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Instrumental Ensembles at Juniata

Thank you for visiting our Instrumental Ensembles page! We're very proud of our student musicians, our outstanding faculty, and the multitude of high quality, rewarding musical opportunities we are able to provide. All ensembles are open to all students, and our rates of participation (around 10 percent of the total student body) and retention throughout one's eight semesters (nearly 90%) are very high. We invite you to surf further into our site and read about our ensembles:

Our JC Orchestra and its chamber ensembles (Honors String Quartet, cello choir, and additional quartets when there is interest);

Our concert band program, comprised of our premier 40-member Juniata College Wind Symphony and our 50-70 member Concert Band. We also form chamber ensembles (Honors Brass Quintet, Honors Woodwind Quintet, Honors Saxophone Quartet, each made up of the top players in each section), and the JC Jazz Ensemble);

"Percussion at Juniata" - our concert percussion course, and its breakout groups - World Percussion, Keyboard Percussion Choir, performing with a wind band or orchestra, and our innovative PVC pipe/steel drum group, "Steely Pan and the Pretty Vicious Collegians."



Membership and Audition "seating placement hearing " Information

That strikethrough font above is on purpose!! We don't have formal entrance auditions for our instrumental ensembles. Members perform an informal "hearing" only once, so that our staff has an idea of your strengths in order to have a more informed basis on which to select music. Also, when it is time to invite selected players to participate in the wind section of our orchestra, submit names for Pennsylvania and national Intercollegiate Bands, etc…, we refer to our notes from that hearing. This hearing may be performed during your senior year of high school (by prior arrangement), during summer orientation (by prior arrangement), or during your first week of membership in the ensemble using music we have read in opening rehearsals. If you have a prepared piece or two you can play for us, that's even better! You could use part of a solo, concerto, lesson etude, an audition piece that you’ve played, etc…

In your hearing, please plan to play:


  • We want to hear something technical that shows your fluency and clarity/articulation through faster passages, and something lyrical and legato that shows your tone quality, breath control and phrasing. There will also be a short sight reading excerpt, a chromatic scale through the entire range of your instrument (as much as you know), and a couple major scales. If you know some minor scales, great!


  • We rotate string seating early in the rehearsals so we can become familiar with your strengths and find compatible stand partners.  It helps us plan repertoire and rehearsal time to hear how well you prepare and how well you read. In your hearing please plan to play:
    • A scale, 2 or 3 octaves, your choice of key, which demonstrates your technical ability (shifting, intonation, tone, etc.);
    • One page of a prepared piece, solo or orchestra music;
    • Sight reading.


Click here to see the percussion requirements (this will forward you to the "Percussion at Juniata" page)