By Dani Nicholson

Singers and instrumentalists at BSU, rejoice! The musical ensembles on campus are holding auditions this fall and are eager for new members. The choir ensembles include the Bemidji Choir, Damenstimmen and Musikanten. For those more inclined toward instruments, there is the Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble and Blue Ice (jazz band). All of these ensembles are open to all students of all majors.

2016-2017 Bemidji Choir under the direction of Dr. Dwight Jilek. Photo by Bemidji State University Department of Music.

The Bemidji Choir is BSU’s mixed-voices choir.  Auditions are from Aug. 19-21 and will be celebrating its 80th anniversary during the 2017-2018 school year. In an audition, you will discuss your singing history with Dr. Dwight Jilek, assistant professor of music and director for all three choral ensembles, and sing for a short amount of time so he can determine how high or low you can sing, your timbre (color) and much more. A solo from high school or another past experience is welcomed, but a familiar tune such as “Happy Birthday” will work, as well. Nerves are a normal part of the experience–just enjoy it and do your best.

Students who desire a non-auditioned ensemble would be a perfect fit for Damenstimmen (women’s chorus) or Musikanten, (men’s chorus). Damenstimmen meets on MWF from 12-12:50, while Musikanten meets on Monday evenings from 6-7 pm. Neither of these ensembles require past experience in a choir or any knowledge on reading music. There is always help available for those who want to learn how to read music or improve their skills.

2016-2017 Symphonic Band under the direction of Scott Guidry. Photo by Bemidji State University Department of Music.

If you are interested but do not want to commit right away, all students are welcome to come to rehearsals the first week of classes with no strings attached. Both of these choirs are great for dipping your toes into the water of an enriching musical experience. 

Instrumentalists on campus will be working with Scott Guidry, assistant professor of music and director of the three band ensembles. For instrumentalists who do not want to audition, Symphonic Band does not require one and is happy to have you. The Wind Ensemble and Blue Ice auditions will be held the first week of classes.

For students interested in choir with questions or concerns, contact Jilek at djilek@bemidjistate.edu or the Choir President, Lindsay Marketon, at lindsay.marketon@live.bemidjistate.edu. For students interested in band, contact Guidry at sguidry@bemidjistate.edu, who will be happy to provide you with audition materials.

To students embarking on a musical experience in the near future, best of luck!

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