Entrance Audition Requirements

All auditioners are required to complete an Audition Application.  Please make note that we do not accept the arts supplement from the Common Application.

Depending on your instrument, auditions will be fifteen to twenty minutes in length, and be representative of current repertoire. The School of Music offers music scholarships for all band and orchestral instruments, voice, piano, organ, and jazz. Audition requirements for entrance into a major and/or scholarship consideration for each area follow:

Keyboard

Please be prepared to perform:

  • a Baroque work on the level of a Bach Prelude and Fugue OR
  • the first or last movement from a sonata by Mozart, Haydn or Beethoven

and

  • a Romantic work OR
  • a 20th century work

Music must be memorized.

 

Percussion

Prepare one selection demonstrating your technique and control on each of the following instruments that you play: snare drum, xylophone or marimba, timpani, and drum set. You may be asked to sight-read. Due to limitations of available equipment, we are unable to provide any percussion equipment in our regional audition locations in Denver, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. If you are unable to audition on campus, please contact music.admission@pugetsound.edu and submit a video-recorded percussion audition.

 

Strings

Audition requirements for Bachelor of Arts degree, the Bachelor of Music degree in music education or music business, or for a music scholarship with a major outside of music:

  • Violin, viola, cello, or double bass: Two contrasting pieces or movements that are representative of your technical ability, one selection preferably from a concerto. Include a selection or movement in a slow tempo as well as one in a lively tempo. Memorization is highly recommended. (On campus audition date for cello, double bass, and viola is February 20. Violin auditions are available both February 7 and February 20.)
  • Harp: (1) Two solo works of contrasting style, tempo, or period. (2) Scales and arpeggios of three octaves.
  • Guitar: Two pieces in contrasting styles: one in a slow tempo, and the other in a faster tempo. The pieces should be chosen to display the student's basic technical and expressive skills. The overall playing time should be between 3 and 7 minutes. Memorization is highly recommended. Suggested repertoire includes the following pieces: Sor - Study #2 and Study #5 from 20 Studies (Segovia); Bach - Bourree in e-minor from Lute Suite #1; Tarrega - Lagrima or Adelita; Ponce - Prelude 6; Brouwer: Etude 1 or 6. Other pieces can be checked by contacting the guitar instructor Douglas Rice. (On campus audition date for guitar is February 7.)

Audition requirements for the Bachelor of Music in performance:

  • Cello: a prelude or allemande from any of the Bach suites; one movement from the standard concerto repertoire (Elgar, Lalo, Saint-Saens, Haydn C-major); one etude demonstrating your current technical development; and major and minor scales and arpeggios, three octaves. Memorization of at least one piece is strongly recommended. (On campus audition date for cello is February 20.)
  • Double Bass: one movement from a Baroque sonata or suite; a movement or piece with contrasting tempo from a later period; two standard excerpts from Mozart Symphonies 35, 39 or 40; and major and minor scales and arpeggios, three octaves. One of the pieces must be from memory. (On campus audition date for double bass is February 20.)
  • Harp: Please prepare the three items below.
    (1) Etude #1 from Larvière, Exercices et etudes pour la harpe, Op. 9 OR Etude #1 or #10 from Bochsa, Exercices et etudes (advanced etudes) OR Study #10 from Pozzoli, Studies of Medium Difficulty OR any one study from Salzedo, Modern Study of the Harp
    (2) Orchestra harp cadenza, either: Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker; Waltz of the Flowers OR Rimsky-Korsakov, Capriccio Espagnol OR Britten, Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra
    (3) Two solo works of the applicant's choice, in contrasting style, tempo, and period that demonstrate the applicant's level of proficiency.
    For any questions about repertoire, please contact music.admission@pugetsound.edu.
  • Viola: a prelude from Bach Cello Suite no. 1, 2 or 3; a movement of a major work (Bloch, Vaughan Williams, Brahms, Schubert) or a concerto by Stamitz or Hindemith; an etude by Kreutzer or Campagnoli; and major and minor scales and arpeggios, three octaves. Memorization of at least one piece is strongly recommended. (On campus audition date for viola is February 20.)
  • Violin: a movement from an unaccompanied Bach Sonata or Partita; a movement from the standard concerto repertoire (other than a Bach Concerto); an etude or caprice demonstrating your current technical development; and major and minor scales and arpeggios, three octaves. Either the Bach or the concerto movement must be from memory.

