Ensemble Auditions


Choral Ensembles

All students are encouraged to sing in a choir during their first semester at USC. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Arts and a Bachelor of Music in Choral Music are required to participate in a choral ensemble. Bachelor of Music in Composition students have an ensemble requirement. In order to sing in an ensemble, students must complete an informal audition called a voice placement. Advanced preparation is not required for voice placement.

Ensembles include the Thornton Chamber Singers, Concert Choir, Apollo Chorus, Oriana Choir, University Chorus, and Repertory Singers. Music majors are expected to participate in the two auditioned choirs— Chamber Singers or Concert Choir. All singers are encouraged to participate in the Repertory Singers, which is an ensemble devoted to all graduate recitals and offers the opportunity to prepare large amounts of repertoire at a high level and in a short amount of time. Whether you are a beginning or experienced singer, there is a choir for you.

To schedule a voice placement and learn more about choirs at USC, visit the Choral & Sacred Music page and click on “Sing with Us.” If you have any questions, contact us at singon@usc.edu or (213) 821-5756.

Strings, Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion

All strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion majors must audition for orchestra placement.

Michael Basak, Orchestra Manager, will be in touch with new students by July 15. If you have not heard from him by this date, please email him at mbasak@usc.edu.

Studio Guitar (Graduate) and Jazz Studies Guitar (Undergraduate)

New Studio Guitar (graduate) and Jazz Studies Guitar (undergraduate) students must audition for ensemble placement with the guitar faculty during Welcome Week.

Details will be shared via email later in the summer, but no later than August 10. Questions may be directed to the Division of Contemporary Music office after July 1 at contemporary.music@usc.edu.

Jazz Studies

All new and continuing Jazz Studies students must audition for ensemble placement during Welcome Week. Jazz Guitarists will audition with guitar faculty during Welcome Week. Vocal Jazz ensemble placement will be held during the first week of Fall semester. Non-majors can audition for Jazz and Vocal Jazz ensembles. This will be the only audition for the 2022-2023 school year, so non-majors must audition at this time. Details will be shared via email later in the summer, but no later than August 10. Questions may be directed to the Division of Contemporary Music office after July 1 at contemporary.music@usc.edu.

Popular Music

New Popular Music majors will be required to attend band placements during Welcome Week. New Popular Music students will be required to attend rehearsal room orientation before they are granted room reservation access. Details will be shared via email later in the summer, but no later than August 10. Questions may be directed to the Division of Contemporary Music office after July 1 at contemporary.music@usc.edu.

Opera

Students wishing to participate in an opera production or scenes show as a principal or chorus member must audition during the first week of classes. Freshmen Vocal Arts majors who wish to audition for the Opera Program must first obtain permission from their voice teachers.

The specific dates, times, and locations of these auditions are provided on the Opera Program website. Questions may be directed to the Opera Office at (213) 740-6451 or uscopera@usc.edu.

Vocal Arts

All new vocal arts students are required to sing for the voice faculty before the start of classes. The voice faculty use this as an opportunity to become reacquainted with new students as they collectively plan for the new year. Please prepare 2 memorized songs or arias of contrasting styles; the faculty may only choose to hear one. Collaborative pianists from the Thornton graduate program will be assigned to each singer for the performance along with a short warm-up.

The Vocal Arts office will contact each singer in mid-August with a link to the sign-up sheet. All other questions may be directed to the Vocal Arts Office at (213) 740-7704 or shafiee@usc.edu.