Conservatory of Music

Graduate Audition Requirements

All applicants must submit a graduate application ($50) and a prescreening audition recording ($57) online through Slideroom, along with a $10 Slideroom fee. Applicants can upload sound files (.mp3), video (.mov), and/or any required documents (.pdf).You may choose to submit your audition in either a video (.mov) or sound (.mp3) format, but please choose one or the other. Please follow these technical requirements:

  • Videos (.mov, .flv, or .wmv) must be 60MB or less. Please size your videos to be 640 x 480px to get maximum duration.
  • Audio (.mp3) must be 5MB or less.
  • Documents (.pdf) must be 10MB or less

Please follow the submission instructions carefully for your particular program(s) of choice at purchase.slideroom.com. If you wish to audition for more than one program, you must submit a separate prescreening audition and fee for each program. Please DO NOT mail in an audition CD or DVD.

*If you experience difficulty uploading your audition pieces, you must contact Slideroom technical support at support@slideroom.com for assistance. Please allow one day for a response. You can also consult the Slideroom Helpdesk and FAQ at https://slideroom.zendesk.com/home.


Audition requirements

Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass
Composition
Jazz Studies
Harp, Piano
Woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon)
Brass (horn, tenor trombone, bass trombone, trumpet, tuba)
Percussion
Studio Composition
Opera Studies
Classical Guitar
 
On Audition Day (general information for all live auditions)

Violin

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

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

Viola

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

  • Two contrasting movements from a Suite for Unaccompanied Cello by J.S. Bach.
  • Two movements from a concerto for sonata or equivalent, such as Hindemith’s Der Schwanendreher, Bloch’s Suite, concertos by Bartok and Walton, and sonatas by Brahms and Hindemith.

Cello

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

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

Bass

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

  • Three-octave scales and arpeggios.
  • Two contrasting solos of applicant’s choice.
  • Three contrasting orchestral excerpts.

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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 outlined below.

  • Applicants should present three scores and recordings if available (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 his or her solo instrument of choice.

Jazz Studies

Applicants must follow the procedure outlined below:

1- Prescreening audition: You must upload your selections along with your $57 audition fee plus the $10 Slideroom fee no later than October 15 for Spring admission (Note: Spring admissions are for graduate applicants only. Undergraduates are admitted in the fall semester only), or January 1 for Fall admission. The total length of your materials should not exceed 10 minutes.

  • All applicants, except for drummers, should perform two contrasting jazz standards, preferably with rhythm section or play-along record. Play the melody and an improvised solo.
  • Acoustic bassists should include one chorus of walking bass lines in addition to the melody and improvised solo. (Note: A 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 select two pieces in contrasting styles from the list below. Live audition: Please prepare all pieces.

  • Mozart Concerto for Flute and Harp (1st movement; no cadenza)
  • One contemporary or 19th-century work from the standard harp repertoire on the level of Hindemith’s Sonata or Faure’s Impromptu
  • 1st harp part from Symphone Fantastique/Berloiz, and one cadenza from Young Person’s/Britten or Lucia/Donizetti, or Swan Lake/Tchaikowsky

Piano

Prescreening audition: Please select two pieces in contrasting styles from the list below. Live audition: Please prepare all pieces. All compositions must be performed from memory.

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

Woodwinds

Flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon

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

  • Two contrasting movements from a major concerto in the standard repertoire.
  • Two contrasting etudes showing the applicant’s level of technical and lyrical abilities.
  • Two excerpts from the orchestral repertoire.

Brass

Horn; tenor trombone; bass trombone; trumpet: must audition on Bb and C trumpets, and can choose additional option of performing on D, Eb, and/or piccolo trumpets; tuba: audition on F, Eb, CC, or BBb tubas

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

  • Two advanced, contrasting pieces, one of which must be an original work from the 20-/21-century repertoire. Performance of at least one piece from memory is desirable.
  • Advanced sight reading taken from orchestral repertoire. Excerpts will include: Transposition for trumpet and horn; reading of alto or tenor clefs for trombone.

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Percussion

Prescreening audition

  • Snare drum (required)
    One étude from Delecluse’s Douze Etudes or Keiskleiriana Book 1 or equivalent
  • Mallets (required)
    One 4-mallet solo from the standard solo repertoire (3-5 minute excerpt)
  • Timpani (required)
    One solo from the standard repertoire (3-5 minute excerpt)
  • Multiple percussion solo (optional)
    A work from the standard solo repertoire (3-5 minute excerpt)

Live audition

  • Snare drum
    One étude from Delecluse’s Douze Etudes or Keiskleiriana Book 1 or equivalent
    One rudimental solo from Pratt’s 14 Modern Contest Solos or Tompkins’ French-American Rudimental Solos or equivalent
    Two contrasting standard orchestral excerpts
  • Mallets
    One 4-mallet work from the standard solo repertoire
    One 2-mallet movement from Bach’ Six Suites for Solo Cello or Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin
    Two contrasting standard orchestral excerpts
  • Timpani
    One solo from the standard repertoire
    Two contrasting standard orchestral excerpts
  • Multiple percussion solo (optional)
    One solo from the standard repertoire

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

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 résumé 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 the following:

  • Five original works, either recorded or notated conventionally and performed live. (Compositions should demonstrate technical and aesthetic abilities as a performer, composer, and producer.)
  • Written evidence of musical and/or professional accomplishments to date.
  • Interview with studio composition faculty.

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Voice/Opera Studies

Applicants must follow the procedure outlined below:

  1. Prescreening audition:
    • Your recording must be submitted, along with your $57 audition fee plus the $10 Slideroom fee, no later than October 15 for Spring admission, or January 1 for Fall admission. Your recording should not exceed 15 minutes in length and should include the following songs. The songs should be in contrasting styles, and one must be from the 20th-century repertoire:
      • Four art song: one Italian, one French, one German, one English.
      • One aria from an opera.
      • One aria from an oratorio. If either your oratorio or opera aria is in one of the above required languages, you may eliminate that language from your art song requirement
    • 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 audition.
      • The applicant should prepare the same pieces at the live audition 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.

Classical Guitar

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

  • A Bach suite, violin sonata/partita, or a work from Bach’s lute music.
  • A major work from the Classical or Romantic period.
  • A 20th-century work.

On 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 of Music 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 a 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.

After the audition, you are free to go; there are no placement tests for graduate students on audition day.

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Prescreening Audition Deadlines for Upcoming Terms

All prescreening materials must be uploaded via Slideroom by:

October 15 for
Spring auditions

January 1 for
Fall auditions