Audition Festival
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Audition Festival

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Deadline to sign up: June 3

Join The Hartt School Community Division's ensemble program to experience the joy of collaborative music-making.

For nearly 100 years, The Hartt School Community Division ensemble program has enriched lives through innovative and unparalleled performing arts education. Join us and become part of our tradition on Sunday, June 9, 2019.

The audition festival is your first step to a year of great music making and is an opportunity for families to meet members of our artistic team, talk with current students, and discover our extensive programming.

The Hartt School Community Division joins together more than 750 of the region's most dedicated young musicians to work with distinguished conductors in 18 large instrumental and vocal ensembles. Students in grades 1 through 12 have the opportunity to receive rigorous ensemble training in a vibrant and supportive environment. These ensembles enjoy a myriad of performance experiences including collaborations with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, appearances at music festivals, and tours.

Adult Students are invited to audition for our chamber music program and our adult chamber choir.

Students who play the following instruments are encouraged to audition: Bass, Bassoon, Cello, Clarinet, Euphonium, Flute, French Horn, Guitar, Harp*, Oboe, Percussion, Piano*, Saxophone, Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba, Viola, Violin, and Voice.

*Harp and piano auditions are only for jazz, chamber ensembles and the Hartt Preparatory Academy.

More Information

Audition Festival FAQs

When should I arrive on the day of my audition?

Arrive at least 30 minutes before your audition is scheduled. It will take about 15 minutes to check-in and pick up the necessary audition forms. Any remaining time should be used for warm-up. If additional warm-up time is necessary, please feel free to arrive earlier. 

Do I need to memorize my solo?

No. Memorization is not required.

Do I need to play with an accompanist?

No. Auditions are heard without accompaniment.

What should I wear to my audition?

Please wear clothes that you feel comfortable performing in. However, remember that you also want to make a good impression so jeans and sneakers are discouraged.

What should I bring to the audition?

Please bring your instrument, music and any equipment you need for it (e.g. reeds, valve oil, rosin, etc.). You may bring a copy of the music for the adjudicators as well.

Do I need to be a Community Division student or take private lessons to audition?

No. We believe that private study provides the resources and experience students need to make develop into well-rounded musicians, it is not necessary to audition for our large ensemble or jazz program. For our chamber music program it is strongly encouraged that students are actively taking private lessons.

What should I do after I have checked in?

You may use the time between check-in and the audition to warm-up in designated warm-up spaces. Signs will be posted with directions and there will be staff on hand to assist you.

What do I do if I can't make the scheduled audition day?

Make-up auditions are available for students unable to attend our audition festival and placement is pending availability in our programming. Contact Noa Michaud, Music Programs & Community Engagement Coordinator with any additional questions at or by phone at 860.768.4451.

Do all students need to audition even if they were in an HCD ensemble during the previous year?

Connecticut Children's Chorus members in our senior choirs only need to re-audition if they wish to move up to a new choir. Junior Division members will advance to the next choir by director recommendation.

All instrumental students need to audition every year. Acceptance into a specific ensemble is not guaranteed from year to year. All instrumental students, whether returning or new to the school, use the same audition guidelines.

Can I choose which instrumental ensemble I audition for?

No. Students audition for our ensemble program. After the audition festival the ensemble directors review the results and place students appropriately to ensure a quality experience for all students.  Placement is at the discretion of the HCD administration and directors.

How and when will I find out the results of my audition?

All audition results are sent by email. Please make sure we have an accurate email address for you. Results for our large ensemble program (orchestras, wind ensembles, and choirs) will be sent within two weeks of the audition date. If you have not received a notice by email within two weeks after the audition date, please contact our office, at or by phone at 860.768.4451.

What are your absence policies for ensemble attendance once you are accepted?

We expect that students will attend every rehearsal and performance. This attendance demonstrates responsibility, punctuality, and dependability. The Hartt Community Division allows for a maximum of 3 absences per performance cycle.

