Woodwind, brass and percussion


Auditions will be held in person on August 28, 29, and 31, 2023. Please read the instructions linked below carefully for further details.

If you have any questions, please contact Jacquie Dawson, Director of Bands.

Instructions and times for woodwind, brass and percussion ensemble auditions (PDF)

Required audition excerpts for enrolled Desautels Faculty of Music students or non-music major scholarship applicants

Please note: The following excerpts are compressed folders containing multiple excerpts that you will need to download in order to access.

UM Concert Band audition information

The University of Manitoba Concert Band is open to all UM students and community musicians. Auditions are being accepted for the 2023-2024 academic year. The audition material for the Concert Band is the 2023 Manitoba Senior Honour Band scales and etudes which are now available on the Manitoba Band Association website:  https://www.mbband.org/honour-concert-bands

You may submit a video audition anytime between now and August 20 or audition in person at the Faculty of Music on Thursday, August 31, 2023, 7:00pm – 9:00pm. Video auditions require each etude and scale to be sent in one link/file and the preferred platform is a private YouTube link. If you plan to audition by video submission or in-person, complete and submit the form below no later than August 1, 2023. 

Please send all video audition submissions to Dr. Jacquie Dawson at jacqueline.dawson@umanitoba.ca

If you select the live audition option, Dr. Jacquie Dawson, Director of Bands, be in touch in early August with your specific audition time. The form below is not for use by DFOM students.

2023-2024 UM Concert Band Audition Form

An ensembles scholarship is available to non-music majors seeking to participate in the UM Wind Ensemble, UM Symphony Orchestra, or UM Jazz Orchestra.

Non-music major ensemble scholarship details, eligibility requirements and application

Voice - Opera Theatre and Musical Theatre


Musical Theatre and Opera Theatre auditions for the 2023-2024 academic year will be held in person. Students who have questions or concerns should contact Katherine Twaddle (Opera Theatre) or Donna Fletcher (Musical Theatre).
All voice students will be placed into either the Opera Theatre Ensemble or the Musical Theatre Ensemble by audition. Please review the instructions below carefully and submit the registration form by August 21, 2023 at 11:59pm.

Musical Theatre and Opera Theatre Ensemble Registration Form

Audition Times

*Students may audition on either day but new undergraduate and graduate students should audition on Thursday, August 31st, to avoid conflict with the Welcome Day Events/Diagnostic Exams on Tuesday, September 5th.

Audition Venue

The Opera Theatre and Musical Theatre Ensemble auditions will be held in T2-266.

An accompanist will be provided. Students must have a double-sided legible copy of their sheet music for the accompanist. Please do not sing acapella.

Audition Sign-Ups

Students should sign-up for their audition using the following link. Students should choose only one audition time, and should not remove the name of another student who has signed up. Please avoid leaving gaps when you sign up for your time. If there are too many gaps your time will be changed.


Musical Theatre Audition Instructions

Students must prepare one musical theatre or Gilbert & Sullivan piece of their choosing no more than 4 minutes long.  Please prepare a piece that demonstrates your ability to create a great character arc, suits your vocal range and shows you at your vocal best!  All songs must be performed by memory so please choose something with which you are very familiar! 

In the event that students cannot find an appropriate selection or are having difficulty sourcing a score, backing track (For personal rehearsal only) and score links are offered below to assist students.

1. Bad, Bad Man (Lower voices)
2. Good Thing Going (Medium & Higher voices)
3. Gorgeous (Lower & Medium voices)
4. Why Did I Choose You (Medium & Higher voices)

Backing Tracks


Opera Theatre Audition Instructions

For students whose first choice is to be placed in the Opera Theatre Ensemble, please prepare and memorize a short aria or art song of no longer than four [4] minutes. The auditions will be in person and a pianist will be provided. 

Voice - Choral

2023-2024 Concert Choir auditions

Auditions are ongoing by appointment for the 2023-24 season. Please email the director at catherine.robbins@umanitoba.ca, or sign up to book an audition on Thursday, August 31 or Friday, September 1, 2023. All auditions for UMCC take place in T211 of the Desautels Faculty of Music, Professor Robbins’ office.

