School of Music

Audition Information

School of Music Admissions & Audition Information

USM Band Rehearsal

Welcome! Located in and supported by the vibrant arts community of Southern Maine, we offer an engaged learning environment featuring seven Undergraduate and five Graduate tracks of study. Audition at your earliest convenience for the University of Southern Maine's School of Music. 

Audition Dates

Please Note: School of Music scholarships are awarded in addition to any USM merit based awards made during the application process. To be considered for music scholarships, you must audition no later than February 23, 2018.

Auditions are held in Corthell Hall, University of Southern Maine, Gorham Campus unless otherwise stated. 

  • November 17, 2017*

  • January 26, 2018* MT

  • February 2, 2018*

  • February 9, 2018*

  • February 16, 2018* MT

  • February 23, 2018*

  • March 23, 2018

  • April 13, 2018 MT

 

 

*Music Talent Scholarship Audition Dates

Please note: Scholarship awards and notifications are made after all scholarship auditions have been completed.

MT: Musical Theatre Concentration audition included

Make your Audition Reservation

Students who wish to be music majors or minors at the University of Southern Maine must formally apply to the University and must audition before the music faculty.

It is always preferable to audition in person, particularly for scholarship consideration. If travel concerns are a barrier to booking an audition, however, it is possible to audition on-line for a modest fee.

Please complete the following linked form request. Musical Theatre auditions are included on three dates. Scholarships are awarded and notifications sent after all designated scholarship dates have been completed. 

Audition Reservation Form

The following instructions explain how to access the on-line distance audition.  It is offered through a company that also provides support for on-line college courses. You will complete the audition on a site very similar to those that students access for academic coursework.  The Connect4Education technical support team will assist you with any technical issues.

Please note: You are still required to have an application in process to the University of Southern Maine.  The University may notify you of an acceptance as an “undeclared” major before the completion of your on-line audition. Your major will be changed to the degree of your choice following the successful completion of your School of Music Audition.

 

All auditions completed prior to February 23, 2018 will be considered for School of Music scholarships.

Please feel free to contact me if you have non-technical or computer related questions.  We look forward to reviewing your materials as you prepare for a career in music.

Christenia Alden-Kinne
Music Recruitment
University of Southern Maine
207 780-5265

Instructions on gaining access to the Audition course:

1.       Purchase an ‘Audition’ access code from the Connect 4 Education online store. The cost of the code will be $30. Once you complete the purchase process, an access code will be displayed on screen and will be emailed to the email address you provide during the purchase process. A link to the store item can be found below.

 C4E Store

2.       Register the code on the Connect 4 Education Student Registration page. You will need to select the correct school (University of Southern Maine), instructor (Professor Parchman), semester (Ongoing) and course (Acclaim Audition) as per the screen capture below. You will then enter your personal information (name, email address, phone) and create a login name and password for your account. Once you have completed the required information, click Submit to complete the registration process.

Student Registration Page

Online Audition

3.       Access the Audition Course on the Connect 4 Education course site and log in using the login name and password created during the registration process.

C4E Course Site

4.       Check the system requirements for the course and download any software necessary for the course. Adobe Flash Player and Java are required applications. Mozilla Firefox is the preferred internet browser.

Audition System Requirements

5.       Begin the course work.

Support Information:

Students can find answers to many commonly asked questions on the Student Support Site 

In the event, students have any questions or technical issues, please contact the C4E Support Team:

Email address: support@connect4education.com  

Phone: 703-880-1180 x200

Undergraduate Audition Requirements

An audition is required for acceptance to all School of Music Undergraduate degree programs or a minor in music. To be granted an audition, an applicant must also be an accepted USM student or have submitted their application to the University’s Office of Admissions.

 

Every candidate for admission to the School of Music is required to complete a performance audition on their primary instrument. Additionally, applicants to the Music Education program will complete an interview before acceptance to the program. In addition to a performance audition, composition applicants are required to electronically submit a portfolio for review. 

All auditions include:

  1. Required performance (see Audition Requirements by instrument below)
  2. Aural Demonstration (pitch-matching, rhythm-reading, sing-singing, musical memory)
  3. A written assessment measuring the ability to understand basic melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic elements of music. 

