Ensembles are open to all UNC Asheville students, regardless of major!

Spring 2022 UNCA Music Ensemble Audition Information

Ensemble auditions will be submitted online, and they are due on Thursday, January 13, at 12 noon.

In order to be considered for ensembles, you MUST complete the online audition form. Audition Form.  Please reach out to the individual ensemble directors with any questions.

Please link a Google Drive Folder with your audition video(s) in it from the Audition Form. PLEASE MAKE SURE THE FOLDER SHARING IS SET TO "ANYONE WITH THE LINK CAN VIEW"

Spring 2022 Ensembles

EnsembleCourse #DirectorMeetsAudition Info
Asheville SingersMUSC 114.001Melodie GallowayMon. & Wed. 12:30-1:45 p.m.;
Lobby / Outside Lipinsky
Contact Melodie Galloway, mgallowa@unca.edu
Wind EnsembleMUSC 121.001Fletcher PeacockMon. & Wed. 3:30-5:10 p.m.; Lipinsky 125Contact Fletcher Peacock, fpeacock@unca.edu
Bluegrass EnsembleMUSC 123.001Wayne ErbsenTBAAudition Required - see below
Contemporary Guitar EnsembleMUSC 123.002Tim DoyleTBAContact Tim Doyle, tdoyle@unca.edu
String QuartetMUSC 123.003Joseph FalconerTBAContact Joseph Falconer, jfalcone@unca.edu
AfroMusic EnsembleMUSC 123.004Toby KingTues. & Thurs. 5-7 p.m.; Lipinsky 018Audition Required - see below
Symphony - Blue Ridge OrchestraMUSC 124.001Brian FelixWed., 7-9 p.m.; Lipinsky 018Audition Required - see below
Studio 018 Vocal Jazz EnsembleMUSC 125.001Brent LaCasceTBAContact Brent LaCasce, blacasce@unca.edu
Percussion EnsembleMUSC 128.001Matthew RichmondMon. & Wed. 2-3:15 p.m.; Lipinsky 018Contact Matthew Richmond, mrichmon@unca.edu
XTETMUSC 129.001William BaresTBAAudition Required - see below
Yacht Rock EnsembleMUSC 129.003Zack PageTBAAudition Required - see below
Third Stream EnsembleMUSC 129.002Andy JurikTBAAudition Required - see below
Standards EnsembleMUSC 129.004Steve AlfordWed. 4-6 p.m.Audition Required - see below
UNCA Large Jazz EnsembleMUSC 122.001Steve AlfordTBAAudition Required - see below
University ChoraleMUSC 113.001Chuck TaftMon. & Wed. 2-3:15 p.m.; Lipinsky 125No Audition Required


Jazz Ensemble Audition Requirements

Jazz Instrumentalists and Vocalists (except drummers):

  1. A jazz blues - with a head and at least 2 choruses of improvisation (can be any head, i.e. Straight No Chaser or Billie’s Bounce). Please submit a video with yourself playing to a backing track.
  2. Any standard of your choosing including the head and at least 1 chorus of improvisation. Please submit a video with yourself playing to a backing track. (Note: If you are interested in a particular combo, please choose a piece that demonstrates your playing in that style. See individual ensemble requirements below.)
  3. Scales - F major scale, G harmonic minor scale, chromatic scale

1) Display competency in a variety of styles (jazz swing, jazz ballad, funk, bossa, rock) Note: If you are interested in a particular combo, demonstrate your playing in that style.

Ensemble Descriptions and Specific Requirements

University Chorale: University Chorale is an ensemble that prepares singers for a lifetime of choral participation as experienced singers, music educators and enthusiastic amateurs. The choir performs a full range of literature including major works with orchestra, standard repertoire for choral ensembles, and other works representing a global diversity of musical styles.

Asheville Singers: The Asheville Singers is an ensemble of gifted and talented pre-professional singers, music educators, and dedicated amateurs. The ensemble performs a wide variety of music in concerts throughout the semester. It also serves as an ambassador ensemble for UNC Asheville, representing the university at local, state and regional events. By audition. Please perform 2 contrasting songs that you are confident singing. Styles may include: classical, folk, musical theater or gospel. Indicate which voice part you usually sing (if you know it) and a brief summary of your choral singing experience - you may talk about your experience just before or after one of your songs in your video recording. There may be a follow-up Zoom singing interview with the director. Contact Dr. Melodie Galloway, mgallowa@unca.edu.

Wind Ensemble: Performance course emphasizing reading and technique. Ability to perform on a brass, woodwind or percussion instrument required. Contact Fletcher Peacock, fpeacock@unca.edu.

