Auditions

The University of Minnesota School of Music strongly encourages in-person auditions on one of our scheduled audition dates. Visiting our campus on these dates will allow you to meet a range of faculty, interact with our students, tour our building, and experience the culturally-diverse Twin Cities. If you are unable to visit in person we do accept pre-recorded auditions in all performance areas and we still invite you to visit campus as you are able. 

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

  • BMus (performance, music education, music therapy) 
  • BA with applied emphasis
  • Music minor (applied)
  • Music PSEO

The School of Music's audition process for Fall 2025 is in person. 

  • Viola, violin, and piano auditions require a pre-screen submission. 
  • Instrumental audition in-person dates: 
    • December 14, 2024 (Spring 2025 admission only) 
    • January 18, 2025, February 1, 2025
  • Undergrad Voice In-Person Audition Dates 
    • December 14, 2024 (Spring 2025 admission only) 
    • January 18, 2025, February 1, 2025

Audition repertoire requirements:

**Please direct questions about audition repertoire requirements to the faculty of your instrument area.**

In-person auditions preferred, video auditions permitted upon request

Bassoon Audition Requirements

  1.  Prepare two selections or movements that contrast in tempo and style, one of which may be a representative etude.
  2. All major and minor scales.

In-person auditions offered, video auditions are accepted.

Flute Audition Requirements

  1. Two Contrasting Pieces of your choice (10 minutes of music in total)
  2. All Major scales and Minor scales in all forms (natural, melodic and harmonic)

In-person auditions offered, video auditions are accepted but in-person auditions strongly encouraged. 

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.)

In-person auditions offered, video auditions are accepted.

Clarinet Audition Requirements

  1. One etude selected from Rose 32 Etudes for Clarinet.
  2. One contrasting work for clarinet chosen from the standard solo literature. If the selection is taken from a multi-movement sonata or concerto, applicants need only prepare one movement of the piece. Works written for A clarinet, should be performed on A clarinet.

In person auditions offered, video auditions are accepted.

Oboe Audition Requirements

  1. Prepare two selections or movements that contrast in tempo and style, one of which may be a representative etude.
  2. All major and minor scales.

In-person auditions offered, video auditions permitted by request. 

Horn Audition Requirements

Candidates should prepare two contrasting selections from the standard repertoire. This may include solos, etudes, and/or orchestral excerpts. Examples of standard repertoire are listed below. Audition material should represent the candidate’s best playing. The audition may also include major scales and sight-reading.

Etudes: Kopprasch, Kling, Gallay, Maxime-Alphonse

Solo Repertoire:

  • Mozart: Concertos No. 1-4
  • Franz Strauss: Nocturno; Concerto No. 1
  • Richard Strauss: Concerto No.1
  • Saint-Saens: Morceau de Concert
  • Gliere: Intermezzo; Nocturne, Romance
  • Glazunov: Reverie
  • Optional: Orchestral Excerpts such as:
  • Beethoven Symphony No. 3 Scherzo Trio (Horn 2)
  • Brahms Symphony No. 3, mvt. 3 (Horn 1)
  • Shostakovich Symphony 5, 1stmvt low tutti section (Horn 1)
  • Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5, mvt 2, Andante Cantabile (Horn 1solo)

In-person auditions offered, video submissions not offered. 

Trumpet Audition Requirements

  • 2 contrasting etudes from Charlier, Brandt, Arban Characteristic, or equivalent
  • 2 contrasting solos or movements from a standard concerto or sonata (e.g. Haydn, Hummel, Kennan, Balay, Ropartz, Hindemith, or equivalent)
  • Play 3 contrasting standard orchestral excerpts (examples below, but not limited to this list)
    • Respighi: Pines of Rome (off stage)
    • Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition (opening Promenade)
    • Beethoven: Leonore No. 3 (off stage call)
    • Bizet: Carmen (Prelude)
    • Copland: Outdoor Overture (mm 16-34)
    • Most excerpts can be found on Orchestra Excerpts
  • 2 major scales, 2 octaves with arpeggio, applicant’s choice
  • An accompanist is neither required nor provided.

In-person auditions offered, video auditions accepted but in-person auditions are strongly encouraged. 

Trombone Audition Requirements

All audition repertoire must be confirmed via email by Professor Tom Ashworth at least one month before the application deadline:

Professor Ashworth is available for pre-audition lessons and meetings. Please contact him at 651-983-0865 or via email at ashwo001@umn.edu

BM MuEd and Music Therapy, BA Applied and Music Minor auditions must include:

  • Two contrasting solo works Piano accompaniment not required required on the audition
    • Memorization is not required

BM Performance must include:

  • Two contrasting solo works and three to four contrasting orchestral excerpts
    • Piano accompaniment not required on the audition
    • Memorization is not required

In-person auditions offered, video auditions accepted but in-person auditions are strongly encouraged. 

Low Brass Audition Requirements

All audition repertoire must be confirmed via email by the appropriate low brass faculty member at least one month before the application deadline:

Euphonium: John Tranter | Tuba: Steven Campbell

Note: 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. 