You will be asked to sing or perform on your principal instrument. The performance should include music that you know well and you may choose to include a variety of styles.  Lists of suggested audition repertoire are available to assist you in choosing appropriate materials. You should prepare 7 - 10 minutes of music that demonstrates the full range of your technical and musical accomplishments.  Depending upon the instrument, you may be required to demonstrate proficiency on scales or in sight-reading.

Vocalists should perform to accompaniment. You may bring your own accompanist, recorded accompaniment or request an accompanist from USM.  Music must be supplied at least one week prior to your audition. A fee of $25 is payable directly to the accompanist on the day of the audition. An accompanist for the instrumental audition is optional. You may bring your own accompanist, recorded accompaniment or perform solo. 

Musical Theatre applicants please take note: Musical Theatre auditions are available on three audition dates only.

Specific Audition Requirements by instrument / area

BassoonClarinet | CompositionEuphoniumFlute | GuitarHarp | HornOboe | Organ | PercussionPiano | Saxophone | Strings | Trombone | Trumpet | Tuba | Voice

Bassoon

Performance Majors

  • Two contrasting movements from the following, or equivalent:
    • Fausch or Telemann sonatas, concertos of Mozart, Weber, Hummel, or Jacob.
  • A representative technical study such as an etude from Milde, Jancourt, Rode, or Gambaro.
  • Sight reading
  • No scales

 Non-performance majors (Music Education, Composition, Bachelor of Arts & Minors)

  • A movement from a sonata by Fausch, Telemann Sonata in Fm,  Hindemith, or Eccles, concertos of Mozart, Weber, Hummel, or Jacob.
  • A technical study from Weissborn Vol II, Milde Scale Studies, or Gambaro
  • Sight reading
  • No scales

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 Clarinet

 Performance Majors

  •  Mozart or a Weber Concerto [includes Concertino]
  • Two contrasting etudes from Rose 32 Etudes
  • Major and Minor scales over the range of the instrument  [not memorized]
  • Sight reading

Non-performance majors (Music Education, Composition, Bachelor of Arts & Minors)

  • 2 contrasting etudes - 
    • from collections such as the Rose 32 or 40 Etudes, or Voxman Selected Studies
    • [pieces of similar difficulty may be substituted for the etudes]
  • Major and minor scales, two octaves  [not memorized]
  • Sight reading

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Composition

  • Candidates for admission to the major in Composition are asked to submit examples of three recent original compositions, preferably in contrasting styles at least one week prior to their scheduled audition. Please supply copies of scores as pdf documents and recordings, if available, in mp3 format. Please submit electronically to usm.music@maine.edu.

  • In addition, applicants to the major in Composition must audition on voice or an instrument offered at USM for study.  The candidate should prepare repertoire according to the suggested requirements for a non-performance major. 

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Euphonium

Performance Majors

  •  Arban:  Any Characteristic Study 
    and
  • Rochut: Any Etude from Melodius Etudes for Trombone - Book 1
  • Major Scales up to Four Sharps / Four Flats

Non-performance majors (Music Education, Composition, Bachelor of Arts & Minors)

  •  Barat: Introduction and Dance
  • Guilmant: Morceau Symphonique
    and
  • Rochut: Any Etude from Melodius Etudes for Trombone -  Book 1
  • Major Scales up to Two Sharps / Two Flats

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Flute -

Performance Majors

  • Mozart, Concerto in D or G , 2 contrasting movements, or 2 contrasting movements of a Baroque sonata
  • French recital piece such as Chaminade Concertino or Faure Fantasy
  • Major and minor scales, two octaves [memorized]
  • Sight reading

Non-performance majors (Music Education, Composition, Bachelor of Arts & Minors)

  • 2 contrasting pieces from:
    • a Baroque sonata [such as Handel, Bach, or Telemann]
    • an etude [such as Andersen or Kohler]
    • or a French recital piece [such as Faure Fantasy or Gaubert Madrigal]
  • Major and minor scales, two octaves [memorized]
  • Sight reading

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Guitar -

Classical Performance Majors

Choose two of the following or pieces of similar difficulty:

  • Robinsons May – Thomas Robinson
    #7 from Easy Pieces from Shakespear’s Time. ed. Karl Scheit, Universal Edition 16693
  • The Maids in the Constrite – anonymous
    #8 from Easy Pieces from Shakespeare’s Time
  • Kemp’s Jig – anonymous
    #9 from Easy Pieces from Shakespeare’s Time
  • Etude – Carcassi
    #2 or #3 from 25 Melodic Progressive Etudes, Op. 6 (any edition)