Bluegrass Ensemble: Bluegrass music is a 20th century amalgam of popular and traditional music styles that coalesced in the 1940s in the American southeast, emphasizing vocal performance and instrumental improvisation. This ensemble will highlight through performance many of the influences and traditions that bluegrass comprises, including ballads, breakdowns, “brother duets,” gospel quartets, Irish-style medleys, “modal” instrumentals, “old time” country, popular song, and rhythm and blues, among many possible others. Though experienced players will have plenty of opportunities to improvise, participants need not have played bluegrass before. The ensemble should include fiddle, 5-string banjo, steel string acoustic guitar, mandolin, resophonic guitar (Dobro®), upright (double) bass. Audition requirements: please perform two contrasting songs from a ‘roots” genre (folk, blues, country, roots-rock, Celtic, Tejano…), on an appropriate instrument (see above). At least one of the two should feature your voice. Contact Wayne Erbsen, banjo@nativeground.com.

Contemporary Guitar Ensemble: The CGE focuses on music from contemporary composers who have written for the guitar or for guitar ensemble, including compositions by CGE members themselves. This group also engages in improvisation and approaches that facilitate spontaneous composition. CGE members are expected to have access to a steel string acoustic guitar. On occasion, we play electric guitars, but having access to one is not mandatory. We would ask those who can commit to both semesters to plan to do so, so they can participate in our performances in the spring. We will also be releasing some virtual content during the semester in lieu of live performances. Contact Tim Doyle, tdoyle@unca.edu.

String Quartet: The UNCA String Quartet studies and performs music from the Baroque to Today, including original works for string quartet as well as arrangements and transcriptions from many genres of music. The ensemble is comprised of two violins, viola, and cello. The Quartet performs for the public and for University events. Contact Joseph Falconer, jfalcone@unca.edu.

Afro-Percussion Ensemble: This ensemble explores the melodies, rhythms and textures of African and African derived musical practices. Ensembles will include traditional and contemporary instrumentation. Experience in African-related performance traditions is desirable, but not required. For auditions, please prepare a piece on your primary instrument that demonstrates notable polyrhythm, cross-rhythms, compound meter, and/or syncopation. Contact Dr. Toby King, jking6@unca.edu.

Studio 18: Studio 18 is a competitive vocal jazz ensemble whose members are advanced, skilled singers. The group performs in a variety of jazz styles at performances held on campus and in the Asheville community as part of the professional music environment. Contact Brent LaCasce, blacasce@unca.edu.

Percussion Ensemble: Performance course emphasizing percussion literature of all styles. Contact Matthew Richmond, mrichmon@unca.edu.

X-Tet: This flagship ensemble will perform several concerts and functions at UNCA and in the greater WNC area. Members of this group receive a scholarship for their participation in the group. See general audition requirements for instrumentalists, listed above. Contact Bill Bares, wbares@unca.edu.

Third Stream Ensemble: The Third Stream Ensemble will explore the connections between classical, jazz, and contemporary music. Musical selections will balance improvisation with strictly composed elements. Works for the semester will come from Ralph Towner, Astor Piazzolla, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and Chick Corea, among others. Interested students will be encouraged to compose and arrange for this ensemble. This group would be ideal for jazz musicians looking to improve their reading chops, classical musicians interested in improvising, and anyone in between. This will be an open-instrumentation ensemble, and all performers (instrumental and vocal) are welcome to audition. Contact Andy Jurik, ajurik@unca.edu.

Yacht Rock Ensemble: The Yacht Rock Ensemble celebrates the soft rock sounds of the 70s and 80s coming out of sunny Southern California. Often ridiculed, and sometimes cheesy, Yacht Rock is actually very catchy and a lot of fun to play. Although there will be some improvisation, we will primarily focus on faithfully executing and recreating the material as it was originally recorded.  Participants can expect to have to do work outside of class learning their individual parts. The Yacht Rock Ensemble is open to vocalists, guitarists, keyboardists and drummer/percussionists. Horn players are also considered.  Instrumentalists that can double on vocals would be welcomed. Yacht Rock artists we may cover include Christopher Cross, Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers, Hall and Oates, Kenny Loggins, Toto, Michael McDonald and Rupert Holmes. For more information email Zack Page at zpage@unca.edu.

Standards Ensemble: An intensive deep-dive into standard jazz repertoire, students will be asked to learn a large number of standards throughout the semester (one or two per week). This ensemble will require learning melodies, chord progressions, and chord tone quarter-note improvisations leading to eighth-note downbeat reductions on each song learned. This is a great ensemble to develop strategies for learning songs, expanding repertoire, and understanding jam session etiquette and procedure. Participants must already understand basic Jazz chord theory (IE: participants must already know how to spell chords such as C7, F#-7, or Eo). Contact Steve Alford, salford2@unca.edu.

UNCA Large Jazz Ensemble: Essential to the study of contemporary instrumental music, the Large Jazz Ensemble focuses on section performance, sight reading, instrumental blend, and a variety of styles ranging from 1920's and 30's swing and dance era musics to the modern music of today. Ensemble participants will develop music reading skills, sectional rehearsal techniques, and appropriate performance practice for a variety of styles on large ensemble playing. Audition requirements: [standard requirements as outlined by contemporary music ensemble auditions in toto]. For questions contact Steve Alford, salford2@unca.edu.