Music Ensembles are open to all UNCA students. Some require an audition.
See information tabs below.


Jazz and Contemporary Ensemble Audition Information Spring 2019

UNC Asheville Jazz and Contemporary Music
Ensemble Audition Information Spring 2019
Auditions TBA
Location: Lipinsky 018

There are currently 4 confirmed ensembles for the Spring 2019 term - 2-3 more ensembles will be added at the beginning of the term:


We will be holding open auditions for placement in the ensembles TBA. For specific information regarding each ensemble please see the descriptions below. In order to audition, please sign up for a time slot on the sheet posted on 117 Lipinsky.

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 2 choruses of improvisation. (Note: If you are interested in a particular combo, please choose a piece that demonstrates your playing in that style.)
3) Sight reading – you may be asked to sight read a lead sheet.

1) Display competency in a variety of styles (jazz swing, jazz ballad, funk, bossa, samba, rock) Note: If you are interested in a particular combo, please choose a piece that demonstrates your playing in that style.
2) Sight reading

1) Please come to the audition with your schedule for the current semester and be prepared to accurately assess your availability for the different groups.
2) Please bring two additional copies of charts for the tunes you select for your audition.

Ensemble Descriptions and Specific Requirements

1) 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.

2) X-Tet - 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.

3) 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.

4) Contemporary Guitar Ensemble - This ensemble will develop repertoire and approaches for guitar ensemble. All ensemble members will use acoustic guitars (steel string prefered) 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).


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.

Percussion Ensemble

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

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.

Contemporary Guitar Ensemble

Contemporary Guitar Ensemble Audition

All students must be proficient at the following to be considered:

  •     Proficiency with standard right hand techniques, either open-hand or with   pick
  •     Knowledge of the following scales:
                     Harmonic Minor
  •     Knowledge of how to build and voice all triads
  •     General understanding of staff and notation
  •     Willingness to improvise
  •     Some experience performing

During the audition, students will be asked to demonstrate the items listed above.
They will also need to have 1 piece of music ready to perform in audition.

Suggestions for music that can be played:

  •     Any harmonic progression with specific rhythmic features (finger style or strumming pattern)
  •     Chordal-melody of a jazz or pop song
  •     Improvisation over a play-along track
  •     Any arrangement for solo guitar