Spring 2024 UNCA Music Ensemble Audition Information

Combined auditions will be held on Thursday, January 18 th starting at 4:30 pm, unless otherwise noted.

Jazz Auditions - Lipinsky Auditorium

  • Latin Jazz
  • NOIRE (NEW Orleans Integrated Repertoire Ensemble)
  • X-TET

Rock/Pop Auditions - LIP 018

  • Breakfast Club
  • Prog Rock
  • Songwriters Ensemble

Contemporary Guitar Ensemble Auditions – LIP 033 (starting at 6 PM)
Please fill the form linked below to sign up for an audition.


Ensemble Auditions Form


AfroMusics EnsembleMUSC 123.004Adama DembeleNO AUDITION REQUIRED
Asheville Choral SocietyMUSC 123.005Melodie GallowayCONTACT MELODIE GALLOWAY
Asheville SingersMUSC 114.001Melodie GallowayCONTACT MELODIE GALLOWAY
Bluegrass EnsembleMUSC 123.001Wayne ErbsenCONTACT WAYNE ERBSEN
Blue Ridge Symphony OrchestraMUSC 124.001Toby KingCONTACT TOBY KING
The Breakfast Club EnsembleMUSC 129.002Zack PageAUDITION REQUIRED - see below
Chamber Music EnsembleMUSC 123.003Joseph FalconerCONTACT JOSEPH FALCONER
Contemporary Guitar EnsembleMUSC 123.002Tim DoyleCONTACT TIM DOYLE
Latin JazzMUSC 122.001Will BoydAUDITION REQUIRED - see below
NOIRE (New Orleans Integrated Repertoire Ensemble) - Nick GarrisonMUSC 129.005Nick GarrisonAUDITION REQUIRED - see below
Percussion EnsembleMUSC 128.001Matthew RichmondCONTACT MATTHEW RICHMOND
Prog RockMUSC 129.004Mike BarnesAUDITION REQUIRED - see below
Songwriters EnsembleMUSC 123.007Emily EngAUDITION REQUIRED - see below
Studio 018 Vocal Jazz EnsembleMUSC 125.001Brent LaCasceCONTACT BRENT LACASCE
Wayne Shorter IIMUSC 129.003Brian FelixCONTACT BRIAN FELIX
X-TETMUSC 129.001Justin RayAUDITION 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 


AfroMusics Ensemble - Adama Dembele
Meeting time: Tuesday 5:30 - 7:30 PM
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. No audition required. Contact Adama Dembele adembele@unca.edu with questions.


Asheville Singers - Melodie Galloway
Meeting time: MW 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM Lobby
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


Bluegrass Ensemble - Wayne Erbsen
Meeting time: M 5:00 - 7:00
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 to meet for an audition during the first week of classes.


Breakfast Club - Zack Page
Meeting time: Decided after auditions

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). For clarification, audition material suggestions, or any other questions, please contact zack.page@gmail.com


Chamber Music Ensemble - Joseph Falconer
Meeting time: Decided after auditions
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 Joseph Falconer at falconermusicllc@gmail.com.


Contemporary Guitar Ensemble - Tim Doyle
Meeting time: TBA
The CGE focuses on music that features the guitar or compositions arranged for guitar ensemble, including original compositions and arrangements by CGE members. This group also uses improvisation and similar approaches that facilitate spontaneous composition and soundscapes. Spring 2024 we will continue working with our arrangements of the music of James Brown. We will also begin our first collaboration with the AfroMusics Ensemble with director Adama Dembele. Contact Tim Doyle at tdoyle@unca.edu. Auditions for CGE will be held on Jan 18th in Lipinski 033 beginning at 6p. You may also audition early by video submission before the Jan 18th deadline. Audition requirements:

1) Play 1 piece of music, or a few short segments from multiple pieces (4 min max.)
2) The audition song choices should showcase your familiarity with the guitar.
3) Pick pieces that demonstrate your ability to play both chords and melodic lines.


Latin Jazz - Will Boyd
Meeting time: Decided after auditions
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. Please demonstrate fluency with major scales. For more information contact Will Boyd wdboyd1@gmail.com.


NOIRE (New Orleans Integrated Repertoire Ensemble) - Nick Garrison
Meeting time: Decided after auditions
NOIRE is music for all, dedicated to the traditions of the Crescent City. Congo Square in the heart of New Orleans is the birthplace of what we call Jazz, or Black American Music. It is music with rich traditions that will groove you and move you. Born out of community, struggle, celebration, and free expression of the spirit, this music includes styles of Traditional Jazz, Brass Band, Parade and Second Line tunes, and Modern Jazz Compositions. This ensemble will focus on adopting an appropriate style of the music and learning the roles of each instrument. Students will learn melodies and arrangements entirely by ear and develop group improvisational approaches. All instruments are welcome and encouraged to join. For more information contact Nick Garrison (ngarriso@unca.edu).


Percussion Ensemble - Matthew Richmond
Meeting time: MW 2:00-3:15 PM
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.


Prog Rock - Mike Barnes
Meeting time: Decided after auditions
The Progressive Rock Ensemble will focus on performing the music of the great progressive rock bands of the late 60’s through to the present day. Some popular groups in this style are; Yes, King Crimson, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, Rush, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Genesis, etc. This ensemble is open to all instrumentalists and vocalists with the core group consisting of Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keys, Drums and Percussion. Applicants should prepare a song from the Prog Rock repertoire to perform for the Audition. Applicants should be acquainted with performing music in odd time signatures. For any questions please contact ashevilleguitar@gmail.com


Songwriters - Emily Eng
Meeting time: Decided after auditions
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


Studio 18 Vocal Jazz Ensemble - Brent LaCasce
Meeting time: 5:30-7:30PM Monday
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. Auditions will consist of a jazz or contemporary song of your choosing, short sight-singing exercises, and ear training. Contact Brent LaCasce blacasce@unca.edu to schedule an audition.


University Chorale - Chuck Taft
Meeting time: MW 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM Lobby
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


Wayne Shorter II - Brian Felix
Meeting time: Wednesday 12:30-2:30; Lipinsky Auditorium
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. This ensemble is a continuation from Fall 2023; there will be no additional auditions for Spring 2023. For more information contact Dr. Brian Felix bfelix@unca.edu with questions.


Wind Ensemble - Emily Eng
Meeting time: MW 3:30 PM - 5:10 PM Auditorium
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.


X-Tet - Justin Ray
Meeting time: Decided after auditions
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.