You are here

Auditions and Pre-Screening

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

A screening video is required for students auditioning on voice, piano, violin, viola, cello, or double bass. Applicants in these areas must pass the screening evaluation in order to receive an invitation to audition and/or interview.

Auditions & Pre-screening Requirements

Please direct questions about the audition requirements and repertoire to the faculty of the instrument you wish to study.

Brass

No pre-screening required.

High Brass Audition Requirements
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 Audition Requirements
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. Memorization is not required; however, bring copies of your music to the audition.
  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
    • Memorization is not required; however, bring copies of your music to the audition.
Flute

No pre-screening required.

Flute Audition Requirements

  • 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

No pre-screening required.

Guitar Audition Requirements

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

No pre-screening required.

Harp Audition Requirements

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.

At least one piece should be memorized.

Organ

No pre-screening required.

Organ Audition Requirements

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

No pre-screening required.

Percussion Audition Requirements

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 (pre-screening required)

Pre-Screening Video Required
A screening video is required for this instrument. Students must pass the pre-screening evaluation in order to receive an invitation to the live audition.

  1. Screening videos must be submitting in the portfolio section of the School of Music application by the application deadline. The application will accept links to video-sharing platforms YouTube and Vimeo,  as well as direct video file uploads up to 500 MB. Please ensure any video uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo is "unlisted" with the comment feature turned off.
  2. 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. You may use the same selections again for your live audition, provided they meet the live audition repertoire requirements for your instrument.
  3. Videos must follow the instrument-specific requirements outlined below. 

Piano Pre-Screening 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.

Piano Audition Requirements

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 (pre-screening required)

Pre-Screening Video Required
A pre-screening video is required for students applying to audition on violin, viola, cello and double bass. Students must pass the pre-screening evaluation in order to receive an invitation to the live audition.

  1. Screening videos must be submitting in the portfolio section of the School of Music application by the application deadline. The application will accept links to video-sharing platforms YouTube and Vimeo,  as well as direct video file uploads up to 500 MB. Please ensure any video uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo is "unlisted" with the comment feature turned off.
  2. 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. You may use the same selections again for your live audition, provided they meet the live audition repertoire requirements for your instrument.
  3. Videos must follow the instrument-specific requirements outlined below. 

Strings Pre-Screening Requirements (Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass)

Preliminary recordings for all applicants should include two selections (contrasting in style and techniques), one performed from memory. For example, an exposition of a concerto and a movement from Bach or other solo piece or Etude.

Strings Audition Requirements (Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass)

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 (pre-screening required)

Pre-Screening Video Required
A screening video is required for vocalists. Students must pass the pre-screening evaluation in order to receive an invitation to the live audition.

  1. Screening videos must be submitting in the portfolio section of the School of Music application by the application deadline. The application will accept links to video-sharing platforms YouTube and Vimeo,  as well as direct video file uploads up to 500 MB. Please ensure any video uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo is "unlisted" with the comment feature turned off.
  2. 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. You may use the same selections again for your live audition, provided they meet the live audition repertoire requirements for your instrument.
  3. Videos must follow the instrument-specific requirements outlined below. 

Voice Pre-Screening Requirements

Preliminary recordings for all applicants should include the following repertoire, all performed from memory:

  • Two selections of classical vocal repertoire, one of which must be in English, and one in another language.
  • At the beginning of the video, each applicant must clearly state his or her name, voice type, degree objective, state of residence, titles of selections with composer’s names, grade point average, and TOEFL score (the TOEFL is an English language proficiency exam required of international students).
  • All vocal selections must be accompanied by a piano, chamber ensemble, or orchestra. No accompaniment with electronic piano or CD will be considered.

Voice Audition Requirements

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 in the portfolio section of their application. 

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

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.

Flutists, please see specific flute repertoire requirements.

Recorded Auditions

Students located over 200 miles from the Twin Cities are eligible to submit a recorded audition; 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 must be submitted in the Portfolio sectino of the School of Music application (Deadlines: November 1 for spring entrance, December 3 for fall entrance). The application will accept links to video-sharing platforms YouTube and Vimeo,  as well as direct video file uploads up to 500 MB. Please ensure any video uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo is "unlisted" with the comment feature turned off.
  2. Follow the audition repertoire requirements for your instrument (above).
  3. Please use professional quality recording equipment. Personal devices with high-quality sound and video capabilities are also acceptable, so long as the image is steady and the audio is clear without background interruptions.
  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.