Audition Festival
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With a severe winter storm forecast to affect our area during Saturday night and Sunday, residential students are asked to postpone their return to campus to Monday afternoon or, for those whose class schedules allow, Tuesday. Students, please do not arrive on campus Sunday, and check back here throughout the storm's duration for the latest advisories. Those students whose travel arrangements do not allow for a return to campus on Monday or Tuesday will be permitted to arrive during the day on Saturday and will be able to access their residential space by ID swipe. (Please note that meal plans go into effect with the Sunday evening meal.)

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Audition Festival

SUNDAY, JUNE 10, 2018

Deadline to sign up: June 4

Audition Festival

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

For more than 75 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 10, 2018.

The audition festival is your first step to a year of great music making and is an opportunity for families to meet the ensemble directors, listen to our chamber music ensembles, and discover our extensive programming.

New this year: Audition for our Creative Studies and Jazz Combos in addition to Classical Chamber Music and Large Ensembles.

The Hartt School Community Division joins together more than 800 of the region's most dedicated young musicians to work with distinguished conductors in 20 large instrumental and choral 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 chamber ensembles and the Hartt Preparatory Academy.

More Information

Audition Festival FAQs

What are the requirements for the audition?

In general, students will be asked to demonstrate technique (e.g. scales and/or sight-reading) and a solo. 

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 and any equipment you need for it (e.g. reeds, valve oil, rosin, etc.). Also make sure to have your music. You may bring a copy of the music for the judges as well.

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

No. Of course we would like you to study with one of our teachers, but it is not necessary to audition. However, we believe that private study provides the resources and experience students need to make the most out of their ensemble experience.

What should I do after I have checked in?

You may use the time between check-in and the audition to warm up. Please make sure your instrument is out of its case and ready to play when you are waiting outside your designated audition room. Signs will be posted with directions and there will be staff on hand to assist you. At check-in, students will receive their audition form, their assigned audition room in the building, and may ask any other pertinent questions of our staff.

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

In extenuating circumstances, a student may audition prior to the audition day. Students who move into our region after the Audition Festival may be heard in August and will be placed in ensembles as space is available. Contact Maggie Spear, Music Program Director, 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?

Yes. The only exception is for students in Connecticut Children's Chorus(CCC). CCC members only need to re-audition if they wish to move up to a new choir. Simply inform your CCC director and register.

All instrumental students need to audition every year. Acceptance into a specific ensemble is not guaranteed from year to year. However, past participation is taken into consideration during the placement process. 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.

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 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.

When are the calendars and handbooks available for the various ensembles?

Calendars and handbooks for each ensemble will be available online in August, and distributed at the first rehearsal in September.

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. Please consult the specific handbook for your ensemble for attendance requirements and procedures in the event of unavoidable absences.

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 prior to the start of term to allow another student the opportunity to participate.

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.



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.


  • 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


  • Scales

  • A solo or etudes demonstrating current skill level

  • Sight reading (provided at the audition)

The resources below provide specific age/instrument appropriate guidance on the requirements. While you should consult with your teacher about appropriate repertoire, please feel free to contact us with questions about audition guidelines and expectations.


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.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with us at 860.768.4451 or