How to Join

Auditions are not required to join the University Orchestra, or Vespers Festival Orchestra. Interested students for these ensembles should contact the for University Orchestra, and the Director of Orchestral Activities for the Vespers Festival Orchestra.

Auditions are required to join the KU Symphony Orchestra. For information on joining the KU Symphony Orchestra please see below: 

Winds and Percussion

For winds and percussion, auditions take place the first week of classes fall semester and again at the end of the fall semester for placement in the spring, and are heard by the conductors and the appropriate applied music Professor. More information on the auditions.


For strings, seating and placement auditions take place the first week of each semester and are heard by the conductors and the string faculty. Auditions consist of prepared orchestral excerpts only. These excerpts are available for download below.

Auditions are required for placement into the KU Symphony Orchestra, and KUSO is open to all students subject to successful audition. Auditioning does not necessarily guarantee a place in the ensemble, and placement in the KU Symphony Orchestra or KU University Orchestra is at the discretion of the panel.

All instrumental music majors, MEMT and music education majors, music minors, and all music scholarship recipients are required to audition. In addition, nonmajors who would like to be considered KU Symphony also need audition.

KU Symphony Orchestra Audition Excerpts

Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony:

  • Violin
    • From the violin 1 part: movement 1 - pickup to measure 112 to 127, movement three – movement 72 to 80. From the violin 2 part: movement 4 – letter W to measure 426.  
  • Viola
    • Movement 1 – B to D, pickup to 363 to U. Movement 2 – B through measure 63. Movement 3 – pickup to E through measure 112 and pickup to 120 through measure 144. Movement 4 – I through measure 190 and S through measure 367 and measure 504 through 530.
  • Cello
    • Movement 1 – measure 100-131 and 362-388. Movement 2 – pickup to 33-43 and 138-157. Movement 4 – measure 472 through the downbeat of 490.
  • Bass
    • Movement 1 – measure 67 to 84 and measure 255-268. Movement 4 – measure 23-41 and 296-340 and 414-426, 433-444.

Audition Music