Book an audition for UM Concert Choir

Audition requirements for Concert Choir

Auditions focus for the most part on getting an idea of range/tessitura, singing tone, and tonal memory, and include a brief chat about your choir experience. If you’d like to sing a short section of a song you have prepared (any style), it would be welcome. Auditions are friendly and quite informal in nature.

2023-2024 University Singers and Upper Voices auditions

Auditions are being held throughout the summer by appointment (please contact Dr. Elroy Friesen directly at elroy.friesen@umanitoba.ca) or sign-up below to book an audition on September 1, 2023.  If you will not have arrived in Winnipeg by September 1, please contact Elroy Friesen directly to book a time that works for you.

Book an audition for UM Singers and Upper Voices

Audition requirements for University Singers and Upper Voices

Please bring a solo of your own choice (any style – pop, classical, jazz, traditional etc.).  This can be sung with piano (bring sheet music and Elroy can play for you) or you can choose to use a soundtrack or sing a cappella.  The audition will also include some vocalizing to hear range and vocal colour, as well as some simple sight-reading (assisted as needed).



Auditions will be held in person on Friday, September 1, 2023 from 11am-4pm at the Desautels Faculty of Music, T2-145.

Video submissions are allowed primarily if someone has illness or is currently out-of-the-country. We will require all video submissions to be uploaded by Friday September 1, 2023.

Strings student ensemble audition instructions

All strings students will be placed in an ensemble by audition. Participation in the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra (UMSO) is compulsory for all DFOM strings students, with the exception of guitar students. Please fill out the registration form below before Thursday, August 31, 2023, at 4:30 pm.

Strings students should prepare a solo piece of their choice (approximately 1-2 minutes in length). This should be unaccompanied solo repertoire or exposition of a concerto.

Students wishing to audition for a principal/leadership position within the ensemble should prepare ALL excerpts in the packet assigned for their instrument.

Students auditioning for sectional seating should prepare three (3) excerpts from the packet assigned for their instrument.

Non-music UM students and community members auditioning for the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra should prepare two (2) excerpts from the packet assigned for their instrument.

Strings ensemble audition registration form

String ensemble audition sign up sheet

Required audition pieces

An ensembles scholarship is available to non-music majors seeking to participate in the UM Wind Ensemble, UM Symphony Orchestra, or UM Jazz Orchestra.

Non-music major ensemble scholarship details, eligibility requirements and application

Helpful tips to prepare for your strings audition

Is this your first time practicing a specific excerpt? Don't worry! A little research online can prove to be very successful! There are many available resources to research these excerpts and helpful practice tools online, such as https://orchestraexcerpts.com, which helps classical musicians prepare for orchestra auditions.

Students can also find resources for specific instrument areas. For example, cello students might gain insight from this Orchestral Excerpts for Cello Spotify channel, this London Symphony Orchestra masterclass for cellos, or the Orchestra Excerpts resources for cello.

We encourage students to start their audition practice early. If students need additional assistance to prepare for their auditions, they should contact Dr. Minna Chung, Coordinator for Orchestral Studies.



All Piano students will be placed in an ensemble automatically, with 1st & 2nd year students being placed into Accompanying 1 & 2, and 3rd and 4th year, post-baccalaureate and masters students being placed into a chamber ensemble. 

All Piano students will meet individually with the Piano faculty to confirm their studio assignment schedule. These brief meetings will take place in David Moroz's studio (Taché 226) on Tuesday, September 5, 2023. 

Piano students should prepare a short solo piece to perform at this time and bring a copy of their complete class schedule with them.  

Please submit the registration form and sign-up for an audition time below no later than August 25, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.

Piano ensemble registration form

Piano ensemble audition sign-ups

If you have any questions, please contact the appropriate contact listed below: 

Piano: Please contact David Moroz, Area Head for Piano 

Collaborative Piano: Please contact Judy Kehler Siebert, Area Head for Collaborative Piano 


 2023-2024 jazz ensemble auditions

Jazz ensembles include: 

All instrumental jazz students will register for a small ensemble and all jazz vocal students will register for UMJVE (use MUSC X184 for both). All students also require a second ensemble (MUSC X184) which will either be a large jazz ensemble, a second small ensemble, or a non-jazz ensemble (if they so choose), based on their audition(s). Please note that small ensemble rehearsal times will be decided on during the first jazz masterclass, Friday, September 8th, 2023. In order to expedite this process, please submit your Aurora schedule as a PDF (both semesters) when submitting your audition video and take note that ensemble rehearsal times (both coached and uncoached) are the same time throughout the entire academic year due to room availability.

