Are you interested in auditioning to be a music major or participating in an ensemble?

Audition to be a Music Major

Undergraduate/Transfer Auditions

Thank you for considering Wichita State! Here we've compiled all the info we think you'll need for a successful audition, which we've broken down into six steps:

1. Request information!

If you're here, you may have already completed this step (or didn't need it!). But if you don't know much about Wichita State University, we recommend you request information, that way you have a well-rounded picture of all the amazing benefits of being a Shocker.

2. Schedule a visit and a free lesson!

Did you know the School of Music offers free lessons to visiting students? Well, we do! You're welcome to reach out to the faculty member(s) on your instrument, or you can follow the link above to email Jesse, our Coordinator of Music Admissions, who will help you set up a half hour slot.

Please note that due to COVID-19, we are not able to guarantee in-person lesson availability, but we will make every effort to meet our visiting students' needs.

3. Apply to WSU!

We do ask that everyone auditioning for us complete their application to WSU first. This helps make sure there are no unexpected problems in the process, and, more importantly, it makes sure you are eligible for a wide variety of scholarship money. If applying to WSU is a financial hardship, please email us!

4. Audition!

Click that link above (or this one) to see our requirements for our in-person auditions!

5. Finish your Financial Aid info!

We ask that you try to have your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) finished before you audition, but if not (which is why this step is later), we ask that you do so as soon as possible, that way both Wichita State and the School of Music have an understanding of your need when considering scholarships, etc.

6. Once Accepted, Check our Transition Info!

We've put together a lot of info to help make your transition to Wichita State as comfortable as possible. You'll learn about a few necessary steps, like our theory assessment.

7. Join us and Propel the Future!

Pretty self-explanatory! We want you here, making music and changing the world!


Graduate Auditions

Interested persons should contact the applied professor for their area of study to make audition arrangements and schedule a campus visit. Awards are typically based on live auditions. If you wish to be considered for a financial award, except in extreme circumstances, you must audition in person. The School of Music does not require the graduate assistantship application form, however.


Join an Ensemble!

Audition information will be published in July 2022.

We're glad to have you. Ensemble placements typically take place during the first week of our fall semester. We have information on what's required for each group so you can feel informed and prepared. Remember, you do not have to be a music major to perform in our ensembles!

Athletic Band Concert Band Choir Jazz Band Opera Theater Symphony Orchestra

the shocker sound machine marching band

Athletic Bands

Shocker Sound and Shocker Sound Machine

Shocker Sound performs at home games for the men's and women's basketball teams. There are approximately 20 men's games, and 20 women's games each season, excluding tournaments. The basketball season typically begins in early October and concludes in March. Shocker Sound will travel to tournaments when the teams are invited to participate. Shocker Sound is staffed from full time members of the Shocker Sound Machine.

Shocker Sound Machine is a marching ensemble that focuses on styles and techniques from traditional marching bands as well as the contemporary DCI model. Shocker Sound Machine will perform at select basketball games, special event appearances, and as a visible force of spirit and entertainment on our campus!

In order to be eligible to participate in Shocker Sound, a student must be enrolled in at least one class at WSU, be a full time member of the Shocker Sound Machine, and have experience on an instrument. WSU provides instruments for participating students. Athletic Bands (MUSP 416) is offered as a credited class for students involved with the Shocker Sound Machine, and all students wishing to participate are required to sign up for the class. Shocker Sound and Shocker Sound Machine rehearsal times are on Mondays and Thursdays from 7:30 - 9:30pm.

Due to the NCAA and NIT Tournament Regulations, the total number of Shocker Sound personnel is limited to 29-playing members per tournament trip. However, during regular home games the personnel roster can accommodate a larger number of musicians. Personnel are rotated in and out of the band to give more opportunity for participation and to accommodate availability.

Questions? Email Director of Athletic Bands Lucas Hulett!


the wind ensemble

Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band

Participation in the WSU Wind Ensemble and/or the Symphonic Band is by audition. The audition process is friendly and non-threatening. Auditions generally are for band placement, either in the Wind Ensemble or Symphonic Band, and for part assignments. The goal of the WSU Bands is to include every one and exclude no one. If you have any questions regarding involvement in the bands at WSU please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Timothy Shade.


choir ensemble audition banner

Any WSU student is welcome and encouraged to sing in the choral program at Wichita State University! All ensembles are open to both music majors and non-majors. For 2022-2023, instruction is planned for both in-person rehearsals and concerts! Please let your friends and colleagues know that we would love to have them join us for this exciting year!

Vocal placements are painless and simply involve filling out the placement form and submitting a short video/audio file of you singing any short song. This can be with or without accompaniment. If you don't have another song prepared, you can choose to sing something familiar, like "Happy Birthday," "My Country 'Tis of Thee," a folksong, hymn, or anything similar.

Non-majors are encouraged to audition for Concert Chorale and Madrigal Singers. Those who wish to sing in ShockerChoir (tenor/bass) or WU Choir (soprano/alto) do not need to submit a placement form. Simply register and start singing!

WSU music majors (voice emphasis) are required to complete an audition unless they have been previously placed and received communication from the Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Ryan Beeken. All voice majors will placed into the appropriate large ensemble by choral faculty. Students are able to sing in both a large ensemble (Concert Chorale, ShockerChoir, WU Choir) and Madrigal Singers if they wish. Madrigal Singers will produce a Madrigal Dinner (Renaissance-style dinner theater) during the fall semester.


  • ShockerChoir (tenor/bass) (MUSP 211D, 411D, 711D)
    • Meets M/W 12:30-1:45
  • WuChoir (soprano/alto) (MUSP 212D, 412D, 712D)
    • Meets T/R 12:30-1:45
  • Concert Chorale (MUSP 213F, 413F, 713F)
    • Meets M, T, W, R 12:30-1:20
  • Madrigal Singers (MUSP 211L, 411L, 711L)
    • Meets M/W 2:00-3:15

Questions? Email Dr. Ryan Beeken.


jazz band ensemble auditions banner



opera theater banner

Auditions will be held August 23 and 24, 2022 in Miller Hall. An accompanist will be provided. 

We ask that anyone who has not yet performed in one of our operas email Alan Held, Director of Opera, with any questions.


symphony orchestra ensemble auditions banner

Seventy members strong, the Wichita State University Symphony Orchestra is an auditioned ensemble comprised of undergraduate and graduate musicians. Students from any academic discipline with performing experience are welcome to audition. The orchestra has performed in Carnegie Hall and internationally (Spain, Canada), at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, and the state conference of the Kansas Music Educators Association. Recent collaborations include performances with operatic bass Samuel Ramey, jazz guitarist Pat Metheny, jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton, the classic rock band Kansas, and the arena multimedia concert Video Games Live.

WSU Symphony Orchestra auditions for woodwind and brass students will be held Friday, August 19. Auditions for string students will be held Monday, August 22.

For further information, contact Dr. Mark Laycock, Director of Orchestras, at 316-978-6202 or mark.laycock@wichita.edu.