In order to guarantee an honest selection for the restricted number of empty places, we organise auditions at the beginning of each academic year. Don’t let this scare you: a good basic command of your instrument is usually enough.

What is expected from you on the auditions? 

Everyone is asked to perform a prepared piece of their own choice of +/- 5 minutes, as well as a short piece of sight-reading, which is handed out 15 minutes before the audition.
This piece of sight-reading is selected from the repertoire of the USO, which reflects the level of the orchestra.
Choose your own piece of music so that it shows your technical and lyrical abilities in a couple of minutes. Make sure it reflects the level of command you have over your instrument, and it fits the stylistic periods our orchestra selects their pieces from (Romanticism & later periods). That way the jury can evaluate your abilities and the required techniques for the orchestral programme more easily.

Who decides? 

The enactments of the USO state that the auditions are held by the conductor, the concertmaster and the captain of your instrument section. At the auditions of the winds and strings, all of the captains of the respective section will be present. The president of the board is present as well, but doesn’t have an influence on the decision. 

Why are we holding auditions?

We hold auditions because of two reasons.
First of all, a symphony orchestra is characterized by a specific instrumentation. The number of people we are looking for depends on which and how many instruments are needed for a certain piece of music.
Secondly, we are constantly aiming at a high level of quality. We expect the musicians that fill the empty places in the orchestra to be able to play their part to a sufficient extent. It would be a pity for both the orchestra as a whole and the musician in question, when he or she has great difficulties in playing his/her part. This is something we want to prevent by holding auditions. 

Who can join? 

Everyone who is a full time (phd-)student at a university or university college of the association Catholic University of Leuven and is admitted based on the audition, becomes a member of the USO. As long as you remain a student at the KU Leuven association, you can remain a member of the USO.
The only exceptions are the music students at LUCA, since they have their own opportunities in their education.
Music students at LUCA and other musicians (students from other colleges and universities or even non-students) are recruited for the duration of a program or the duration of a working year. Students of the KU Leuven association, excluding students of music at LUCA, are therefore always given priority.

When do I know the result of my audition? 

You will hear the results of the auditions as soon as possible via e-mail or phone. If you haven’t been selected, you can always ask the conductor, the concert master or the captain of your instrument section for feedback. 

Double bass players who are interested in joining, but are not able to bring their bass to the auditions, can contact us beforehand. We will provide an instrument for you. Other musicians of course bring their own instruments. 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact any of the board members. Their information can be found on the page ‘Contact’. Also, feel free to contact our concertmaster at