String Bass Auditions

Participation in the Lamar University Wind Ensemble or Symphonic Band is determined based upon a relaxed audition process.  All classically trained string bass players who have experience performing in an orchestra or wind ensemble, regardless of major, are encouraged to schedule an audition.


String bass auditions will take place throughout the afternoon on the first Tuesday and/or Thursday of classes. Please email Dr. McMahan to schedule a 10-minute appointment.

Lamar University owns upright basses which are available for student use.   Please email Dr. McMahan if you would like to inquire as to using one of these instruments for the audition and/or for participation in the Wind Ensemble or Symphonic Band throughout the year.


String bass performers should prepare two short selections:  one that showcases a proficiency in lyrical playing, and another which exhibits technical ability. The selections can be from a solo, an etude, a method book, or piece of orchestra or band music.

Students may also be asked to perform any of the major scales and they may also be asked to sight-read a brief melodic passage.

Additional Information

The audition process is coordinated and facilitated by Dr. McMahan.  All questions, as well as inquiries regarding the use of school instruments, etc. should be sent to him via email. Correspondence will then be routed to the appropriate person(s), if necessary.

After all auditions have completed, the results will be collated and published by Dr. McMahan. It will be posted on the bulletin board across from the Music Department office in the form of a complete seating order for the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band. The results will also be sent to all auditionees via email.

Any student who does not audition, but is required to do so, will be placed in an ensemble and seated based solely upon the discretion of the adjudicator and/or ensemble directors.

Rehearsals will begin at the first class meeting following the final audition date. Detailed information on ensemble assignments and rehearsal times will be distributed via email.

Cardinal Jazz Orchestra

Bassists interested in auditioning for the Cardinal Jazz Orchestra will need to audition for Professor Condit. Please review the information on this page for more information.

 Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What should I wear for the audition?

    There are no requirements with regard to attire during auditions. However, presenting a good image of yourself does have a positive impact upon the person hearing your audition. Our advice would be to go the middle route: clean casual or business casual with good personal grooming and hygiene.

  2. How early should I arrive before my audition?

    Please plan so that you have time to arrive, warm-up and then be at the audition location at least 10 minutes prior to your scheduled time.

  3. How do I enroll in Wind Ensemble or Symphonic Band?

    Students participating in the Lamar University performing ensembles receive one unit of academic credit each semester.  Once audition results have been announced, members will be provided instructions regarding how to enroll for the appropriate course.

  4. Do you have any general audition advice?

    Generally speaking, the best advice is to “be yourself” and “be prepared”. Although very simple and straightforward, if you can manage to fulfill both those ideals, you will have a wonderful audition.

    Eric Hoover, Past President of the National Flute Association, also provided some general advice that would benefit anyone performing an audition (from middle school to the professional level.)

    • Practice with a metronome
    • At the site. . .warm-up alone and do not listen to other players
    • Think highly of your playing. If you don't respect your musicianship, no one else will
    • Demonstrate your ability to communicate musically
    • Maintain a positive appearance even if you do not play well
    • Demonstrate that you are a good colleague as well as a good musician
    • Show confidence without being arrogant