2017-18 Audition Information

Once the Fall Auditions have taken place, anyone else interested in playing in the Stanford Symphony Orchestra, Stanford Philharmonia, or Stanford New Ensemble may request an audition at any time during the academic year by sending an email to <orchestras@stanford.edu> or calling (650) 498-6957.

Auditions are open to all members of the Stanford community – students, faculty, and staff. Musicians from the local community are also welcome to audition and participate with the understanding that Stanford students will be given priority for membership.

Anyone who wishes to play in the Stanford Symphony Orchestra and/or Philharmonia in 2017-18 is required to audition at the start of the 2017 Fall Quarter. This includes new students and returning members. Individuals who are away or otherwise unable to audition at the start of the Fall Quarter may audition later in the year.

Auditions will take place in Braun Music Center on 21-26 September as follows:

Thursday 9/21  •  new and returning members
Friday 9/22  •  new and returning members
Saturday 9/23  •  incoming freshmen only
Sunday 9/24  •  new and returning members
Monday 9/25  •  percussion and harp players only
Tuesday 9/26  •  new and returning members

To sign up, click here. Please sign up for the earliest available date and time to fill all the slots so that there will be time for everyone who wishes to audition.

Auditions will be held in Braun Room 121 (located in Braun Music Center), except on Monday 9/25, auditions which will be held in Braun Rehearsal Hall (also located in Braun Music Center).

The audition lasts 10 minutes and consists of three parts:

  • First, begin the audition by playing a two-minute excerpt of a work of your choice – a piece that displays your best playing (such as a movement of a suite, partita, sonata, or concerto, or an etude). You may bring a second contrasting piece, but it is not required and might not be requested because of time restraints.
  • Second, you will be asked to play scales. Come prepared to play a scale or two in the same manner that you have prepared them with your private teacher or in your previous studies. There is no set requirement regarding how many scales you need to know, but you will be asked to say which ones you know – for example: all the majors, all majors and minors, some majors (listing which ones), chromatic, etc.
  • Third, you will be asked to sightread an excerpt that will be provided at the audition.

Anyone who plays a secondary instrument like piccolo, English horn, E flat clarinet, bass clarinet, etc., is encouraged to bring it to the audition, if possible. (During the year, Stanford will be able to lend most of these secondary instruments, as required.) Students who play piano in addition to an orchestral string, wind, or percussion instrument are also encouraged to audition on piano. If you plan to audition on two instruments and think you will need more than 10 minutes, sign up for two separate audition times (either back-to-back or separate).

No distinction is made between music and non-music majors in the orchestra auditions. Rosters will be announced around September 27 once all the auditions have been completed, with seatings announced before the first rehearsal. Most string sections will be led by rotating co-principals, with rotating seating in the string and wind sections. Every effort will be made to ensure that each orchestra member will play on every program, with parts distributed as equitably as possible.

Paul Phillips
Music Director and Conductor
Stanford Symphony Orchestra and Stanford Philharmonia