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

Spring 2021 UNCA Music Ensemble Audition Information

Please note that all ensembles for the Spring 2021 semester will be meeting in person as much as possible, unless specified otherwise below. This may include some remote sessions per the discretion of the instructor. All safety guidelines will be followed in accordance with the UNC Asheville Expectations of Mutual Respect & Care for All Agreement. By submitting the audition form you agree to participate in person in the ensemble(s) for which you are selected.

All auditions will be online video submissions. In order to be considered for ensembles you MUST complete the online form. If a video audition is required for any of the ensembles you are requesting, please make sure to submit your video (via the form) as a Google Drive link or YouTube playlist.

Spring 2021 Ensembles

EnsembleCourse #DirectorMeetsAudition Info
Asheville SingersMUSC 114.001Melodie GallowayTues. & Thurs. 1:20-2:35 p.m.; OnlineContact 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 123.001Toby KingThurs. 5-7 p.m.; Lipinsky 018Audition Required - see below
Contemporary Guitar EnsembleMUSC 123.002Tim DoyleMon. 7-8:30 p.m.; Lipinsky 018Contact Tim Doyle, tdoyle@unca.edu
String QuartetMUSC 123.003Benjamin SmithTBA - Audition for viola onlyContact Ben Smith; ben@carolinacello.com
AfroMusics EnsembleMUSC 123.004Toby KingThurs. 5-7 p.m.; Lipinsky 107Audition 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
XTET - open to additional membersMUSC 129.001Justin RayThurs. 1:20-3:20 p.m., Lipinsky 018Audition Required - see below
Thelonious Monk EnsembleMUSC 129.002Bill BaresTBAAudition Required - see below
Chick Corea EnsembleMUSC 129.003Matthew RichmondTues. 1:20-3:20 p.m., Lipinsky 018Audition Required - see below
Soul Jazz EnsembleMUSC 129.004Zack PageTBAAudition Required - see below
Standards EnsembleMUSC 129.005Steve AlfordTBAAudition 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). 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

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.

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 Ben Smith bsmith7@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 Dr. Toby King jking6@unca.edu.

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. Regarding performances, this Fall 2020, we will be focusing more on composition and preparing music for the Spring 2021 semester. 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.

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. Open for additional members in Spring 2021. Contact Justin Ray jray3@unca.edu.

Thelonious Monk Ensemble: The Thelonious Monk ensemble will explore the music of ….. pianist/composer Thelonious Monk.  Over the years, Monk’s music has remained popular because its deceptive simplicity invites a wide variety of stylistic interpretations. Each member of the ensemble will be invited to contribute one arrangement of one Monk tune in a style of their choosing. Open to creative musicians of all levels. Contact Bill Bares wbares@unca.edu.

Chick Corea Ensemble: Chick Corea Ensemble: In addition to his famous jazz tunes tunes like Spain, Windows, and La Fiesta, this group will also explore and adapt some of Chick Corea’s “Children’s Songs” - a collection of fully-composed short pieces for any instrument(s). Both improvising and non-improvising musicians are welcome. Open to any instruments and vocalists.  Contact Mathew Richmond mrichmon@unca.edu.

Soul Jazz Ensemble: The Soul Jazz Ensemble aims to pay homage to the funky, soulful sounds of the early 60s and groups such as Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, Herbie Hancock and Cannonball Adderley.  Ideal instrumentation would be tenor sax, trumpet, organ (keys), guitar, bass and drums, but we can be flexible with instrumentation.  Interested rhythm section  musicians should be able to replicate the comping styles and/or grooves involved in the tunes, "Cantaloupe Island", "The Sidewinder" or "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy".  Other instrumentalists should be able to play the melodies to those songs proficiently. Please send any questions to Zack Page at zack.page@gmail.com.

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).

  • Standards Ensemble Audition requirements:
    • Your audition video must contain a performance of the song "There is No Greater Love." Make sure your backing track is audible, and your video will include three choruses:
      • First chorus: Melody
      • Second chorus: Quarter-note chord outline: 1,3,5,7 or 3,5,7,9. (use eighth notes only when the harmonic motion requires, ie: bars 17,19,21)
      • Third chorus: an improvisation showing your own personal melody building at its best!

Contact Steve Alford salford2@unca.edu.