Audition Information


AUDITIONS FOR THE 2021-22 ACADEMIC YEAR are now closed

CUO Audition Signups

Contact us if you have questions.

Who May Audition

Students and faculty from all Columbia divisions are invited to audition. (Advance sign-up is required. Slots will be open on August 16th.  See "Important Notes")

Audition Dates/Times

  • Wednesday, September 15th, 2021  12:00pm-8:00pm
  • Thursday, September 16th 2021  2:30-8:30pm
  • Friday, September 17th, 2021  12:00pm-8:00pm


Room 809, Dodge Hall

Audition Requirements

  1. Short solo of choice. This may be a short solo work, or an excerpt of a longer solo work. No accompaniment is required nor provided.  Examples of works accepted are concertos, sonatas, showpieces, or etudes.  You need only choose one movement.  Your chosen piece should be indicative of your musical ability, quality of sound, technical capacities, etc. 

Important Notes 

Decisions regarding membership are made within the context of the orchestra's current personnel needs, the relationship of the player's ability to the median technical level of the orchestra, and the player's competency during the audition. Auditions are mandatory for new and returning members of the orchestra. All personnel decisions are final and made by the Music Director.

As a member of the CUO, one must demonstrate that he or she is able to perform with proficiency the repertory that the orchestra is playing. The Orchestra's repertory has always included very challenging works, such as music by Boulez, Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, and Varese. The number of wind, brass, and percussion openings are determined by the Orchestra's repertory - larger pieces require more players, though not necessarily for each concert. The usual string complement is 32 violins, 12 violas, 18 cellos, and 6-8 basses.

Auditionees not immediately accepted into the orchestra are encouraged to discuss further options with the Music Director, Professor Jeffrey Milarsky. These can include private lessons, smaller ensembles, or chamber music.

Staff Positions

Staff positions: a few persons interested in managerial work may gain experience as orchestra librarian and personnel manager. These positions count as a music department class the same as the orchestra members. Please contact if you are interested.