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Auditions

Learn more about the audition process for your degree program. Please contact the faculty of the instrument you wish to study with questions about the audition repertoire.

Graduate Audition Requirements

Voice

Voice

Prepare to perform from memory three art songs and one oratorio or opera aria demonstrating your ability in the following languages: English, French, German, and Italian.

The audition committee will choose the compositions that they wish to hear from among your prepared selections. Provided you submit your music two weeks prior to your audition, an accompanist will be provided, and you will be given a brief rehearsal time with the pianist before your audition time.

Copies of musical scores for the accompanist must arrive two weeks prior to your audition in the School of Music Admissions Office at the following address:

Mail to:
Music Admissions
200A Ferguson Hall

2106 Fourth Street South
Minneapolis, MN 55455



Notify the School of Music if you intend to provide your own accompanist at mnmusic@umn.edu. Label each page of your music with your name, audition date, and intended degree program. You should also bring a copy of your pieces with you on your audition day.

Low Brass

Low Brass

All audition repertoire must be confirmed via email by the appropriate low brass faculty member at least one month before the audition. All prospective low brass students are encouraged to contact the appropriate faculty member to arrange a lesson in the months prior to the audition. There is no charge for the lesson.

Low Brass Faculty:

Low-brass audition repertoire requirements

MM-Performance (trombone, euphonium, and tuba)
 and DMA-Performance (trombone only) auditions must include the following pieces:

  • Movements or sections from two significant solo works, with at least one composed after 1940. Accompaniment is not required.
  • Three to four standard orchestral excerpts
Woodwinds and High Brass

Woodwind & High Brass Performance

Prepare two major works of a contrasting nature from the standard repertoire. Standard orchestral excerpts will be expected and sight-reading may be included. An accompanist is neither required nor provided.

Strings (violin, viola, cello, double bass)

Strings (violin, viola, cello, double bass)

Prepare and memorize three works. Your works must include the following:

  • a first or last movement of a major Romantic or contemporary concerto
  • a movement of an unaccompanied composition
  • a work of your choice from a musical period not represented by the other two selections

An accompanist is neither required nor provided.

Percussion

Percussion

Be prepared to perform on snare drum (both rudimental and concert styles), mallet instruments (xylophone, marimba, or vibraphone), and timpani. Audition on any other instrument (drum set, hand drums, ethnic percussion, etc.) is encouraged but not required.

You may provide a DVD of any other material you would want the auditioning committee to consider with your application (i.e. multiple-percussion, concerto features, jazz band performances, etc), although this material is not considered a requirement.

Download a list of repertoire.

Piano (MM)

Piano (MM)

Prepare the following repertoire to be performed from memory:

  • a Bach prelude and fugue from The Well-Tempered Clavier or several substantial movements from a Bach suite or partita
  • a complete major sonata by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven
  • a representative work from the 19th century*
  • a representative work from the 20th century*

*At least one of these should be technically and interpretively demanding and at least TEN minutes in length.

Sight-reading ability will also be tested.

Piano (DMA)

Piano (DMA)

Prepare a full recital from which the audition committee may select works to be performed. All works must be memorized. The repertoire must include:

  • a complete major work by Bach or a prelude and fugue from The Well-Tempered Clavier
  • a complete major sonata or set of variations by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven
  • a representative work from the 19th* century
  • a representative work from the 20th* century

*At least one of these should be a technically and interpretively demanding major work at least FIFTEEN minutes in length.

Sight reading ability will also be tested.

Collaborative Piano (MM)

Collaborative Piano (MM)

Applicants who pass the screening will be invited to perform a live audition on campus. You will be assigned partners and rehearsal times as part of the live audition process. You must use the partners assigned to you for at least a portion of the audition. The remainder may be done with your assigned partners or with partners of your own choosing.

A personal interview may be conducted by the faculty as part of the audition.