Non-performance majors (Music Education, Composition, Bachelor of Arts & Minors)

Choose two of the following or pieces of similar difficulty:

  •  Packington’s Pound – Anonymous
    #2 from Easy Pieces from Shakespeare’s Time, ed. Karl Scheit, Universal Edition 1669
  • Etude – Carulli
    #5 from The Magic Guitar, ed. Paul Gerrits, Doberman-Yppan 28
  • Etude – Sor Op. 35 #1
    from The Magic Guitar or Op. 35 #1 from Complete Etudes (various editions)
  • Greensleeves – Anonymous #8 from The Magic Guitar
  • Valse – Carulli 
    #13 from the Magic Guitar
  • Etude – Sor, Opus 31 #1 from the Magic Guitar 
    or Op. 31 #1 Complete Etudes (various editions)
  • Etude #1 – Leo Brouwer 
    from Simple Etudes, vol. I, Max Echig, publisher
  • Etude #6 – Leo Brouwer 
    from Simple Etudes, vol. II, Max Echig, publisher

Jazz Performance or Music Education Jazz Majors - 

  • Approximately seven minutes of music including at least one selection from the jazz genre and one selection from the classical genre. 
  • In the classical genre, the candidate should play an etude or piece from the above Non-Performance guitar listing
  • While performing the jazz selection, the candidate should demonstrate their jazz improvisation and their jazz "comping" abilities.

Play-along recordings may be used during the jazz portion of your audition.

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Harp -

  • A movement or contrasting movements of standard concerto or solo piece(s) of the applicant's choice which best demonstrate their technical command and musical skills and development.
  • An orchestral excerpt of the applicant’s choice
  • A sight-singing/ear training component. 

Memorization is at the performer's discretion.

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Horn -

Performance Majors

  •  R Strauss Concerto #1 in Eb, Mvt 1
  • Any Mozart Horn Concerto 1st Mvt exposition
  • one etude by Maxime Alphonse, Kopprasch, Gallay or Kling

Non-performance majors (Music Education, Composition, Bachelor of Arts & Minors)

  • Any Movement of a Concerto by Mozart
  • One etude by Maxime Alphonse, Kopprasch, or Pottag-Hovey Book 2

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Oboe -

Performance Majors

  •  Mozart Concerto
  • 2 Ferling Etudes: A) #24, 34 or 44, and B) #1 or 17.
  • Major and minor scales [not memorized]
  • Sight reading

Non-performance majors (Music Education, Composition, Bachelor of Arts & Minors)

  •  2 pieces or etudes of contrasting style
  • Major and minor scales [not memorized]
  • Sight reading

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Organ -

Performance Majors -        

  • Play one work from each of the following 4 categories; need not be memorized.
    • Baroque:  A prelude and fugue by Buxtehude or J. S. Bach (excluding Bach's “Eight Little Preludes and Fugues”).
    • 19th century: A sonata movement in fast tempo by Mendelssohn, or a work by Cesar Franck, or a work of comparable difficulty.
    • A work composed between 1900 and the present.
    • Any hymn in four parts.
  • Sight read a work at the level of an easy Haydn sonata.
  • Submit a list of solo and chamber repertoire studied, indicating those works that have been memorized.

Non-performance majors (Music Education, Composition, Bachelor of Arts & Minors)

  • Play one work from each of the following 3 categories; need not be memorized.
    • Baroque: One of the “Eight Little Preludes and Fugues” by J. S. Bach, or a work of comparable difficulty.
    • 19th century:  A slow movement from a sonata by Mendelssohn or a work of comparable difficulty.
    • Any hymn in four parts.
  • Sight read a work at the level of an easy Haydn sonata.
  • Submit a list of solo and chamber repertoire studied, indicating those works that have been memorized.

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 Percussion -

Performance majors & Non-performance majors - Classical                  

  • A demonstration of your ability on the snare drum
    • For instance, an etude from "Portraits in Rhythm" by Cirone or a solo from "Recital Solos for Snare Drum" by Garwood Whaley 
  • A demonstration of your ability on the timpani
    • For instance, an etude from Saul Goodman's "Modern Method for Timpani" or something similar
  • A demonstration of your ability on mallets
    • major scales to 4 sharps and flats
    • a two mallet solo of your choice

If you wish to play drum set, please be prepared to demonstrate swing, latin, funk and rock.

