This page is here to help answer some frequently asked questions about the experience of auditioning. If you have general questions about the School of Music, you might be interested in our General FAQ. Questions about scheduling an audition? Our Audition Information or Important Dates & Deadlines page might help. As always, feel free to contact the Music Recruitment Coordinator.
- What should I bring to my audition?
- What should I wear to my audition?
- Does my music need to be memorized for my audition?
- Do I need to bring copies of my music to my audition?
- Will you provide me with an accompanist for my live audition?
- I don't have an accompanist. Can I bring a pre-recorded accompaniment?
- How early should I arrive for my audition?
- What should I expect at my live audition?
- What do I play at my audition?
- Can I submit a recorded audition?
- How do I send my audition to you? Can I send a DVD in the mail? Can I send a YouTube link?
- Do you accept an audio-recording or CD as my audition?
- I'm planning to submit a video-recorded audition. Does it need to be professionally recorded?
- For my video-recorded audition, can I splice together recordings from live recitals and performances with my band?
- Do I need an accompanist for my video-recorded audition?
- Is it still possible to qualify for a music scholarship if I submit a video-recorded audition instead of auditioning live?
Please bring yourself and copies of your music. It is highly recommended to bring a copy of a music resume. If you are a singer auditioning in our regional locations in Denver, San Francisco, Minneapolis or Los Angeles, you will also need to bring an accompanist.
Please dress appropriately for a classical audition. This is your chance to show your best to our faculty. Business-wear or business casual is always a safe bet. It's important for you to be comfortable, but also that you look your best and are dressed to show that you take the audition and yourself seriously. Formal performance attire (such as a tuxedo or formal dress) is not necessary. Jeans, shorts, t-shirts, sweats, tennis shoes, flip-flops, spaghetti-straps, etc. are not appropriate for this occasion.
This depends on your instrument. For voice and piano auditions, music must be memorized. For violin, viola, cello, double bass, and classical guitar, it is strongly recommended that at least one piece be memorized, especially for those auditioning for the Bachelor of Music in Performance major. For those interested in the Bachelor of Music in Performance for double bass or violin, at least one piece must be memorized for your audition. (Please see the Entrance Audition Requirements for more specifics.) Memorization is not required for any other instruments, but it is never discouraged.
Yes. We recommend that you bring original copies when possible, but please bring two copies of your music to your audition.
If you are auditioning on campus, we will gladly provide singers with a staff accompanist for their audition by request. Instrumentalists are not required to have accompaniment, and we are not able to provide accompanists for instrumental auditions.
Voice students will receive an email 10 days prior to their audition requesting scanned, emailed PDF copies of their music, clearly labeled with their name, voice part, and audition date. We recommend using an app like Scannable to make clear copies of your music.
If you are auditioning in one of our regional locations in Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, or San Francisco, we are unable to provide an accompanist in those locations. Singers are required to have live accompaniment, and instrumentalists are not required to have accompaniment for their auditions.*
*Instrumental jazz auditions may require accompaniment in regional audition locations. Please see the Entrance Audition Requirements for jazz for more specifics.
6. I'm auditioning on voice and don't have an accompanist. Can I bring a pre-recorded accompaniment?
Pre-recorded accompaniments or tracks, or singing a cappella, are not appropriate for voice auditions.
For singers auditioning on-campus, we are happy to provide you with an accompanist. If you are auditioning in our regional locations in Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, or San Francisco, we are unable to provide accompaniment. Working with your voice teacher or choral conductor for accompanist recommendations may be helpful. Local community music centers often have lists of local accompanists, as do most music schools.
We recommend arriving at least 20 minutes early to allow time to park, check-in, and warm up. Practice rooms will be available for those auditioning on campus, in Denver, Minneapolis, or San Francisco. Students auditioning in Los Angeles will have access to a room without a piano to warm-up in.
You should expect to be auditioning for our music faculty in a 10-15 minute timeslot. On campus, you will be auditioning for at least two faculty members in your instrument area, in most cases (e.g. a clarinetist would audition for our Director of Bands and the clarinet professor, and possibly other members of the wind faculty). At our regional locations, you will audition for one or two faculty representatives who are traveling on behalf of the School of Music. All regional auditions are video-recorded, and some on-campus auditions are, as well.
Expect to be greeted warmly and to have time to perform your prepared pieces in the time provided. Other musical items may be requested (such as scales, sight-reading, tonal memory, etc.). Expect to answer a few interview style questions about your background and academic interests.
Keep in mind that the music faculty members at your audition have all auditioned themselves and understand how stressful the process can be. They want to hear you at your best, so they all strive to put you at ease and welcome you.
Please consult our Entrance Audition Requirements for what you should prepare to play for your live or video-recorded audition. If you have questions about specific repertoire, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, Minneapolis, Los Angeles), we accept video-recorded auditions for those who live more than 200 miles from an audition location. Please see the Recorded Audition guidelines to know how to submit and what the requirements are.
11. How do I send my recorded audition? Can I send a DVD in the mail? Can I send you a YouTube link?
Recorded auditions are accepted as video-recordings only, uploaded via your audition link. We will not accept a DVD. To submit a video-recorded audition, please follow all of the Recorded Audition guidelines.
Audio-recordings or CDs are not eligible to be considered.
Your video does not need to be recorded professionally. 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 ability to record an audition professionally is not accessible to all applicants, and this process is designed so those who truly are unable to audition live can still be considered.
A video-recorded audition is designed to replicate the experience of auditioning live. Therefore, it should be recorded specifically as an audition. You are welcome to video-record your pieces or movements in separate takes, but each individual piece or movement should be recorded in one take without any editing.
You may submit recordings of you performing live as supplements to your audition. For those, please contact email@example.com.
Just as with a live audition, voice auditions are required to have an accompanist. Singing to pre-recorded accompaniment, or a cappella, is not appropriate for an audition. Instrumentalists are not required to have accompaniment, but are welcome to have an accompanist for their video audition.
16. Is it still possible to qualify for a music scholarship if I submit a video-recorded audition instead of auditioning live?
We strongly recommend that students audition live, as this allows the music faculty to hear you and meet you in person (which is the best possible sound and video quality!). It also allows you to meet our faculty members and get any questions you have answered directly. However, for students who have already visited campus, met music faculty, and/or for whom traveling to campus or a regional audition location provides any financial hardship, we do accept video-recorded auditions from those who live 200+ miles from an audition location. Students who audition by video-recording are still considered for music scholarships. If you have any questions, please contact the Music Recruitment Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253.879.3228.