SPRING 2023 UNCA Music Ensemble Audition Information

  • Thursday, January 12 at 4:30 pm, unless otherwise noted
  • Location: Lipinsky 018, 044
  • You will need to sign up for an audition time slot.
  • The sign-up sheet will be posted no later than Monday, January 9, outside LIP 215
University ChoraleMUSC 113.001Chuck Taft12:30 PM - 1:45 PM | LIP 125NO AUDITION REQUIRED
Asheville Singers  MUSC 114.001Melodie GallowayMW 2:00-3:15 Lobby / Outside LipinskyCONTACT

MELODIE GALLOWAY mgallowa@unca.edu 

Wind Ensemble MUSC 121.001Emily EngMW 3:30 PM - 5:10 PM 

LIP 125


EMILY ENG eeng@unca.edu 

Latin Jazz EnsembleMUSC 122.001Will BoydTBAAUDITION REQUIRED - see below
Bluegrass Ensemble   MUSC 123.001Wayne Erbsen M 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM LIP 107AUDITION REQUIRED - see below 
Contemporary Guitar Ensemble MUSC 123.002 Tim DoyleTR 7:00PM – 9:00 PM 

LIP 018


TIM DOYLE tdoyle@unca.edu

AfroMusics EnsembleMUSC 123.004Adama DembeleTBAAUDITION REQUIRED - see below 
Asheville Choral SocietyMUSC 123.005Melodie GallowayM 7:00 PM - 9:15 PM CONTACT

MELODIE GALLOWAY mgallowa@unca.edu 

Honky Tonk EnsembleMUSC 123.006Toby KingTBAAUDITION REQUIRED - see below
Chamber Music EnsembleMUSC 123.007Hwa-Jin KimTBAAUDITION REQUIRED - see below
Songwriters EnsembleMUSC 123.008Emily EngTBACONTACT - EMILY ENG eeng@unca.edu
Symphony- Blue Ridge OrchestraMUSC 124.001Milton CrottsW 7:00-9:30 PMCONTACT 

BRIAN FELIX bfelix@unca.edu

Studio 018 Vocal Jazz Ensemble MUSC 125.001Brent LaCasceM 5:30-7:30 LIP 018CONTACT

BRENT LACASCE blacasce@unca.edu 

Percussion EnsembleMUSC 128.001Matthew RichmondMW 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM 

LIP 018 

X-TETMUSC 129.001Justin RayTBAAuditions closed 

for SP23

The Breakfast ClubMUSC 129.002Zack PageTBA AUDITION REQUIRED - see below 
Hot Club LipinskyMUSC 129.003Andy JurikTBA AUDITION REQUIRED - see below 



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, ie. Straight No Chaser or Billie’s Bounce).

2) Any standard of your choosing including the head and at least 1 chorus of improvisation. 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 – 12 Major scales


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 Singers 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. No audition required. Fall and Spring.

Contact Chuck Taft  ctaft1@unca.edu


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: The UNCA Wind Ensemble performs repertoire ranging from classic band works to contemporary compositions for wind ensemble. Membership is open to all UNCA community members with experience on a brass, woodwind or percussion instrument. Contact Emily Eng eeng@unca.edu


Latin Jazz Ensemble - Hola a Todos and welcome to the Latin Jazz Ensemble! Here we will be learning music from different Spanish speaking regions such as Cuba, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Mexico, and Spain. We will also be exploring various styles like Salsa, Merengue, Ranchero, Flamenco, Cumbia and many others. All within the jazz idiom. All instruments are welcome, especially percussion. Vocalists are also encouraged to participate. Being able to speak Spanish is a plus, but not a requirement. Please contact Will Boyd (wboyd1@unca.edu) if you have any questions about ensemble or any further requirements.


