PLEASE NOTE: These requirements are for all undergraduate students wishing to major or minor in music, not for Jaguar Marching Band auditions. For details on those auditions, please visit this page.
An audition is required for admission to the program as a vocal major or minor and/or to be considered for scholarship for participation in university vocal ensembles. Prospective students will perform two songs, demonstrate range, pitch retention and sight-reading ability. Audition repertoire should be chosen that reflects ability and readiness for private vocal study or to perform in an ensemble at the collegiate level. Consult your choral director or the USA Vocal Area Coordinator, Dr. Thomas Rowell, if you have questions as to what would be suitable for an audition at USA.
Incoming freshmen or non-majors auditioning for vocal ensemble scholarship
Two art songs in contrasting styles should be prepared and presented from memory. Songs may be in English or in a foreign language, and should come from standard classical vocal repertoire. Repertoire that is appropriate for performance at solo/ensemble contest or at NATS auditions is considered acceptable audition repertoire. PLEASE NOTE: While sacred music such as legitimate art song settings of hymns are most welcome, hymns or gospel songs sung a cappella are not regarded as acceptable audition material in order to receive a scholarship or for entry into the music program.
Transferring majors/minors from other institutions
Two contrasting pieces from standard classical vocal repertoire will be presented, one of which may be an aria from opera or oratorio. One of the pieces must be performed in Italian, German or French. Audition repertoire should reflect the singer’s highest level of accomplishment in previous collegiate vocal study and demonstrate readiness to continue private study toward degree completion.
An accompanist is provided for each audition. No pre-recorded accompaniments or self-accompaniment will be accepted. Examples of vocal collections that contain appropriate audition repertoire are:
- 26 Italian Arias and Songs
- 24 Italian Arias and Songs
- The Young Singer Series
- Joan Frey Boytim Series such as The First Book of Soprano Solos
- English Reliquary of Song
- Pathways of Song
- 56 Songs You Like to Sing Arias for Soprano, et. al. (published by G. Schirmer)
The student should be prepared to perform two solos in contrasting styles from the serious keyboard literature. A short sight-reading selection may also be requested. While specific technical studies are not required, the performer may wish to demonstrate proficiency in such areas as scales, arpeggios, or chord charts.
Woodwind, Brass, and String Auditions
All woodwind, brass, and string players should prepare two selections in contrasting styles: something slow, lyrical, and expressive and something else of a faster, more technical nature. Prepared selections may be chosen by the student and may come from solo repertoire, etudes, ensemble excerpts, or All-State audition material. Students should also be prepared to sight-read a short excerpt and to demonstrate basic technique by playing major scales and arpeggios and a chromatic scale (all scales and arpeggios should be performed in two octaves). Wind players who pass the major/minor audition will have their marching band audition waived.
Percussionists should demonstrate proficiency in the following areas of performance. For entry into the USA Percussion Studio, you must demonstrate proficiency in the areas of snare drum, keyboard (2 mallet required) and timpani. Drumset is optional but desired. 4 mallet solo or etude is highly recommended for students seeking top scholarship consideration.
Representative pieces from all areas listed below are recommended.
- Snare Drum
- Sample from 26 Standard American Rudiments
- Etude / solos by composers including Anthony Cirone, Mitchell Peters, Jacques Delecluse, or equivalent.
- Demonstrate sight-reading
- Major and/or Minor scales
- Literature such as found in Keyboard Percussion Technique or Masterpieces for Marimba by Thomas McMillan, Modern School of Xylophone, Marimba and Vibraphone by Morris Goldenberg, solos by Gordon Stout, Keiko Abe, Mitchell Peters, Paul Smadback, or equivalent. A fundamental understanding of at least one multiple mallet grip is highly valued.
- Demonstrate sight-reading (2 mallets only)
- A basic knowledge of the mechanical and pitched characteristics of the timpani; a performing command of etudes as found in the Modern Method for Timpani by Saul Goodman, Musical Studies for the Intermediate Timpanist by Garwood Whaley, The Solo Timpanist by Vic Firth, solos by John Beck, Elliot Carter, or equivalent.
- Drum Set (optional)
- Demonstrate proficiency in various styles (jazz, latin, rock) through performance of playing time and improvising fills and solos; a basic understanding of reading drum set charts displayed by performance with recorded music.
There are many music scholarships available, although each is very competitive. The earlier the audition, the greater the student’s chance of receiving quality scholarship aid from the Department of Music. The University also offers many academic scholarships for incoming freshman and transfer students.
If you have any questions about admissions to the Department of Music, please contact the music office or the faculty
for your specific area.
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Saturday, April 5, 2014
Special audition dates may be arranged with the ensemble directors or instructors involved in the student's instrumental or vocal area. Please see the "Faculty" page for contact information regarding specific faculty and staff.
Students who live a prohibitive distance from campus may schedule a live, remote audition using internet video (Skype, Google Chat, iChat, FaceBook, etc.) To schedule such an audition, call (251) 460-6136.