a variety of grooves and/or techniques specific to their instrument, as well as sight reading and improvisation. In the afternoon, all rhythm section auditioners will meet in Bengtson Auditorium, where they will audition in ad hoc rhythm sections organized on the spot. This will enable the jazz faculty to experiment with various combinations of players to determine the best “fit” for each player. 

Regardless of major, ALL students wishing to audition must complete the Jazz Ensemble Audition Information Form and sign up for an audition time in the appropriate area, by instrument. Best of luck, and we are looking forward to hearing you!

‌View the Large Ensemble Requirements document     ‌Sign Up for an audition time

‌Jazz Ensemble Audition Information Form

Opera: Ensemble Auditions

opera performer

Opera Auditions

UNI Opera will proudly present several performances in 2024-2025 including:   

  • "Glitter or Gold?" - a benefit concert for UNI Opera, fall 2024
  • Opera Scenes program, fall 2024
  • Chamber Opera in Bengtson Auditorium, Russell Hall, spring 2025 (title TBA)

Rehearsals are M-F 3:30-5:30, and evenings/weekends once we move into the theatre.

Opera audition dates for fall 2024 will be announced soon!

Please be prepared to present at least two contrasting arias. One must be in English. If you do not have an English language aria, art songs are permitted. All pieces must be memorized. A pianist will be provided.

If you have a resume and headshot please bring those to the audition. If not, do not worry.

Thank you so much for your interest and looking forward to hearing you all soon. Please contact with questions.