Columbia University Bach Society

Audition Information

General Auditions

We warmly invite all Columbia undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in orchestra and choral performance to join us. The Bach Society Orchestra and Chorus auditions for all prospective members at the beginning of the Fall and Spring academic semesters.

Please prepare one piece (preferably classical or baroque) or excerpt to perform. Works by Bach are highly recommended.

Schedule an audition with us at bach@columbia.edu.

Audition FAQs

Will the audition be a frightening experience?

Not at all! The audition is held in an informal and casual atmosphere and should not take more than 15 minutes. We will also ask you a few questions about your experiences performing in musical groups.

What do you look for in an audition?

We evaluate prospective performers based on three criteria: (i) technical prowess, (ii) musicality (especially related to historical performance practice and style), and (iii) ensemble fit. Ultimately, we evaluate on a holistic basis rather than on a purely musical level, so we encourage all those interested to audition. Our decision making process takes into account all auditionees and the kind of ensemble (not soloists) we ultimately want to build.

What level of competency are you looking for?

We are particularly looking for intermediate to advanced level performers to join our group. Competition has been increasing over the years, and we are constantly looking for opportunities to raise the performance level of the Bach Society. Unfortunately, this is not an ensemble where you learn how to play an instrument; if you are looking for lessons, we would recommend that you look into the Music Department's offerings.

What if I missed the auditions but I still want to join?

Send an email to the board HERE. Depending on the time of the year, and your instrument/voice, you may still be able to audition at one of our rehearsals and perform in the concert.