2018 Auditions for Music Ensembles

Skip to Choruses | Student-Led Ensembles

Professionally-Led Orchestras

Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra*

AUDITIONS: The HRO has openings in all sections; please prepare two contrasting pieces on your instrument, for a total of 10-12 minutes of music.; no scales or sight-reading. Auditions held in Paine Hall. More information at the HRO here.

Auditions will take place August 31-September 2 in Paine Hall.

*Eligible for Harvard College creditMore info>

Harvard University Band / Harvard Wind Ensemble / Harvard Jazz Bands

AUDITIONS: Sign up for a 10-minute, audition on our website, or call (617) 496-BAND to set up a time that works for you.

Harvard University Marching Band: play a major scale and sightread one of our fight songs.
Wind Ensemble: prepare a short piece of your choice. 
Jazz Band: sight read a Big Band chart, play a prepared piece of your choice, and improvise over a recorded blues rhythm section.

Any questions? Are you a grad student interested in playing? Contact Director Mark Olson at meolson@fas.

The Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra

Travel back in time with the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra – a group dedicated to bringing back to life the vivid rhetoric and dancing rhythms of baroque music. Harvard Baroque is led from within by renowned baroque cellist Phoebe Carrai and violinist Sarah Darling ’02. We rehearse once a week, playing on the instruments and bows from Harvard’s Early Instrument Collection. Harvard Baroque performs two concerts of orchestral music annually, plus evenings of chamber music. No prior experience with early instruments is necessary, only a love of music and a willingness to play well with others while experimenting with new sounds! 

AUDITIONS: For more information, contact harvardbaroque@gmail.com. Plan to come with a baroque work, about 5 minutes in length. Then we will put an early instrument in your hands and play a piece of chamber music with you for the rest of the audition. 

The Harvard Pops Orchestra

AUDITIONS held in the basement of Lowell Lecture Hall.

Auditions are a simple ten-minute affair, consisting of a short solo of your choosing, sight reading, and joke telling. (The joke telling won't actually affect admission.) When it's all done, you get a lollipop. More information here. Questions: email harvardpops@gmail.com.

Professionally-Led Choruses

The Harvard Choruses*

OPEN REHEARSALS: Come rehearse with any of the three Harvard Choruses, and get a feel for our special brand of music making. All you need is a pencil and a voice. Wednesday, September 5 from 4:15-5:45pm

AUDITIONS: Held in the basement of Memorial Hall. No need to prepare anything or sign up in advance. Auditions take about 10 minutes. For more information, please email harvardchoruses@gmail.com or visit the Harvard Choruses’ website.

Tuesday, September 4, to Friday, September 7, from 5-8 PM
Audition schedule and process>

The Harvard University Choir (UChoir)

Hear the Choir 
Fellows Sunday, September 2, 11 am: Memorial Church (as part of Sunday Service).
Compline, Thursday, September 6, 9 pm:  Memorial Church Appleton Chapel. 

OPEN REHEARSAL: Thursday, September 6, 5–6 pm: Memorial Hall

TEA TIME: Learn more about UChoir Thursday, September 6, 4-5 pm in the Student Oasis of Memorial Church (basement level).

AUDITIONS: Prepare a short piece (a solo work if you have one, but a hymn tune or “Happy Birthday” will do as well) and be prepared to do some range testing and sightreading for the preliminary audition. There's no need to sign up for a time slot, just show up any time during preliminary auditions. Held in the Choir Room of The Memorial Church, across from Canaday F-entry. More information>

Tuesday, August 29, 2-4 pm
Wednesday, August 30, 2-4 pm
Thursday, August 31, 2-4 pm
Saturday, September 2, 10 am-12:30 pm

The Kuumba Singers of Harvard College

The Kuumba Singers of Harvard College is the oldest existing Black organization at Harvard College. Formed during a time of high political turmoil, the purpose of the Kuumba Singers is to express Black creativity and spirituality in order to create a safe space for Black students. In existence for 40 years, the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College, or simply Kuumba, has served the Boston community as well as the national community through songs in genres ranging from Negro spirituals to contemporary gospel. With concerts held during the both the winter and the spring of each year, along with many other performances and a spring tour, the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College is committed to celebrating Black culture and providing a sense of unity and safety for its members. Through its music and performance, the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College strives to fulfill its mission of leaving a space better than it was found in the true meaning of kuumba. For more information, please email president@kuumbasingers.org or visit Kuumba's website.

Kuumba rehearses every Tuesday and Thursday from 7pm to 10pm in the Penthouse of the Student Organization Center at Hilles (SOCH). We hold regular rehearsals during fall and spring semesters (early September – early December and late January – late April). No audition necessary.

First rehearsal: Tuesday, September 11, 7-9 pm in the SOCH Penthouse


Course Credit*

Undergraduates are eligible to receive Harvard College credit in the following performance courses:

Music 10hfr. Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra
Music 14hfr. Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum
Music 15hfr. Harvard Glee Club
Music 16hfr. Radcliffe Choral Society
Music 18fr. Harvard Jazz Band

These courses may be taken repeatedly, but to receive credit the courses must be taken in the Fall and Spring semesters consecutively. A maximum of four semesters (two years) may be counted as credit towards the degree.

Student-Led Orchestras

Mozart Society Orchestra

The Mozart Society Orchestra (MSO), founded in 1984, is Harvard’s premier classical-sized orchestra, enjoying both the intimate music-making of a chamber orchestra and the power of masterpieces usually performed by symphony orchestras.

Auditions: Fall auditions for the 2018-2019 season will take place during the first two weekends following the start of class during the fall semester. Sign up here if you are interested in auditioning. A follow-up email will be sent out later with sign-ups for audition slots and details regarding audition logistics.

If you have any questions about the orchestra or the audition process, please e-mail mozartsocietyorchestra@gmail.com.

The Bach Society Orchestra


The Bach Society Orchestra, Harvard's premier undergraduate chamber orchestra, is devoted to the study and performance of works for smaller orchestras, from intimate chamber pieces to mid-sized symphonies, taken from a wide range of historical periods. Each season includes four performances throughout the year, often including student and professional collaborations with guest soloists or Harvard choral groups.

Popularly known as BachSoc, the Bach Society Orchestra is staffed, managed, and conducted entirely by students. Each year, the members of the orchestra select a student, always an undergraduate, to be their conductor for the following year. In turn, at the beginning of the new year the inaugurated conductor reauditions every member of the orchestra, ensuring that the quality of the orchestra remains high. BachSoc's rehearsals and concerts provide a refreshingly egalitarian ethos combined with the highest standards of musical performance


Auditions: Sign up for a time slot here. Auditions are very low-key and only require 5-7 minutes of solo repertoire on your instrument. Contrasting excerpts recommended but not required!


River Charles Ensemble

An ensemble with musicians from a diverse range of backgrounds, RCE is a resident orchestra of Paine Hall in the Harvard Music Department. The RCE is modeled after the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra of New York and aims to perform at a high level by developing leadership and collaboration techniques amongst all musicians in the ensemble.

AUDITIONS: More information on the RCE websitee. Contact rce@hcs.harvard.edu with any questions.