Phil/SL Auditions


Philharmonic/Section Leader

All members who wish to join the CSO Philharmonic Ensemble must audition at the start of the semester. Visit our ensemble descriptions page to learn more about Philharmonic. If you’re interested in being a Section Leader, check out our Section Leader information page.

If you want to audition to be a Section Leader (SL), you must also audition for Philharmonic and answer a few brief questions regarding your experience. SLs are chosen at the beginning of the Fall semester and will remain the same through the entirety of the school year, unless challenged at the start of the Spring semester. Any member of the Philharmonic or anyone who wishes to join the Philharmonic can challenge the current SL. In the event of a challenge, both the challenger and the current SL will audition and answer questions regarding the position. The score of the audition and responses to the questions will be used to determine the SL.


Audition Dates, Times, Location:

  • Thursday 9/19 - 5:30-10 PM - Warm up in Newcomb 376, audition in Newcomb 360

  • Friday 9/20 - 3:30-10 PM - Warm up in Newcomb 182, audition in Newcomb 360

  • Saturday 9/21 - 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM- Warmup in Newcomb 376, audition in Newcomb 389


Please arrive to the audition room 5 minutes prior to your scheduled audition time.

Auditions will be judged by our Performance Directors, and results will be announced via email.

All members of the Philharmonic are also required to perform in and rehearse with the Main Ensemble.


Audition Materials & FormaT

Fall 2019 Audition Materials:

The auditions will consist of a major scale, a chromatic scale, two prepared excerpts, and a short sight-reading excerpt. Please come with a copy of your prepared excerpts. If you also wish to audition for Section Leader, a few brief interview questions will follow the playing portion of the audition.

  • Major Scale: The judges will choose one major scale at random for you to play. Play whatever rhythmic pattern is comfortable, and as many octaves as you can comfortably play.

  • Chromatic Scale: Play whatever rhythmic pattern is comfortable, and as many octaves as you can comfortably play. Note: string instruments are not required to play a chromatic scale.

  • Prepared Excerpts: These will differ from instrument to instrument and are listed below.

  • Sight-Reading: After playing the two prepared excerpts, you will be given a sheet with a short excerpt to sight-read. After receiving the excerpt, you will have one minute to look it over and prepare. Be sure to pay careful attention to style and dynamics, in addition to the notes and rhythms.

  • Section Leader Questions: Should you wish to audition to be a Section Leader, you will be asked a few brief questions following the playing portion of the audition. These are likely to cover music and leadership experience, and what you hope to accomplish as Section Leader.

Please contact Performance Directors, Maddy Ross ( & Emily Anderson (, with any questions or concerns regarding auditions, CSO’s ensembles, or the role of Section Leader.