2015 Ensemble Audition Schedule and Advising Information


Audition sign-up sheets will be located on the table outside the Music Department Office, M201, beginning Friday, August 28, 2015.

 Large Ensembles

African Music Ensemble

  • Directed by Ghanaian Master Drummer, Sowah Mensah. 
  • African Music Ensemble's 40 members perform on authentic drums, flutes, xylophones, gourds, voices, and more. Tours are both local and national.
  • Auditions will be held during the first week of classes, schedule to be announced. Audition sign-up sheets for African Music Ensemble will be posted in the music office.
  • Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:30–8:00 PM in M116. 
  • Contact Sowah Mensah at  for more information.

CHORALE and CONCERT CHOIR, Macalester Choral Ensembles

  • Directed by Michael McGaghie.
  • The Chorale (formerly Highland Camerata) is the College's principal large chorus. The ensemble's repertoire includes both a cappella and accompanied music from various Western and non-Western vocal traditions. The Chorale and Concert Choir combine annually to perform a major work with orchestra. Membership is open to all Macalester students.
  • The Concert Choir draws its repertoire from music of the last six centuries and tours annually through the United States or abroad. The ensemble commissions and premieres at least one new work every year. Membership is open to all Macalester students.
  • Audition Schedule (Sign-up sheets located on the table outside the Music Department Office, M201):
    Saturday, August 29, 1:00–5:00 PM
    Sunday, August 30, 12:00–4:00 PM
    Monday, August 31, 1:00–4:00 PM  and 7:00–9:00 PM
    Tuesday, September 1, 10:00 AM–12:00 PM and 1:00–5:00 PM
  • Callbacks for Concert Choir later in the week, to be arranged.
  • Audition Location: Hewitt Hall, M113.
  • Auditions for both choirs will consist of: vocalization (testing range, vowels, intonation, flexibility), ear exercises (pitch memory, finding notes within a chord), and a short sight-reading excerpt.  No preparation is required!
  • Weekly rehearsals, additional combined choir rehearsals will be scheduled:
    Chorale: Tuesdays 4:45–6:15 PM and Thursdays 6:30–8:00 PM in Hewitt Hall, M113.
    Concert Choir: Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays: 4:45–6:15 PM in Hewitt Hall, M113.
  • Contact Michael McGaghie at  for more information.

Macalester Orchestra

  • Conducted by Mark Mandarano.
  • Performs a wide range of orchestral literature and offers performance opportunities for student soloists in its annual Concerto/Aria Concert. The orchestra plays several campus concerts each year.
  • Audition Schedule (Sign-up sheets located on the table outside the Music Department Office, M201):
    Saturday, August 29, 1:00–5:00 PM
    Sunday, August 30, 10:00–noon
    Tuesday, September 1, 10:00–2:00 PM.
    Thursday, September 3, 10:00 AM–noon and 1:00–5:00 PM
  • Audition Location: Crawford Hall, M116
  • Audition Guidelines: Any student playing an orchestral instrument is welcome to audition. It is suggested that students prepare:
    —If possible, prepare the first movement—exposition only—of a Mozart concerto or any equivalent work from the standard repertoire. If you do not have a concerto or equivalent work prepared, that is perfectly fine. Please come and play whatever you feel comfortable performing.
    —A brief contrasting piece or section, if possible.
    —Sight-reading may also be required.
  • Meets Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:45–6:15 PM in Crawford Hall, M116.
  • Contact Mark Mandarano at  for more information.

Mac Jazz

  • Directed by Joan Griffith.
  • Mac Jazz is an 18-piece big band which performs and records classic and contemporary big band jazz.
  • MacJazz performs every year at the Twin Cities Small College Jazz Festival as well as at local Twin Cities jazz venues. Past guests with MacJazz have included Maria Schneider, Uri Caine and local vocalists Debbie Duncan and Connie Evingson. MacJazz often features new compositions by past and present members.
  • Audition Schedule: (Sign-up sheets located on the table outside the Music Department Office, M201):
    Sunday, August 30, 1:00–4:00 PM 
    Monday, August 31, 12:00 PM–3:00 PM
  • Audition Location: Joan Griffith’s office, M109
  • Audition Guidelines: Students should prepare a melody they know, play a 2-octave major scale of their choice, be ready to sight read. If you can improvise, please be ready to demonstrate that skill.
  • Meets Mondays and Wednesdays 4:45–6:15 PM in Crawford Hall, M116. First class meets on Wednesday, September 9, 2015.
  • Contact Joan Griffith at  for more information. Please note that Joan Griffith will have limited access to email during the summer months.

Pipe Band

  • Directed by Pipe Major Michael Breidenbach and Drum Sgt. Catherine Bishop. 
  • The Pipe Band has been a part of Macalester for over 50 years by performing at most major events including Commencement and special convocations, plus competitions at Scottish Highland games throughout the United States and Canada.
  • All students, faculty, and staff at Macalester may take bagpipe lessons at no charge.
  • No auditions are required for Pipe Band.
  • Meets Wednesdays 6:30–10:00 PM in Crawford Hall, M116.
  • Contact Michael Breidenbach at  for more information.

