The Bob Cole Conservatory features 12 major performance ensembles and over 20 chamber ensembles. All students must audition for placement. The auditions are highly competitive; students are expected to practice all excerpts and other requested material to the best of their ability. For guidance preparing the audition, contact your area director.
Audition Times, Requirements, and Sign-up Forms
Latest update: August 21, 2023.
Please select your instrument area below for specific repertoire, registration and audition date selection requirements.
If you have additional questions about your audition, please contact the Area Director of your instrument directly using the email address provided.
All students enrolled for Fall 2023 MUST audition for ensemble placement.
Brass and Woodwind students have blind auditions, meaning the adjudicators will not know who is auditioning. Arrive 5 minutes before auditions for your instrument are scheduled to begin (see below). Audition order will be determined by a random drawing.
A Proctor will open and shut the door and turn pages if necessary.
Bring your audition material with you into the room. While in the room do not speak or you will be asked to leave and audition at a later time. You may whisper questions to the proctor.
Thank you for your interest in singing in one of the outstanding choirs of the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music. All music majors enrolled in voice lessons for Fall 2023 MUST audition for ensemble placement. Non music majors are encouraged to audition for any ensemble (or sing with ConChord, which doesn’t require an audition).
Choral Audition Times and Location
Tuesday, Wednesday, & Friday, August 15, 16, and 18 in the Frank Pooler Choir Room, UMC-A301.
Chamber Choir Call-backs: Friday, August 18, from 6:00pm-9:00pm
Chamber Choir Requirements
To audition for the Bob Cole Chamber Choir, please do the following:
Prepare a classical solo, 2-3 minutes in length
Learn (you don’t need to memorize) this piece: Robles—Gloria from the Mass in Eflat ep-choir.pdf (515k)
Those who audition for Chamber Choir will automatically be considered for University Choir.
Be prepared to sight-read and demonstrate tonal memory
If offered a call back, you MUST attend in order to enroll in the ensemble in the Fall.
An accompanist will be provided for your audition.
Jazz students audition the week before each Fall Semester and are placed in a Jazz Performance Ensemble based on the merit of their audition.
All incoming and returning jazz studies majors are required to audition. BCCM music majors and other CSULB students interested in performing with a big band or combo are invited to attend.
Audition Times and Location
Monday, August 14 from 9:00am-5:00pm in Jazz Room UMC-A307 (Individual Auditions)
Tuesday, August 15 from 9:00am-5:00pm in Jazz Room UMC-A307 (Individual Auditions); 7:00pm-9:00pm in Room UMC-A307 (Big Band Reading Session)
Placement Auditions for Big Bands
Individual placement auditions (1st & 2nd day)—These are the same as your entrance audition. We need hear you again since it may have been several months since your entrance audition.
Big Band Reading Session (evening of the 2nd day)—We read through big band charts, rotating players so as to hear everyone in an actual performance setting. After this reading session is done, saxophonists remain for a woodwind doubling reading session.
The audition results will be emailed to candidates the next morning. Rehearsals begin Wednesday, August 23.
Instrumental Jazz Requirements
Prepare a medium-tempo or up-tempo jazz standard/etude that demonstrates your jazz style. Something in a swing feel is preferred. Be prepared to perform the melody of the tune and, if auditioning for a soloist position, improvise to the chord changes. Bring your own accompaniment track. A sound system with a CD player and connecting cords for laptop computers, iPods, iPhones and similar devices is provided. As part of the audition process, you will sightread a short jazz etude or excerpt to evaluate rhythmic and note accuracy in a consistent time feel.
Saxophonists should be prepared to briefly demonstrate woodwind-doubling skills on a jazz or classical etude or excerpt. Alto saxophonists should be prepared to play soprano sax and flute. Tenor saxophonists should be prepared to play clarinet and flute. Baritone saxophonists should be prepared to play bass clarinet and flute.
Guitar, Piano, Vibes
Prepare a medium-tempo or up-tempo jazz standards/etudes. Be prepared to perform the melody of the tune, perform a chord melody (guitar only), "comp" the chord changes, and improvise over the changes. Bring your own accompaniment track. A sound system with a CD player and connecting cords for laptop computers, iPods, iPhones and similar devices is provided. As part of the audition process, you will sightread a short jazz etude or excerpt to evaluate rhythmic and note accuracy in a consistent time feel. Guitarists and vibraphonists will be asked to play the written melody line; Pianists will be asked to play the written melody while comping the chord changes in the left hand. A guitar amp is provided, but candidates are welcome to bring their own. Patch cords are not provided.
Prepare a medium-tempo or up-tempo jazz standard/etude in contrasting styles. Be prepared to perform the melody of the tune, provide a bass line (comp), and improvise to the chord change. Bring your own accompaniment track. A sound system with a CD player and connecting cords for laptop computers, iPods, iPhones and similar devices is provided. Candidates must audition on acoustic bass. The Jazz Studies area does not admit candidates who play electric bass exclusively. As part of the audition process, you will sightread a short jazz etude or excerpt to evaluate rhythmic and note accuracy in a consistent time feel. A bass amp is provided for auditions, but candidates are welcome to provide their own.
Prepare a medium-tempo or up-tempo jazz standard/etude. Be prepared to perform the tune with accompaniment tracks provided by you. A sound system with a CD player and connecting cords for laptop computers, iPods, iPhones and similar devices is provided. You may be asked to demonstrate grooves in a variety of styles. As part of the audition you will be asked to sightread a portion of a big band chart to demonstrate your ability to play a consistent groove in the style, play set-up figures, and accurately play notated ensemble cues. A drum kit is provided for all auditions. Candidates should provide their own cymbals.
You must do TWO things to sign up for your audition:
Fill out the online audition form. After you click "submit" you will receive a confirmation email
Follow the link in the confirmation email and SCHEDULE YOUR AUDITION
If you have questions about your audition repertoire or difficulty signing up, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to audition for a spot in a jazz combo there are two options:
If you already have a Big Band audition slot scheduled (August 14 or 15), or will be scheduling one, your Big Band audition will also cover your combo placement.
If you would like to participate in Jazz Combos but are not participating in a Big Band audition, please contact combo director Jimmy Emerzian at email@example.com to provide a pre-screen recording and/or schedule a live audition (August 16-18).
About Jazz Combos
Combo placements will be completed and announced by the first day of classes, Tuesday, August 22nd. Combos will begin rehearsing the first week of school.
Combo participation is open to all students, based on skill and our instrumental needs, but priority is given to Jazz Majors, then Music Majors, and then to other majors. Placement in a combo is by audition only and is not guaranteed with course registration.
Our groups rehearse Thursdays from 5:00pm-7:00pm and 7:00pm-9:00pm and Fridays 10:00am-12:00pm. Your placement in the time slot you register for is not guaranteed. We try to accommodate availability to avoid conflicts with other mandatory ensembles, but when you audition please know that you may be placed in any of these time slots.
All students enrolled for Fall 2023 MUST audition for ensemble placement.
Opera Audition Times and Location
Please bring two memorized selections, at least one of which is in a language other than English. Arias are preferred, but not mandatory.
Students New to the Opera Program
For students new to the Opera program, a zoom chat with opera faculty prior to audition will be required. These sessions will take place Fri-Sat August 18-19. The purpose of the chat is for us to get acquainted with you a bit, and to give you an opportunity to ask any questions you might have prior to the audition.