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Piano -

Performance & Pedagogy Majors - Classical                  

  • Play one work by memory from each of the following 3 categories.
    • Baroque:  A three-part prelude and fugue from the WTC by J.S. Bach, or a work of comparable difficulty.
    • Classical: The first or final movement from a sonata by Beethoven (excluding op. 49/1 and 2, and op. 79), or from a sonata of comparable difficulty by Mozart, Haydn, or Schubert.
    • 19th – 21st century:  A work composed after 1830.
  • Sight read a work at the level of an easy Haydn sonata.
  • Submit a list of solo and chamber repertoire studied, indicating those works that have been memorized.

Non-performance majors (Music Education, Composition, Bachelor of Arts & Minors) Classical

  • Play one work from each of the following 2 categories; need not be memorized.
    • Baroque:  A two-part invention by J. S. Bach, or a work of comparable difficulty.
    • A work composed between 1750 and the present, such as a movement from a sonata by Haydn, a nocturne or waltz by Chopin, or a work of comparable difficulty.
  • Sight read a work at the level of an easy Haydn sonata.
  • Submit a list of solo and chamber repertoire studied, indicating those works that have been memorized.

Jazz Piano

  • Approximately seven minutes of music including at least one selection from the jazz genre and one selection from the classical genre. 
  • In the classical genre, the candidate should be play one work from the following choices. It does not need to be memorized.
    • Baroque:  A two-part invention by J. S. Bach, or a work of comparable difficulty.
    • Sight read a work at the level of an easy Haydn sonata.
  • While performing the jazz selection, the candidate should demonstrate their jazz improvisation and their jazz “comping” abilities.

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Saxophone -

Performance Majors - Classical

  • 2 contrasting movements from a standard major work 
    [i.e., Heiden, Creston, Glazounov, Ibert, etc.]
  • 2 contrasting etudes from Voxman Selected Studies or Ferling Studies
  • Major and minor [all forms] scales
  • Sight-reading

Performance Majors - Jazz

  • Approximately seven minutes of music including at least one selection from the jazz genre and one selection from the classical genre. 
  • In the classical genre, the candidate should play an etude or movement from a sonata, baroque transcription, or other major work
  • While performing the jazz selection, the candidate should demonstrate their jazz improvisation and their jazz improvisation abilities.
  • Play-along recordings may be used during the jazz portion of your audition.

Non-performance majors (Music Education, Composition, Bachelor of Arts & Minors)

  • 2 contrasting etudes or movements from a sonata, baroque transcription, or other major work
  • Major scales
  • Sight-reading

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Strings -

Violin, Viola, Cello, String Bass
  • A movement or contrasting movements of a standard concerto or solo piece(s) of the applicant's choice which best demonstrate their technical command and musical skills and development.
  • A movement of a Bach unaccompanied work (sonata, partita or suite) or comparable concert etude.
  • A sight-singing/ear training component.

 Memorization is at the performer's discretion.

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Trombone -

Classical Performance Majors

Any of the following:

  • Grondahl: Concerto, Mvt. #1
  • Barat: Andante and Allegro
  • David: Concertino Mvt. #1
  • Bordogni / Rochut: Book 1 No. 44
  • Kopprasch: any etude Bk #1

Jazz Performance or Music Education Jazz Majors

  • Approximately seven minutes of music including at least one selection from the jazz genre and one selection from the classical genre. 
  • In the classical genre, the candidate should play an etude or piece from the Non-Performance Trombone listing below.
  • While performing the jazz selection, the candidate should demonstrate their jazz improvisation and their jazz improvisation abilities.

Play-along recordings may be used during the jazz portion of your audition.

