Audition to Join Shasta Symphony

Contact Music Director, Dr. Jeff Specht at for more audition info!

Jeff Specht conducting at a rehearsalGeneral Information

All students and community volunteers are welcome to join! The SSO serves a dual mission: as an academic ensemble for students enrolled at Shasta College and Simpson University, and as an orchestra for skilled adult volunteer musicians.

Adult community volunteers

Adult volunteer musicians can choose to either 1) arrange a private audition with Dr. Specht or 2) just sit in for one entire rehearsal. If the latter is selected, please make sure to make arrangements with Dr. Specht ahead of time.

Adult volunteer musicians can join the orchestra at any point in the season – musicians often play just 1-2 of the 5 concerts we have each year. We will get you involved on the first rehearsal of the next concert rotation.

While players of diverse performance abilities are welcome, all community members must meet a minimum performance ability threshold, outlined on the course syllabus. For specific questions about the performance ability threshold related to your instrument, please contact Dr. Specht directly.

Students (College, University or high school)

NOTE: High school students must participate in their local school music programs if they intend to audition for the SSO. The SSO and Shasta College Concert Orchestra (aka Shasta Youth Symphony) are intended to enhance a student’s musical experience, not replace their involvement in a local program. High School students should be enrolled in the Shasta College Concert Orchestra, but are welcome to also audition for the SSO if they are of a high ability level. College students should audition for SSO, but may find the Concert Orchestra a better fit if they are at an intermediate ability level, or if they play an instrument that is more competitive, such as flute or trumpet.

All new and returning students must audition every fall. Auditions normally take place during the first two weeks of the Shasta College Fall Semester, in room 633.

If you are new to the SSO, contact Dr. Specht directly in order to ensure that you have the correct and most current audition information. Students may also audition into the group in late fall or early January and join the SSO spring semester.

Audition Materials:

  1. Two short contrasting pieces, or excerpts of pieces, just 60-90 seconds each
    • One should be more technical in nature
    • The other should be more lyrical and expressive in nature
      Solo pieces are best, but band or orchestral excerpts are acceptable
    • Percussionists should select one piece on snare drum, one on mallets, then demonstrate timpani tuning and crash cymbal crashes as soft, medium, and loud dynamics.
  2. Three scales of your choosing, 2 or 3 octaves each
  3. Sight-reading