Chours
Auditions

Personal Interview

Candidates will be asked to discuss their prospective musical career, and why they have chosen a particular course of study. This would also be the best time for students to ask questions about the College, courses of study, opportunities in the field of music, etc. Candidates should perform as follows:

Instrumental

Wind and Stringed Instruments:

Students should be prepared to perform major and minor scales through four sharps and four flats, chromatic scales covering the entire range of the instrument, and selected solos representing at least two styles of music (e.g. Baroque, Classic, Romantic, Twentieth Century).

Percussion Instruments:

The percussion audition will be in two parts. On the snare drum the student will play a solo (rudimental or orchestral), a long roll (crescendo and diminuendo) and all rudiments. On a melody percussion instrument (bells, marimba, or xylophone) the student will play scales through three flats and three sharps and solo demonstrating at least two mallet techniques.

Organ:

An entering organ student should demonstrate proficiency on the piano in at least two stylistic periods (e.g. Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Twentieth Century) with levels of difficulty equal to the following:  1) a two part invention by J.S. Bach; 2) and standard sonata by Mozart, Haydn, or Beethoven; 3) a waltz by Chopin; 4) a piano composition by a modern composer such as Bartok or Kabalevsky. Students who wish to be admitted to study the organ may or may not have had previous training in the instrument.  For those who have had private organ studies, the following are suggested as sample audition pieces: a prelude and fugue from Eight Little Preludes and Fugues by J.S. Bach; a choral prelude from The Liturgical Year by J.S. Bach.

Piano:

Students who wish to be admitted as piano majors should perform art music from at least two style periods.  A list of suggested representative works is provided below as a general idea of the expected performance level at the audition: 1) Baroque Period Bach: Two Part Inventions or Three Part Inventions, Preludes and Fugues from The Well-Tempered Clavier, French Suites Scarletti: any of the Sonatas; 2) Classical Period Haydn: easier Sonatas Mozart:  Sonatas, Fantasies, or easier Concerti Beethoven: easier Sonatas; 3) Romantic Period representative works by Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Brahms, or a similar composer (If there is a question, such as with Rachmaninoff, style will be the main consideration. Thus Rachmaninoff would be considered from the Romantic Period); 4) Contemporary Period Debussy: Childrens Corner Suite, easier Preludes, or either of the two Arabesque Bartok: Allegro Barbaro, later books of the Mikrokosmos Gershwin: Preludes Hindemith: Sonata No. 2 Tcherepnin: Bagatelles, op. 5 Copeland: Cat and the Mouse.

In addition, the candidate should be able to play major and minor scales, (hands together, four octaves, sixteenth notes, quarter note MM 92) as well as to sight-read an accompaniment of an art song.

Harp:

(Student must bring instrument, storage will be provided.)

  • Slow scales, one and one-half octaves, hands alone.
  • One selected study of the difficulty of Lariviere Exercise et Etudes.
  • A selected romantic, classical, or contemporary piece.

Guitar:
Prepared Piece: We value all music styles so you should prepare a piece that you are comfortable with and which displays your strengths as a guitarist. It should be about 3-5 minutes long. It can be in any style which demonstrates your ability on guitar and your overall musicianship. Select a piece that puts your best foot forward. What we really want is to find out what you do well. It may help to seek the guidance of your private instructor or musical mentor.

Here are some examples and guidelines that may help:

  1. Select a tune from a well-known artist or band (any style)
  2. Select standard tune, Contemporary Christian piece or jazz tune and add your own improvisation
  3. You could also choose a composition from the standard guitar repertoire available from your teacher or a good music store. (standard solo or etude)
  4. A transcription of a well-known artist’s solo
  5. If songwriting is your primary focus, you may choose to play an original piece. However, the original piece should be no longer than three (3) minutes, and you should also prepare a second piece from the above listing (no longer than 3 -5 minutes).
  6. If you require accompaniment for your prepared piece you may bring an accompanist, play-a-long CD or MP3 player. It is not recommended to use the original tracks of artists or bands as play-a-longs however. If you are playing to a track, it is preferred that you use standard play-a-long/music-minus-one or karaoke tracks so that you are not playing your part along with the part on the recording. For example, we would prefer a guitar player use a play-a-long track that does not have the lead part on the track rather than playing along with an artist’s original recording.
  7. You will also be required to play a few scales and chords in the audition as well as sight read a short, relatively easy lead sheet or melody in standard notation. If you do not read standard notation you will be asked to sight read something in tablature. It is important to understand that studying guitar at the college level will involve these elements and we want to assess your strength in these areas.

Vocal

In addition to a simple sight reading test and a possible warm-up using scales and arpeggios, the student should demonstrate an ability to sing art songs representing two contrasting styles of music.  Composers such as Purcell, Handel, Schubert, Franz, and Faure are recommended. Tape accompaniments are not acceptable. Students whose auditions require accompaniment are welcome to bring their own accompanist, although one will be provided if requested. Please indicate this need, and repertoire when arranging for the audition.

Music Minor

Prospective Music minors are required to audition. The requirements are the same as for Prospective music majors, except that the student is only required to perform one song for the audition.

Pre-Ethnomusicology Minor

The Pre-Ethnomusicology minor does not require an audition.

Preparing for the Audition

Begin by asking your applied music teacher to help select appropriate music for performance. Their coaching is most invaluable at this important time. Approach the audition positively. This attitude will help you put your best foot forward. If traveling a distance, allow enough time to arrive at least 15 minutes ahead of scheduled audition time. Clothes which are neat and professional will help you perform comfortably and with confidence.

If you have extra copies of the music itself, bring it along. If not, DO NOT PHOTOCOPY, one copy will suffice.

Placement Testing During Orientation Week

Placement Music Theory

Each applicant will be expected to demonstrate:

  • familiarity with the basic terminology of music;
  • ability to read music written in either trebel or bass staff;
  • knowledge of the key signatures of all major and minor scales;
  • understanding of meter and rhythm;
  • ability to recognize and write the common musical intervals;
  • understanding of the structure of major and minor triads.

Students may prepare for the written theory placement exam by studying any standard music fundamentals text, such as: Programmed Rudiments of Music, by Robert W. Ottman and Frank D. Mainous, Prentice-Hall, Inc. Publishers, Eaglewood Cliffs, NJ or Basic Materials in Music Theory: A Programmed Course by Paul O. Harder, Allyn and Bacon, Inc., Publishers, Boston, MA. Other satisfactory music fundamentals texts are readily available in most college bookstores.

Placement In General Musical Knowledge

Each applicant will be expected to demonstrate:

  • familiarity with primary style periods of music
  • knowledge of primary composers
  • knowledge of various genres, for example, opera, symphony, chamber music, etc.

Students may prepare for the written general music placement exam by studying any standard music appreciation text, such as The Employment of Music by Joseph Machlis.

Placement In Piano

Each applicant will be expected to demonstrate:

  • scales and chord progressions
  • harmonizations
  • sight reading
  • repertoire

Placement in Aural Skills

Sight singing: Each applicant will be expected to sing at sight, material of the difficulty of an average folk song.
Ear training: Applicant will be given a brief aural quiz in recognizing intervals, melodies and rhythms.

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