Classical Music Education, Composition, Bachelor of Arts & Minors

  • Guilmant: Morceau Symphonique
  • Marcello: An allegro movement from any of the Sonatas
  • Telemann: A movement from any Sonata
  • Bordogni / Rochut: any etude from Book 1
  • Blume: any etude
  • Kopprasch: any etude

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Trumpet - 

Classical -

2 Contrasting Pieces which may include the following or comparable material: 

  • Hummel Concerto Mvt. #1 and/or Haydn Concerto Mvt #2
  • Kennan Sonata Mvt. #1 and/or Balay Andante and Allegretto

Also should be able to perform:

  • Arban Characteristic Study #6
    or
  • Clarke Technical Studies Etude #IV or VI

Jazz Performance or Music Education Jazz Majors 

  • Approximately seven minutes of music including at least one selection from the jazz genre and one selection from the classical genre. 
  • In the classical genre, the candidate should play an etude or piece from the Classical Trumpet listing above.
  • While performing the jazz selection, the candidate should demonstrate their jazz improvisation and their jazz improvisation abilities.

Play-along recordings may be used during the jazz portion of your audition.

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Tuba -

Performance Majors

  •  Vincent Persichetti: Serenade No. 12 (or similar material)
  • Major Scales up to Four Sharps / Four Flats

Non-performance majors (Music Education, Composition, Bachelor of Arts & Minors)

  •  J.S Bach: Air & Bouree / arranged by Bell
  • Ludwig von Beethoven: Variations on a theme of Judas Maccabeus / arranged by Bell (or similar material)
  • Major Scales up to Two Sharps / Two Flats

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 Voice

Music Performance - Classical (MUP)

  • Prepare 4 Songs.  English with at least 1 in Italian. Other languages accepted at the choice of the teacher, but one must be in English (preferably composed since 1900) and one must be in Italian.
  • No Musical Theatre selections.
  • Songs should be taken from collections, such as:
    • 24 Italian Songs and Arias of the 17th/18th centuries
    • 26 Italian Songs and Arias of the 17th/18th centuries
    • Arie Antique
    • The First Book of Soprano Solos, Pt. 1, 2 or Book 2
    • The First Book of Mezzo-Soprano Solos, etc.
    • The First Book of Tenor Solos
    • The First Book of Baritone/Bass Solos
      • The above series are edited by Joan Boytim and published by Hal Leonard.
    • The Solo Singer Series
    • The Young Singer Series 

Music Education - Vocal (MUE)

  • Prepare 3 Songs.  English, and if possible, one Italian.
  • Prefer no musical theatre selections.
    • (See Repertoire Choices above)

Music Education – Vocal Jazz (MUEJ)

  • Prepare 3 Songs. One in the Jazz genre. Two classical: one in English, and one in a foreign language of your choice.
  • Prefer no musical theatre selections.

 Music Performance - Musical Theatre Concentration (MUPT)

  • Prepare 3 Songs.  One Ballad, One Up-tempo, one Classical.
  • Additional audition requirements include Monologue & Movement
    • Please note: Musical Theatre auditons not available on all audition dates. 
    • Contact the School of Music for full audition description.

Music Performance - Jazz Concentration (MUPJ)

  • Prepare 3 Songs.  
    • Two songs of contrasting style from the jazz genre (ie. Ballad, Swing, Latin) While performing the jazz selection, the candidate should demonstrate their jazz improvisation abilities.
    • One Classical. 

Bachelor of Arts or Composition - (MUS, MUPC)

  • Prepare 2 Songs of your choice

Minor in Music (MIN)

  • Prepare 2 Songs of your choice

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Graduate Audition Requirements

An audition or portfolio review is required for acceptance to all School of Music Graduate degree programs. To be granted an audition, an applicant must have submitted their application to the University’s Office of Admissions. 

Admission Information

Every applicant for admission must submit:

  • An electronic application form 
  • The application fee
  • Official transcripts of all previous college and university work
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • An essay of 300-500 words on your professional goals
  • A professional résumé

In addition, applicants to the School of Music graduate program in composition must fulfill the following requirements prior to enrollment:

  • A baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in music or music education
  • An interview and portfolio review (by invitation only; see details below)
  • Applicants in composition must also submit:
  • Scores of three representative works from three different performance media showing originality and technical competence. Electronic submission is preferred
  • Recordings (CD, mp3, or url link) of three representative works (to correspond with scores above, if possible)
  • Complete list of works with first performances arranged chronologically.
Music Interview and Portfolio Review

Once the application in the Office of Admissions is complete, the School of Music Graduate Studies Committee will review the materials and make a recommendation to the School's coordinator of graduate studies. The program advisor for composition will contact applicants selected for interview.

