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Auditions, Pre-Screening & Interviews

Auditions

The following programs require a formal entrance audition:

  • Collaborative Piano & Coaching (MM, DMA)
  • Conducting (MM, DMA)
  • Instrumental Performance (MM, DMA) 
  • Voice Performance (MM, DMA)
2021 Instrumental Performance & Vocal Performance Auditions:
Due to COVID-19, vocal and instrumental performance auditions will be conducted via video recording. Recordings are due with the application, by the application deadline (January 15, 2021 for Fall 2021 admission)

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 (from the date of recording) 
  • 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.

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

For the audition video, please perform two contrasting collaborative piano works with partners. After your application is complete, Professor Tim Lovelace will be in touch with you about arranging the sight-reading component of your audition. Please direct any questions about the audition repertoire to Professor Lovelace.

Conducting

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 12-18 months. 
  • Each selection must be performed from beginning to end in one take. No editing is allowed.

Video 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. Please include arranger or transcriber, where appropriate.
  • 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 recommended duration of the combined video submissions (rehearsal and performance) is 15-20 minutes. Performance videos of compositions longer than 20 minutes are acceptable.

Audition Requirements - MM

For applicants who are seeking degree programs that begin in Fall 2021, the audition and interview process may be modified based on the Minnesota Department of Health, the Governor and the University President's travel and social distancing guidelines. Typically, a live conducting audition and interview with the faculty directors in the area of study is required. Live auditions and interviews are by invitation only. Candidates will be invited to audition and interview by the conducting faculty, based on their evaluation of application materials.

  • Choral Conducting - Applications will be accepted for 2021 entrance into the choral program. Candidates will be invited to audition based on faculty evaluation of the files, resume, and preliminary screening video submissions.
  • Orchestral Conducting - Applicants will be invited to audition based on faculty evaluation of the files, resume, and preliminary screening video submissions.
  • Wind Ensemble/Band Conducting- Applications will be accepted for the 2021 entrance into the wind band program. Candidates will be invited to audition based on faculty evaluation of the files, resume, and preliminary screening video submissions.

Audition Requirements - DMA

The DMA programs in both Orchestral and Choral Conducting are not accepting applications for 2021. 

For applicants who are seeking degree programs that begin in Fall 2021, the audition and interview process may be modified based on the Minnesota Department of Health, the Governor and the University President's travel and social distancing guidelines. Typically, a live conducting audition and interview with the faculty directors in the area of study is required. Live auditions and interviews are by invitation only. Candidates will be invited to audition and interview by the conducting faculty, based on their evaluation of application materials.

  • Choral Conducting - Candidates will be invited to audition based on faculty evaluation of the files, resume, and preliminary screening video submissions.The DMA in Choral Conducting is not accepting applications for 2021 entrance into the program.
  • Orchestral Conducting - Applicants will be invited to audition based on faculty evaluation of the files, resume, and preliminary screening video submissions.The DMA in Orchestral Conducting is not accepting applications for 2021 entrance into the program.
  • Wind Ensemble/Band Conducting- Applications will be accepted for the 2021 entrance into the wind band program. Candidates will be invited to audition based on faculty evaluation of the files, resume, and preliminary screening video submissions.
Flute

MM in Flute Performance

  • Mozart Concerto in G or D Major
  • Two contrasting works of your choice
  • Three Orchestral Excerpts

DMA in Flute Performance

  • Mozart Concerto in G or D Major
  • Bach Sonata
  • Two contrasting works of your choice
  • Five Orchestral Excerpts

An accompanist is neither required nor provided.

Woodwinds (oboe, clarinet, bassoon)

Woodwinds

Audition Requirements

Prepare two major works of a contrasting nature from the standard repertoire. An accompanist is neither required nor provided.

Flute applicants, please see the Flute audition repertoire section above

Saxophone

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. An accompanist is neither required nor provided.
High Brass (horn, trumpet)

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)
  • 2 major scales, 2 minor scales, all two octaves with arpeggios, applicant’s choice
Low Brass (trombone, euphonium, tuba)

Low Brass

All audition repertoire must be confirmed via email by the appropriate low brass faculty member at least one month before the recorded audition is submitted. 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. Accompaniment is not required.
  • Three to four standard orchestral excerpts
  • Memorization not required
Percussion

Please refer to this list of repertoire and contact Professor Fernando Meza to confirm your selections before you begin recording. Be prepared to perform on snare drum (both rudimental and concert styles), mallet instruments (xylophone, marimba, or vibraphone), and timpani if available.  If timpani are not available to perform your repertoire of choice, please perform one of the two drum etudes included here with any drums at your disposal (i.e 2 snare drums with snares off, 2 tom-toms, etc), or even two practice pads. This will be aimed at displaying your technical understanding of playng timpani, considering the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19 restrictions which do not always allow for people to have access to instruments. In addition, if no timpani are available, please also enclose a recorded version of your singing of the intervals attached here after obtaining a reference pitch of A=440 from either a tuning fork or a keyboard instrument. No other reference pitches allowed, and only one A at the start of the sequence of intervals. 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).

Piano

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 partit
  • 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.

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.

Please contact Professor Kyung Kim with audition repertoire questions.

Organ

The applicant should submit a video recording of a thirty-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 J.S. Bach, and at least one should be from the 19th or 20th-century repertoires. 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. A repertoire list must be submitted as an attachment to the application for admission. Applicants are encouraged to submit a recording of their playing of a service in addition to the above requirement. 

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

Please contact Maja Radovanlija with any repertoire questions: mradovan@umn.edu.

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)

Audition Requirements

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

  • Fast movement of a Major Concerto
  • A movement of unaccompanied Bach
  • A piece contrasting style in style with the other two

All repertoire (excluding sonatas with piano) should be performed by memory. An accompanist is neither required nor provided.

Voice

Voice Audition Information

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 aria and one selection must be in English. Repertoire should demonstrate facility in various languages and periods of classical vocal composition. Vocal selections can be accompanied by piano, chamber ensemble or orchestra. Because of health concerns, accompaniment with electronic piano or CD will be permitted and will be considered. No amplification microphone permitted.

  •   Two selections, read and spoken aloud, from the excerpts provided.

  •  At the beginning of the video, each applicant must clearly state:

  1. name

  2. voice type

  3. degree objective

  4. state, province or country of residence

  5. grade point average

  6. titles of selections with composers' names

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 be conducted remotely via Zoom on the following dates:

  • Saturday, December 5, 2020
  • Saturday, January 23, 2021
  • Saturday, February 6, 2021

You will select your preferred interview date on your application. The interview will take place between 8:00 am – 8:00 pm Central Standard Time. Applicants will be asked to submit a completed music education/music therapy interview profile at the time of the 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.