Music Department Information
Please call · 507-786-3568 · or e-mail: email@example.com
Ensembles and Auditions
Ensemble auditions are held in the fall during Week One, St. Olaf’s week of fall orientation activities for new students. See the following pages in this section for detailed descriptions & audition requirements.
If you are an admitted St. Olaf student interested in St. Olaf Music, please go to http://www.stolaf.edu/deposited to see if you are required to complete a Music Interest & Information Questionnaire for the Music Department by July 1st. If you have questions, call 507-786-3568. If you have a printed paper copy, please send to: Barb Barth, Music Dept., St. Olaf College, 1520 St. Olaf Avenue, Northfield, MN 55057.
Early Auditions –Early audition times are available on Friday, August 31st, for auditioned ensembles and keyboard screening of music majors. (We encourage you to schedule an early audition. Anyone on campus on Aug. 31 is eligible to participate.) Indicate on the Music Interest & Info Questionnaire http://www.stolaf.edu/depositedby July 1st if you would like an audition. You will be able to drop off some of your belongings on Friday, but you will not be able to stay overnight on campus. You will also have an opportunity to get your student ID card on Friday.
Performance Studies (Private Lessons) Registration
Private lessons are open to all students based on studio availability. Music department consent is required. Registration takes place in the Music Dept. office (CHM 101) during Week One. A schedule of registration dates and times will be found in your Week One handbook. Students may be asked to demonstrate their level of achievement. Instrumentalists (strings, woodwinds, brass) are urged to schedule an ensemble audition to assist us in studio placement.
Information for Music Majors
Admission requirements – All students wishing to major in music must have auditioned and been admitted prior to matriculation. If you were not admitted to the music major prior to matriculation and you are interested in pursuing the major, you should see the Music Department Chair during Week One to discuss your options. Students who have been admitted to the music major will be pre-registered for Theory and Aural Skills.
Music Theory Placement – Music majors who seek advanced placement in Music Theory can take the placement test during Week One. See your Week One handbook for more information.
If you need to borrow an instrument for auditions or ensemble use, most standard band and orchestral instruments are available, some in limited quantities. The usual rental fee is $85 (an additional $25 charge for bows) per semester. If you indicate on the Music Interest & Information Questionnaire (http://www.stolaf.edu/deposited ) that you need an instrument, it will be available for you in CHM 101 when you arrive on campus. Some instruments may also be available over the summer months before you arrive, e-mail Tim Wells at firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
Instrument lockers in Christiansen Hall of Music are available at no charge. Priority is given to students who are in a large ensemble and/or taking private lessons on their primary instrument. The lockers are provided as a convenience to the students, and St. Olaf is not responsible for the contents of the lockers. Students are strongly encouraged to insure their instruments. Space is not available in CHM to store harps and drum sets.
Instrumental Ensembles at St. Olaf College
St. Olaf Orchestra - Steven Amundson, Director. A symphony orchestra of approximately 90 instrumentalists, the St. Olaf Orchestra presents several concerts each year and furnishes music for a variety of college programs including Christmas Festival. The St. Olaf Orchestra makes annual domestic tours and periodic international tours. It is open by audition, and private lessons are required of all members.
St. Olaf Philharmonia - Martin Hodel, Director. The St. Olaf Philharmonia is a symphony orchestra of about 80 members that performs music from all periods. Its concert season includes a fall concert, a vespers service with the Chapel Choir, a spring concert with weekend tour, and a chapel service. Membership is by audition, and private lessons are recommended for all members.
St. Olaf Band - Timothy Mahr, Director. The St. Olaf Band performs regularly on campus in concert and as part of important college functions. The 85-piece ensemble takes annual tours and periodic international tours. Membership is by audition and private lessons are required for all members.
The Norseman Band - Paul Niemisto, Director. The Norseman Band is a fully-instrumented symphonic band and plays several concerts each year, both on campus and regionally. Membership is by audition. Private lessons are encouraged for all members.