Each degree program has specific audition requirements. Acceptance into an area of study is exclusive to that area, and a separate application and audition is required for each area. Due to the intensive and individualized nature of a graduate program in music, admission in specific areas will be limited.

The Master of Music - Area of Study in Conducting has the following areas of emphasis:

  • Choral
  • Orchestral
  • Wind

Admission Information

Every applicant for admission must submit:

  • An electronic application form.
  • The application fee.
  • Official transcripts of all previous college and university work.
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • An essay of 300-500 words on your professional goals
  • A professional résumé

In addition, applicants to the School of Music graduate programs in conducting must fulfill the following requirements prior to enrollment:

  • A baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in music or music education.
  • An audition (by invitation only; see details below). Music education applicants submit additional materials in lieu of an audition.
  • One year or its equivalent of full-time teaching or conducting experience.

Applicants in conducting must submit:

  • A video recording which contains at least fifteen minutes of conducting, at least half of which should be of a performance.
  • A representative repertoire of works performed.
  • Music Audition.

Once the application in the Office of Admissions is complete, the School of Music Graduate Studies Committee will review the materials and make a recommendation to the School's coordinator of graduate studies. The program advisor for the specific area of concentration will contact applicants selected for audition. Applicants will take a sight singing exam at the time of the audition.

Each area of conducting specialty has specific audition requirements outlined below. Acceptance into an area of study is exclusive to that area, and a separate application and audition is required for each area. Due to the intensive and individualized nature of a graduate program in music, admission in specific areas will be limited.

The conducting audition requires:

  • Choral: prepare a musical score(s) of at least ten minutes duration, know its musical structure and be able both to conduct it and to sing any musical line.
  • Orchestral: prepare the first movement of a Beethoven symphony, know its structure, and be able to conduct it.
  • Wind: prepare the Ralph Vaughan Williams "Folk Song Suite," know its musical structure, and be able to conduct it and to sing any musical line.
  • Optional for the conducting audition:
  • Choral: play at the piano the following: a five-minute piece of at least the level of difficulty of a Clementi sonatina; all major and minor scales, hands together, two octaves; a Bach chorale at sight; "My Country 'tis of Thee" in all keys with an improvised accompaniment of I, IV, V chords; sing two art songs, one in Italian and one in English.
  • Instrumental: perform a five-minute piece on an instrument of the applicant's choice that demonstrates a level of competence equivalent to a Bachelor of Music on that instrument.
  • Preference will be given to conductors who have performance expertise.

Every applicant for admission must submit:

  • An electronic application form
  • The application fee
  • Official transcripts of all previous college and university work
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • An essay of 300-500 words on your professional goals
  • A professional résumé

In addition, applicants to the School of Music graduate program must fulfill the following requirements prior to enrollment:

  • A baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in music or music education
  • An audition (by invitation only; see details below).

Applicants in jazz studies must also submit:

  • A representative repertoire of works performed
  • A recent recording that contains at least fifteen minutes of a live performance including a demonstration of your improvisational abilities.
Music Audition

Once the application in the Office of Admissions is complete, the School of Music Graduate Studies Committee will review the materials and make a recommendation to the School's coordinator of graduate studies. The program advisor for jazz studies will contact applicants selected for an audition. 

Each degree program has specific audition requirements outlined below. Acceptance into an area of study is exclusive to that area, and a separate application and audition is required for each area. Due to the intensive and individualized nature of a graduate program in music, admission in specific areas will be limited.

The jazz studies audition requires a fifteen-minute performance of jazz repertoire that is diverse in style and shows improvisational abilities. Applicants will take a sight singing exam at the time of the audition.

Admission Information

Every applicant for admission must submit:

  • An electronic application form
  • The application fee
  • Official transcripts of all previous college and university work
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • An essay of 300-500 words on your professional goals
  • A professional résumé

In addition to the above submitted materials, applicants must complete a free Tk20 Admission Application in order for their program application to be reviewed.  The link to the instructions can be found here:  http://usm.maine.edu/sites/default/files/educatorpreparation/How-to-Crea....