All applicants must bring a copy of their complete collaborative piano repertoire (vocal and instrumental) to their auditions. The repertoire for the live audition is as follows:

  • Any Beethoven violin or cello sonata (first movement)
  • Franck Violin Sonata (second movement) or any outer movement of a Brahms violin, viola, or cello sonata
  • Schubert "Ganymed" (A-flat)
  • Debussy: "Green" from Ariettes oubliees (original key)
  • Sight-reading from instrumental and/or vocal repertoire

For further information, contact Timothy Lovelace.

Collaborative Piano (DMA)

Collaborative Piano (DMA)

Applicants who pass this screening will be invited to perform a live audition on campus. You will be assigned partners and rehearsal times as part of the live audition process. You must use the partners assigned to you for at least a portion of the audition. The remainder may be done with assigned partners or with partners of your own choosing.

A personal interview may be conducted by the faculty as part of the audition.

All applicants must bring a copy of their complete collaborative piano repertoire (vocal and instrumental) to their auditions.

DMA candidates may elect to focus on either instrumental or vocal repertoires, or may elect to focus equally on both areas. The repertoire for the live audition, chosen from the list that follows, should reflect the desired focus.

Please select one piece from each of the four areas below:

  1. Any Beethoven Violin or Cello Sonata (first movement)
    or
    Schubert (both) “Erstarrung” (C Minor) and “Ganymed” (A-flat)
  2. Franck Violin Sonata (second movement) or any outer movement of a Brahms Violin, Viola, or Cello Sonata
    or
    Brahms “Botschaft” (D-flat) and Schumann “Du Ring an meinem Finger” (E-flat)
  3. Any movement of a string or wind sonata written after 1890
    or
    (both) Debussy “Green” from Ariettes oubliées (original key) and Barber “St. Ita’s Vision” (high key)
  4. Sight-reading of repertoire suitable to desired area of focus

For further information, contact Timothy Lovelace.

Organ (MM)

Organ (MM)

Prepare a 30-minute program consisting of at least three compositions for organ of contrasting styles and from different historical periods and/or national schools. One of these should be a major work of JS Bach, and at least one must be from the 19th- or 20th-century repertoire.

It is recommended that the prepared compositions be of a level of difficulty commensurate with the applicant’s own level of ability and experience. Memorization is recommended but not required.

In addition, applicants may be asked to play stanzas of a hymn in a style suitable for congregational singing, harmonize on a given hymn tune, improvise, and sight-read a choral score or other open score using one or more C clefs.

A repertoire list must be submitted to the committee at the time of the audition. Download a list of suggested repertoire.

Organ (DMA)

Organ (DMA)

Prepare a 45-minute program consisting of compositions for organ of contrasting styles and from different historical periods and/or national schools. One work must be a major work of JS Bach, and the audition program must include works representing the 17th-century, as well as the 19th- and 20th-century repertoires.

In addition, the audition repertoire should illustrate the applicant’s ability to perform music that is interpretively as well as technically demanding. Memorization is recommended but not required.

A repertoire list must be submitted to the committee at the time of the audition. Applicants must also submit a sample of their written work (e.g., a research or term paper written for a history or theory course) at the time of their audition.

Harp

Harp

Prepare from memory the following:

  • Two contrasting sonatas: i.e., Krumpholz, Dussek, Parry, C.P.E. Bach, Hindemith, Houdy, Tailleferre, Glanville-Hicks, etc.
  • One etude by Bach/Grandjany, Bochsa, Pozzoli or Lariviere
  • One work from the 19th or 20th centuries: i.e., by Faure, Andres, Salzedo, Flagello, etc.

Download a list of suggested repertoire.

