Instrumental Auditions

AUDITION SLOTS ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR ALL INSTRUMENTS! IF YOU WERE EXPECTING TO RECEIVE AN EMAIL FROM US, PLEASE READ THIS PAGE AND SIGN UP FOR AN AUDITION!

 

Orchestral Auditions for 2021/22 are now open! You can sign up to audition for our ensembles by filling in this form. Please read all the details on the form carefully. 

Times of auditions this year are as follows: 

Violins: First Round Saturday 9 October 1pm – 8pm; Second Round Sunday 10 October 3pm – 8pm. 

Viola: Sunday 10 October 6pm – 8.30pm. 

Cello: First Round online; Second Round Saturday 9 October 1pm – 4pm. 

Double Bass: Saturday 9 October 6pm – 7.30pm. 

Flutes: First Round online; Second Round Sunday 10 October 3pm – 5pm. 

Oboes: First Round online; Second Round Sunday 10 October 3.30pm – 5.30pm. 

Clarinets: First Round online; Saturday 9 October 1pm – 3pm. 

Bassoons: Sunday 10 October 2.15pm – 5.30pm. 

Horns: Saturday 9 October 3.30pm – 6.30pm.

Trumpets/Cornets: Saturday 9 October 1.30pm – 4.30pm. 

Trombones/Lower Brass: Sunday 10 October 5.30pm – 8.30pm. 

Timpani and Percussion: Sunday 10 October 2.30pm – 5.30pm. 

    Format of the auditions:

    • Flute, clarinet, oboe and cello players will have two rounds of auditions. The first round will be via online video submission and will be judged by student auditioners. The second round will be in person and with a professional auditioner. 
    • Violinists will have two rounds of auditions. Both rounds will be taken by a professional auditioner, and will be in person.
    • Viola, double bass, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, timpani and percussion players will have one round of auditions taken by a professional auditioner.
    • Saxophonists auditioning for CUWO will have one round of auditions taken by a student auditioner.
    • Harpists should contact Isabelle Freeman to arrange an audition.
    • If you are a strong orchestral pianist and would like to find out about performing with our ensembles, please contact Isabelle Freeman.

    For existing members of CUMS:

    • Members of all CUMS ensembles are required to re-audition if they wish to be considered for the following season.
    • All CUO players except violinists will automatically go through to the final round of auditions.
    • All CUO violinists must play in the first round of auditions if they wish to be considered for the next season.
    First round auditions for Cello, Flute, Oboe and Clarinet and Saxophone auditions

    The auditions will be reviewed by the previous season’s principal players. To audition, you should submit a video via our online form. 

    First round auditions for Violin

    The first round is heard by a professional. Each audition will be only 3 minutes long but please be available to audition 10 minutes before your allotted time. At your audition you will be invited to play a piece or an extract of a piece of your own choice and this should not last more than 2 minutes (please do not bring an accompanist). Most of the violin places in Cambridge University Sinfonia will be awarded as a result of this initial audition.

    Auditions for Viola, Double Bass, Bassoon, Horn, Trombone, Euphonium, Trumpet/Cornet, Tuba, Timpani and Percussion

    There will be just one round of auditions run by professional musicians. At your audition (about 10 minutes long), you will be invited to play a piece or extract of your own choice and also play one or two pieces of sight-reading. Your chosen piece/extract should not last more than 4 minutes. We are unable to provide accompanists and most people perform without, but you may bring one if you wish. Places in all our ensembles will be awarded as a result of this audition. For Timpani and Percussion please book one audition and you can play either Timpani or Percussion or both.

    Please note:

    Double Bassists 

    At your audition (about 10 minutes long) you will be invited to play a piece or extract of a piece of your own choice. Your chosen piece/extract should not last more than four minutes. You will also be invited to play selections from the attached excerpts in lieu of sight reading.

     

    Final round auditions for Violin, Cello, Flute, Oboe and Clarinet

    A final round of auditions usually take place on the first weekend of Michaelmas Term. Woodwind players can expect to be called to a final audition if they are considered to be in the running for a place in Cambridge University Orchestra, Cambridge University Sinfonia or principals of CUWO. String players will be called in for a final audition if they are contenders for Cambridge University Orchestra or leadership/high-ranking places in Cambridge University Sinfonia.

    You may play the same piece as you played in the first round.

    Please note:

    Cellists, Oboists and Flautists 

    At your final round audition (about 15 minutes long), you will be invited to play a piece or extract of your own choice and also play one or two pieces of sight-reading. Your chosen piece/extract should not last more than four minutes. 

    Clarinetists 

    At your final round audition (about 12 minutes long), you will be invited to play a piece or extract of a piece of your own choice. Your chosen piece/extract should not last more than four minutes. You will also be invited to play selections from the attached excerpts

    Violinists

    Please prepare two contrasting pieces for the final round lasting no more than 7 minutes for the two pieces. There will also be some sight-reading. 

    How to sign up for an audition

    You can sign up to audition for our ensembles by filling in this form. Please read all the details on the form carefully. 

    On the day of the audition

    Please arrive at West Road Concert Hall and sign in at the CUMS welcome desk around 15 minutes before your audition time. You will be asked to fill out a form indicating your ensemble preferences. There will be a room in which to warm up before your audition, and a helper from the CUMS welcome desk will show you to your audition room at the correct time.

    After your audition

    You will be notified of your audition outcome by email or telephone as soon as possible after the audition has taken place. If your audition is successful, you will be assigned places in a number of concerts, most likely one of the following options:

    • A place in all Cambridge University Orchestra concerts for the year (chamber and symphonic).
    • A place in 3 Cambridge University Orchestra concerts (large-scale symphonic works)
    • A place in all Cambridge University Sinfonia concerts for the year (one concert per term).
    • A place in Cambridge University Wind Orchestra.

    If you have any queries about the auditions, please see our FAQ page or contact Isabelle Freeman who will be more than happy to help. Good luck!