Department of Music

University Bands

Fall 2014 Auditions for Concert Bands, Wind Ensembles, and Orchestra

Audition information and excerpts for Winds, Brass, and Percussion positions in the 2014-2015 Virginia Tech Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Symphony Band, and New River Valley Symphony Orchestra is now available. Please email Dr. Andrew Putnam at for specific materials and or questions.

Fall 2013 Auditions for Concert Bands, Wind Ensembles, and Orchestra

Thank you for your interest in concert bands, wind ensembles, and orchestra at Virginia Tech. Please read the following information carefully! We have unified auditions for the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Symphony Band, and wind and percussion sections of the New River Valley Symphony Orchestra. Auditions occur during the first week of classes; sign-up sheets with exact dates and times will be posted outside 243 Squires, along with copies of a form you need to fill out and bring to your audition. String players should schedule their auditions separately with Prof. Glazebrook.

Each five-to-seven-minute audition includes the following:

    Prepare approximately three minutes of unaccompanied material that demonstrates your technical and expressive abilities. This could include excerpts from a concerto or solo work from the standard repertory of your instrument, exercises from an etude book, orchestral excerpts, or a combination of all three.
    You may be asked to play major scales with no more than three sharps or flats in concert pitch — ascending and descending two octaves in eighth notes at a metronome marking between 108 and 120 beats per minute — as well as a chromatic scale covering the range of your instrument.

Percussionists should prepare material for snare drum and mallets. There are no excerpts for percussion. Students interested in playing bass clarinet should audition on B-flat soprano clarinet, students interested in playing tenor or baritone saxophone should audition on alto saxophone; if you play only bass clarinet or tenor sax, please contact Dr. Putnam.

Please be warmed up and ready to play at your scheduled audition time. No need to dress up!

Audition results will be posted outside 243 Squires no later than Friday, August 30. The first Symphonic Wind Ensemble meeting will be Monday, September 2, at 2:30 p.m. in 243 Squires. The first Symphony Band rehearsal will be Tuesday, September 3, from 3:30–4:45 p.m. in 243 Squires.

Audition FAQ


What if I have a class conflict?

  • We handle conflicts on a case-by-case basis and do our best to accommodate the rest of your academic schedule. Often times previously closed classes open up during the first week of the semester, and we can help you navigate the process. If you have another class scheduled at the same time as an ensemble rehearsal, please go ahead and audition!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Putnam (


Please visit us when you come to campus for new student orientation this summer. We are located in Squires Student Center, where many of the orientation activities take place. On most days, Profs. McKee and Middleton, and Cross will be in the office, and we're happy to meet you and answer any other questions you have about playing in bands at Virginia Tech.


Athletic Bands

Athletic bands at Virginia Tech support the Hokies and thrill thousands of spectators across the country. The Marching Virginians and Hokies Pep Band play at all home football and men's basketball games, respectively, and travel to away games, ACC tournaments, and bowl games. Students from across the entire university participate in these nationally renowned musical organizations!

Concert Bands and Wind Ensembles

With three different ensembles, the Department of Music offers wind and percussion performance opportunities for all Virginia Tech students, from music majors preparing for professional careers to non-majors who want to continue playing in a band as part of a well-rounded university experience. Students from all classes and academic departments are welcome to participate in all of the concert bands and wind ensembles at Virginia Tech. Auditions generally occur during the first week of each semester. For more information, click on the links below and/or visit the Department of Music in Squires Student Center.

A non-auditioned concert band that rehearses one night weekly during the spring semester. The ensemble provides an opportunity for students who wish to play in a concert band with a lighter time commitment than the other ensembles. The Campus Band performs one concert on campus each spring.

The premier auditioned wind band at Virginia Tech. The ensemble rehearses three times weekly, presents at least three concerts on campus each semester, performs regularly across the state and region on tour and at music conferences, made its first appearance at the Kennedy Center in 2011, and appeared at Carnegie Hall in April 2013.

An auditioned concert band that rehearses twice weekly and meets during both fall and spring semesters. The ensemble performs a variety of symphonic band works, including traditional and contemporary wind literature.