 

Voice

Prepare at least two selections with piano accompaniment representing the Classical genre, i.e., art songs or arias. The selections should contrast in style and in tempo. One selection should be in English, and the other in a foreign language. (Note: The English selection may be from the musical theatre repertoire.) Memorization is required. After you have performed your prepared songs, you may be asked to sing vocal exercises, tonal memory exercises, and/or to sight-read. If you audition on campus, an accompanist will be available. If you audition in a regional location, please provide your own accompanist. (A recorded accompaniment would not be appropriate.)

 

Winds & Brass

Prepare two selections that are representative of your current repertoire and include a selection or movement in a slow tempo as well as one in a lively tempo. The selections should demonstrate your tone quality, expressiveness, technique, and range. You should be prepared to play major and chromatic scales, and you may be asked to sight-read. (Please note that the on campus audition dates may not both be available for your instrument. February 7 is available for bassoon, saxophone, trombone, trumpet. February 20 is available for bassoon, clarinet, euphonium, flute, French horn, oboe, trumpet, tuba.)

 

Jazz

Eligible instruments: bass, guitar, percussion, piano, saxophone, trumpet, trombone.

Jazz auditions are not eligible for consideration for a music major. If you are interested in majoring in music, you will need to complete a classical audition. We encourage you to complete two auditions: one for a jazz scholarship and one on your instrument following the guidelines in the sections above.

If you would like to be considered for a music scholarship specific to jazz and/or would like further consideration on your instrument through a second audition in jazz, please submit an audition application indicating jazz and prepare the following audition requirements: 

  • Two contrasting pieces
  • Be prepared to improvise on a blues or a jazz standard of your choice
  • You may be asked to sight-read

Jazz auditions in regional audition locations: For the improvisation portion of jazz auditions, it is recommended that you bring an accompanist to play chords while you improvise. A recording on a portable stereo or laptop computer with high quality speakers would also be appropriate. (On campus auditions will have this provided.)

While Puget Sound does not offer a major in Jazz, its offerings include Jazz Band, Jazz Combos, Jazz Theory & Improvisation, and Jazz History.  An integral part of our instruction in music theory and performance, many of our ensembles perform jazz-inspired works. 

Please check the available dates for your instrument in the categories above, if applicable.

 

Accompanists

Singers can be provided an accompanist for on-campus auditions.  Please email attached copies and a confirmed list of audition selections at least two weeks prior to your audition date to the music admission coordinator. Be sure to bring an original copy of your accompaniment to your audition.  Singers must arrange to bring their own accompanist to regional audition sites.  Instrumentalists are not required to have accompaniment on-campus or at regional audition sites, and accompanists are not provided for instrumentalists auditioning.

 

Recorded Auditions

We recommend live auditions for scholarship consideration, but if you cannot come to campus or to one of our regional audition sites (Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles), we accept video-recorded auditions for those who live more than 200 miles from an audition location, following the guidelines below. To submit a recorded audition:

  1. Please view the audition requirements for your instrument above.
  2. Complete an Audition Application online.
  3. Video-record your full audition, starting by stating your full name, what you are auditioning for (specific music majors, scholarship-only, etc.), and the name of each piece you will perform. We recommend recording in the highest quality possible to give our music faculty the best chance to adjudicate your true ability. A professional recording is not necessary. The following formats are accepted: mpeg, mpg, mp4, mov, avi, wmv, m4v, vob. Mp4 with h.264 encoding is recommended.
  4. Submit your recording to the online Audition Dropbox. Please do not mail your recorded audition; it will be accepted online only.

For more information or assistance, please call the music admission office at 253.879.3228, or send an email message to music.admission@pugetsound.edu. We will not accept CD or audio-recordings.

 

Ensemble Auditions

Auditions for performing ensembles are held during Freshman Orientation each fall. Please click here for specific ensemble audition requirements and details.

 

Non-auditioned opportunities

Many opportunities in the School of Music are available to all Puget Sound students without audition including the Concert Band, Chorale, and various classes.