Audition Requirements

  1. For the following degrees: BMus music education, BMus music therapy, BA with applied emphasis, and music minor (applied)
    • Movements or sections from two significant solo works. Accompaniment neither provided nor required. Memorization is not required.
  2. For BMus performance
    • Movements or sections from two significant solo works. Accompaniment neither provided nor required.
      AND
    • Three to four standard orchestral excerpts
    • Piano accompaniment is not required
    • Memorization is not required

In-person auditions offered, video auditions accepted. 

Guitar Audition Requirements

  1. Prepare to perform two contrasting pieces or movements chosen from the following material or similar works of comparable level:
    • Renaissance piece by J.Dowland, L.Milan, G.Sanz, Luis de Navaraez, etc.
    • J.S. Bach: Prelude BWV 999, Bourree from Lute Suite BWV 996, or similar
    • Fernando Sor: Twenty Studies (ed. Segovia) Nos. 1-9
    • Fancisco Tarrega: Lagrima; Estudio En Forme De Minuetto, Adelita, Maria Gavotta
    • Leo Brouwer: etudes Simples Mos. 1-20
    • Heitor Villa-Lobos: Preludes 1-5
  2. Prepare one diatonic major or minor scale.
  3. Short sight-reading example (first position only) 

In-person auditions offered, video auditions accepted. 

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.

In-person auditions offered, video auditions accepted. 

Organ Audition Requirements

Applicants should perform three compositions for organ. 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. A repertoire list must be submitted to the committee as a separate attachment to the application. Applicants are encouraged to submit a recording of their playing of a service in addition to the above requirement.

In-person auditions offered, video auditions accepted but in-person auditions preferred. 

Percussion Audition Requirements

Applicants should perform on snare drum (both rudimental and concert styles), mallet instruments (xylophone, marimba, or vibraphone) and timpani if available. Audition on any other instrument, such as drum set, hand drums, or ethnic percussion is encouraged but not required. 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 playing 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 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. Applicants should submit a copy of the original score with their application. View the repertoire guidelines for a list of suggested audition materials.

Pre-screening video required. 

Piano Audition Requirements

Prepare to perform, from memory, three works that demonstrate your technical and musical command of the piano repertoire. All auditions must include: 

  1. a J.S. 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; 
  2. the first or last movement plus the slow movement from a sonata by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven; and 
  3. one work from the nineteenth, twentieth, or twenty-first century that is at least three minutes long.

If you wish, you may include an additional selection that showcases your personal affinities and artistic vision regardless of genre, style, or cultural origin.

 

Pre-screening videos required of violin and viola applicants. 

In-person auditions offered, video auditions accepted. 

We encourage live auditions in order for applicants to fully experience the School of Music through interactions with faculty and the touring of our facilities as well as getting a general sense of the vibrant Twin Cities arts and cultural scene. If an applicant's intent is to attend a live audition (if invited), then the applicant's repertoire should be presented in the pre-screening video. Those who know in advance that they will not be able to attend one of the invited live auditions should submit their repertoire in full for the pre-screening process which, in turn, will be used in lieu of a live audition.

Strings Audition requirements 

Violin

  • First movement of a major concerto
  • A movement of unaccompanied Bach
  • A short piece in a contrasting style

Viola

Prepare two works (memorization of standard repertoire is strong encouraged) which must include:

  • A movement of a major concerto (or suite for viola and orchestra). 20th-century options include Bartok, Bloch, Hindemith and Walton. First movements of concertos by Hoffmeister, Rolla, Stamitz, Vanhal, and Zelter are acceptable but should include a cadenza. Pairs of movements (slow-fast) from concertos by Telemann, J.C. Bach/Casadesus, Handel/Casadesus, and the Vaughan Williams Suite are also acceptable.
  • A contrasting selection from any solo unaccompanied work. Examples include a movement from a Telemann Fantasia, Bach solo suite (transcribed from cello) or sonata/partita (transcribed from violin), Reger suite, or Hindemith solo sonata. A substantial etude may be substituted. 

*An accompanist is neither required nor provided.

Cello

  • BMusic - one movement of any Bach Suite, and any cello concerto movement.
  • Music Ed and Music Therapy - two contrasting pieces of your choice.
  • Minor - one scale and one piece of your choice

Bass

  • 1st movement from a concerto
  • Piece by J SBach OR a movement from a baroque sonata (example: Eccles sonata)
  • Any 2 octave scale played using a full bow stroke

Voice Audition Requirements 

Be prepared to sing two contrasting vocal selections, both from memory. You should select works that are comfortable for you to sing and appropriate to your present vocal and musical abilities. At least one selection must be from the classical repertoire. The other may be from the classical, folk, or musical theater repertoire. Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to demonstrate their abilities in Italian, French, or German, and we always welcome works by composers from under-represented backgrounds. If you wish, you may include a third selection from any genre that represents your own interests and musical personality.

A pianist will be provided for all live auditions, but you must bring a piano accompaniment (in the correct key). Pre-recorded accompaniments may not be used in auditions. Pre-recorded accompaniments may be used for virtual auditions.