Entrance Audition Requirements

All auditionees are required to complete a Music 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:


All auditions are approximately 15 minutes in length. While the keyboard faculty prefers to have prospective students audition on-campus, those unable to travel to Tacoma, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, or San Francisco for a live audition may submit a recorded VIDEO audition in lieu of the on-campus audition by Feb. 1.

All candidates:

In addition to the playing requirements below, each candidate’s application should include a list of solo piano and collaborative repertoires he or she has studied. Please indicate which pieces have been performed in concert and year of the performance. Candidates attending a live audition may be asked to sight read a short excerpt.

Bachelor of Music (B.M. in Piano Performance):

Candidates will prepare a varied program of at least three solo pieces that display contrasting characters and demonstrate technical facility from the following list below. The repertoire is to be performed from memory and should include:

1. Bach Sinfonia or Prelude and Fugue
2. First or Last movement of a Beethoven, Haydn, or Mozart Sonata (excluding Op. 49, first movement of Op. 27 no 2)    
3. Once piece from the Romantic, Impressionist, or 20th century

B.A. Music major, Music Education, Music with Business Elective Studies, non-music major (Minor or Music Scholarship Only):

Candidates will prepare a varied program of at least two solo pieces that display contrasting characters and demonstrate technical facility from the following list below.  The music does not need to be memorized.

  • 1. Bach: Invention, Sinfonia or any contrapuntal work  OR  Classical: first or last movement of a sonata by Beethoven, Haydn or Mozart
  • 2. One piece from the Romantic, Impressionist era or a piece composed after 1900


Organ Applicants:

Students who are currently studying organ should prepare a 15 minute audition consisting of pieces from the organ literature. Organ applicants with no previous organ training will be expected to demonstrate keyboard ability in piano performance.



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, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and San Francisco. If you are unable to audition on-campus, please contact music.admission@pugetsound.edu and submit a video-recorded percussion audition.



Audition requirements for the B.M. Performance:

  • Cello: One movement (a Prelude, Allemande, Courante, or Gigue) from any of the Bach Suites; one movement from the standard concerto repertoire; 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.
  • 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. 
  • Harp: One etude demonstrating your current technical development, such as Pozzoli, Bochsa, LaRiviere, or a prelude from Salzedo, Method for the Harp or Modern Study of the Harp; two solo works, in contrasting style, tempo, and period. Memorization of at least one piece is strongly recommended.
  • Viola: one or two movements 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, Hindemith, Walton; one etude by Kreutzer or Campagnoli. Memorization of at least one piece is strongly recommended.
  • 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.

Audition requirements for B.A. degree, the B.M. 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.
  • Harp: Two solo works of contrasting style, tempo, and period. Memorization of at least one piece is strongly recommended.
  • Guitar: Two contrasting selections at least one of which should be a classical guitar piece. You may also choose one instrumental guitar piece in another genre that demonstrates your level of ability with fingerstyle or flatpicking techniques. Total playing time should be between 3 and 7 minutes. Suggested repertoire: Luis de Milan - 6 Pavanes; Fernando Sor - 20 Studies, op. 60 (any 2); Francisco Tarrega - Lagrima or Adelita; Villa-Lobos - 5 Preludes (choose one), Leo Brouwer - Simple Etudes (choose one). Other pieces can be checked by contacting the guitar instructor Abe Landa.




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.



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.



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 recruitment 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, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco), 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 a Music Audition Application prior to submitting your audition. It cannot be considered without this step.
  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 by Feb. 1, 2018. 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.