In addition, applicants to the School of Music graduate program must fulfill the following requirements prior to enrollment:

  • A baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in music education
  • Music education applicants submit additional materials in lieu of an audition

Applicants in music education must submit:

  • A video recording that contains a ten- to -fifteen-minute teaching sequence from a classroom or rehearsal setting. Videotapes of concert performances will not be accepted.
  • A written, critical analysis of the teaching episode on the video recording
  • An essay of 1,000 words on a current topic in music education
Music Audition

There is no audition for music education. Once the application in the Office of Admissions is complete, the music education program advisor and the School of Music Graduate Studies Committee will review the materials and make a recommendation to the School's coordinator of graduate studies.

Each degree program has specific audition requirements outlined below. Acceptance into an area of study is exclusive to that area, and a separate application and audition is required for each area. Due to the intensive and individualized nature of a graduate program in music, admission in specific areas will be limited.

Admission Information

For application instructions, go to http://usm.maine.edu/apply and find the Graduate Application Process.

Every applicant for admission must submit:

  • An electronic application form
  • The application fee
  • Official transcripts of all previous college and university work
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • An essay of 300-500 words on your professional goals
  • A professional résumé

In addition, applicants to the School of Music graduate program in pedagogy must fulfill the following requirements prior to enrollment:

  • A baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in music or music education
  • An audition (by invitation only; see details below).

Applicants in pedagogy must submit:

  • A complete repertoire list, specifying those works that have been performed
Music Audition

Once the application in the Office of Admissions is complete, the School of Music Graduate Studies Committee will review the materials and make a recommendation to the School's coordinator of graduate studies. The program advisor for the pedagogy area will contact applicants selected for an audition.

Each degree program has specific audition requirements outlined below. Acceptance into an area of study is exclusive to that area, and a separate application and audition is required for each area. Due to the intensive and individualized nature of a graduate program in music, admission in specific areas will be limited.

The audition will include:

  • A performance audition of at least 15 minutes of music containing repertoire that represents various music styles according to the discipline of the student's applied area.
  • A sight singing exam will be taken by all students at the time of audition, demonstrating the ability to sight sing a melody and clap, tap or recite a rhythm pattern at sight.

Additionally, vocalists must perform from memory in English, Italian, and one (1) other language.

Vocalists must demonstrate the ability to play at the piano: I, IV, V, I chord progressions in keys up to 3 sharps and flats.

The Master of Music in Performance has the following concentrations:

  • Performance - Brass or Percussion
  • Performance - Organ
  • Performance - Piano
  • Performance - Strings
  • Performance - Voice
  • Performance - Woodwinds

Every applicant for admission must submit:

  • An electronic application form
  • The application fee
  • Official transcripts of all previous college and university work
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • An essay of 300-500 words on your professional goals
  • A professional résumé

In addition, applicants to the School of Music graduate program must fulfill the following requirements prior to enrollment:

  • A baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in music or music education
  • An audition (by invitation only; see details below).

Applicants in performance must also submit:

  • A complete repertoire, specifying those works that have been performed
  • A recent recording of a live performance
  • Vocal performance applicants must show evidence of completion of two semesters or equivalent of undergraduate Italian and two semesters or equivalent of either undergraduate French or German; show evidence of completion of undergraduate courses in Italian, French, and German diction
Music Audition

Once the application in the Office of Admissions is complete, the School of Music Graduate Studies Committee will review the materials and make a recommendation to the School's coordinator of graduate studies. The program advisor for the specific performance area (brass, keyboards, percussion, strings, or voice) will contact applicants selected for an audition.

Each degree program has specific audition requirements outlined below. Acceptance into an area of study is exclusive to that area, and a separate application and audition is required for each area. Due to the intensive and individualized nature of a graduate program in music, admission in specific areas will be limited.

