Fall 2023 UNCA Music Ensemble Audition Information

  • Thursday, August 24 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, August 21, outside the Music Office- 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

Bluegrass Ensemble   MUSC 123.004Wayne ErbsenTBAAUDITION REQUIRED - see below
Contemporary Guitar Ensemble MUSC 123.005 Tim DoyleTR 7:00PM – 9:00 PM 

LIP 018

CONTACT TIM DOYLE tdoyle@unca.edu
String QuartetMUSC 123.003Joseph FalconerTBACONTACT
AfroMusics EnsembleMUSC 123.002Adama DembeleTBAAUDITION REQUIRED - see below
Symphony - Blue Ridge OrchestraMUSC 124.001Toby KingTBACONTACT TOBY KING jking6@unca.edu
Studio 018 Vocal Jazz EnsembleMUSC 125.001Brent LaCasceTBACONTACT BRENT LACASCE
Percussion EnsembleMUSC 128.001Matthew RichmondTBACONTACT MATTHEW RICHMOND
X-TETMUSC 129.001Justin RayW 7:00-9:30 PMAUDITION REQUIRED - see below


The Breakfast Club Ensemble MUSC 129.003Zack PageM 5:30-7:30 LIP 018AUDITION REQUIRED - see



Latin JazzMUSC 122.001Will BoydMW 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM 

LIP 018 



Wayne Shorter EnsembleMUSC 129.002Brian FelixTBAAUDITION REQUIRED - see



Chamber Music EnsembleMUSC 129.008Hwa-Jin KimTBA AUDITION REQUIRED - see below 
Songwriters EnsembleMUSC 123.007Emily EngTBA AUDITION REQUIRED - see below 



Jazz Ensemble Audition Requirements:


1) 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.)

2) Scales - D major scale, C 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 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: Asheville Singers: The Asheville Singers is an ensemble of gifted and talented pre- professional singers. The ensemble performs a wide variety of music in 2 main concerts throughout the semester. It also serves as an ambassador ensemble for UNC Asheville, representing the university at local, state, and regional events. To audition for this group, please prepare 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. Auditions are held by appointment during the first week of classes. 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 Dr. Emily Eng eeng@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 by composers who have written works specifically for the guitar or guitar ensemble, including compositions by CGE members themselves. This group also uses improvisation and similar approaches that facilitate spontaneous composition and soundscapes. CGE members are expected to have access to a steel-string acoustic guitar with a strap. 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 Adama Dembele adembele@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


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, please fill out this Google form: https://forms.gle/KUxXnJEM5Eh5QLp47: Contact Emily Eng eeng@unca.edu


Chamber Music Ensemble: The Chamber Music Ensemble presents a unique training experience in the art of chamber ensemble playing within an intimate group performance setting. This class is designed to provide students with a wonderful opportunity to delve into the world of traditional chamber music repertoire and explore arrangements encompassing both Classical and popular styles. The course's highlight is the final recital at the end of the semester, open to the public. Students will showcase their growth and present chamber music pieces prepared throughout the semester. For more information contact Dr. Hwa-Jin Kim hkim@unca.edu


Breakfast Club Ensemble: The Breakfast Club will explore the songs and sounds of the 80s.  MTV and VH1 videos along with the soundtracks from classic 80s movies and 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 For more information contact Zack Page zack.page@gmail.com


Latin Jazz: Hola everyone, and welcome to the Latin Jazz Ensemble. In this high-energy course, we will learn and perform jazz standards arranged with Latin rhythms as well as music from major artists of the genre including Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Carlos Santana, and Gato Barbieri. We may also delve into various subgenres within popular Latin styles such as Merengue, Salsa, Bachata or even Cumbia. This ensemble is open to all who wish to audition. No prior experience with playing this music is needed. Would like for those who try out to be fluent with their major scales. For more information contact Will Boyd wdboyd1@gmail.com


Wayne Shorter Ensemble: Tenor Saxophonist Wayne Shorter is one of the most prolific and influential composers in the history of jazz and improvised music. His compositions touch on myriad styles, from hard-bop tunes he performed with Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, to the innovative post-bop tunes he wrote for the Miles Davis Quintet, to the fusion tunes he wrote for Weather Report (which he co-led), to the dynamic and multi-genre compositions he wrote for the many groups he led over the years. Students wishing to participate in this ensemble should prepare a Wayne Shorter tune for the audition in addition to a jazz blues and the scales listed above.  If you need a recommendation, please play “Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum.” For more information contact Dr. Brian Felix bfelix@unca.edu with questions.