woodwinds

Ensembles

At Powers, a supportive, passionate community is what we’re all about. We encourage all students ages 9 and above to join an ensemble to share and enjoy your music together. You’ll get to know people who will become your good friends and stick with you throughout your musical journey.

Ensembles are a key part of music learning, not just to work as a team toward a common goal, but also for your own individual growth. Ensemble groups of 2-8 players, and even the Powers Youth Orchestra, are small enough to allow you to take ownership of your part and really shine. Your ideas and musical opinions are equally important and help shape the ensemble to become the best it can be.

Watch a Q&A here with Director of Chamber Music, Ryan Noe!

We offer a number of different types of ensembles here at Powers. The most common are:

In addition to these, it’s easy to create any kind of ensemble you can imagine if there is enough interest from students of similar ages and abilities. Some examples are ukulele, fiddle, celtic, harp, or guitar. What would you like to create?

Most ensembles meet when the instructor and students are both available, and are flexible enough to allow you to participate in an ensemble even with an already packed schedule.

How to Join an Ensemble:

Chamber ensembles and orchestra are full-year programs and require a placement audition. Please see placement audition instructions below.

If you’re interested in jazz, rock, viola da gamba, or a different ensemble, please fill out our online Inquiry Form and tell us what you’d like to do! We’ll do our best to place you with a great group of like-minded musicians and friends.

Placement Auditions for the 2021-2022 Season!

We’re holding placement auditions for ensembles and the Powers Youth Orchestra in-person and by video submission. Current ensemble and orchestra students planning to continue in the same group or level need not audition again.

Audition Dates / Options:

  • May 16
  • June 25
  • Online (submit a YouTube video)

Audition process for new ensemble / orchestra students:

Please read our audition requirements below to prepare for your audition. Submit an audition form here. If you are auditioning online, please be sure to include a link to your audition video on YouTube:

Schedule your audition

Once we have received your audition form, a staff member will contact you to notify you about your audition time (if in-person) or about acceptance and placement (if auditioning online).

Video Audition Requirements:

Audition video for String and Advanced String Orchestras

  • Two major scales, one octave
  • One piece of music the student has recently studied

Audition video for Chamber Orchestra

  • Two major scales, two octaves
  • Two brief contrasting musical excerpts. One lyrical/slower, and one faster/more technical. The selections can be studies, sonatas, concertos, orchestral excerpts, etc.

Audition video for Ensembles

  • A couple scales of the student’s choice
  • Two contrasting pieces

Onsite Audition Requirements:

PYO String / PYO Advanced String:

  • Must be able to read music and have been playing for at least one year (typically studying at a level equivalent to Suzuki Book 3 or higher)
  • One 2-octave scale of your choice
  • Two contrasting pieces of your choice
  • Sight-reading

PYO Chamber:

Strings

  • All 3-octave major scales through 4 sharps and 4 flats
  • One 3-octave minor scale of your choice
  • Two contrasting solo pieces of your choice: One should be fast and technical. The other should be slow and lyrical. The pieces can be two movements from the same concerto or sonata, or they can be two entirely different pieces. Your solo selections should demonstrate your highest technical skills and knowledge of style, including shifting, articulation, and expression.
  • Sight-reading

Woodwinds / Brass

  • All major scales through 4 sharps and 4 flats (1 or 2 octaves, depending on applicant’s range)
  • One minor scale of your choice (1 or 2 octaves, depending on applicant’s range)
  • Two contrasting solo pieces of your choice: One should be fast and technical. The other should be slow and lyrical. The pieces can be two movements from the same concerto or sonata, or they can be two entirely different pieces. Your solo selections should demonstrate your highest technical skills and knowledge of style, including shifting, articulation, and expression.
  • Sight-reading (not required for ensemble auditions)

Percussion

  • One solo piece on mallets
  • One solo piece on timpani (drums are provided for audition)

Ensembles

  • A couple scales of the student’s choice
  • Two contrasting pieces