Firstly, congratulations on getting your place at Southampton University! Below is some important information about the society and how to join it. If you are left with any questions whatsoever, please get in contact with us!
How to Join Sinfonietta?
Southampton University Sinfonietta is an auditioned orchestra. Due to the challenging nature of the repertoire the orchestra tackles, it ensures the overall standard is maintained and that the members are capable of playing the pieces. All current and former members, including committee members, must also re-audition for their seat each year; this keeps the audition process as fair as possible. We aim to keep these auditions as friendly and relaxed as possible, so there is nothing to be worried about! A place in the orchestra is only open to students at the University of Southampton or members of the Student Union. If you are not one of these, unfortunately you may not become a member of the orchestra.
For auditions you should prepare an unaccompanied extract or short piece that displays your technical and musical ability. You will receive some sight-reading for which you have a short amount of time to prepare for and we will ask you some general questions to get to know you a bit better.
We hope to see you soon and if you have any queries please don’t keep them to yourself and get in contact with us!
Frequently Asked Questions?
To sign up for an audition, you must attend the Southampton University Bunfight event which takes place during Fresher’s Week (this event advertises all the societies available at the university). We will have a stall open where you can sign up and give us your details. All the information about the fair you need will be provided to you by SUSU during Fresher’s Week. However, you can keep up to date with information by following our social media pages.
If you are unable to attend Bunfight and would still like to sign up, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are already a member of the society, we will send out an email and sign up form nearer to the start of the academic year.
Auditions will take place at the end of Fresher’s Week during weekend (the Saturday and Sunday before lecturers begin). They are held throughout the day so that you can fit them in around the other many activities taking place that weekend. Once you sign up, we advise that you arrive at the audition venue at least 20 minutes before the scheduled time – this is so that you have sufficient time to warm up and prepare the sight-reading.
The audition will last about 10 minutes in total. You should prepare a short, unaccompanied piece for your instrument, lasting no longer than 5 minutes. The piece does not have to be originally written for unaccompanied instrument (for example, a cello sonata with the piano part omitted is perfectly acceptable). You will also receive some sight-reading (typically one or two extracts), for which you will have a short amount of time to prepare. Finally, there will be a relaxed conversation with the panel so that we can get to know you better. We aim to make the audition process as relaxed as possible!
As an indication, most players in the orchestra are Grade 8 standard or above. However, don’t let this put you off! We don’t require applicants to have done any music exams, and we strongly encourage you to audition if you are interested. We also don’t require previous ensemble experience. If you have any doubts, talk to one of the committee members at Bunfight or get in contact with us (see below).
If you play multiple instruments which are substantially different (for example, viola and trumpet), you should audition for each separately, and each application will be considered individually. If you play a main and an auxiliary instrument (for example, flute and piccolo), you should audition only for your main instrument, and bring your auxiliary instrument with you to the audition. You will not need to prepare a solo piece for your auxiliary instrument; however, you may be asked to perform a sight-reading extract on it. Your performance on an auxiliary instrument will not hinder your chances of success on your main instrument – in fact, it is usually considered an asset to play an auxiliary instrument.
Every year, we have a large number of applications to consider, so there may be a small delay before you find out your audition result. Nevertheless, we aim to e-mail all candidates, both successful and unsuccessful, within 24 hours of the end of the audition period. If you are successful, you will receive an e-mail with rehearsal details and desk position in the orchestra. It is important to check your e-mails since the first rehearsal will be on the first Thursday after Freshers Week!
If you are not successful in getting a place in Sinfonietta this year, you should receive an e-mail within 24 hours of the audition period ending. Please don’t be upset – it is a very competitive process and you shouldn’t be put off trying again next year. Because of the large number of applications and quick deadline, we do not give out audition feedback as a general rule to unsuccessful candidates. If you would like feedback, you should e-mail us at email@example.com.