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Auditions, Pre-Screening & Interviews

Auditions & Pre-Screening

The following programs require a formal entrance audition:

  • Collaborative Piano & Coaching (MM, DMA)
  • Conducting* (MM, DMA)
  • Instrumental Performance (MM, DMA) 
  • Voice Performance (MM, DMA)

Auditions take place at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis on the dates outlined below. You will select your audition date on your application to the University of Minnesota. The date selected is considered confirmed, provided you pass any pre-screening audition required of your program. 

*Finalists for the conducting programs will be contacted directly by faculty to arrange an audition time and date. Please contact the faculty with any questions about conducting audition times/dates.  

Instrumental Performance & Collaborative Piano Audition Dates:
Saturday, January 18, 2020
Saturday, February 8, 2020

Voice Performance Audition Date:
Friday, January 31, 2020 

Auditions will take place between 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. with a formal time sent two weeks prior to the audition date.  Due to the high volume of applicants, the School of Music cannot consider specific times or rescheduling requests.

Repertoire Requirements

Please review the audition requirements below to ensure you are preparing the required repertoire and contact the faculty of your instrument/area with any repertoire questions.

Collaborative Piano & Coaching - pre-screening required

Collaborative Piano & Coaching

Pre-Screening Video Submission Guidelines

  • Videos must be submitted by the application deadline via the Digital Uploads section on your application to the University of Minnesota.
  • Videos must be made within the past 12 months. 
  • Applicants may use the same selections again for the live audition, provided the selections meet the audition repertoire requiremetns below.
  • Each selection must be performed from beginning to end in one take. No editing is allowed.

Pre-screening Requirements
For the prescreening video, please perform two contrasting collaborative piano works with partners. These pre-screening performances are not necessarily restricted to the audition repertoire. Please contact Timothy Lovelace at lovelace@umn.edu with questions regarding pre-screening and audition repertoire.

Live Audition Requirements
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.

Recorded Audition Requirements
This program does not accept recorded auditions.

Conducting - pre-screening required

Conducting

Pre-Screening Video Submission Guidelines

  • Pre-screening videos must be submitted by the application deadline via the Digital Uploads section on your application to the University of Minnesota.
  • Videos must be made within the past 12 months. 
  • Applicants may use the same selections again for the live audition, provided the selections meet the audition repertoire requiremetns below.
  • Each selection must be performed from beginning to end in one take. No editing is allowed.

Prescreening Requirements

  • Videos must be accompanied by information indicating the candidate’s name, degree objective, state of residence, and titles of selections with the composer’s names.
  • Video content may contain material taken from either a rehearsal or a performance; it is recommended to have excerpts of both. 
  • All videos must be recorded from the front so that the face, hands, gestures, and posture are clearly visible. Do not submit a video filmed from behind the conductor.
  • The recording must be recent (made within the past 12 months) and must be playable on with a recommended length of 15–20 minutes; 30 minutes maximum. 

Audition Requirements - MM

A conducting audition and interview with the appropriate directors of orchestral, wind, and choral studies is required. Live auditions are by invitation only. This program does not accept recorded auditions.

  • Choral Conducting - Applicants will be invited to audition based on the evaluation of the files, resume, and preliminary screening video submissions.
  • Orchestral Conducting - This program is not accepting applications for 2020 entrance. Applicants will be invited to audition based on the evaluation of the files, resume, and preliminary screening video submissions.
  • Wind Ensemble/Band Conducting - This program is not accepting applications for 202 entrance. Applicants will be invited to perform a live audition based on the evaluation of the resume and the preliminary screening video.


Audition Requirements - DMA
A conducting audition and interview with the appropriate directors of orchestral, wind, and choral studies is required. Live auditions are by invitation only. This program does not accept recorded auditions. Applicants will be invited to audition by the conducting faculty based on the evaluation of the files, resume, and preliminary screening video submissions.

  • Choral Conducting - Applicants will be invited to audition based on the evaluation of the files, resume, and preliminary screening video submissions.
  • Orchestral Conducting - Applicants will be invited to audition based on the evaluation of the files, resume, and preliminary screening video submissions.
  • Wind Ensemble/Band Conducting - Applicants will be invited to audition based on evaluation of the files, resume, and preliminary screening video submissions.
Woodwinds - Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon

Woodwinds

Audition Requirements
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.

Saxophone - pre-screening required

Saxophone

Pre-Screening Video Requirements

  1. Two contrasting etudes (one slow, one fast).  
  2. One complete solo work from the standard repertoire (such as a work by Creston, Milhaud, Heiden, Desenclos, Eccles, Glazunov, Ibert, Maurice, Bozza, Tomasi, etc ).

Audition Requirements

  1. Two contrasting etudes (one slow, one fast).  
  2. One complete solo work from the standard repertoire (such as a work by Creston, Milhaud, Heiden, Desenclos, Eccles, Glazunov, Ibert, Maurice, Bozza, Tomasi, etc ).
  3. Scales and sight-reading may be requested. An accompanist is neither required nor provided.
High Brass

Horn

Horn Audition Requirements
Please prepare the required solo and orchestral repertoire as outlined below:

1. Required Solo Repertoire: (suggested 4 total)

  • Any Mozart Horn Concerto (mvt 1 only).
  • Richard Strauss Horn Concerto No. 1 or 2 (mvt. 1 only).
  • Two additional solo pieces selected from contrasting eras. Examples include: a single movement from a concerto or sonata, Twentieth Century works and/or unaccompanied solo pieces.

