Conservatory of Music

UNDERGRADUATE AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Please note that you must apply for admission before being granted an audition. Pre-screening auditions for Fall must be submitted through Slideroom byJanuary 1. Prescreening auditions for Spring must be submitted by October 15. Please email music@purchase.edu to find out if your intended major accepts Spring applications.

Once your audition materials are uploaded and processed they will be evaluated by the Conservatory of Music faculty. If you are selected for a live audition you will be notified of your audition date and time via email. Please be sure to give us a viable email account, and check it regularly.

Please note that only students selected for a live audition will be eligible for admission into the Conservatory of Music. Students who are not selected for a live audition will be denied at the prescreening stage.

Additional information on live audition days is available below.


Prescreening and live audition requirements:

Strings (classical): Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass
Jazz Studies
Harp
Piano
Classical Guitar
Woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon)
Brass (horn, tenor trombone, bass trombone, trumpet, tuba)
Percussion
Composition
Studio Composition
Studio Production
Voice (classical)

VIOLIN (classical)

Prescreening audition: Please submit two selections in contrasting styles from the list below. Live audition: Please prepare all three selections.

  • One movement of a concerto from the standard repertory.
  • One movement from the Bach Unaccompanied Sonatas and Partitas.
  • A third contrasting work of your choice (can be an étude, a contemporary work, a showpiece, or a movement of a sonata).

VIOLA (classical)

Prescreening audition: Please submit two selections in contrasting styles from the list below. Live audition: Please prepare all three selections.

  • One movement of a Suite for Unaccompanied Cello by J.S. Bach.
  • Two contrasting movements from a concerto or sonata from a period other than the Baroque.

CELLO (classical)

Prescreening audition: Please submit two selections in contrasting styles from the list below. Live audition: Please prepare all three selections.

  • One movement of a concerto from the standard repertory.
  • One movement from the Bach Unaccompanied Suites.
  • A third contrasting work of your choice (can be an étude, a contemporary work, a showpiece, or a movement of a sonata).

BASS (classical)

Prescreening audition: Please submit the following:

  • One major and one minor two-octave scale and arpeggio.
  • A solo of your choice.

Live audition: Please prepare all selections listed below.

  • One major and one minor two-octave scale and arpeggio.
  • A solo of your choice.
  • Two contrasting orchestral excerpts.

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JAZZ STUDIES

1- Recorded audition: You must upload your selections along with your $57 audition fee plus the $5 Slideroom fee, no later than January 1 for Fall Admission. (Note: Spring admissions are for graduate applicants only. Undergraduates are admitted in the fall semester only). The total length of your materials should not exceed 10 minutes.

  • All applicants, except for drummers and singers, should perform two contrasting jazz standards, preferably with rhythm section or play-along record. Play the melody and an improvised solo.
  • Singers should submit two selections, with piano, rhythm section or play-along accompaniment, from the American Songbook, including repertoire from Gershwin, Kern, Ellington, Porter, ect. Respect for the melody is advisable. Improvised solo not required.
  • Acoustic bassists should include one chorus of walking bass lines in addition to the melody and improvised solo. (Note: a major concentration in electric bass guitar is not offered. Please audition on acoustic bass only.)
  • Guitarists should include one chorus of comping in addition to the melody and improvised solo.
  • Drummers should perform a ballad with brushes, a medium swing tune, and an up-tempo swing tune in the context of a trio or a small jazz combo. Please trade fours, eights, or choruses on either the medium or up-tempo swing tune.

    2- Live audition: Only those applicants who pass the recorded audition will be invited to a live audition. A live audition is highly advisable. In the event that an applicant cannot attend a live audition, all future decisions will be based solely on the previously submitted prescreening materials.

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    HARP

    Prescreening audition: Please submit two pieces in contrasting styles from the list below. 
    Live audition: Please prepare three selections from the following list:

    • One Pozzoli étude.
    • Two contrasting works or movements from the standard harp repertoire.
    • Live audition only: Sight-reading.

    PIANO

    Prescreening audition: Please submit two selections in contrasting styles from the list below. Live audition: Please prepare all five pieces.

    • A prelude and fugue from the Well-Tempered Clavier or another work of Bach containing a fugue.
    • One movement of a sonata by Beethoven (excluding Op. 49 and Op. 79), Schubert, or Mozart.
    • A composition by a 19th-century composer.
    • A representative étude by Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, or Debussy.
    • A composition by a representative 20th-century composer.
    • All compositions must be performed from memory.

    CLASSICAL GUITAR

    Prescreening audition: Please select two pieces in contrasting styles from the classical guitar repertoire. Live audition: Please prepare all three pieces listed below.

    • Three works of contrasting style (Renaissance, Baroque, Romantic, and/or contemporary) from the classical guitar repertoire.
    • Live audition only: Sight-reading.

    WOODWINDS (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon)

    Prescreening audition: Please submit two selections in contrasting styles from the list below. Live audition: Please prepare all pieces and movements outlined below.

    • Two contrasting movements from a major concerto in the standard repertoire.
    • Two contrasting études showing the applicants level of technical and lyrical abilities
    • Two excerpts from the orchestral repertoire.

    BRASS (horn, tenor trombone, bass trombone, trumpet: audition on Bb and C trumpets only, tuba: audition on Eb, CC, or BBb only).

