Audition for MUMS!

MUMS holds orchestral auditions each year for all of our ensembles (except MUWO (Wind Orchestra) and MUSO (String Orchestra)). These traditionally take place in September/October and January/February.

To perform in any of our ensembles, you must be a MUMS member. This will usually take place soon after your audition. For more information on what joining MUMS offers you and how to do so, please click here. You can also get in touch with James and Rose, at:


NEW: Opera (February 2020) Auditions - October 2019

MUMS Opera Auditions are now live! This year, MUMS will be putting on the opera The Enchanted Pig, by Jonathan Dove (performed 21st and 22nd of February 2020).

Audition times:

  • Tuesday 15th October | 10:00 - 13:00 - Martin Harris Centre, Danel Room (Ground Floor)
  • Wednesday 16th October | 18:00 - 21:00 - Martin Harris Centre, Room F37 (First Floor)
  • Thursday 17th October | 10:00 - 13:00 - Martin Harris Centre, Room F37 (First Floor)

You can book your audition by clicking on the link below:

You can find more information on the opera, the acting extracts (required for the audition) and the musical character examples by clicking on the Dropbox link below:

The character extracts are correspondent to these pages in the score:

Adelade: 209

Mab: 33

Flora: 13

OW: 230


Pig: 244 - 5

The audition:  

  • The auditions will last 10 minutes and will be very informal. We just want to get to know you and your skills. 
  • Please prepare a short piece of music of approximately 2-3 minutes max. Bear in mind the styles of music listed above to inform your choice. We have also attached some extracts of music from the opera itself to give you an idea of the kind of style we’re going for. If you have an aria in your repertoire this would be preferable but in general just perform what you know and are comfortable singing for us. Be prepared to take notes and re-direction in the audition and be off-book if possible to help with this. Please bring printed sheet music for the accompanist. 
  • We will then ask you to perform a spoken extract from the text to gauge your acting abilities. These can be found in the dropbox link. Please choose the correct extract for your voice type and take plenty of time getting to know these before your audition. It will be clear to us who has been working on the scene prior to showing us! 
  • We will finish the audition with a quick informal chat about any previous experience you have.  
  • Any successful applicants will be invited to a second round of auditions which will take place on Sunday 20th October. This information will only be released once everyone has auditioned.

If you have any queries about opera in MUMS or the audition process, please email Thomas Clough at



NEW: Orchestral Auditions - September 2019

First year music student auditions are pre-booked, and details will reach you before welcome week. For returning orchestral players, the slots are:

  • Tuesday 17th September | 14:00 - 18:00
  • Monday 23rd September  | 17:00 - 21:00
  • (FULL) Wednesday 25th September | 17:00 - 21:00
  • Saturday 5th October | 13:00 - 17:00

You can now book your orchestral auditions by clicking below:

You can find the orchestral excerpts by clicking on this Dropbox link: 

If you haven't received a confirmation email having booked your auditions, check your junk emails!

If you have any problems whilst using the online sign-up system, or are unable to make any of the audition slots avaliable, please email James and Rose at for help!



The excerpts are from Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances. 

Also included is a full score and excerpt list. Please note, percussionists are not given orchestral excerpts to prepare. Please just bring a piece (c.6 min)—this can be an orchestral excerpt of your choice or piece for solo percussion. 

Some tips in order to get the most out of your audition:

  • Have a listen to the piece, taking note of tempos and styles. 
  • We would like to hear a secure and consistent performance, therefore the priorities are technical accuracy and expression. However, please try to match the excerpts to concert tempo as much as possible. 
  • Don’t underestimate the value of counting—it is very important, especially if the excerpts are solo lines. 

Along with the excerpts, please prepare a short (c. 6min) piece of your choice. This will be unaccompanied (except in the case of First Year Music students who will have a student accompanist).  Please bring one copy for the panel (and one for accompanist, if First Year Music Student) and note that you may be asked to stop before the piece is finished. Copies of the orchestral excerpts do not need to be provided to the panel.

We will use the auditions to inform us of orchestral seating in the coming months. However, your attitude and playing within the society over the course of the year will also be taken into consideration when deciding the seating of the orchestra. 

Some final notes:

  • You will not be required to audition on auxiliary instruments (Bass Clarinet, Cor Anglais, Piccolo, Celeste etc.). 
  • First study pianists and saxophonists do not need to prepare the audition extracts IF they do not wish to play in MUMS large ensembles (e.g. Symphony orchestra). 
  • First Year Music Students who wish to play more than one instrument or who wish to audition for their second study will have their audition combined and should bring both instruments. Everyone else should book separate auditions for each instrument. 
  • Clarinettists may play all excerpts as written on Bb clarinet unless they choose otherwise.
  • Please email us ( with any enquiries regarding availability of percussion instruments

Please do not be put off by concerns regarding your future time commitments at university. We can discuss how much you want to play within the audition, and we will try to seat the orchestra accordingly. 

Enjoy your audition; our main aim here is to try and gauge an understanding of you as a musician. This is particularly important for first year music students who are also assigned their instrumental teacher through these auditions. Our opinions and any notes made will be completely confidential, however do feel free to contact us for a short note on how we think you can improve. 

For any further questions, please email James and Rose at



NEW: Brass Band (UMBB)

The auditions for Brass Band will last about 10 minutes and are very informal. These auditions are taking place between 10:00 and 17:00 on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th of September. You will be asked to:

  • Play a short extract to be prepared prior to the audition. This will be sent to you by email shortly before your audition.
  • Sight-read a hymn in order to assess musicality.
  • Play a short piece of sight-reading.
  • If you would like to be considered to play a solo with the band, you will also be asked to play a solo or excerpt from a solo no more than two minutes long.

For Brass Band, please fill in this form to sign up for an audition:

For more information on the ensemble, you can click here.

If you can't make any of the available auditions times please email and the managers, Claire and Emily, will be able to help you.



NEW: Big Band (MUBB)

Auditioning for one of the country's leading university big bands - what a great idea! 

Please click on this link to access the Big Band extracts:

Please click on this link to sign up for your audition:

Here is a rough idea of how the audition will go:

PART 1: Standard

During the audition you'll be asked to choose a standard from the choice of: 

  • All The Things You Are (Ab); 
  • Blue Bossa (Cm); 
  • Impressions (Dm)

Saxes/Trumpets/Trombones: You will choose a suitable tempo, then proceed to play the head once round. After the head, you will take two choruses of improvisation over the changes, concluding these two choruses with a final restatement of the head.

Pianos: Same as above applies, except you will take two additional choruses of comping over a soloist.

Bass and Drums: You will comp under the head then take two choruses of soloing. 

After the standard, we may ask you to then improvise on a couple of choruses of a 12-bar blues - this is so we can really grasp your improvisation voice!

PART 2: Sight-reading

All auditionees will be asked to sight-read a section from semester one big-band chart. This does not have to be perfect - it is just to see how quickly you can get to grips with new material!

PART 3: Chat

This is nothing formal - we would love to find out about your musical experiences pertaining to big bands and jazz music!

Final notes:

  • You do not have to be a music student to be in MUBB, you just have to be a member of MUMS!
  • We are not looking for the next John Coltrane, or the next prodigy who can sight-read perfectly! If you like the idea of being in MUBB and love what we do, then you should definitely audition! We look forward to meeting you and hearing you play!

You can email Jonny and Harrison at should you have any questions regarding Big Band or the audition process.