Guitar

Guitar

Prepare three major contrasting pieces or movements from the following materials or from similar works of comparable level:

  • John Dowland: Fantasies, Dances
  • J.S. Bach: Lute and Cello Suites, Violin Sonatas and Partitas
  • Fernando Sor: Advanced Studies, Variations, Sonatas
  • Francisco Tarrega: Capricho Arabe or Recuerdos de la Alhambra
  • Manuel Ponce: Sonatas
  • Leo Brouwer: Elogio de la Danza, Sonata, El Decameron Negro
  • Works by: Turina, Torroba, Rodrigo, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Barrios, Jose, Albeniz, Granados, Villa-Lobos, Martin, Berkeley, Britten, Takemitsu

Sight-reading will be included in the audition. Audition length is 30 minutes.

Choral Conducting (MM)

Choral Conducting (MM)

Live auditions by invitation only.  Applicants will be invited to audition based on evaluation of the files, resume, and preliminary screening video submissions. If you wish to be considered for a live audition, please send a complete resume and preliminary DVD to the School of Music Graduate Studies Office no later than the fall application deadline.

Applicants will be notified of their audition status by December 15, and invited to campus for an audition in late January or early February.

Orchestral Conducting (MM)

Orchestral Conducting (MM)

This program is not accepting applications for 2017-2018 entrance. Please see requirements for the DMA in conducting with orchestral emphasis.

Wind Ensemble/Band Conducting (MM)

Wind Ensemble/Band Conducting (MM)

The MM in wind ensemble/band conducting provides advanced conducting study with an emphasis on conducting gesture, development of unique artistic identity, wind repertoire, and understanding the diverse roles of the conductor.

Live auditions are by invitation only. If you wish to be considered for a live audition, send a complete resume and preliminary screening video of a performance and rehearsal to the School of Music Graduate Studies Office no later than the fall application deadline. Applicants will be invited to perform a live audition based on evaluation of the resume and the preliminary screening video.

Applicants selected for a live audition will be notified by December 15, and invited to campus in January.

Conducting (DMA)

Conducting (DMA)

A conducting audition and interview with the appropriate directors of orchestral, wind, and choral studies is required. Live auditions are by invitation only.

Choral Emphasis

Applicants will be invited to audition based on evaluation of the files, resume, and preliminary screening video submissions. If you wish to be considered for a live audition, please send a complete resume and preliminary DVD to the School of Music Graduate Studies Office no later than the fall application deadline.

Applicants will be notified of their audition status by December 15, and invited to campus for an audition in late January or early February.

Orchestral Emphasis

Applicants will be invited to audition based on evaluation of the files, resumes, and preliminary screening video submissions. To be considered, please send a complete resume and preliminary screening video to the School of Music Admissions Office no later than the fall application deadline. Finalists will be invited to campus for an audition on March 8, 2017. Please contact Professor Mark Russell Smith for information.

Wind Ensemble/Band Emphasis

If you wish to be considered for a live audition, send a complete resume and preliminary screening video of a performance and rehearsal to the School of Music Graduate Studies Office no later than the fall application deadline. Applicants will be invited to perform a live audition based on evaluation of the resume and the preliminary screening video.

Applicants selected for a live audition will be notified by December 15, and invited to campus in January.

Recorded Auditions

It is to your advantage to attend a live audition and interview with our faculty. Recorded auditions will be accepted for applicants who live more than 200 miles from the Twin Cities. 

Submit your recorded audition via our online form by December 1.  

The guidelines for recorded auditions are as follows:

  • Recorded auditions are due by the application deadline.
  • Audition repertoire requirements for your instrument must be followed.
  • Professional quality recording equipment should be used.
  • Recordings must be made within past 12 months. No editing of the video is permitted. Each selection must be performed from beginning to end in one take and include both video and audio content. 
  • Recordings must be uploaded as an unlisted YouTube or Vimeo video with comments turned off.

International students applying from countries with high internet censorship are permitted and advised to submit a DVD copy of their recorded audition in lieu of an online video. See more information for international School of Music applicants.

Application Questions?  Contact the Music Admissions Office
musicapply@umn.edu | 612-624-2847