Want to join a student ensemble? 

The School of Music offers instrumental and vocal ensembles ranging from a symphony orchestra to jazz bands to world music groups. Our musicians and choirs perform in superb facilities on campus and at downtown Vancouver locations. Auditions happen every September, are open to all UBC students, and can be taken and repeated for course credit



Choosing an ensemble

Students can audition for a wide variety of ensembles. Ensemble courses may be taken and repeated for credit, as stipulated by your faculty (if you are unsure, it is your responsibility to consult your faculty). Please be sure to visit the individual ensemble pages before scheduling an audition. 

  • Large Instrumental Ensembles (MUSC 150): Students who play stringed instruments, wind instruments, brass, or percussion can audition for the symphony orchestra, wind ensemble or concert winds.

  • Choral Union (MUSC 154): A large choir open to the entire university.

  • University Singers (MUSC 153): A smaller choir for good singers with extensive choral experience.

  • Vocal Chamber Ensembles (MUSC 156): Chamber, women's, men's choirs, for good singers with extensive choral experience.

  • Chamber Music Ensemble (MUSC 161, 160, 161, 156, 162): Student ensembles explore the rich chamber music repertoire through a diversity of instrumental groupings such as string quartets, wind quintets and various other mixed groupings.


Scheduling your audition

  • All non-music students should register for a backup course until you're admitted to an ensemble. Once you're admitted, you'll need to email music.advisor@ubc.ca to officially register (please include your student number).

  • For all other ensembles and questions about auditions, contact the School of Music front desk by phone at 604-822-3113 or by email.


Preparing for instrumental auditions

Auditions for 2019W ensembles take place in the first week of September. Audition repertoire requirements will be posted below in late July. Before signing up for an instrumental audition, please familiarize yourself with the audition requirements for your instrument.  String excerpt links will be listed in the left-hand column. All wind, brass, and percussion, please use the links below on the right.


Midyear Ensemble Auditions 2018W


Sign up for your string audition here. Auditions will be on Tuesday December 4.

All violin, viola, and violoncello players should prepare the excerpts below and also choose one excerpt from the National Youth Orchestra of Canada excerpts available here.

Wind, Brass, Percussion, and Harp:

(No sign up required; report to Rm. 116 at 10 minutes before the START of the scheduled time)


Preparing for choir auditions

  • There are five choirs you can audition for: University Singers (MUSC 153), Choral Union (MUSC 154), Women's Choir (MUSC 156a), Men's Choir (MUSC 156b), and Chamber Choir (MUSC 156c).

  • Auditions last approx. 5-10 mins and are held in the UBC School of Music Building, 4th Floor at the beginning of every fall term.

UBC Choir Auditions 2019

Dear Singers,
THANK YOU! for your interest in singing in choir at UBC. We are thrilled that you have signed up for one of our 5 choirs.
Everyone must complete a short placement audition prior to our first rehearsal.
Please read the following information carefully, and then SIGN UP for an audition time HERE:

For your audition

1) Please SIGN UP for one of the 1/2 hour audition windows.
(Note: If you are interested in auditioning for MORE THAN ONE ensemble, you only need to sign up for ONE time slot.)
2) PLEASE PREPARE to sing ONE song of your choosing. This will be performed A CAPPELLA. (If you are able, please prepare a selection of classical music to perform. Otherwise you may choose a hymn, folk song, musical theatre selection, etc.)
3) Your placement audition will be conducted by Dr. Langager or one of the Choral Graduate Assistants. All VOICE and OPERA MAJORS will do their audition with Dr. Langager.
4) Please arrive 5-10 MINUTES EARLY to sign in with the Choral Graduate Assistants.
5) Your Placement Audition will take place on the 4th Floor of the Music Building (6361 Memorial Road.)
6) AUDITION RESULTS will be emailed out at the end of the week of auditions.

We have five exceptional grad students this year. You will check in for your audition with the Grad Choral Assistants in the 4th floor lounge of the Music Building. They will guide you to the right place after you check in.

The FIRST REHEARSALS for ALL choral ensembles will begin the week of September 11. All choirs will receive their first assignment via email on Friday, September 8th so that you will be well-prepared for your first rehearsal.

ALL choirs are open to ALL STUDENTS. You do not need to be a music major to audition.

1) UNIVERSITY SINGERS - This is our most advanced and select ensemble, made of approximately 36 experienced singers. Students with choral experience and sight-reading ability are encouraged to audition for this ensemble.

2) CHORAL UNION - This is our largest and most powerful ensemble, of approximately 120 singers. This ensemble will perform with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the UBC Symphony Orchestra. Students with choral experience and sight-reading skill are encouraged to audition for this ensemble

3) WOMEN’S CHOIR - This is a large choir of approximately 100 treble voices. Most of these singers have previously sung in school choirs or community choirs, though it is not necessary to have this experience if you are eager, and pass your placement audition. This choir is conducted by our Graduate Choral Assistants.

4) MEN’S CHOIR - This is a choir of approximately 45 male voices. Some of these singers have previously sung in school choirs or community choirs, though it is not necessary to have this experience if you are eager, and pass your placement audition. This choir is conducted by our Graduate Choral Assistants.

5) CHAMBER CHOIR - This is a small ensemble of approximately 24 singers. This choir is conducted by our Graduate Choral Assistants, and is frequently used as the Recital Choir for their Thesis Recital Programmes. You should have some choral experience and some sight-reading ability to audition for this ensemble.

It is possible to sing in two (or more) ensembles if it works with your schedule and you are eager to do so. You will be able to receive credit for both ensembles, which can be very desirable for many students.



Banner image by Don Erhardt Photography