Formal auditions are required for the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra (DCSO), Jazz Ensemble, and Jazz Combo.

For all other instrumental ensembles, please contact their director to express your interest. Auditions for DCSO, Jazz Ensemble, and Jazz Combo take place during the first week of classes.

Audition Schedule

All students (both new and returning) will be required to audition for the Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, and Jazz Combos. These auditions will take place in Sloan 200 and will be as quick and painless as possible:

          Wednesday, August 28, 2024, 4:30-6:35 p.m. Orchestra (Winds, Percussion, & Strings)

          Thursday, August 29, 2024, 4:30-8:00 p.m. Jazz (and anyone interested in both Jazz and Orchestra)

          Friday, August 30, 2024, 3:00-6:30 p.m. Orchestra (Strings)

Using your account, please sign up for an audition slot, providing your full name and instrument.

Practice Rooms

Are available for audition preparation and are located in the lower level of Sloan.  Hours are 7:00 a.m.–midnight daily.  For more info see signs posted on practice room doors.

Jazz Audition Details

  • Prepare 1-2 contrasting jazz pieces of 5 minutes or less that you feel comfortable playing and that accurately reflect your technical and lyric ability. If you decide to only prepare one piece, it should contain both lyrical and more technical material.
  • Improvisation is optional but encouraged. Suggestions would be improvising over a jazz standard or blues. See, “IReal Pro” app, and/or “The Real Book” for suggestions.
  • You will not be asked to play scales or arpeggios. You may be asked to sight-read.
  • Chordal instruments should be able to demonstrate “comping” skills in addition to the above requirements. Bass players should be able to demonstrate “walking” bass lines in addition to the above requirements.
  • Drummers should be able to demonstrate grooves in various styles (medium swing, fast swing, boss, samba, funk, rock, etc.).
  • If you have questions, please email Dr. Brown at

Orchestra (DCSO) Audition Details

  • First-time auditionees must prepare 1 minute’s worth of music that demonstrates their level of comfort and ability.
  • First-time AND returning auditionees must prepare 1-3 very brief excerpts from upcoming repertoire, found in (2024 excerpts will be posted here by August 7) which can only be accessed with your account. 
  • You will not be asked to play any scales or do any sight-reading.

If you have questions, please email Tara Villa Keith at