2. Orchestral Excerpts: (suggested 8 total)

  • Standard orchestral excerpts from different eras demonstrating both high and low horn abilities.
  • A list of at least eight contrasting excerpts is required.

Trumpet

Trumpet Audition Requirements

  • 2 etudes- one from Charlier and one from Bitsch, contrasting in style
  • Standard concerto or sonata of candidates choice
  • Honegger Intrada
  • 4 contrasting standard orchestral excerpts
  • 1 piccolo trumpet orchestral excerpt (Bach, Handel)
  • All major and minor scales
  • Sight-reading and transposition
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 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
Percussion

Percussion

Audition Requirements
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 - pre-screening required

Piano

Pre-Screening Video Submission Guidelines

  • Videos must be submitted by the application deadline via the Digital Uploads section on your application to the University of Minnesota.
  • Videos must be made within the past 12 months. 
  • Applicants may use the same selections again for the live audition, provided the selections meet the audition repertoire requiremetns below.
  • Each selection must be performed from beginning to end in one take. No editing is allowed.

Pre-screening Audition Requirements
Preliminary recordings for all applicants should include the following repertoire, all performed from memory:

  • At least one movement of a classical sonata by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven
  • At least one additional work or movement in a contrasting style

Audition Requirements - 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.

Audition Requirements - 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.

Guitar

Guitar

Audition Requirements
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.

Harp

Harp

Audition Requirements - MM

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.

Audition Requirements - DMA

All works except orchestral excerpts must be performed from memory:

  • Three contrasting solo works; a concerto, sonata, or other major work, the level of Houdy Sonata, Faure Impromptu, JS Bach/Grandjany Fugue, CPE Bach Sonata, or Britten Suite.
  • Two orchestral excerpts or cadenzas.
  • Candidate must submit a previous degree recital program and a list of previously studied major repertoire.
Strings (Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass) - pre-screening required

Strings (violin, viola, cello, double bass)

Pre-Screening Video Submission Guidelines

  • Videos must be submitted by the application deadline via the Digital Uploads section on your application to the University of Minnesota.
  • Videos must be made within the past 12 months. 
  • Applicants may use the same selections again for the live audition, provided the selections meet the audition repertoire requiremetns below.
  • Each selection must be performed from beginning to end in one take. No editing is allowed.

Pre-screening Requirements
Preliminary recordings for all applicants should include two selections of contrasting style and techniques, one of which must be memorized. For example: exposition of a concerto and a movement from the Bach’s or other solo piece or Etude.

Audition Requirements
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.
Voice - pre-screening required

Voice

Pre-Screening Video Submission Guidelines

  • Videos must be submitted by the application deadline via the Digital Uploads section on your application to the University of Minnesota.
  • Videos must be made within the past 12 months. 
  • Applicants may use the same selections again for the live audition, provided the selections meet the audition repertoire requirements below.
  • Each selection must be performed from beginning to end in one take. No editing is allowed.

Pre-screening Requirements
Pre-screening videos for all graduate voice applicants should include the following repertoire, all performed from memory:

  • Four selections from the classical vocal repertoire. One selection may be an opera or oratorio area and one selection must be in English. Repertoire should demonstrate facility in various languages and periods of classical vocal composition. All vocal selections must be accompanied by a piano, chamber ensemble or orchestra. No accompaniment with electronic piano or CD will be considered. No amplification microphone permitted.
  • Two selections, read and spoken aloud, from the three provided diction exercises.
  • At the beginning of the video, each applicant must clearly state their name, voice type, degree objective, state of residence, grade point average, and titles of selections with composers' names.

Audition Requirements
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. 

Recorded Audition Policy
This program does not accept recorded auditions.

Recorded Audition Policy & Instructions

Please consult with the faculty in your desired area of study to determine if it is appropriate for you to submit a recorded audition in lieu of a live audition. Many areas will not consider recorded auditions. While faculty divisions may permit recorded auditions for students with extenuating circumstances, the submission of a recorded audition may impact eligibility for admission or funding consideration. 

The guidelines to submit recorded auditions are as follows:

  • Recorded auditions are due by the application deadline.
  • Submit the video via the Digital Uploads section of the University of Minnesota online application.
  • 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 without amplification in one take and include both video and audio content. 

Interviews

Formal entrance interviews are required for all programs in Music Education (MM, PhD, Post-Bacc) and Music Therapy (MA, MA with Equivalency, PhD). Interviews for the Music Education (MM), Music Therapy (MA, and MA with Equivalency) and Post-Bacc Music Education Licensure Certificate will take place on the following dates:

  • Saturday, January 18, 2020
  • Saturday, February 8, 2020

You will select your interview date on your application to the University of Minnesota and may elect to attend the interview in person or via Skype. The date selected on your application is considered confirmed, provided you maintain an active application with the University of Minnesota School of Music. The interview will take place between 8:00 a.m.– 8:00 p.m. on the date selected. Please bring a completed music education/music therapy interview profile to your interview.

Finalists for the Music Education (PhD) or Music Education - Music Therapy Emphasis (PhD) will be contacted directly by faculty to arrange a separate interview.

Please contact the faculty of the program to which you are applying for further interview details.