Jazz Ensembles - David Hagedorn, Director. The Jazz ensemble program at St. Olaf College offers the opportunity to play the music of the big bands of the 20th century as well as exploring newer forms of the genre. Admission is based on a yearly audition.
Collegium Musicum - Gerald Hoekstra, Director. The Collegium Musicum is an instrumental ensemble that performs music of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras on historical instruments. Students learn and perform on early instruments, such as recorders, viols, sackbuts, lutes, and cornets. The Collegium Musicum collaborates with the Early Music Singers to present a concert of early music each semester and occasional other performances as well.
Handbell Ensembles - Jill Mahr, Director. Three handbell ensembles, the St. Olaf Handbell Choir, St. Olaf Chapel Ringers and Manitou Handbell Choir play in recitals and worship services on campus throughout the year. The groups, who rehearse weekly, also have some off-campus performances. One of the ensembles is student-directed. Membership in handbell choirs is by audition.
Flute Choir - Catherine Ramirez, Coordinator. The flute choir offers members an opportunity to perform repertoire for piccolo, flute, alto flute and bass flute. The group performs regularly on and off campus. Membership is open to all interested players on campus.
Clarinet Choir. The Clarinet Choir provides an opportunity for players within the clarinet family from E-flat soprano to B-flat contra bass, to rehearse and perform the finest literature for clarinets. The group will work with high school students from local areas each semester. Auditions for membership are required.
Horn Club - The student-directed Horn Club is one of the first established horn ensembles in the United States. It has performed widely in Minnesota and performs throughout the year on campus. Membership is open to all horn players at St. Olaf.
Trombone Choir - Paul Niemisto, Coordinator. The "Bone Choir" makes regular contributions to the concert and worship life of the college. They often perform in area churches, and have been regular participants in the Minnesota Trombone Workshop. Membership is open to all interested trombonists on campus.
Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble - Paul Niemisto, Coordinator. This is a unique group that provides a special opportunity for tuba and euphonium (baritone horn) players to make a sonorous ensemble sound not commonly heard. Membership is selected from among the tuba and euphonium players on campus.
Percussion Ensemble - David Hagedorn, Director. The Percussion Ensemble performs a concert each semester on campus. The ensemble often does collaborative work with members of the dance department. Membership is open to all interested student percussionists.
The Valhalla Band - Created by students in the 1997-98 school year, Valhalla is a fully-instrumented band conducted and managed by students. The band rehearses weekly and performs several concerts throughout the year, including a traditional trip to a local grade school. Open to all interested students.
Choral Ensembles at St. Olaf College
Manitou Singers - Sigrid Johnson, Director. Manitou Singers is a select, 100-voice, first-year women's chorus that sings at services of the Student Congregation, gives campus concerts including Christmas Festival, and makes occasional out-of-town appearances. Each year they combine with the Viking Chorus for a spring concert.
Viking Chorus - Christopher Aspaas, Director. The Viking Chorus is an 88-voice first-year men's group that performs on- and off-campus for festivals, collaborative concerts, solo performances, and a weekend regional tour. It also participates as a solo choir in the Christmas Festival, serves the Student Congregation with special music and combines with the Manitou Singers for a spring concert.
St. Olaf Choir - Anton Armstrong, Director. The St. Olaf Choir, with 74 mixed voices, is recognized as one of the premier colleges a cappella choirs in the United States. For over a century, the St. Olaf Choir has maintained its original purpose – the study and preparation of a wide range of representative sacred choral literature for public performance. The annual tour advances the artistic standards of choral music and provides means of spiritual inspiration for its many listeners. The St. Olaf Choir is open by audition to upper-class students. All members are required to take private lessons in voice.
St. Olaf Cantorei – Jamey Bobb, Director. The St. Olaf Cantorei, a select ensemble of 85 – 90 mixed voices, sings for two or three Sunday services of the Student Congregation per semester and participates in Christmas Festival. In keeping with the historical tradition associated with its name, the repertoire of the Cantorei often includes music for choir and instruments or organ as well as congregation. Off campus trips, a fall hymn festival and a spring concert of sacred choral literature sung on campus and in a mini-tour are annual activities of the choir. The Cantorei is open by audition to upper-class students. Private lessons in voice are encouraged for all members.
