All About Music: Bands, Choirs, Orchestras, Lessons, and Theory

Auditions for choral and instrumental music ensembles will begin Saturday, Aug. 30, at 8 a.m. (Some early auditions are scheduled for Friday, August 29.) Auditioning students should receive notification of the time and place of their audition in a letter from the Department of Music in early August.

A master audition schedule will be posted on the bulletin board in the front lobby of Christiansen Hall of Music (CHM).

Ensembles

First-year students are welcome to audition for:

  • St. Olaf Band (meets Monday 3:15–4:45 p.m., Tuesday 4:30–6 p.m., and Thursday 4:50–6:15 p.m.)
  • Norseman Band (meets Monday 4:50–6 p.m., Wednesday and Friday 4:30–6:00 p.m.)
  • Viking Chorus (first-year men; meets Tuesday, Wednesday 4:30–5:30 p.m. and Thursday 4:50–5:45 p.m.)
  • Manitou Singers (first–year women; meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday 3:15–4:15 p.m.)
  • Collegiate Chorale (women only — no audition required; meets Tuesday 6–7 p.m.)
  • St. Olaf Orchestra (meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday 4:30–6 p.m.)
  • St. Olaf Philharmonia (meets Tuesday 3:15–5:15 p.m. and Thursday 3:45–5:45 p.m.) both rehearsals are split for strings and winds
  • Collegium Musicum (meets Tuesday 6:30–8:30 p.m.)
  • Jazz Ensembles (meets Monday and Wednesday 7–10 p.m.)
  • Handbell Choirs (two ensembles; meets Tuesday 3:45–4:55 p.m or Tuesday 5:05–6:15 p.m.)

Transfer students may audition for:

  • St. Olaf Choir
  • St. Olaf Orchestra
  • St. Olaf Cantorei
  • Chapel Choir
  • Early Music Singers
  • Collegium Musicum
  • St. Olaf Band Norseman Band
  • St. Olaf Philharmonia
  • Jazz Ensembles
  • Handbell Choirs

Pick up a copy of all rehearsal schedules in Christiansen Hall of Music (CHM).

Auditions

All instrumental and vocal ensemble auditions take place in Christiansen Hall of Music (CHM), where times and locations are posted on bulletin boards. If you already have an audition time, please arrive a few minutes early to fill out a form and warm up. If you wish to sign up for an audition, change your audition time, or ask any questions, report to CHM 204 (vocal) or CHM 140 (instrumental).

Keyboard placement assessment for music majors only

All first-year and transfer music majors must take a keyboard assessment on Friday, August 29, between 2 and 4 p.m. or between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 30. Students should have received notification of the time and place of their audition in a letter from the Music Department. The schedule is posted on the bulletin board in the front lobby. 

• In a five-minute appointment, music faculty will assess your playing, music reading, and theory-at-the-keyboard knowledge to determine your piano placement.

• If you have studied piano, please prepare a short piece or excerpt to demonstrate your level of achievement.

• Keyboard placement results will be posted no later than Sunday evening, August 31, along with other information on how to enroll for a piano class or lessons.

Music composition information

Meet composition faculty member Justin Merritt to learn about program options, expectations for admission to the major, and degree requirements during one 30-minute session Monday, Sept. 1, 1:30 p.m. in CHM 224.

Music education information

Meet music education faculty member Linda Berger to learn about program options, expectations for admission to the major, and degree requirements during one 30-minute session Monday, Sept. 1, at 2:10 p.m. in CHM 233.

Music theory advanced placement

First-year students who received a score of 5 on the AP theory exam and are interested in advanced placement must take an exam on Monday, Sept. 1, 3–5 p.m. in CHM 232. This is the final examination for Theory I and Aural Skills I and will last approximately two hours. Transfer students should contact David Castro (CHM 231, 507-786-3801), associate professor of music theory, for more information.

Music lesson registration

Registration for music lessons — not to be confused with classes — takes place in person in the Music Office (HOM 245) at the following times:

  • Accepted Music Majors: Saturday, August 30: 9 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
  • Non-music Majors: Monday, Sept. 1: 9:30 a.m. 2:30 p.m. * voice and ** piano lessons

*Non-music majors requesting lessons on voice will be screened on Monday, September 1 between 9:30 a.m. and Noon in CHM 201 and Noon and 2:30 p.m. in CHM 202. Students will pick up a registration form first in HOM 245, then report to the screening site.

**Non-music majors requesting lessons on piano will be screened between 9:30 a.m. and Noon and 1-2:30 p.m. in CHM 217.
Students will pick up a registration form first in HOM 245, then report to the screening site.

  • In a 5-minute appointment, music faculty will assess your playing/singing and music reading.
  • If you have studied privately, prepare a short piece or excerpt to demonstrate your level of achievement.
  • Students will be emailed their studio placement along with the assigned instructor’s name once they have been placed in a studio.

Registration for other music courses takes place on Tuesday, Sept 2 during new student registration in TOH Atrium.)

Lockers and instrument rentals

Contact Tim Wells (CHM 101, 507-786-3119), administrative assistant for the Music Department and Music Organizations, for an instrument locker assignment or to rent an instrument.