Symphony Orchestra & Wind Symphony Auditions

Audition Information


We invite all students at Gettysburg College to audition for instrumental ensembles, including Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra.  There is only one audition for both ensembles.  All prospective ensemble members must audition, regardless of prior ensemble membership.

* Music majors, 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 and will be placed in one or both ensembles at the discretion of the music directors (Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony). For wind and percussion musicians, it is normal to be placed in both ensembles.  In some cases, students will perform in only one or the other, at the discretion of ensemble conductors and applied faculty.

* Non-music major/non-music scholarship students and others may indicate a preference and choose to audition for only one or both ensembles.

Audition Information

Auditions for Fall 2016 ensembles will be held Monday, August 29, 2016 and Tuesday, August 30, 2016 in Schmucker Hall. 

  • Students audition once for both Symphony Orchestra and Wind Symphony (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 resume. Students auditioning should sign up for a audition time.
  • Auditions for woodwinds, brass, percussion, piano, and harp will be held Monday, August 29 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 Monday, August 29 from 7:30pm - 10:00pm AND Tuesday, August 30 from 7:00pm - 9:30pm.  
  • If selected, the first Wind Symphony meeting will take place on Wednesday, August 31 from 4:00pm - 6:00pm.
  • If selected, the first Symphony Orchestra meeting will take place on Thursday, September 1 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.

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

  • 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 spring.  If this is true for you and you have options, please choose different excerpts than the ones you prepared previously.

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.

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 Wind and Brass Players









    Bass Trombone



    Excerpts for Percussion, Piano and Harp

    Percussion: Prepare all excerpts