Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Yale Concert Band?
The Yale Concert Band, the musical center for the woodwind and brass world at Yale University, is best known for its varied repertoire which spans from traditional marches, world premieres, and crowd favorites to the music of Glenn Miller and theatrical pieces (involving black lights, a fog machine, and sunglasses). Recent successes for the ensemble include a Mexican tour in the spring of 2009 (as part of an outreach collaboration with the Association of Yale Alumni, during which the Band performed in one of the poorest barrios in Monterrey); a 2011 concert in Carnegie Hall, in which the band premiered a Horn Concerto and performed a Chinese cantata with a chorus of over a 100 singers; a 2011 tour of South Africa and Swaziland and a 2014 tour Ghana, during which the band visited, played for, and performed community service in some of South Africa’s and Ghana’s poorest townships; and a 2016 tour to Italy and Greece, that included a concert at the Eleonas Refugee Camp in Athens, where the band lit up the crowd with its music, as well as donating clothing and adding several thousand dollars to the refugee coffers (collected from alumni/friends for the cause).
How does one audition for the Concert Band?
Auditions for Yale Concert Band are held at the beginning of each academic year. The audition is threefold: All interested musicians should prepare a piece of music which demonstrates your artistic and technical abilities (i.e.: an All-State audition piece or comparable etude) and be prepared to sight read. You will also be required to play part of a piece of music from the coming year’s repertoire. We do have some instruments available for rental for those of you who do not have your own. Call us if you have any questions about auditions (203) 432-4111; please think about auditioning now while there is time to practice a bit. We want to affiliate all qualified musicians at Yale!
What kind of time commitment is involved?
The Yale Concert Band rehearses four hours per week – every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:10-6:15 – in Hendrie Hall in the Adams Center for Musical Arts. The ensemble performs four concerts per year at Yale’s Woolsey Hall, goes on retreat in the fall, and performs a few off-site concerts. Members are encouraged to take advantage of group-sponsored social events (movie nights, bowling, etc) and the overall time commitment to the ensemble is largely determined by the enthusiasm of the individual player.
What type of music does the YCB play?
The YCB performs a wide variety of music, including marches, student compositions, concertos, and other classic and contemporary band compositions.
Who is the conductor of the Yale Concert Band?
The concert band is conducted by Dr. Thomas C. Duffy, Adjunct Professor in the School of Music and Yale University’s Director of Bands.
Does the Yale Concert Band go on tour?
The Yale Concert Band has the distinction of being the first United States college concert band to tour Europe, that being in 1956 with Director of Bands and Professor Emeritus Keith L. Wilson. Since that time, the Concert Band has completed twenty-three concert tours to Puerto Rico, California, Florida, Texas, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Switzerland, England, Denmark, Bermuda, Japan, Italy, Ireland, Spain, the north coast of Africa, Austria, the Czech Republic, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Swaziland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, Ghana, Greece, and most recently, Australia (2018). The YCB’s May 2020 tour to Germany was canceled due to COVID-19, but travel will be planned again once the pandemic is behind us.
How do I get music lessons at Yale?
Highly trained musicians at Yale College may qualify for a program that awards course credit for students taking free music lessons. Students audition in September at the Yale School of Music, one of the top music graduate schools in the country, and are matched with excellent teachers, including School of Music faculty and highly-trained graduate students. Participating students must have taken or be concurrently enrolled in Music 210 or 211. Placement examinations for music classes are administered by the Music Department in the first week. If you are not selected for lessons for credit, students are still matched with a teacher and have the opportunity to take lessons with them for a fee.
How do I get involved in the Yale Concert Band?
The Yale Bands holds an open rehearsal during Yale’s annual Bulldog Days (in April). Additionally, at the start of each academic year, Yale Bands holds an information meeting in Hendrie Hall in the Adams Center for Musical Arts. At this meeting, audition dates will be set up and excerpts available for the auditions. Be prepared for the audition with a solo piece and the excerpts. Notification of acceptance to the group will take place by then end of the first week.
How can I learn more about the YCB?
Contact Stephanie Hubbard, the Yale Bands Business Manager, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (203) 432-4111; or director Thomas C. Duffy, by email at email@example.com. Also, feel free to contact the Yale Bands Officers with any questions you may have.
Still have questions?
Send an email to Sarah Monahan, the YCB President, with any additional questions you may have.