Ensembles & Auditions
Performing ensembles at Occidental are open to all students by audition regardless of major. Music majors are required to participate in ensembles.
Desiree La Vertu, conductor
Advanced study and performance of choral music. Emphasis is placed on the more difficult traditional choral repertoire, but the study of world music and popular music is included. Enrollment is for the full year and is by audition during the first week of the fall semester. Two hours of rehearsal per week for women and men separately, plus 2.5 hours combined rehearsal per week. Sight reading ability and previous musical experience highly recommended. Click here for Fall 2015 audition information.
Contact Desiree La Vertu at firstname.lastname@example.org
Desiree La Vertu, conductor
College Chorus provides an opportunity for Occidental community members to sing in a large ensemble. Singers—both music readers and non-music readers—will benefit from the experience of performing music from a variety of traditions. Occasional collaborations with other Occidental ensembles will provide additional enrichment of the music-making experience. The chorus rehearses one evening each week and performs on-campus each semester. Enrollment for one or both semesters. Click here for Fall 2015 audition information.
Contact Desiree La Vertu at email@example.com
Dean Anderson, director
The Occidental Sinfonia is an orchestral chamber ensemble focusing on the standard repertoire from the Baroque through the present. The mission of the Sinfonia is to provide a rigorous learning environment that will expose students to an eclectic range of music specifically written for a chamber-orchestra-sized group, though occasionally the size of the group will be augmented to perform larger works. The Sinfonia aspires to create an environment that emulates the music industry. Through its close collaboration with the Composition program, Sinfonia members will participate in reading workshops, original film scoring projects, and recording sessions, as well as premiering new compositions throughout the academic year. In the spring semester, the Sinfonia will collaborate with the Glee Club and College Chorus to perform a significant choral work with orchestral accompaniment.
Contact Dean Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gloria Lum and Stephanie O’Keefe, directors
The Occidental Chamber Music Ensembles are made up of instrumentalists who are interested in performing chamber music for various media and drawn from various historical periods and styles. Among the usual ensembles are a brass ensemble and various combinations of strings, woodwinds, and piano. Students will perform at least twice during the year in regularly scheduled chamber music recitals. The ensembles receive coaching from the applied music faculty and guest artists. Click here for Fall 2015 audition information.
Shawn Costantino, director
The Occidental College Jazz Band is a musical organization, meeting weekly under the direction of Shawn Costantino, to play as an ensemble, learn basic jazz theory, and improve improvisational skills. Jazz enables people of various ethnicities, cultures, nationalities, and backgrounds to come together and communicate through the common language of music. Along with enhancing the jazz experience through weekly rehearsals, we heighten campus-wide jazz awareness and appreciation through periodic performances during the year. Director Shawn Costantino is a multi-instrument saxophone player with wide experience in the jazz world as a performer and educator. Click here for Fall 2015 audition information.
Contact Shawn Costantino at email@example.com
Son Jarocho Ensemble (Fall semester)
Cesar Castro, director
Son Jarocho Ensemble introduces students to the songs and instrumental techniques of son jarocho, a musical genre from Veracruz, Mexico that mixes indigenous Mexican, African, Spanish, and Arabic sounds. The course will be taught by a master musician who brings over 20 years of musical experience to his classes. Students will learn to play jarana, the eight-stringed guitar that provides the harmonic scaffold for son jarocho. In addition to weekly rehearsals with the ensemble, students will be expected to practice on their own and to participate in a public performance at the end of the semester. No prior music experience is required.
Afro-Cuban Drumming Ensemble (Spring semester)
Joe Addington, director
In addition to practicing secular rumba drumming, students will study the sacred rhythms of Santería and learn to sing the songs of the Orishas in the Yoruba dialect of Lucumi. In addition to weekly rehearsals with the ensemble, students will be expected to practice on their own and to participate in a public performance at the end of the semester. No prior music experience is required.
Contact Joe Addington at firstname.lastname@example.org
William Bing (Caltech music faculty), conductor
The Concert Band is a symphonic wind ensemble comprised of instrumentalists drawn from Caltech, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Occidental College, and the Pasadena community. Guest artists with the Concert Band in recent years have included Eddie Daniels, Steve Houghton, Allen Vizzutti, and David Shiffrin. The Concert Band performs three to four concerts a year, both at Caltech and Oxy. The repertoire includes traditional and contemporary compositions. The Concert Band rehearses at Caltech, and student drivers help with transportation from Occidental. For further information, contact William Bing at (626) 395-3714 or by email at email@example.com. Click here for Fall 2015 audition information.
Allen Gross (emeritus professor), director
The Occidental-Caltech Symphony consists of instrumentalists from Occidental, Caltech, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and members of the community. The orchestra presents concerts on both the Occidental and Caltech campuses. The symphony performs a varied repertoire of Classic, Romantic, and contemporary music. An annual student concerto competition, held the first week in December, allows winners the opportunity to perform as soloists with the symphony. Membership is by audition at the beginning of the academic year. The orchestra rehearses once weekly, at both Caltech and Occidental, with extra rehearsals before each concert. For audition information, contact Allen Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GLEE CLUB AND COLLEGE CHORUS AUDITIONS: Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, 3:00-7:00 p.m. Bird Studio and Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, 12:00-2:30 p.m. Booth 204. Please refer to our Auditions page or our Facebook page "Occidental College Glee Club" for more details on the audition process. An audition sign-up sheet is posted in the Booth Hall lobby.
SINFONIA AND CHAMBER MUSIC AUDITIONS: Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, 7:15 – 9:15 p.m., Bird Studio (Booth Hall). Students will be asked to play any solo piece that they've prepared, and are comfortable with. Anyone who has not previously taken chamber music must audition. If you have taken orchestra but not chamber music, you must audition. To sign up for an audition, please click here.
Community member (non-Oxy student) Sinfonia auditions will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015, 7:00-10:00 p.m. If you are a community member, and you would like to audition for the Sinfonia, please click here.
JAZZ ENSEMBLE AUDITIONS: Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, 6:00-8:00 p.m. Booth 208. Students should be prepared to demonstrate a blues in F, a tune of their choice, along with scales up to 4 sharps and flats. To sign up for an audition, please click here.
CALTECH-OCCIDENTAL CONCERT BAND AUDITIONS: Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015, 8:00-9:00 p.m. Bird Studio (Booth Hall). For this low-pressure audition, you may bring a prepared piece, and be ready to sight-read something. The audition is just to give the director a sense of your playing. An audition sign-up sheet is posted in the Booth Hall lobby. If you are unable to attend this audition, another audition session will be held on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015 at 4:00-5:00 p.m. in Booth 208. Please sign up for the audition in the Booth Hall lobby.
- Friends of Oxy Music:
- Jacquelyn Moon:
Senior Administrative Assistant (323) 259-2785 Booth 205
- Alyssa Cottle:
Concerts and Events Manager email@example.com (323) 341-4149 Booth 103
- David Kasunic:
Department Chair firstname.lastname@example.org Booth 207