Chapel Choir - Christopher Aspaas, Director. The Chapel Choir is a select group of 105 mixed voices. It participates in the Christmas Festival, prepares music for Sunday services of the Student Congregation, a major spring concert and fall vespers with the college orchestras, and for special events both on and off campus. The Chapel Choir is open by audition to upper-class students. Private lessons in voice are recommended for all members.
Early Music Singers - Gerald Hoekstra, Director. The Early Music Singers, an ensemble of 12 to 16 singers, focuses primarily on music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Baroque eras, but also occasionally performs later music appropriate for chamber vocal ensemble. Besides small-group choral singing, students in the group have the opportunity for some one-to-a-part singing. Performances include a fall and spring concert in collaboration with the Collegium Musicum, chapel services and occasional performances off campus. The Early Music Singers is open by audition to upper-class students. Private lessons in voice are recommended for all members.
Gospel Choir - Darrin Thomas, Director. The St. Olaf Gospel Choir is a Christian ministry of song designed to provide its members with an opportunity to experience praise and worship. Comprised of students of all nationalities, backgrounds, and denominations, the choir’s repertoire includes traditional Gospel through contemporary styles, which include African, Caribbean, Latin American, as well as Jazz influences.
Collegiate Chorale - Anton Armstrong, Director. Collegiate Chorale is women’s ensemble open to all female students, as well as faculty and staff. The group’s less-demanding rehearsal and performance schedule emphasizes an enjoyable choral experience for all members.
Ensemble Audition Requirements
Orchestral Excerpts Click Here
Strings & Harp
One or two contrasting solo selections (up to 5 minutes). The prepared piece(s) can be a movement of a concerto or sonata, or an etude, and should be chosen to represent the fullest extent of your abilities. Choose as difficult a selection as possible that you can play well. You can also expect to sight-read and play major scales.
Prepare one or two contrasting solo compositions or excerpts (3-4 minutes total). You will be asked to play major and minor scales with the appropriate number of octaves for the instrument, a chromatic scale covering the full range of the instrument, and to sight-read. Transposition will also be included for clarinets auditioning for orchestra.
Trumpet/Horn/Trombone/Tuba - Play one each technical and lyrical excerpts from a prepared piece(s) of your choice. You will be asked to play a chromatic scale (ascending & descending), major (and possibly minor) scales, and to sight-read.
Orchestra: Trumpet & Horn - Play one each technical and lyrical excerpt from a prepared piece(s) of your choice. You will be asked for major scales (two octaves), and sight-reading. Transposition may also be included.
Orchestra: Trombone - Play one each technical and lyrical excerpt from a prepared piece(s) of your choice. You will be asked to play major scales (two octaves) and sight-reading. You may be asked to demonstrate proficiency in tenor and alto clefs.
Orchestra: Tuba - Play one each technical and lyrical excerpt from a prepared piece(s) of your choice. You will be asked for major scales (two octaves) and sight-reading.
Percussion sections in all large ensembles at St. Olaf rotate parts, and auditionees must show competency in each of the three main areas: snare drum, timpani and mallet percussion. Auditions consist
of a prepared solo piece and sight-reading in each area (repertoire suggestions can be found at www.stolaf.edu/depts/music/percussion/PercRepSugg.pdf. Percussionists must provide their own sticks and mallets.
Saxophone, Trumpet & Trombone: You will be asked to play a be-bop tune at sight. Tunes in the past have included Doxy by Sonny Rollins and Au Privave by Charlie Parker. You will also need to demonstrate your improvisational skills by improvising over blues changes (your choice, usually F or Bb) or a standard tune of your choice. The jazz ensemble director will accompany the audition on piano.
