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The College of Arts Sciences


Performance is a fundamental part of Cornell’s cultural life. The Department of Music encourages music-making through a wide array of chamber and large ensembles, as well as its offerings in private lessons and directed coaching by members of the music faculty. Master classes, degree and non-degree recitals, contemporary music concerts, and an annual concerto competition supplement the music department’s concert offerings.

Fall 2018 Audition Information

Choral Ensembles:

The choirs have been lending their voices and bringing spirit to occasions at Cornell since the beginning of the university's history. The student-led choral programs at Cornell offer truly unique experiences for members--perks which bring us together and motivate our members to lead and inspire. The four department choral ensembles (Chorus, Glee Club, Chamber Singers, and Chorale) hold joint auditions.

Auditions begin on Sunday, August 19th. To sign up for an audition, please visit

Please explore for a comprehensive overview of all the choral ensembles at Cornell and for more audition information. Also, visit the websites for the individual ensembles to learn more about unique experiences each one has to offer:,, and

Cornell Orchestras:

Students MUST sign-up for an audition online.  For information, go to or contact Henry Cheng.

Sunday, August 19
3:30-5:30 pm Percussion with Michael Sparhuber in B20

Monday, August 20
1:30-3:30 pm Flutes with Elizabeth Shuhan and Juliana Pepinsky in B20
3:30-5:30 pm bass auditions with TBA in B20
7:30-9 pm Clarinets with Lenora Schneller in B20

Tuesday, August 21
12:30-4pm viola auditions with Madeline Schatz-Harris in B21
4-6pm oboes and bassoons with Emily DiAngelo and Daniel Hane in B21

Wednesday, August 22
9am-2pm cello auditions with John Haines Eitzen in B21
2-3pm trumpet auditions in B21
3-5pm horns with Ilze Brink-Button auditions in B21
5-6:30 pm low brass, tuba with Ryan Zawel auditions in B21

Thursday, August 23
1-2:30 pm violin auditions with Timna Mayer in B20
2:40 - 4:30 pm violin auditions with Timna Mayer in B21

Friday, August 24
12-1pm keyboard auditions in B20
1-3 pm violin auditions with Timna Mayer in B20
3-5 pm violin auditions with Timna Mayer in B21

Saturday, August 25
10 am CSO, CCO audition results posted online

Sunday, August 26
2 pm Orchestra picnic

Monday, August 27
445 pm in B20 first rehearsal for CSO

Tuesday, August 28
445 pm in Barnes Hall first rehearsal for CCO

CU Winds:

Please visit and click the Auditions link for instructions and procedures, musical excerpts, and audition times. For information, please contact James Spinazzola (

Tuesday, August 21 – Lincoln Hall B20
5-6:30pm – Percussion
6:30-7:30pm – Saxophones
7:30-9pm – Oboes & bassoons
9-10:30pm – Conflicts & overflow 
Wednesday, August 22 – Lincoln Hall B20 & B21
9-10am – Piano & double bass
10am-12:30pm – Clarinets
1:30-4pm – Flutes
4-5:10pm – Trumpets 
6:10-7:30pm – Horns (moving to B21 at 6:30)
7:30-9pm – Low brass: trombones, euphoniums, tubas
9-10:30pm – Conflicts & overflow
Thursday, August 23 – First day of classes
10am – Audition results posted on CU Winds bulletin board (outside B20), and on  
4:45-6:25pm – First rehearsal! (B20)
Friday, August 24 – First day of classes
5pm – Welcome picnic on the Arts Quad

CU Jazz:

Audition Packet and FAQ

For more information, please contact Paul Merrill ( and visit

Chamber Music Ensembles:

Auditions schedule: Sunday, August 26th from 11am to 1 pm, and Monday, August 27th from 12 to 4 pm in 231 Lincoln Hall. A sign up sheet will be posted on the door of 231 Lincoln on August 22. Students are asked to prepare two contrasting pieces for their 15 minute audition, and they will be asked to sight read a short selection. Cornell faculty meet with groups individually each week for an hour, in addition to a bi-monthly chamber music class, in which student play for each other and receive feedback from students and faculty alike. Groups will be expected to rehearse on their own at least once a week. All students will perform in a Student Chamber Music Recital near the end of the semester. Please contact Miri Yampolsky ( or Juliana Pepinsky ( for more information.

Chamber Flute Ensemble:

For information, please contact Juliana Pepinsky ( .

Cornell Baroque Orchestra:

One prepared piece, preferably composed before 1800 (e.g. J.S. Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Corelli, etc.). By appointment. Please contact Morton Wan (

Deixa Sambar (Brazilian Ensemble):

Deixa Sambar performs several styles of samba, Brazil’s national music. Members need not have prior background in music-making, but a good sense of rhythm is desirable. Members include students as well as Ithaca community members, “brasileiros” as well as newcomers to Brazilian culture. No audition necessary. For more information, contact Professor Steven Pond (

Gamelan Ensemble:

The Gamelan Ensemble is open to the Cornell community by permission of the instructor. For information, please contact Christopher Miller (

Improvisation Ensemble:

Auditions take place during the first class meeting in B20 Lincoln Hall from 7:00pm to 9:30pm on Wednesday, August 29, 2018. For more information, please contact Annie Lewandowski (

Steel Band:

For information, please contact Christopher Miller (

Cornell Percussion Group:

For information, please contact Mike Sparhuber (


Individual Lesson Auditions

Jazz Lessons:

Prepare two pieces: one jazz standard and a blues
All major scales
Sight read
Or, attend CU Jazz Auditions
For more information, please contact Paul Merrill ( and visit

Piano Lessons:

Auditions schedule: Saturday August 25, from 2 to 5 pm, Sunday, August 26, from 2 to 5 pm in 331 Lincoln Hall. A sign up sheet will be posted on the door of 331 Lincoln. Students are asked to prepare two contrasting pieces for their ten-minute audition, and they will be asked to sight read a short selection. Those who are accepted to lessons must sign up for the course, and those receiving more than 1 credit hour must take a history or theory course concurrently (please see course catalog). Contact Professor Xak Bjerken ( for more information.

Violin Lessons:

For violinists auditioning for CU Orchestras that are also interested in participation in the Lessons Program, that audition will suffice as both.  For violinists interested in private lessons only, please contact Dr. Ariana Kim directly at arianakim@cornell.eduto schedule an audition (these will take place on August 14th and September 2).

Voice Lessons: Coming soon!

Schedule: Friday, August 24 from 2 to 5 pm, Saturday, August 25 from 1 to 4 pm, Monday, August 27 from 4:30-6:30 pm, and Tuesday, August 28 from 2 to 6 pm. Sign-up sheets are posted on the door of 142 Lincoln. Auditions should bring one or two pieces that best demonstrate their current level, both musical and vocal. Placement options are sometimes available for beginners without repertory. Those students will be asked to vocalize for range identification and musical skill. Please contact Patrice Pastore ( for more information.

Students interested in taking lessons for the first time on any other instrument should audition during the instrument’s scheduled ensemble audition time.  Students do not need to re-audition if they have taken lessons in the past, unless they are taking lessons on a different instrument for the first time. Contact the Faculty Sponsor for your instrument (a list of these sponsors can be found at

Featured Ensemble Performance: Symphony Orchestra with Glee Club and Chorus, 5/6/17

Cornell Symphony Orchestra (CSO), led by conductor Chris Younghoon Kim, with the Cornell University Chorus and Glee Club, directed by Stephen Spinelli. Features Sibelius Symphony No. 7 and Lili Boulanger’s Psalm 130 (Du fond de l’abîme).