Department News

Audition Instrument Information

Requirements for Auditions


The following information is provided as guidelines to the student preparing for an audition. Please note that sight reading may be required in all performance area.


Piano Compositions may be selected from among the following composers: Bach; one movement of a sonata by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven; a work by Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Brahms; a work by Debussy, Ravel, Bartok, Prokofieff, etc..

Applicants for the bachelor of science degree in music education are urged, but not required to play from memory.

Applicants for the bachelor of art in music degree are expected to play at least two compositions for their audition, at least one of which must be from memory. One of these two must be selected from the above list and the other can be the applicant's own choice.

Organ Prospective students should be prepared to demonstrate keyboard proficiency on organ and piano. Individuals should prepare a contrapuntal work, such as a Prelude and Fugue by Bach, and a musical selection of a romantic or contemporary nature for the organ. You will need to demonstrate proficiency of  all major and minor scales and arpeggios on the piano. A keyboard proficiency of a piano major is expected.


Prospective students should prepare two musical selections from different genres.  Music appropriate for the audition includes art songs; folk songs; arias from an opera or oratorio; solos from a musical theatre production or jazz tradition.

All selections should be memorized and performed with piano accompaniment.  You may bring your own accompanist, or one can be provided for you if you send your musical selections ahead of time.

At least one of the selections should be sung in English; the other selection can be in English or a foreign language, such as Italian, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, or Latin.

Pop music and singing a voice part from a choral work are not preferred for this audition.


Show command of basic material such as major and minor scales, triads, and 7th chords.

Play an etude that shows highest technical level the student is capable of playing (a study from the Rose 32 Studies would be satisfactory).

Play a solo from the standard literature for the instrument which illustrates both technical and musical ability of the student (e.g., Von Weber, Concertino, op. 26; Rabound, Solo de Concours; Messager, Solo de Concours).


Sustained tones and lip slurs, utilizing the major portion of the playing register of the instrument.

Diatonic major scales in the following keys: C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, G, D, A, and E. Correct fingering as shown in any standard method book should be used.

French horn players should be familiar with the double horn and should know the Bb horn, as well as, the F horn fingerings.

Baritone players should play in bass clef.

A solo exhibiting the highest ability level attained. A movement from a concerto or sonata, a district band try out solo, or similar piece is suggested.


Demonstrate a knowledge of major and minor scales and arpeggios encompassing at least two octaves with various bowing styles.

Show competence in position playing and shifting.

Play an etude which illustrates the student's highest technical level. Example: Mazas, Kreutzer, Dont, Lee, Dotzauer, Schroedder, Simandl.

Perform a sonata or concerto movement. Example: Accolay, Bach, Corelli, Handel, Hindemith, Kabalevsky, Marcello, Mozart, Vivaldi, Wieniawski.

String Bass majors also study Electric Bass—

  • Play major scales and arpeggios, two octaves.
  • Ability to read bass parts for stage and jazz band.
  • Play the melody and two-beat bass line from any popular music composition (e.g., Miles Davis, Harold Arlen, Duke Ellington, Richard Rodgers, Charlie Parker, Johnny Mercer). Tape recorded accompaniment may be used.

Guitar Classical:   Finger Style
  • Perform one major and one minor Segovia scale.
  • Demonstrate knowledge with basic major, minor, and dominant 7th chords. 
  • Play major and minor two octave arpeggios (all keys).
  • Perform a piece by Bach, Sor, Giulani, Carcassi, etc. Bring printed copy of your music in standard notation (no tabs).
  • Demonstrate sight reading ability (quarter and eight note rhythms in 1st position) 

Jazz/Contemporary: Pick Style

  • Perform two-octave major and minor scales (all keys).
  • Demonstrate knowledge of Major 7, minor 7, and dominant 7th chords.
  • Play major and minor two octave arpeggios.
  • Play chords and melody for a jazz standard (e.g., Davis, Porter, Parker, Ellington). Bring printed copy of your music in standard notation (no tabs).
  • Demonstrate sight reading ability ( quarter and eight note rhythms in 1st position).
Percussion Prospective students should be prepared to demonstrate their proficiency on at least two of the following performance mediums. Auditions on keyboard percussion instruments are strongly recommended. Recorded accompaniments may be used.

Snare Drum or Multiple Percussion

  •   Prepare a solo selection (rudimental or concert)

Keyboard Percussion Instruments

  •  Major Scales in all keys
  • Prepare a solo or orchestral repertoire selection


  • Demonstrate fundamental skills including tuning ability
  •  Prepare a solo or symphonic repertoire selection