Oberlin Conservatory new and returning students have several large vocal and instrumental ensembles which they can practice and perform with based on an audition and subsequent placement.

Returning students include sophomores, juniors, seniors, fifth-year students, and second-year Artist Diploma students. Completion of music theory and aural skills is not a requirement of arts and sciences or conservatory students prior to audition/registration for a large or small ensembles.

Please visit the Conservatory Policies and Procedures page for information regarding Off-Campus Travel, Dress Codes; as well as practice room, keys, and locker assignments.

New Student auditions for the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, the Oberlin Orchestra, and the Oberlin Sinfonietta will be held during orientation. The auditions will determine placement and rotation within the conservatory large instrumental ensembles. 

Visit the New Student Large Ensemble website for specific times, information, audition materials, and excerpts. Check-In and warm-ups are in Conservatory Central Room 25, while auditions are held in Kulas Recital Hall.

Please Note: Students, faculty, and staff must use their Oberlin email in order to access links and pdfs.

New students are introduced to music opportunities on their first day of Orientation at the new student music resource fair. Check your Orientation schedule for details. Students can meet faculty and student groups and learn about applied study programs, as well as large and small ensemble opportunities.

Returning Students will find information for auditions, audition material, and updates for orchestras posted during orientation and/or the first week of classes for fall/spring semesters. Please see the ensemble bulletin boards located outside the ensemble rehearsal room (Central 25).

The auditions will determine placement and rotation within the conservatory large instrumental ensembles. Returning students include sophomores, juniors, seniors, fifth-year students, and second-year Artist Diploma students. All returning string players are required to play a mandatory audition.

Learn more about specific times, procedures, and audition materials

Advanced student musicians from the College of Arts and Sciences are welcome to audition for any of the conservatory’s large instrumental ensembles, including the Oberlin Orchestra, the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, Oberlin Sinfonietta, Contemporary Music Ensemble, and the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble.

Contact: Leah Brockman , or call (440-775-6268) 

The Oberlin Arts and Sciences Orchestra (OASO), an ensemble specifically geared toward college students, presents several concert programs annually in Finney Chapel. All members of the Oberlin community, including college students, faculty, staff, and Oberlin residents are welcome to audition. Audition days and times are listed in the Orientation Schedule but are subject to change - Please refer to OASO website for the most up-to-date audition schedule and course information.

Contact: Tiffany Chang

The Oberlin College Choir is made up of both voice majors & talented singers from both the College and other majors within the Conservatory. Oberlin College Choir is required for all first-year voice majors who must bring a prepared song or aria with music for a pianist. Auditions take place during Orientation and the first week of classes. Please arrive ten minutes before your audition time to complete an audition form.

General information about Oberlin College Choir, signups, and auditions, is available at OCC Audition Sign Up .

Contact: Gregory Ristow, Bibbins 219, x58068

Students interested in joining this early music a capella choir should sign up for audition times outside Kohl Building, Room 310 during Orientation and the first week of classes.

Please use your Oberlin email to access audition and course information at Collegium Musicum auditions .

Contact: Steven Plank , Kohl 310, x58237

This annual audition is required for all conservatory and arts and science students interested in playing with the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble. Audition sign-up sheets, and audition/placement results are posted outside Kohl 200-A. Students will meet and play for faculty in a relaxed setting.

The personnel of the Big Band/OJE (Oberlin Jazz Ensemble) is established by the director of the group based on the needs of the ensemble and the fulfillment of curricular requirements for jazz majors. 

Students are notified by the jazz studies division of their consent just prior to the registration deadline, and must register for credit. Please Note: Jazz majors must register for at least one jazz ensemble each semester.

Jazz majors are required to participate in the placement rehearsal/auditions for Oberlin Jazz Ensemble, which takes place the first Monday of the fall semester.

Non-jazz majors must pre-audition in order to attend the OJE placement audition. The audition (held only once each year during the fall semester) is held on the first Tuesday of the fall semester. 

All non-jazz majors who have successfully passed the pre-audition must attend the first rehearsal of the fall semester (or the first rehearsal of the spring semester if the intent is to participate in the spring.) Priority is given to those students needing to fulfill their jazz requirements. Other seats of the ensemble are filled based on the needs of the group. 

  • Jazz Large & Small Ensemble Auditions — Use your Oberlin email to access audition information. Signups and placement results for jazz and non-jazz majors are posted outside the Kohl Building 200-A.

Contact: Julie Baker , Kohl 200-A (x56633)

Auditions are not required to participate in Musical Union. Conservatory and arts and sciences students may register online without consent prior to the add/drop deadline. Individual times will be scheduled for placement outside of Bibbins 219 during the first week of classes. Rehearsals begin the second week of classes.

Contact: Gregory Ristow 

Performers interested in playing piano with a large ensemble should contact piano chair Alvin Chow .

Performers interested in playing piano in a small ensemble group should visit our Small Ensembles section for details.

For information on piano lessons, explore our Secondary Lessons section or contact Andrea McAlister .

Oberlin College Women’s Chorale will not be offered this semester.

Contact: Jody Kerchner , Kohl Bldg 330, x58267

If you are participating in any of these ensembles, you must register, add, or drop before the add/drop deadline via OberViewPRESTO or using a gray add/drop card. Some ensembles require consent from the instructor. While you may be “consented,” or “added to a list,” you will not be “automatically registered” for any courses in the conservatory.

Please confirm this registration on OberView/PRESTO or print a copy of your schedule prior to the add/drop deadline and see your instructor, or the Office of the Registrar if you experience problems.