Piano, Guitar & Bass: You will be asked to demonstrate your ability to perform in a number of different styles: swing, ballad, funk, Afro-Cuban, and Brazilian. You will also be asked to sight-read a melody and to demonstrate your soloing skills by improvising over a blues or standard jazz tune. The jazz ensemble director will accompany the audition on piano.
Drums: You will be asked to demonstrate your knowledge of different grooves: medium swing, up-tempo swing, ballad (with brushes), funk, Brazilian, and Afro-Cuban. You will be asked to sight-read a drum chart, providing the appropriate time feel as well as set-ups and kicks.
Auditions are held during Week One. Sign up early for an audition time on the main bulletin board in the front lobby of Christiansen Hall of Music. Auditions consist of demonstrating acquired handbell technique and sight-reading. You do not need to prepare anything in advance.
Prepare a folk song or hymn of your choice to be sung unaccompanied. The audition will also include vocalizations to check your range and pitch-memory. You may also be asked to sight-read.
St. Olaf Department of Art and Art History
John R. Saurer, Chair · Dittmann Center · 507-786-3159 · e-mail: email@example.com/depts./art
We look forward to meeting you at the Art and Art History Department information session in Dittmann Center, Room 204 during week one. We will tell you about the department course offerings, give you advice about how to start, and answer questions. See the Week One Schedule for details when you arrive on campus.
Studio Art students may schedule a Portfolio Review to receive feedback from your studio art faculty adviser (if you are assigned one) OR the Art and Art History Department Chair. This is an opportunity to discuss course options and possible placement. Ideally this review is done before you register for classes. Contact your adviser or the Art Department Chair via email by August 20. Your portfolio should include 10-12 examples of your strongest work. You may bring the original work, images of work on a CD or a combination of the two. You may also bring sketchbooks/journals (and encouraged to do so).
ADVANCE PLACEMENT EXAM INFORMATION
Art History AP Exam
An AP score of 4 or 5: Art History Major credit awarded for Art 151. General Education credit for ALS-A.
Studio AP Exam (Drawing, 2D or 3D)
An AP score of 4 or 5 counts as 1 course in Studio Art Major – only 1 credit total given if multiple exams are taken. The course credit given for AP Studio Art does not fulfill the college ALS-A requirement.
St. Olaf College Dance Department
Janice Roberts • Dittmann Center • 507-786-3873 • e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.stolaf.edu/depts/dance/
As summer is gearing up, I want to take a brief moment to welcome you to St. Olaf and especially to the dance department. I look forward to meeting our incoming students and watching your growth as you progress through our program.
I invite you to attend the Dance Department information Session in Dittmann Dance Studio 1 during week one. We will tell you about the department course offerings, give you advice about how to start, and answer any questions you have. See the Week One Schedule for details when you arrive on campus.
Then, during the first two weeks of classes there will be information sessions and auditions for our two dance companies, Companydance (a modern-based company) and Veselica(our international company). The dates and times will be posted on the dance department website. Also, in late September, there will be a dinner for dance majors. This is a chance for you to meet others in the department and to learn more about the dance major.
I look forward to meeting each of you. Please don't hesitate to call or stop by if you have any questions.
Enjoy the rest of your summer!
Dance Department Chair
St. Olaf College Theater Department
• Theater Building • 507-786-3240 • e-mail: email@example.com
• Department Web site: http://www.stolaf.edu/depts/theater/
As you plan your move to St. Olaf, I want to invite you to consider being part of the productions, courses, and projects in the Theater Department. There are several Theater meetings right at the start of the school year that will provide a good deal of information, allow you to ask any questions that you have, and allow you to meet faculty/ staff and other students that share your interests.
The flyer at the link below has the details about Theater Information sessions, our Theater Orientation meeting, an Audition Workshop and Auditions for the fall semester theater productions.
On behalf of the Theater Department faculty and staff, I welcome you to St. Olaf. We would love to have you become involved in productions, courses, or through attendance at our productions.
Enjoy your summer!
Theater Department Chairperson
voice: 507 786 3242
Theater Department Faculty and Staff: