Audition for the Columbia Orchestra

PLEASE NOTE: We hope to be able to resume regular auditions for the 2021-2022 season in August. If you would like to be put on our list please email and we will contact you once we are able to schedule times.

We anticipate having openings in strings, percussion, and piano/keyboard and may have substitute opportunities for winds and brass. You can read about our typcal auditions below.


If you play an orchestral instrument and enjoy the challenge of performing the best of the symphonic repertoire with an inspiring conductor, don’t miss the opportunity to audition for the Columbia Orchestra. The Columbia Orchestra is a volunteer adult community orchestra dedicated to fostering a lifelong appreciation of and participation in classical music. Join us for an exciting season performing great music! We also keep an active substitute list, so please do not hesitate to contact us.

Our annual auditions are held in August. If you missed the auditions but are still interested in openings, please contact or 410-465-8777 to see what other audition opportunities will be available.

If the thought of preparing an audition frightens you, please remember: we are a friendly group of people who love to play music together, and we want to make joining us a fun experience for you! If you have checked out our repertoire and you are able to perform this type of music well, you are likely to be a good fit.

Please look around our web site to familiarize yourself with our orchestra. Here are some specific items you may be interested in:

Open Positions

For the 2019-2020 season we will have permanent openings for Strings. We will also hear auditions for substitute wind, brass, and percussion players. Auditions will be held the first week of August at the orchestra office at the Howard County Center for the Arts.

Audition Requirements


  • Please prepare 3-5 minutes of solo music. The selection(s) should include different styles, tempo, etc., so this can be a single work with a good deal of contrast or two contrasting works. Solo music should be demonstrative of your musical and technical abilities.
  • Please prepare the excerpt for your instrument below from Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6, "Pathetique."
  • Auditions may include sight-reading.

EXCERPTS [SAMPLE ONLY. New excerpts coming Fall 2021.]

  • violin: First movement, pickups to A through m. 51. First movement, m. 305 through Tempo I. Third movement, opening to letter B (top parts).
  • viola: First movement, mm.19-38. First movement, letter S to letter T. Third movement, m.45 to letter G downbeat (top parts).
  • cello: First movement, mm.49-62. Second movement, mm. 1-24 (2nd ending). Third movement, mm. 175-189 (top parts).
  • bass: Second movement, 5 before letter M for 15 bars. Third movement, mm. 72-96.

Substitute Winds, Brass, Percussion
Please email us if you are interested in auditioning for our substitute list. The following are the requirements for substitute list auditions.

  • Please prepare 5-7 minutes of at least two contrasting selections. This music should be demonstrative of your musical and technical abilities. It should include solo repertoire for your instrument; including standard orchestral excerpts is also encouraged.
  • Auditions may include sight-reading.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact or 410-465-8777, extension 4.

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