Ensembles are a great way for students to gain performance experience outside of the classroom. Some ensembles do require auditions. Current students can find ensemble audition info at music.unca.edu/engage/ensembles.


Jazz & Contemporary

Large Jazz Ensemble

This ensemble will play traditional big band music from the 1920s, 30s and 40s to today’s contemporary works. We encourage all interested to audition for this ensemble. Please note that you do not necessarily need to improvise solos in this group. As such, classically oriented instrumentalists who want to gain a bit of jazz experience are encouraged to audition. For audition info, see general audition requirements for jazz instrumentalists, listed above, or contact Mr. Steve Alford (altoclarinetjazz@gmail.com) with any questions.


This is our flagship ensemble and 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. Please contact Mr. Jacob Rodriguez (jrodnyc@gmail.com) with any questions.

Bluegrass Ensemble

If you are auditioning for the bluegrass sextet, please prepare two contrasting songs from either the bluegrass repertoire, or a related tradition (folk, old-time, Celtic, blues, Texas swing, etc.), and perform them to the best of your ability. In the ensemble, you should be prepared to play one or more of the following six instruments:  fiddle (violin), flat-top acoustic guitar, flat-backed mandolin, 5-string banjo (three-finger style, with picks), bass, or Dobro. In this ensemble, all vocalists must also play an instrument, and all instrumentalists should be prepared to sing. Note: the larger bluegrass ensemble will be offered during Fall terms. Please contact Dr. Toby King (jking6@unca.edu) with any questions.

Contemporary Guitar Ensemble

This ensemble will develop repertoire and approaches for guitar ensemble. All ensemble members will use acoustic guitars (steel string preferred) with a pick. Those auditioning will be asked to demonstrate confident facility on the guitar in both left and right hands. This ensemble will be featured in an independent performance (CGE:360º) in April. For more information contact Mr. Tim Doyle (tdoyle@unca.edu).

Studio 18 Vocal Jazz Ensemble

This vocal ensemble will perform on its own and in coordination with instrumental ensembles as appropriate per repertoire and opportunity.  Interested students should be prepared to sing a prepared piece demonstrating straight tone and jazz vocal sensibility (nuance of jazz qualities); a jazz standard is recommended. The audition will also involve sight-reading a brief solo musical line and a brief tonal memory test.  We might also check your vocal range. An accompanist is available; bring sheet music if accompaniment needed. Ensemble will be directed by Joanna Best (jboydbest@gmail.com)


An orchestral ensemble with an active program of concerts scheduled throughout the school year. The Symphony provides a musical outlet for students who wish to remain musically active by performing standards of the symphonic literature. Open to any student who can qualify by audition. Please bring your instrument to the first meeting of the semester in LH 018 or contact Dr. Melodie Galloway 828.251.6769 or mgallowa@unca.edu for additional information.


Open to all students, regardless of major, as well as faculty, staff, and community members, by permission of the instructor. The group plays a wide variety of styles including student compositions. Music reading is required, but percussion experience is not necessary. Please contact Mr. Matthew Richmond at 828.251.6447 or mrichmon@unca.edu for more information.


Choral ensembles are open to all students, regardless of major. These choirs sing a wide repertoire including classical, musical theater, gospel and jazz, and perform on campus and in various community and concert venues. University Singers (Chorale) does not require an audition. This choir is a large vocal ensemble open to everyone who loves to sing. Our advanced ensemble, The Asheville Singers, does require an audition. You will need to prepare a song and bring sheet music to the audition for the accompanist. There will be a short sight singing exercise. Contact Dr. Melodie Galloway 828.251.6769 or mgallowa@unca.edu to schedule an audition.