Office of the Dean of the Conservatory

Large Ensembles

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

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 ensemble.

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 and returning student auditions for the Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, Oberlin Orchestra, and Oberlin Sinfonietta will be held online or just prior to the start of classes. These 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. For returning students only string players are required to play an audition.

All auditioning students can expect to receive email communications over the summer months, containing audition information. This will include day, time, location, specific instructions, and musical excerpts.

New students are introduced to music opportunities during Orientation. 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.

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, Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, Oberlin Sinfonietta, Contemporary Music Ensemble, and the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble.

Contact: Alex Abreu, 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. The Oberlin Arts and Sciences Orchestra seeks deep artistic fulfillment through performing at the highest level and meaningful collaboration with guest artists. Most auditions will take place remotely prior to or during Orientation. Please visit OASO website for ensemble and audition information.

Contact: Tiffany Chang

Hear a virtual performance of the OASO on YouTube.

The Oberlin College Choir is made up of both voice majors & talented singers from both the College and other majors within the Conservatory, and performs a wide variety of a cappella and accompanied music. OCC is required for voice majors in their first two years. Auditions take place during Orientation and the weekend before classes begin.  Audition information and sign-up 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 by e-mailing Steven Plank during Orientation.

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 week 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 the first week 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: Ben Johns

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 OberView/Banner Self-Serve. 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; except incoming conservatory students who will be pre-registered first semester only - if applicable.

Please confirm this registration on OberView/Banner Self-Serve 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.