Pitt Ensemble Auditions for Fall 2021

AUDITIONS ARE NOW CLOSED: Thanks to all who auditioned!

Our performances over the past year and a half have, out of necessity, taken on a wide variety of forms. This fall, although the pandemic continues to be a challenge, we are pleased to announce that the Department of Music is prepared to present live performances to the Pitt community with video access for the public in both livestreamed and prerecorded form. With the support of the Dietrich School, the Department has enhanced its video production capabilities to capture high quality video in a way that is unobtrusive to members of the audience and, as always, the audio will be pristine. If you want to be part of a Department of Music ensemble, now is the time to sign up for an audition. Information about joining our other department ensembles will be posted as it becomes available.

African Music and Dance Ensemble

No audition is necessary to join the African Music and Dance Ensemble. Directed by Yamoussa Camara, the African Music and Dance Ensemble meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30-7 p.m. Due to COVID mitigation concerns the ensemble will meet in a different room than originally scheduled. Please e-mail Yamoussa Camara directly for information about where the first meeting will take place.

Afropop Ensemble

The University of Pittsburgh Afropop ensemble is currently open for all interested musicians. In this course, students will learn how to perform and compose popular music styles that originated from or have a cultural connection to Africa. Through performance, the course exposes the interconnections between African music and the music of the African diaspora such as reggae and jazz. Please e-mail Dr. Benjamin Barson (bmb119@pitt.edu) for information about the ensemble, which will meet on Mondays from 6-8:30pm. 


No audition is necessary to join the University Gamelan. Directed by Andrew Weintraub and instructed by Jay Arms the Gamelan meets on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30-6 p.m. Please join the Gamelan to discover this rich Indonesian musical tradition. Due to COVID mitigation concerns the ensemble will meet in a different room than originally scheduled. Please e-mail Jay Arms directly for information about where the first meeting will take place.

Heinz Chapel Choir

Auditions are open to all registered students at the University of Pittsburgh. Starting on August 16, you can sign up for an audition online and see complete details about what to prepare.  Auditions will be held on August 30, 31 and September 1, & 2. This is typically the only audition period for the Choir — alternates are selected at this time, as well as the roster for the academic year.

Another way to sign up for an audition is to visit HCC during the Student Activities Fair scheduled for Saturday, August 28 from 12-3 pm on the Cathedral of Learning lawn*. That's a great place to meet Dr. Rice and some of the current members and ask any questions you might have about the Choir.

If you have problems scheduling an audition or have any questions, please email HCC’s director, Dr. Susan Rice, at srice1@pitt.edu

*Please note rain dates

Pitt Jazz Ensemble (updated)

Auditions for fall 2021 will be done by video submission.

Instrumentation-standard big band: saxes, trumpets, trombones, guitar, piano, bass, drums, percussion/vibraphone

To download chart and submit videos you will need access to our cloud folder. Please contact Ron Rolesen (rar174@pitt.edu) who will add your e-mail address to the shared folder. The deadline for the video submission is Friday, September 3rd. If you have no access to the instrument (for example, drum kit), you can come to our first meeting on September 8th. Please stay in touch with Ron for the information about the classroom, etc. If you have any questions about the audition materials, please contact the director, Ralph Guzzi (rpg12@pitt.edu)

Please submit an unedited video that includes the following:

Part 1: perform a prepared piece of your choosing up to 2 minutes (this can be with a backing track if you wish).

Part 2: play each of the short excerpts selected for your instrument. You'll download the charts from the folder on one drive.

Part 3: optional improvised solo (this too can be with a backing track)

Men's Glee Club

Interested students can sign up for an audition at the Student Activities Fair on Saturday, August 28th, noon-3 on the Cathedral of Learning lawn*, or email Richard Teaster directly at rteaster@pitt.edu. You do NOT need to perform a prepared piece.

*Please note rain dates

University of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Information on the University of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for 2021/22 academic year 

Symphony Orchestra and Auditions [revised July 21, 2021] 

The University of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is composed of both music majors and non-music majors who have a strong devotion to music. Our level of performance improves substantially every year and all skilled musicians from throughout the University (students, faculty, and staff) are welcome. 

The orchestra is offered as a 1 credit course called University Orchestra - Music 0620.  A successful audition is required for the permission code to register for the course, as it is to join the orchestra without registration for the course. 

In Fall 2021 we will return to our scheduled time for rehearsals (and concerts) in Bellefield Hall Auditorium on Wednesdays from 7:30 pm until around 9:50 pm. Additional sectionals or individual coaching sessions can be held virtually through Zoom or FaceTime as needed. In our concerts we play a wide range of music from the Baroque period to the very latest music and support the activities of other areas in the Pitt Music Department, especially new music composition/performance and (increasingly) interdisciplinary studies. 

All music department activities are open to Pitt students whether they are music majors or not. Please check out our department here: 


Auditions will this year be done virtually by means of an unedited video recording:  

Please prepare two examples of solo music for your instrument. They don't have to be complete pieces but it is certainly OK if they are and could also be from the same extended movement or larger work. They should demonstrate contrasting styles of music performance: slow/lyrical and fast/articulate and should use most of the available range of the instrument, and demonstrate your intonation and rhythmic skills in styles from mid-19th century (Bruch, Brahms, Saint-Saens) to recent music by living composers. (Baroque and Classical rep doesn’t really reveal enough technique for our usual orchestral repertoire, so please choose from about 1850 to 2020).  

Additionally, I would like to hear a few orchestral excerpts for your instrument which I can suggest or send to you selected from major works by Beethoven through Copland, Debussy, Ravel and Stravinsky. There may be some sight-reading and I may request a scale or two. 

- please contact me at rzahab@pitt.edu if you have any more questions on what to prepare. 

Women’s Choral Ensemble

Auditions are being held via Zoom on August 29, 30, 31. Interested students may sign up for an appointment time at the Student Activities Fair on Saturday, August 28th, noon-3 on the Cathedral of Learning lawn* or on the Women’s Choral Ensemble website, https://pittwomenschoralensemble.com/

*Please note rain dates