    Prescreening audition: Please prepare the following pieces:

    • Two contrasting études
    • Two contrasting movements from the solo repertoire

    Live audition: Please prepare the following selections:

    • Two contrasting études
    • Two contrasting movements from the solo repertoire
    • Sight-reading taken from standard orchestral repertoire

    PERCUSSION

    Prescreening audition: Please submit two selections from the list below.

    Live Audition: Please prepare all three selections from the list below:

    • Snare drum
      One étude from Cirone "Portraits in Rhythm" or Delecluse "Douze Etudes" or equivalent
      Also: Rudiments. Sight reading
    • Marimba
      2-mallet or 4-mallet étude or solo of your choice
    • Timpani
      One etude of your choice from Goodman "Modern Method for Timpani" or equivalent

    *For the live audition all applicants must provide percussion faculty with two copies of all audition pieces

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    COMPOSITION

    Prescreening audition: Please submit two original scores and recordings, one of which must have been written within the last two years.

    Live audition: Please bring three pieces as described below.

    • Applicants should present three original works notated conventionally, if appropriate, and recorded or performed live (no MIDI, please).
    • The composition interview/live audition entails a brief ear training exam (interval recognition, chords, pitch matching, and scales), a discussion on general theoretical and/or historical topics and a demonstration of basic instrument proficiency. Students must prepare one short work on their solo instrument of choice.

    STUDIO COMPOSITION

    Prescreening audition:

    • Submit 2-3 samples of your music accompanied by a statement clearly describing your role in the writing and recording process for each piece. Applicants are expected to have basic music theory skills, including sight reading and the ability to hear and sing back intervals and chords.
    • Also submit a professional resume explaining your experience writing and/or performing music, your professional training (lessons, etc.), and anything else you feel is relevant to your application.

    Live audition: Please prepare 3-5 original pieces for the live audition/interview. You may bring a CD with your music selections, or you may perform your music live (if so, please bring scores notated conventionally). The live audition will also include an interview with the studio composition faculty.

    STUDIO PRODUCTION

    Applicants must follow the procedure outlined below:

    1- Recorded Audition Submit your prescreening recording and nonrefundable $57 audition fee plus the $5 Slideroom fee by no later than October 15 for Spring admission, or January 1 for Fall admission.

    • Your submission must contain three selections equaling not more than 15 minutes of music, and it must display your skill and ability in mic placement, instrument recording, vocal recording, sound processing and mixing. Materials must also display your musical esthetics as a producer, and must be engineered and produced by you. Selections do not have to be original compositions. Any recording format may be used.
    • Upload a chart detailing all aspects of each production including room size (if applicable), mics utilized, processing used, recording device used, and any other pertinent data.
    • Submit a résumé with educational background including training in production, engineering, music theory and instrument instruction, if any. The résumé must also include experience in the field, if any.
    • Submit a cover letter stating why you would like to attend Purchase College for studio production as well as your career goals.

    2- Live Interviews/Audition : Applicants with a successful pre-screening audition will be invited to a live audition. The live audition is really an interview with the Studio Production faculty where applicants receive further testing in studio production, studio engineering, and music theory. Only those who are selected for a live interview will be considered for admission.

    VOICE (classical)

    Applicants must follow the procedure outlined below:

    1. Recorded audition: Prescreening materials along with your $57 audition fee plus the $5 Slideroom fee, must be submitted no later than October 15 for Spring admission, or January 1 for Fall admission.. Recordings should not exceed 15 minutes in length and should include the following songs which should be in contrasting styles. One must be from the 20th-century repertoire:
      • One Italian art song.
      • One German or French art song.
      • One song in English (not a translation)
    2. Live Audition: Only those applicants who pass the prescreening audition will be invited to a live audition. A live audition is highly advisable. In the event that an applicant cannot attend a live audition, all future decisions will be based solely on the prescreening materials.
      • The applicant should prepare the same pieces that were submitted on the recording.
      • An accompanist will be provided; however, applicants are welcome to bring their own. Please bring legible, well-organized music for the accompanist.

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    ON LIVE AUDITION DAY...

    The faculty listening to your audition will represent your area of study. They may choose not to hear all the music you have prepared. Do not interpret this negatively: time limitations prohibit the faculty from listening to each applicant's entire audition repertoire.

    Plan to arrive at the Conservatory one hour before your scheduled audition time. There are plenty of warm-up rooms for you to prepare yourself both mentally and physically. Wear neat and comfortable clothing that projects your seriousness and desire to study music on a professional level.

    Also, please bring a typed repertoire list and a typed list of the pieces you intend to play. Though not required, we encourage you to bring additional materials, such as Resume, letters of recommendation, and unofficial transcripts. (Note: Accompanists are only provided for voice/opera studies auditions; all other applicants are encouraged to bring their own, but accompaniment is not required.)

    Question-and-answer sessions will be held throughout the day. Specific times for these sessions will be available at check-in. These sessions will be followed by a campus tour. All applicants, their families, and guests are welcome to attend. No reservations required.

    If your audition is successful you will be notified on or around April 1. If you are offered admission, you will need to accept our offer of admission in writing, and you will be asked to submit an enrollment deposit by May 1.

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AUDITION DEADLINES FOR UPCOMING TERMS

All materials must be uploaded through Slideroom by:

October 15 for Spring auditions

and

January 1 for Fall auditions