Small Ensembles

Jazz and Popular Music Combos

  • Directed by Peter Hennig
  • Jazz and Popular Music Combos are forums for students to receive coaching in the performance of standards and/or original music.  Students also receive feedback on improvisation development, group interactivity, and stage presence.
  • The combos present two concerts each year.
  • Audition Schedule (Sign-up sheets located on the table outside the Music Department Office, M201):
    Monday, August 31, 4–5:30 PM
    Tuesday, Sept. 1, 4–5:30 PM
  • Audition Location: M121
  • Audition Guidelines: If you have your own instrument, please bring it to the audition. (There will be a drum set, piano, vocal PA, and guitar/bass amp provided).
  • It is suggested that students prepare:
      1. One brief piece or excerpt of a piece of music that you feel comfortable with.
      2. Major and minor scales in any particular key.
      3. Sight reading may be required.
      4. For Drummers/Percussionists:
        • A brief display of various grooves/styles/rudiments (that your comfortable with).
        • Also may be asked to sight read. 
  • Meets Mondays 7 - 9 PM in M113 and other spaces as needed
  • Contact Peter Hennig at  for more information.

Chamber Music Ensembles

  • Coordinated by Mark Mandarano. 
  • The Chamber Music program at Macalester offers an opportunity to explore and perform repertoire for small ensembles. All instrumentalists and vocalists are eligible to participate and entrance is by audition. Students who are accepted into Chamber Music are placed in chamber ensembles and over the course of the semester immerse themselves in learning a challenging and varied repertoire.
  • Rehearsal times are arranged based on schedule availability and individual practice is required.
  • Ensembles receive weekly coaching from department faculty or professional studio instructors and there is least one performance required for this class for each semester of study. 
  • Possible chamber ensembles include, but are not limited to: string quartet, woodwind quintet, brass sextet, trombone choir, piano trio, viola da gamba consort, percussion ensemble, flute choir and clarinet choir.
  • Audition Schedule (Sign-up sheets located on the table outside the Music Department Office, M201):
    Saturday, August 29, 1:00–5:00 PM
    Sunday, August 30, 10:00–noon
    Tuesday, September 1, 10:00–2:00 PM.
    Thursday, September 3, 10:00 AM–noon and 1:00–5:00 PM
  • Audition Location: Crawford Hall, M116.
  • Rehearsals TBA, depending on the schedules of participants.
  • Contact Mark Mandarano at  for more information.

Early Music Ensemble

  • Directed by Cléa Galhano. 
  • Vocalists and instrumentalists of all abilities who are interested in historical performance are invited to join the Macalester Early Music Ensemble. The group focuses on Renaissance and Baroque repertory. 
  • Ensemble members can make use of Macalester’s large collection of viols, recorders, crumhorns, kortholts, flutes, harpsichord, psaltry, rebec, cornetto, sacbut, and a variety of percussion instruments. Private instruction on several of the instruments is also offered through the music department.
  • No auditions are required.
  • Participant sign-up sheet will be located outside the Music Department Office, M201. You may attend the first class even if you did not sign up beforehand.
  • Attend the first rehearsal on Friday, September 4, 4:45 – 6:15 p.m. in Crawford Hall (M116). Bring your instruments.
  • Performance: 1 concert each semester.
  • Meets Fridays 4:45–6:15 PM, Crawford Hall (M116), and occasional Sunday afternoons.
  • Contact Cléa Galhano at  for more information.

Wind Ensemble

  • Directed by Shelley Hanson.
  • The Wind Ensemble provides an opportunity for Macalester students to rehearse and perform the concert literature for winds and percussion. The Wind Ensemble is open to all Macalester students at all levels of ability. 
  • No auditions are required.
  • If a player would like to play the "First Part," they can arrange to audition for the director. 
  • Students who play the following instruments are welcome to join the band: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, horn, trumpet, trombone, baritone/euphonium, tuba, timpani and percussion.
  • There will be one major performance per semester, with various smaller performances as the opportunities arise.
  • Meets Mondays 7:00–8:30 PM in Crawford Hall (M116). Because of Labor Day weekend class cancellations, there will be a special first rehearsal TUESDAY Sept. 8 from 7:00-8:30 p.m. in Crawford Hall (Music Building) for those who are able to attend. Students who have schedule conflicts with Tuesday's optional rehearsal should attend the regular rehearsal on Monday, Sept. 14. Please email Dr. Shelley Hanson at if you plan to participate but can't make the Tuesday rehearsal, or have other questions. Bring your instruments.
  • Contact Shelley Hanson at  for more information.

Asian Music Ensemble

Asian Music Ensemble will not be offered in Fall 2015 or Spring 2016.

Advising Information

Majoring or Minoring in Music

Music Department Chair Victoria Malawey will be available for advising in her office (M214) during these office hours. .

Mon. 8/31, 2–4 pm
Tues. 9/1, 2–4 pm
(and by appointment)

Piano Students

Professor Mark Mazullo will be available for piano advising in his office (M211) during these times:

Tuesday, 9/1: noon-2
Thursday, 9/3: 11-2
Tuesday, 9/8: 1:30-2:30
Thursday, 9/10: 11-2

Additional Information

Practice Rooms

Practice rooms are available for audition preparation (during Orientation, 7am - 6pm), and they are located in the southwest corner of the first and second floors of the Music Department in Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center. There is no charge, and they are first-come, first served.

For general assistance, please go to the Music Department Office (M201) or contact Music Department Coordinator Rachel Hest