Coronavirus Important Updates

Music Auditions

The Department of Music will schedule in-person auditions by appointment only and will accept video submissions for Fall 2021 entrance. Fill out and submit the Music Audition Form in order to schedule a live audition or submit a video audition. If you have any questions regarding scheduling an audition, please contact the Seton Hill University Department of Admissions or the Music Audition Coordinator at kuhn@setonhill.edu.

Audition Requirements

Please see below for repertoire requirements for your instrument and degree program. In addition to the repertoire requirements, all auditioning students will be asked to take a music theory placement exam, sight-read on their major instrument, and complete a piano and vocal skills evaluation.

Video Audition Requirements

Video submissions must be a link to an unlisted video on YouTube. Find instructions for recording and uploading a YouTube video here.

Virtual interviews will be requested after the initial video audition files are received and reviewed.

Video Recording Guidelines

Guidelines for all Students

  • Dress professionally.
  • Use your phone's best camera (normally the rear-facing camera) to video record in landscape orientation.
  • Consider your background. If you are able, make it neutral - a plain wall or a clean and organized space.
  • if you don't have a phone, use your laptop.
  • Your phone or laptop mic should be fine.
  • Stand far enough away so that the majority of your body is visible in frame.
  • Feel free to record a few times until you produce recordings you are happy with.
Additional Requirements for Voice Students

If you have an external speaker, use that to play your accompaniment recording, otherwise use your laptop's speakers. 

Additional Requirements for Piano & Organ Students

Sit far enough away so that the majority of your body is visible in frame. Your hands should be visible for the scales/arpeggios.

Applicants wishing to compete for Visual and Performing Arts Scholarships should complete the audition process prior to February 25, 2021.

Music Audition Repertoire Information

Piano

Music (B.A.), Music Education (B.M.), Performance (B.M.), Sacred Music (B.M. or Certificate), or Music Therapy (B.M.): 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. Students auditioning for the Sacred Music Program should also prepare a hymn. At least one of the pieces should be memorized.

Worship Arts (Certificate): Perform two pieces of sacred music and a hymn or psalm.

Commercial Music (B.M.): Students interested in pursuing the Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music are required to audition before acceptance into the music department. In addition to at least one piece from the traditional literature, students are encouraged to demonstrate proficiency in a popular musical style, including but not limited to rock, funk, hip-hop, country, and other contemporary styles.

It is recommended that students select pieces that highlight their strengths as a performer. They may also choose pieces by well-known artists or bands, jazz standards, or pieces that showcase the ability to improvise. Students are also invited to perform original compositions as a part of the audition process.

Organ

Music (B.A.), Music Education (B.M.), Performance (B.M.), Sacred Music (B.M. or Certificate), or Music Therapy (B.M.): 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. Students auditioning for the Sacred Music Program should also prepare a hymn. (If you wish to audition for the Sacred Music Program and have not studied organ, you may audition solely on piano.)

Brass & Woodwind

Music (B.A.), Music Education (B.M.), Performance (B.M.), Sacred Music (B.M.), or Music Therapy (B.M.): 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. 

Commercial Music (B.M.): Students interested in pursuing the Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music are required to audition before acceptance into the music department. In addition to at least one piece from the traditional literature, students are encouraged to demonstrate proficiency in a popular musical style, including but not limited to rock, funk, hip-hop, country, and other contemporary styles.

It is recommended that students select pieces that highlight their strengths as a performer. They may also choose pieces by well-known artists or bands, jazz standards, or pieces that showcase the ability to improvise. Students are also invited to perform original compositions as a part of the audition process.

Strings

Music (B.A.), Music Education (B.M.), Performance (B.M.), Sacred Music (B.M.), or Music Therapy (B.M.): Preparation of an etude and solo piece/orchestral excerpt that demonstrates good technical facility and bowing.

Commercial Music (B.M.): Students interested in pursuing the Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music are required to audition before acceptance into the music department. In addition to at least one piece from the traditional literature, students are encouraged to demonstrate proficiency in a popular musical style, including but not limited to rock, funk, hip-hop, country, and other contemporary styles.

It is recommended that students select pieces that highlight their strengths as a performer. They may also choose pieces by well-known artists or bands, jazz standards, or pieces that showcase the ability to improvise. Students are also invited to perform original compositions as a part of the audition process.

Guitar

Music (B.A.), Music Education (B.M.), Performance (B.M.), Sacred Music (B.M.), or Music Therapy (B.M.)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.

Commercial Music (B.M.): Students interested in pursuing the Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music are required to audition before acceptance into the music department. In addition to at least one piece from the traditional literature, students are encouraged to demonstrate proficiency in a popular musical style, including but not limited to rock, funk, hip-hop, country, and other contemporary styles.

It is recommended that students select pieces that highlight their strengths as a performer. They may also choose pieces by well-known artists or bands, jazz standards, or pieces that showcase the ability to improvise. Students are also invited to perform original compositions as a part of the audition process.

Percussion

Music (B.A.), Music Education (B.M.), Performance (B.M.), or Music Therapy (B.M.): Knowledge of basic rudiments and tunings; preparation of solo pieces, studies or etudes for snare drum, timpani and mallet instruments if possible.

Commercial Music (B.M.): In addition to traditional percussion literature, students are expected to audition on a drum set. Students should be familiar with musical examples found in The Drumset Musician by Rick Mattingly and Rod Morgenstein. Students should also be familiar with the Amen Break and the Purdy Shuffle.

It is recommended that students select pieces that highlight their strengths as a performer. They may also choose pieces by well-known artists or bands, jazz standards, or pieces that showcase the ability to improvise. Students are also invited to perform original compositions as a part of the audition process.

Harp

Music (B.A.), Music Education (B.M.), Performance (B.M.), or Music Therapy (B.M.): 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 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.)

Sacred Music (Certificate): Perform two pieces of sacred music and a hymn or psalm. It is preferable, however, not required, that one piece from the Baroque period and one from the Romantic or Contemporary periods.

Worship Arts (Certificate): Perform two pieces of sacred music and a hymn or psalm.

Music Therapy (B.M.): If you are auditioning for the Music Therapy (B.M.) should prepare two pieces of contrasting styles from memory. The first 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. 

Commercial Music (B.M.): Students interested in pursuing the Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music are required to audition before acceptance into the music department. In addition to at least one piece from the traditional literature for voice, students are encouraged to demonstrate proficiency in a popular musical style, including but not limited to rock, funk, hip-hop, country, and other contemporary styles.

It is recommended that students select pieces that highlight their strengths as a performer. They may also choose pieces by well-known artists or bands, jazz standards, or pieces that showcase the ability to improvise. Students are also invited to perform original compositions as a part of the audition process.

Dr. Boyle, director of Choral and Vocal Activities, is happy to answer questions about vocal auditions. There are no bad questions!

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 are 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.

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.