Symphony Orchestra & Wind Symphony Auditions

We are proud of our instrumental ensembles and eager to work with you as we prepare another great season of music. We welcome all new student musicians as well as our returning musicians.

Dr. César Leal, Conductor of Symphony Orchestra, and
Dr. Russell McCutcheon, Conductor of Wind Symphony


We invite all students at Gettysburg College to audition for instrumental ensembles. Membership is not restricted to music majors. All prospective ensemble members must audition, regardless of prior ensemble membership.

Music majors, music minors in their first four semesters of participation, and students on a music scholarship whose principal instrument is a string, woodwind, brass or percussion instrument must take part in these auditions; please review the ensemble participation policy in the Sunderman Conservatory Student Handbook.

Course Information

All ensembles at Gettysburg College, including Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra, are courses for which students earn grades and credit.

  • Students cannot pre-register for these courses as they are audition-dependent. All ensemble members will be registered administratively after auditions during the first week of classes. Do not worry about signing up in advance.
  • Even though you cannot sign up in advance, you should still hold space in your schedule for ensemble rehearsals/meetings.
    • Wind Symphony meets on Mon/Wed 4:00 - 6:00pm.
    • Symphony Orchestra meets Tues/Thurs 7:30 - 9:30pm.
    • Music majors, music minors in their first four semesters of participation, and students on a music scholarship whose principal instrument is a woodwind, brass or percussion instrument should hold both times until auditions are complete and placements are made.
  • Students can fulfill the Multiple Inquiries-Arts requirement of the Gettysburg Curriculum through performance in ensembles for four semesters.
  • After your first four semesters - when each 0.25 adds to a full (1) course for MI-Arts - ensemble credits will continue to accrue above the 32 required courses for graduation.
  • Grades earned in ensembles are factored into your GPA, both during your first four semesters and beyond.
  • Ensembles are listed as 0.25 courses. They do not count toward your regular course enrollment toward full-time status of three or four courses. They also do not count against your regular course enrollment, so if you are registered for four or even five regular courses you can still participate in ensembles.
  • The Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Music Education degrees are 36-course programs. Ensembles for these students continue to count toward the 36 courses for graduation up through 36. Ensemble courses beyond the 36 will accrue above the 36 required.

Audition Information

  • Students audition once for both Symphony Orchestra and Wind Symphony (at the same time/block audition format).
  • These auditions include woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings, piano, and harp.
  • A sign-up sheet with audition times and locations will be posted outside of the Conservatory Office the week before classes start. Students auditioning should sign up for an audition time. The Conservatory office is located on the 3rd floor of Schmucker Hall.
  • Auditions for woodwinds, brass, percussion, piano, and harp will be held Monday, August 30 from 4:00pm - 6:00pm. We may begin earlier; check the times on the sign-up sheets for the final schedule.
  • Auditions for strings (violin, viola, cello, bass), will be held Tuesday, August 31 from 7:30pm - 9:30pm.
  • If selected, the first Wind Symphony meeting will take place on Wednesday, September 1 from 4:00pm - 6:00pm.
  • If selected, the first Symphony Orchestra meeting will take place on Thursday, September 2 from 7:30pm - 9:30pm.


Auditionees should prepare excerpts from the list below and major scales. If you are able to play minor scales, please inform the adjudicators at the beginning of your audition. All string musicians should also expect a short sight-reading excerpt.

Excerpts for each instrument are contained in a single file for download.

  • For most excerpts, instructions regarding what to prepare are included in the file.
  • In cases where there are only two excerpts, prepare both.
  • In cases where multiple excerpts are given, choose two unless instructed otherwise in the contents of the file.
  • Try to choose contrasting excerpts.
  • For some instruments, these are the same excerpts as in the past. If this is true for you and if you have options, please choose different excerpts than the ones you prepared previously. Otherwise, prepare the same excerpts.

List of Performance Excerpts

Auditionees are strongly encouraged to consult professional recordings and excerpt guides when preparing these excerpts. Many free recordings and resources can be found online. The Gettysburg College library is a great place to start, and has subscriptions (free for you) to several online music sites including Naxos music online and the Classical Music Library. These are typically much better choices than a random YouTube video. For all excerpts, we have attempted to include the title, movement, and composer of the piece from which it was drawn. This should be helpful as you search for recordings.

Using recordings to aid in your preparation helps you to understand the tempo, style and phrasing of the piece and how your part fits into the whole. It is not cheating to listen, it is the appropriate professional practice.

All excerpts linked below are in PDF format, ready to download.

Excerpts for String Players





Excerpts for Woodwind and Brass Players

Flute (Piccolo)

Oboe (English Horn)

Clarinet (all)


Saxophone (all)




Bass Trombone



Excerpts for Percussion, Piano and Harp

Percussion: Prepare all if possible