Entrance Audition Requirements

All auditioners are required to complete a Music Audition Application. Please note: we do not accept the arts supplement from the Common Application.

Auditions will be 10-15 minutes in length and involve performance of the required repertoire and scales, as well as a short interview with faculty. Vocalists will be asked to sightsing and instrumentalists may be asked to sightread.

The School of Music offers music scholarships for all band and orchestral instruments, voice, piano, organ, guitar, and jazz instruments. Audition requirements for entrance into a major/minor program and/or scholarship consideration are below:

Keyboard

All auditions are approximately 15 minutes in length. While the keyboard faculty prefers to have applicants audition on-campus, those unable to attend a live audition may submit a video audition by February 1.

All Keyboard Applicants:

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

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

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. Classical: First or Last movement of a Beethoven, Haydn, or Mozart Sonata (excluding Op. 49, first movement of Op. 27 no 2)    
  3. Other: one piece from the Romantic, Impressionist, or 20th century

Other Piano Applicants:

Prepare a varied program of at least two solo pieces that display contrasting characters and demonstrate technical facility from the following list.  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. Other: one piece from the Romantic, Impressionist era or a piece composed after 1900

Organ Applicants (on-campus only):

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.

 

Percussion

Prepare one selection demonstrating your technique and control on each of the following instruments that you play: snare drum, xylophone or marimba, and timpani. Drum set is strongly encouraged, but not required. You may be asked to sight-read.

Due to limitations of available equipment, we are unable to provide any percussion equipment at 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 or submit a video-recorded percussion audition.

 

Strings

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

  • 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; a three octave scale and a three octave arpeggio in the key of your choice. 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; a three octave scale and a three octave arpeggio in the key of your choice. One of the pieces must be from memory. 
  • Harp: One etude demonstrating 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; a three octave scale and a three octave arpeggio in the key of your choice. Either the Bach or the concerto movement must be from memory.

Other String Applicants:

  • Violin, viola, cello, or double bass: Two contrasting pieces or movements that are representative of 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.

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.

You will 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 (we do not accept recorded accompaniments).

 

Winds & Brass

Prepare two selections that are representative of your current repertoire. 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 a chromatic scale and all major scales. You may be asked to sightread.

 

Jazz

Eligible Instruments: double bass, guitar, percussion, piano, saxophone, trumpet, trombone

Please note: jazz auditions are not eligible for a music major and auditioners can only be considered for scholarship. 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 for classical (see requirements above/scholarship).

All Jazz Instruments:

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

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 Orchestra, Jazz Combos, Jazz Theory & Improvisation, and Jazz History.   

Accompanists

On-Campus: Vocalists are provided an accompanist for on-campus auditions at no charge. Please email attached copies and a confirmed list of audition selections at least 10 days prior to your audition date to the music recruitment coordinator. Use an app like Scannable (free in the App store) or other scanning devices such as a printer, to provide clear copies of your music - blurry phone photos will not be accepted. Be sure to bring an original copy of your music to your audition. 

Regional Locations: Vocalists must provide their own accompaniment at regional audition sites.

Instrumentalists are not required to have accompaniment on-campus or at regional audition sites. 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 auditions for those who live 200+ miles from an audition location.

To submit a recorded audition:

  1. Please review the audition requirements for your instrument above.
  2. Complete a Music Audition Application by the appropriate deadline. You will not receive instructions for submitting a recorded audition without a complete audition application.
  3. 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 with the highest quality possible to give our music faculty the best chance to review your true ability. A professional recording is not required. 
  4. In our efforts to best replicate the live audition experience, we ask that you answer  questions as part of your recorded audition. Please record your responses to the following questions after the performance portion of your audition:

    - Please clarify your desired degree track at Puget Sound. What musical activities do you plan to pursue at Puget Sound?
    - What drew you to Puget Sound's School of Music?
    - What is your dream role in music? What do you hope to do with your degree (Examples: On the stage? Running a high school choir program? Etc…)?
    - What has been most important to you in your musical activities during high school?
    - Have you visited campus and if not, do you intend to?

  5. Submit your recording via your emailed link by Nov. 15, 2018 (Early Action, Early Decision, Spring Transfer applicants) or Feb. 1, 2019 (Regular Decision, Fall Transfer Applicants). Please upload links as unlisted YouTube videos, Vimeo, or other sites where we can access your audition.

For more information or assistance, please call the music admission office at 253.879.3228 or contact the Music Recruitment Coordinator at music.admission@pugetsound.edu. We will not accept CD or audio-recordings.

 

Ensemble Auditions

Auditions for performing ensembles are held during Orientation each fall. 

 

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.