Jazz students can also participate in non-jazz ensembles. Students interested in a non-jazz ensemble should email Fabio Ragnelli as soon as possible if they are interested in auditioning for a non-jazz ensemble.

Non-jazz and non-music students of any instrument (excluding guitar, bass, and drums for 2023 - 2024) are welcome to audition for small jazz ensembles. Trumpet and trombone players are encouraged to audition for UMJO. Any vocalists interested in auditioning for UMJVE should email Karly Epp to determine eligibility. 

Audition requirements

Audition requirements for jazz students:  

Auditions may be recorded with a play-along track or a metronome at a medium or medium-up tempo. 

All students should record the head in and two choruses of solo. 
Drummers should play the rhythm of the melody on the drums for the head in.  

Pianists, guitarists, and drummers should play one chorus of comping after their solo choruses.  

Bassists should play a chorus of walking after their solo choruses.  

Vocalists should choose the key most appropriate for their voice.

An out-head is not required.  
Audition requirements for non-jazz students:  
Non-jazz students auditioning for a small ensemble should choose a tune from the list above that they feel is most appropriate for their ability level and follow the same instructions. In most cases, small ensemble participants will be expected to bring in written-out arrangements for their ensemble and be able to solo. If you are unsure of whether or not you should audition, please email Fabio Ragnelli.  

 Non-jazz students auditioning for UMJO should prepare the PDF excerpt for their instrument provided below. Those wishing to be considered for solo opportunities in UMJO should also prepare three choruses of solo over a Bb blues. Soloing is not required from non-jazz students in the audition or the ensemble.

Audition instructions and instrument audition excerpts (compressed folder for download)

 A scholarship is available to non-music students wishing to participate in jazz ensembles. Interested students should fill out the following form for consideration:

Application form for the non-music student ensemble scholarship

Audition video submission

The deadline for submission of video auditions for the 2023 -2024 school year is Friday, August 25th, 2023. 
Anyone auditioning for jazz ensembles must complete the following form:  
Jazz Ensembles Registration Form

Audition videos should be submitted in the following ways: 
Jazz student audition video submission:

Non-jazz student applicants auditioning for UMJO:

 Non-jazz student applicants auditioning for a small jazz ensemble:

For any questions regarding ensembles and the audition process, please email Fabio Ragnelli

Non-music major ensemble scholarship

The Desautels Faculty of Music will recognize the achievements of students who participate in the University of Manitoba Wind Ensemble, the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra, or the University of Manitoba Jazz Orchestra at the Desautels Faculty of Music, and who are not currently enrolled in the Desautels Faculty of Music.

Each year, scholarships will be offered to students who:

(1) are enrolled part-time or full-time in any year of study in University 1 or any faculty, college or school at the University of Manitoba, with the exception of the Desautels Faculty of Music;
(2) have achieved:
(a) as entering students, a minimum 80% average on those high school courses used for admission to the University of Manitoba;
(b) as continuing students, a minimum degree grade point average of 3.0; or
(c) as graduate students, a minimum grade point average of 3.0 based on the last 60 credit hours (or equivalent) of study; and
(3) have, through ensemble placement auditions, demonstrated a high level of performance in the applied areas of woodwind, brass, percussion, strings, or jazz.

Scholarships will be awarded based on instrumentation needs in the ensembles each year, and will be at the discretion of the ensemble directors. 

Please note that students wishing to be considered for UMWE, UMSO or UMJO and the non-music major scholarship must complete the audition requirements as prescribed by each area for DFOM music majors.

Candidates will be required to fill out a Desautels Faculty of Music Ensemble Scholarship application, and Departmental Permission Form by August 20, 2023. 

Application Deadline: August 20, 2023

Ensemble scholarship application