Music Audition Requirements

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The Music Department prepares students with highly diverse musical backgrounds for successful college-level music study and professional careers. The music audition is comprised of solo performance, sightreading, and a departmental interview.

In addition to an accompanist, approximately four faculty members will be present during an applicants audition. The audition will be followed by a short interview with the faculty. This is a relaxed conversation aimed at gaining insight into the student’s background, motivation, and potential for successful study and growth in the music program. 

Requirements for all Auditionees:

  • Discuss your history of training and music experience (lessons, ensemble experience, competitions, etc)

  • Discuss any prior training in music theory

  • Play and discuss major scales

  • Sightread a short excerpt on your instrument (or sight sing for vocalists)

Opportunities exist for study and performance on secondary (non major) instruments in the program, but for audition purposes students should be prepared to audition on his/her major instrument only. A discussion of any secondary instrument is welcomed during the audition interview.

Requirements by Instrument:

Guitar and Bass

Applicants must perform two pieces. Choose one option from the list below:

Option 1:
Two Jazz Standards

Option 2:
Two pieces or etudes from the standard classical repertoire

Option 3:
One Jazz Standard and one piece from the standard classical repertoire                           

Percussion

Perform any two of the following:

  • Perform various drum set grooves: jazz/swing in 4/4 and 3/4 at slow, medium, and fast tempos; bossa nova; straight eighths

  • Perform a level-appropriate snare drum piece and/or rudiments

  • Perform a level-appropriate vibraphone, marimba, or xylophone piece (highly recommended for incoming juniors)

 Piano

Applicants must perform two pieces. Choose one option from the list below:

Option 1:
Two contrasting pieces or etudes from the standard classical repertoire

Option 2:
One Jazz Standard in addition to the two classical pieces (optional)

 Strings

Perform two contrasting pieces from the standard classical repertoire.

Brass and Woodwinds

Applicants must perform two pieces. Choose one option from the downloadable list below:

Option 1:
Two Jazz Standards

Option 2:
Two pieces or etudes from the standard classical repertoire

Option 3:
One Jazz Standard and one piece or etude from the standard classical repertoire

 Voice

Applicants must perform two pieces. Choose one option from the downloadable list below:

Option 1:
Perform two pieces (art songs or arias) from the standard classical repertoire. It is recommended that the student chooses a piece from the following anthologies: Twenty Four Italian Songs and Arias (Schirmer publishing) or Twenty Six Italian Songs and Arias (Alfred publishing), or by composers such as Mozart, Handel, Bach, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Fauré, Debussy, Purcell, Duke, Barber, Rorem.

Option 2:
Perform one piece (art song or aria) from the standard classical repertoire and one Jazz Standard.

It is recommended that auditionees, both instrumental and vocal, use a piece from The Great American Songbook, written by a composer such as Cole Porter, George & Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hart, Duke Ellington, Jerome Kern, Lerner & Loewe, Sammy Cahn, Harold Arlen, etc. Suggested songs can be found by clicking below.

Downloadable Instructions and Song Lists