Students playing flute


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.

Spring 2019 Audition Information

Choral Ensembles:

Auditions will be held on January 24th and 25th.

Our choirs have been lending their voices and bringing spirit to occasions at Cornell since the beginning of the university's history. Touring, recording, and outreach 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.

Please explore for a comprehensive overview of all the choral ensembles at Cornell and a link to audition signups.

Cornell Orchestras:

Students MUST sign-up for an audition at this link. Once you complete the form, Interim Director Adrian Slywotzky will assign an audition time for you via email. For additional information, go to

CU Wind Symphony:

For information, please contact James Spinazzola (

The Performance of Chamber Wind Music:

For information, please contact James Spinazzola ( and visit

CU Jazz: Coming soon

For information, please contact Paul Merrill ( and visit

Chamber Flute Ensemble:

For information, please contact Juliana Pepinsky (

Chamber Music Ensembles:

Auditions for Chamber Music for the Spring will be held on Sunday, January 20th, from 1:30 to 4 pm, and Monday, January 21st from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. Interested students should sign up for a 10-minute audition slot using this form. 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.

Cornell Baroque Orchestra:

 In Spring 2018-19, CBO will be working on Handel’s pasticcio cantata Aminta e Fillide, and we anticipate the following openings: 1-2 violins, 1 cello, and 1 harpsichord. Participation is by audition to be held on Jan 25, 2019, and please write to to schedule an appointment. Click here for more information.

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, January 23, 2019. 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: Coming soon

For more information, please contact Paul Merrill ( and visit

Piano Lessons:

Auditions schedule: Wedesday, january 23rd from 7 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

Voice Lessons: Coming soon

Audition will be held on the week of January 21. Please contact Patrice Pastore ( to set up the audition time. 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.

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).