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Auditions

The School of Music requires an entrance audition for applicants of the following programs:

  • Bachelor of Music (Performance, Music Education, Music Therapy) 
  • Bachelor of Arts with Applied Emphasis
  • Music Minor
  • Music PSEO

Audition Requirements

Learn more about what will be expected of you at your audition below. The information below applies to the above degree programs unless otherwise noted. Please direct questions about the audition requirements and repertoire to the faculty of the instrument you wish to study.

Brass

High Brass

Prepare two selections or movements that contrast in tempo and style, one of which may be a representative etude. Scales and sight-reading may be requested. An accompanist is not required.

Low Brass

All audition repertoire must be confirmed via email by the appropriate University Low Brass faculty member at least one month before the audition:

Trombone (Tenor and Bass)
: Tom Ashworth |  Euphonium:
 John Tranter | Tuba
: Steven Campbell

Note: All prospective Low Brass students are encouraged to contact the appropriate University Low Brass faculty member to arrange a lesson in the months prior to the audition. There is no charge for the lesson. Audition repertoire must adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. For the following degrees: BMus-Music Education, BMus-Music Therapy, BA-Music, and Music Minor (Trombone, Euphonium and Tuba)
    • Movements or sections from two significant solo works, with at least one composed after 1940. Accompaniment neither provided nor required.
  2. For BMus-Performance (Trombone, Euphonium and Tuba)
    • Movements or sections from two significant solo works, with at least one composed after 1940. Accompaniment neither provided nor required.
      AND
    • Three to four standard orchestral excerpts
Flute

Flute

  • One movement of a concerto (Mozart, Devienne, Quantz, Reinecke etc)
  • One piece of your choice from any time period
  • Major and minor scales (know all three forms of minor scales)
  • Sight-reading
Guitar

Guitar

Prepare to perform two contrasting pieces or movements chosen from the following material, or similar works of comparable level:

  • Luis de Narvaez: Guardame Las Vacas
  • Luis Milan: Pavans, Fantasias
  • Gaspar Sanz: Pavanas, Canarios
  • J.S. Bach: Prelude BWV 999, Bourree from Lute Suite BWV 996
  • Fernando Sor: Twenty Studies (ed. Segovia) Nos. 1-9
  • Fancisco Tarrega: Lagrima; Estudio En Forme De Minuetto, Adelita, Maria
  • Leo Brouwer: etudes Simples Mos. 1-10
  • Heitor Villa-Lobos: Preludes

Performance of one diatonic major or minor scale and sight-reading will be required.

Harp

Harp

Prepare to perform two contrasting pieces at least the level of:

  • Handel - Concerto in Bb, 1st Movement
  • Debussy - First Arabesque
    OR
  • One piece of comparable level plus an orchestral excerpt or cadenza
    OR
  • One piece of comparable level plus an etude such as Bochsa, Pozzoli or Lariviere.
Organ

Organ

Applicants should be prepared to play three compositions for organ of contrasting styles. At least one of these should be a work of J. S. Bach. 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, at the committee's discretion applicants may be asked to play several stanzas of a hymn in a style suitable for congregational singing, harmonize a given hymn tune, sight-read, and play scales and arpeggios at the piano. A repertoire list must be submitted to the committee at the time of the audition. Applicants will receive at least one hour of practice time on the Van Daalen organ prior to the audition.

Percussion

Percussion

Applicants should 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, such as drum set, hand drums or ethnic percussion is encouraged but not required. Applicants should bring an original score and one copy of every piece or etude they will be performing, as well as all necessary sticks and mallets. The School of Music will not provide any sticks/mallets during an audition. View the repertoire guidelines for a list of suggested audition materials.

Piano

Piano

Prepare to perform repertoire that demonstrates your technical command and understanding of different classical musical styles. The repertoire must include:

  • A Bach sinfonia (three-part invention), prelude and fugue, or three or more movements from a suite or partita, one of which must be the courante or gigue
  • A first or last movement plus the slow movement from a sonata by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven
  • One work from the 19th or 20th century that is at least three minutes long

All works must be played from memory. Sight-reading ability will also be tested.

Strings

Prepare two selections or movements that contrast in tempo and style, one of which may be a representative etude. One selection must be memorized. Scales and sight-reading may be requested. An accompanist is neither provided nor required.

Voice

Voice

Prepare to sing two contrasting vocal selections from the classical repertoire from memory. Undergraduate applicants are strongly advised to sing only repertoire appropriate to their present vocal and musical abilities. One folk song (arranged for voice with piano accompaniment) and/or one "legit" musical theater selection can be used to replace one classical selection. Musical theatre belt, rock or Christian contemporary selections are not acceptable audition repertoire.

An accompanist will be provided for students who submit copies of their music to the School of Music two weeks prior to the audition date. Vocalists should also bring a copy of their to their audition.

Please review the Standards for Applied Study in Voice for Vocal Performance, Music Education, Music Therapy, Bachelor of Arts with Applied Emphasis, and Music Minor. Admission to a University of Minnesota vocal degree program is determined by the applicant's demonstration of competence in the standards, the number of open vocal studio spaces available any given academic year, and target enrollments determined by the School of Music and College of Liberal Arts.

Woodwinds

Woodwinds

Prepare two selections or movements that contrast in tempo and style, one of which may be a representative etude. Scales and sight-reading may be requested. An accompanist is neither required nor provided.

Recorded Auditions

Recorded auditions will be accepted if you live more than 200 miles from the Twin Cities; however, it is to your advantage to audition in person if at all possible.

The guidelines for recorded auditions are as follows:

  1. Recorded auditions are due by the application deadline (Nov. 1 for spring entrance, Dec. 15 for fall entrance). Submit your recorded audition using this online form
  2. Follow the audition repertoire requirements for your instrument (above).

  3. Please use professional quality recording equipment.
  4. 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. 
  5. Videos should be submitted as online videos using YouTube, Vimeo, or another online video platform that does not require downloading to view. Password-protected videos will not be considered. We recommend ensuring your videos are unlisted YouTube or Vimeo videos with comments turned off. Applicants are responsible for the playability of the ideo and accuracy of the URL address.

International applicants 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. The clearly-labeled DVD must arrive at the following address no later than the application deadline:

Undergraduate Music Admissions
200A Ferguson Hall
2106 4th Street South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

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