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 Musics 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 


The Asheville Choral Society is a large community chorus that meets each Monday at the Asheville Jewish Community Center and performs 3-4 concerts each year. Students may participate with instructor permission for a 1-hr course credit in ARTS. The chorus performs a variety of repertoire including, Baroque, Gospel, Folk, Classical and Popular music styles. Contact Melodie Galloway mgallowa@unca.edu


Honky Tonk Ensemble:  Honky-tonk is a simple and clean sounding genre of country music that nonetheless contains sophisticated lyrical writing and rich, technical subtlety. This year, our honky-tonk ensemble will primarily focus on repertoire written by Hank Williams and Willie Nelson. Instrumentation will likely include voice, guitar, piano, fiddle, pedal steel, and upright bass.  Musicians will be expected to identify and develop new expressive skills and techniques in preparation for our weekly rehearsals.  This will be done in consultation with material available in the Center for Music and Roots (on the 2nd floor of Lipinsky), For auditions, please prepare two songs on your primary instrument, from the folk/country/blues roots traditions.  Contact Dr. King at jking6@unca.edu with any questions. 


Chamber Music Ensemble: Chamber Music Ensemble provides training in the fundamentals of chamber ensemble playing in a small group performance setting. This class offers an opportunity for students to explore and perform traditional chamber music repertoire and arrangements of both Classical and popular style music. Contact Hwa-Jin Kim Hwa-Jin Kim hkim@unca.edu


Songwriters Ensemble: The students in this ensemble will perform each other’s original songs. The songs can be written in, or influenced by, any music genre. Songwriters will explore notation styles and rehearsal practices that best suit the music, the instrumentation and the players. Singers, spoken word artists and rappers are welcome. Instrumentation will be based on what the students in the course can play. Acoustic, electric and electronic instruments, as well as MIDI controllers are welcome. The course will culminate with a public concert featuring songs by each of the ensemble members.  Songwriters Ensemble Audition Requirements: For in-person auditions, please prepare any piece of your choosing that demonstrates your skills on your primary instrument. In addition, send an email to Dr. Emily Eng at eeng@unca.edu with the following:


  • A link or audio file of a recording of an original song. Rough sketches recorded on a smart phone will suffice. If lyrics are a work-in-progress, humming the melody will do.
  • Written answers to the following questions:
    • List all the instruments that you play and at what level (beginner, intermediate, advanced).
    • Would you like to sing in this ensemble? You don’t have to be a trained vocalist to sing in this ensemble.
    • Have you written or co-written songs before? Approximately how many?
    • What music genre(s) do you like the most?
    • Which musical artists have influenced you the most?
    • Have you performed with an ensemble or a band before? If so, what type of ensemble/band?

Contact Emily Eng eeng@unca.edu


Symphony- Blue Ridge Orchestra: Performance of classical repertoire with a the Blue Ridge Orchestra. By audition only and permission of the department chair and conductor. Fall and Spring. Contact: Brian Felix bfelix@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: This group plays music of all styles, either written for or adapted for percussion. We focus mostly on student compositions and arrangements; new ideas are always welcome! Percussion experience isn’t required but you must be able to read music at least moderately well. 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 Justin Ray jray3@unca.edu or jkray75@gmail.com


The Breakfast Club will explore the songs and sounds of the 80s. MTV and VH1 videos along with the soundtracks from classic 80s movies will provide us with plenty of material to choose from.  This group is open to all instrumentalists and vocalists.  Applicants should prepare a song from the 80s for the auditions (a vocal melody, or key instrumental melody/part and drum part would be appropriate).  Please submit any questions to zack.page@gmail.com


The Hot Club Lipinsky will focus on the music and legacy of Django Reinhardt, arguably the most important French guitarist in jazz history. The first half of the semester will center around Django’s style and sound and focus on some of his most famous tunes including “Minor Swing,” “Nuages,” and “Swing 42.”. The second half of the semester will explore contemporary musicians carrying on Django’s legacy today, including Stéphane Wrembel, Gonzalo Bergara, and Biréli Lagrène. While guitar (preferably acoustic) and bass are crucial to this style, all performers are encouraged to audition. For more information, contact Dr. Andy Jurik (ajurik@unca.edu).