My child is a Suzuki student outside of the Hartt School Community Division. May they still participate in the Suzuki ensembles?

Yes, students who do not participate in the Hartt Suzuki program (but are Suzuki students elsewhere) are welcome to contact the director, Emmett Drake, to discuss membership in one of the Suzuki program orchestras. 

What do I do in the case that my student is unhappy with their ensemble placement?

We place students in ensembles after careful consideration by audition adjudicators and ensemble conductors. This ensures that we meet our goal for each student to have a positive and enriching experience. Students who do not wish to participate in their assigned ensemble should notify our office staff as soon as possible.  Placements are at the discretion of the HCD administrative and director team.

How do I register for ensembles?

Once you are placed, visit our online registration page to register. Please register as soon as possible. Failure to register prior to the start of ensembles may result in an additional late fee and may result in the student losing their ensemble placement.

  • Returning Students: To avoid a $25 registration fee, please register before the July 1 deadline.
  • New Students: All new students must pay the $25 registration fee.

Vocal Auditions

CCC members in our Senior Division choirs only need to re-audition if they wish to advance to a new choir. Junior Division members will advance to the next choir by director recommendation. Senior students who wish to advance to the next choir should reserve an audition time and prepare the appropriate audition material.

Connecticut Children's Chorus (CCC)


Students will be placed in an ensemble based on grade and experience. No audition is necessary.


Students will be placed in an ensemble based on audition. Songs must be performed a cappella.

  • Perform a song of choice demonstrating current skill level and range (or “My Country ‘Tis of Thee").
  • Sing a major scale on solfege or a neutral syllable (“la”).
  •  Demonstrate aural skills by repeating a series of musical patterns provided at the audition.

Current CCC students do not have to audition if they wish to remain in their current choir. Students in grades 5–12 who wish to move up to the next choir should reserve an audition time at our annual Audition Festival and prepare the appropriate audition material.

Adult Chamber Choir

  • Perform an art-song, aria, or selection demonstrating current skill level and range.
  • Demonstrate skill through extensive vocalization, pitch, and note accuracy
  • Demonstrate basic sight-reading skills

Instrumental Auditions

Large Ensembles (Strings, Winds, Brass, Percussion)

  • Scales

  • A solo or etudes demonstrating current skill level

  • Sight reading (provided at the audition)

You should consult with your teacher about appropriate repertoire, and please feel free to contact us with questions about audition guidelines and expectations.

Chamber Ensembles (Strings, Winds, Brass, Piano, and adult Vocalists)

This audition is only for students new to our chamber music program. The interview is intended to let coordinators form well matched groups from both a musical and social perspective.



Students auditioning for our strings and piano chamber music program:

  • Students must be actively taking private lessons.
  • Students should be comfortable reading music in 2/2, 4/4, 2/4/, 3/4 and 6/8 time signatures.
  • Students should be comfortable reading music using quarter not, eighth note, sixteenth notes and triplets.
  • Students should be comfortable reading music in A Major, D Major, G Major, C Major, F Major, Bb Major, Eb Major, F# Minor, B Minor, E Minor, A Minor, D Minor, G Minor, and C Minor.

Students in our woodwinds and brass chamber music program:

  • Students are strongly encouraged to participate in private lessons.
  • Students should be in grades 7 through 12.

Audition requirements

  • Perform a solo (this may be the same one used for the large ensemble audition).
  • Sight read a short piece (provided at the audition).
  • A brief interview about musical experiences and interests.

Jazz Ensembles (Winds, Brass, Guitar, Piano, Bass and Percussion)

  • Perform a solo (this may be the same one used for the large ensemble audition for beginning students). For advanced students prepare a transcribed solo.
  • Improvisation: Students should be prepared to demonstrate their improvisation experience either on a Bb blues or for advanced students rhythm changes.
  • Rhythm Section: Demonstrate both improvisation and comp-ing skills.
  • A brief interview about musical experiences and interests.
If you have any questions, please get in touch with us at 860.768.4451 or