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Audition for the Music Department

In addition to the University's requirements for admission, all music majors must successfully complete an audition for the music faculty to be admitted into the Music Program. Consideration for music scholarships is determined by the quality of the entrance audition.

How Do I Schedule My Audition?

Once a student has applied and been accepted by the University, an audition should be scheduled online. Applicants wishing to compete for merit-based scholarships should complete the process prior to February 25. 

2018 Audition Dates

  • February 10, 2018: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • February 24, 2018: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • March 24, 2018: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • April 28, 2018: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Alternate audition and portfolio review dates are also available upon request.

Music Audition Requirements

In addition to the requirements below, all auditioning students will be asked to take a music theory test, sight-read on their major instrument, and complete a piano and vocal skills evaluation.

Piano

Prepare a piece from the Baroque Era equivalent to a Bach two part invention; a movement from a classical sonata; and a composition from the Romantic Era or the 20-21st Centuries. At least one of the pieces should be memorized.

Organ

Sufficient piano study for the performance of a Bach invention, Mozart sonata, or 19th century work. The applicant should perform two pieces on the organ and be prepared to play one piano composition.

Brass & Woodwind

Preparation of an etude and a solo piece that demonstrates basic facility through tonguing and slurring passages as well as good musicianship in use of phrasing and dynamics. The applicant should also prepare major and minor scales up to and including four sharps and four flats.

Strings

Preparation of an etude and solo piece/orchestral excerpt that demonstrates good technical facility and bowing.

Guitar

An etude and/or a solo piece from the classical guitar repertoire. The applicant should also prepare scales in the major keys of C, D, and E along with their relative minors.

Percussion

Knowledge of basic rudiments and tunings; preparation of solo pieces, studies or etudes for snare drum, timpani and mallet instruments if possible.

Harp

Preparation of an etude or solo piece from the standard literature.

Voice

Music (B.A.):  Prepare two pieces of contrasting styles from memory. The pieces should come from the art song, classical tradition or musical theater literature. One piece may be in a foreign language (Latin, Italian, German, French and Spanish are good choices), though this is not a requirement for the B.A. audition process. An accompanist will be provided, though you are welcome to bring your own accompanist. Unaccompanied pieces are not appropriate for the audition process. Further resources for the B.A. audition process include:

  • The Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology series.
  • Musical Theatre Anthology for Teens - Young Men’s Edition.
  • Musical Theatre Anthology for Teens - Young Women’s Edition.

When in doubt, ask your private teacher, choral director or contact us. We will be glad to offer guidance in choosing appropriate repertoire

Music Education, Voice Performance, or Sacred Music (B.M.): Prepare two pieces of contrasting styles from memory. The pieces should come from the art song or classical tradition. Musical Theatre literature is not appropriate for the B.M. in Music Ed. One piece should be in a foreign language (Latin, Italian, German, French, and Spanish are good choices). Pieces should be memorized. An accompanist will be provided, though you are welcome to bring your own accompanist. Unaccompanied pieces are not appropriate for the audition process. (See below for art song examples.)

Music Therapy (B.M.): If you are auditioning for the Music Therapy (B.M.) should prepare two pieces of contrasting styles from memory. One piece should come from the art song or classical tradition. The second piece may come from the Musical Theatre, Pop, or Jazz genres. Original compositions are also acceptable for the second piece. An accompanist will be provided, though you are welcome to bring your own accompanist. Unaccompanied pieces are not appropriate for the audition process. 

Art song examples include:

English

  • Folk Song arrangements by Benjamin Britten.
  • Arias from George Handel oratorios .
  • Pieces by Ned Rorem, John Duke, Roger Quilter, Henry Purcell, Ralph Vaughan Williams, or H. T. Burleigh.

Consult your choral director or private teacher for appropriate key suggestions.

Italian

  • Any of the 24/26/28 Italian Art Song and Aria pieces. (You may purchase these books at a local music store or online.)
  • Medium Low Voice (Mezzo-Soprano/Contralto or Baritone/Bass).
  • Medium High Voice (Soprano or Tenor).

German

  • Lieder by Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, or Johannes Brahms.

Consult your choral director or private teacher for appropriate key suggestions. 

French

  • Mélodie by Gabriel Fauré, Reynaldo Hahn, Henri Duparc, or Ernest Chausson.

Consult your choral director or private teacher for appropriate key suggestions.

Other appropriate resources for the developing singer:

  • The Boytim Series - filled with a variety of literature in several languages, all of which is appropriate for college auditions. 
  • Soprano Rep: First Book of Soprano Solos - Complete.
  • Mezzo-Soprano Rep: The First Book of Mezzo-Soprano/Alto Solos - Complete.
  • Tenor Rep: The First Book of Tenor Solos - Complete.
  • Bass/Baritone Rep: The First Book of Baritone/Bass Solos - Complete.

Contact Dr. Boyle, our Director of Choral and Vocal Activities with any questions you may have.

To contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, fill out our online Request for Information form. You may also call us any time at (724) 838-4281 or (800) 826-6234, or send an email to admit@setonhill.edu.