Audition Guidlines


Candidates for guitar study should be able to play all major and minor scales (Segovia Edition); play studies corresponding in difficulty to those of Sor, Carcassi, and Brouwer; and perform two contrasting solo works from memory. Candidates will be asked to sight-read provided exercises and should have a knowledge of the rudiments of music.


Candidates for organ study should be able to play organ works such as the Eight “Little” Preludes and Fugues of Bach; chorale preludes from Bach’s Orgelbuchlein; the chorale preludes of Brahms, Op. 122; or works of comparable difficulty. Alternatively, proficient pianists with a desire to study organ should demonstrate proficiency by satisfactorily performing Two-Part Inventions of Bach, Sonatas by Beethoven or Mozart, or works of comparable difficulty. Strong potential should be demonstrated in aural training.


Candidates for percussion study should bring their own sticks, mallets, and music. Candidates should know all major scales (minors preferred as well), and be prepared to sight read on mallets and snare drum. The music chosen and prepared for the audition should represent the candidate’s current playing ability on mallets (two and/or four mallets), snare drum (a concert solo or etude is required, additional rudimental solo optional), and timpani (tuning required). Performance on any other instrument in the percussion family, including drum set, is encouraged, but not required.


Candidates for piano study should have acquired systematic methods of practice and be able to play all major and minor scales and arpeggios, including dominant and diminished sevenths in moderately rapid tempo. Works corresponding in difficulty to the Sonatas of Clementi, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven should have been studied. Repertoire for the audition should include:

  1. A work from the Baroque style period (for example, from J.S. Bach a Two or Three Part Invention, a dance/movement from a Suite or Partita, or a Prelude and Fugue.)
  2. A movement from a classical Sonata (for example, Clementi, Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven.)
  3. A work from either the 19th or 20th centuries.

Audition material must be performed from memory. Candidates should be prepared to sight-read and/or demonstrate scales and arpeggios.

String Instruments

Candidates should be able to play all major and minor scales in at least three octaves.

  • Violas: Studies comparable in difficulty to Fiorillo, Kreutzer, Bruni; concerti such as J. C. Bach, Stamitz, or Hoffmeister and/or solo works of similar difficulty.
  • Violins: Etude comparable in difficulty to Kreutzer, Mazas, or Dont. A movement from J. S. Bach Solo Sonata or Partita. Concerto from the standard repertoire, such as Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Saint-Saens, Vieuxtemps, Dvorak, Bruch, Wieniawski, Paganini, Kabalevsky, Lalo, or Barber.
  • Cellos: Studies comparable in difficulty to Popper, Schroeder and Duport. Candidates should have a movement of a Bach Suite and a movement from a standard concerto such as Boccherini, Saint-Saens, Haydn C and Lalo.
  • Bass: Etude comparable in difficulty to Simandl 30 Etudes or Bille 18 Etude and two contrasting movements from a standard Sonata or Concerto (can substitute two contrasting short works from the standard repertoire).


Candidates for voice study must prepare two contrasting songs in English, Italian, French, German, or Spanish with good diction, correct phrasing, and musical intelligence. Audition material must be performed from memory. Students will be asked to sight sing two or three brief lines of music as well as demonstrate other musicianship capabilities through basic rhythmic, ear training, and keyboard skill examples. An accompanist and rehearsal session will be provided upon request at no charge. A copy of the music must be provided for the accompanist. No taped accompaniments will be allowed.

Woodwinds and Brass

Candidates for study in the area of woodwinds and brass must demonstrate potential for completing the requirements of the degree program requested. All applicants should be able to play the chromatic and all major scales according to the current FBA requirements; scales performed with an extended range suitable to the specific instrument is encouraged. Repertoire for the audition may include studies or etudes equal to or above the level of FBA All-State requirements, sonata or concerto literature at grade level 5 or above, and orchestral excerpts. Please choose the repertoire appropriately to represent contrasting periods and musical style. All candidates for admission will be asked to sight-read at the audition.


Candidates for study in composition must interview with the Director of Composition Studies before being admitted into the Bachelor of Music Theory and Composition degree program. If the candidate is unable to arrange an in-person meeting, the interview may be done over the telephone. Prior to the interview, candidates should submit a portfolio containing at least two scores of their compositions with recordings if available. Composition candidates must also successfully complete a School of Music performance audition and present evidence reasonably justifying the expectation that they will satisfactorily complete the four-year degree.

Music Technology

Applicants for the Bachelor of Music degree in Music Technology must interview with the coordinator for this area, Dr. Nathan Wolek. If the candidate is unable to arrange an in-person meeting, the interview may be done over the telephone or via Skype.

Although it is not required, candidates may strengthen their application by submitting a portfolio that includes up to 3 digital media projects. Music Technology candidates must also successfully complete a School of Music performance audition following the above guidelines.


Guitar, bass, and keyboard applicants should be prepared to play two-octave major and minor scales and a technical etude. They should be able to play a jazz standard and improvise.

***Candidates for any music degree will take a written examination on basic music theory and aural training on the day of the audition.***