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.  Music for the audition must include an accompaniment score.  Lead sheets are not acceptable.

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.

Strings All string players should prepare:

  • Two, contrasting pieces that most accurately represent your musical and technical abilities. Repertoire suggestions for specific instruments are listed below.
  • Scales as per the guidelines for your specific instrument.

All string players will be requested to sight read at their audition.


  • Repertoire Suggestions: Concerto movements from Bruch, de Beriot, Haydn, Mozart, Viotti, Mendelssohn, etc. Sonata movements from Bach, Corelli, Beethoven, Mozart, etc. Movements from unaccompanied sonatas and partitas by Bach, Telemann, etc. Character pieces by Elgar, Kreisler, Sarasate, etc. Etudes by Dont, Fiorillo, Gavinies, Kreutzer, Mazas, etc.
  • Three octave scales to four sharps and flats, with various bowing styles
  • Repertoire Suggestions:  Concerto movements from Dittersdorf, Hoffmeister, Stamitz, Telemann, Vanhal, etc. Sonata movements from Bach, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Schubert, etc. Movements from unaccompanied suites by Bach, Reger, etc. Character pieces by Bloch, Bruch, Mendelssohn, Schumann, etc. Etudes by Campignoli, Don’t, Kreutzer, Mazas, etc. 
  • Three octave scales to four sharps and flats, with various bowing styles
  • Repertoire Suggestions:  Concerto movements by Goltermann, Haydn, Kabalevsky, Klengel, Saint-­-Saens, etc. Sonata movements from Eccles, Mendelssohn, Vivaldi, etc. Movements from unaccompanied suites by Bach Character pieces by Bloch, Bruch, Faure, Glazunov, Mendelssohn, Saint-­-Saens, etc. Etudes by Dotzauer, Duport, Lee, Schroeder, etc.
  • Three octave scales to four sharps and flats, with various bowing styles.

String Bass

  • Repertoire Suggestions: Sonata movements from Marcello, Vivaldi, Eccles, Scarlatti, Corelli, etc. Concerto movements from Capuzzi, Dittersdorf, Vanhal, etc..  Etudes by Hrabe, Simandl, Gouffe, etc.
  • Optional Jazz: Play the melody and then improvise a walking bass line and solo to a standard blues tune and a standard 32-bar tune. Suggested blues tunes include, but are not limited to, Sandu, Billie’s Bounce, The Blues Walk, etc.. Suggested 32-bar standards include, but are not limited to, Autumn Leaves, Oleo, The Days of Wine and Roses, Stella By Starlight, etc.. Play-along recordings or backing tracks may be used.
  • 2 octave major and minor scales, four sharps and flats, as well as a 2 octave chromatic scale, starting on open E, with various bowing styles.
*Double bass majors are encouraged, but not required, to also study electric bass.
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