In addition to a sight singing exam taken by all students at the time of audition, specific requirements are:

  • Organ: perform three major works: one of J. S. Bach and one each from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; sight read an organ composition at the level of a Rheinberger trio.
  • Percussion: Timpani: play either an étude from Solo Timpanist (Vic Firth) or March (Carter); Drum: play an étude from First Twelve Études for Snare Drum (Deleceuse); Mallets: play a four-mallet solo and three orchestral excerpts.
  • Piano: perform from memory a major work of J. S. Bach (such as a suite, toccata, or prelude and fugue from the Well Tempered Clavier); a complete sonata by either Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven; a major work from the nineteenth or twentieth century; sight read a piano composition at the level of a Haydn sonata.
  • Strings: perform the first movement (or equivalent) of a standard concerto (with cadenza); perform one movement from a nineteenth or twentieth century sonata; perform two contrasting movements from an unaccompanied work by Bach. It is recommended that at least one of the three excerpts be memorized. Harp and guitar performers may substitute an advanced étude of their choice for one of the above categories.
  • Winds: perform a complete concerto or sonata from the Classical era; perform one composition each from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; perform six standard orchestral excerpts.
  • Voice: perform a twenty-minute memorized recital of repertoire from various stylistic periods, including selections in Italian, French, German, and English; play at the piano the following chord progression: I, IV, V, I in all keys up to three sharps and three flats.

FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions re: Auditions

Any number of questions may occur to you as you prepare for your audition. Questions are always welcome. Feel free to contact the School of Music for detailed information.

Christenia Alden-Kinne
Music Recruitment
ckinne@maine.edu
207 780-5265

1.  When are the auditions held?

One audition is held in November for mid-year admission. A number of regularly scheduled auditions are held throughout the spring.

2.  How do I schedule an audition?

You may book your audition date through the School of Music Audition Reservation form at any time.

3.  Where are the auditions held?


All auditions are held in Corthell Hall on the Gorham Campus of the University of Southern Maine unless otherwise noted. On-line auditions are available for a small fee to students who geographically are unable to complete an on-campus audition.

4.  Do I need an accompanist for my audition?


Instrumentalists usually perform unaccompanied. Jazz performers or vocalists may use recorded accompaniment. Jazz students often use the Jamey Aebersold Play-A-Longs series of jazz standards or IRealBook Pro. Vocalists may bring their own accompanist or use a USM accompanist for a fee. Accompaniment fees are paid directly to the accompanist on the day of the audition. ($25)

5.  If I use a USM accompanist, when do I need to supply my music?


Please either fax, mail or email your music one week prior to your audition date. PDF's are preferable. JPG's are often difficult to read.


Please mail music to: USM School of Music

 37 College Avenue

 Gorham, ME 04038

Fax to: (207) 780-5527 
Email to usm.music@maine.edu

6.  Can I audition for Musical Theatre on any audition date?

Representatives from both the School of Music and the Theatre Department are present for musical theatre auditions. For that reason, only three dates are designated for MT auditions every season. They are clearly identified on the list of audition dates.


7. How early should I arrive for my audition?


Classical and Jazz auditions are held in the afternoon. Students are asked to sign in by 12:45 PM. We begin promptly at 1:00 PM with the theory diagnostic testing portion of the audition.
 Musical Theatre auditions are held on three designated dates. They are scheduled for the morning. Students are asked to sign in between 9:00 AM - 9:30 AM depending on the number of students auditioning.

8.  How long does the audition day last?

Events include the performance audition, the theory diagnostic test and a brief information session with the Director of the School of Music. Music Education students will also complete a brief interview with the Music Education faculty. Sometimes these events take place in relatively close succession, but sometimes there may be time between them. Plan to be in Corthell Hall for several hours. Classical and Jazz auditions are generally completed by 4:30 p.m.
Musical Theatre auditions begin earlier in the day and conclude with the Director's informational meeting. Plan for your musical theatre audition day to conclude by 1:45 p.m.

9.  What should I wear to the audition?


The audition is an important event, so you should look as if you are taking it seriously.

Classical or Jazz auditions - Dress nicely, but don't go overboard—it's not a formal evening concert. No tuxedos or prom dresses, but no jeans and sneakers, either.

Musical Theatre - wear comfortable clothing, appropriate for the movement portion of the audition. You may also wish to bring a "performance" outfit. Time and space will be available for you to change.

10. Is an interview required?


Music Education majors will meet briefly with the Music Education faculty. Composition candidates will meet briefly with the Composition faculty. No other degree students have a formal interview scheduled during their audition day.

11.  What should I prepare for the audition?


Auditions requirements vary by instrument. See the audition requirements.

12.  Besides the performance audition, what else will I do in the audition?


All students take the theory diagnostic exam which includes listening examples and written knowledge of key signatures, time signatures, basic intervals and major and minor scales. You can also expect to do some sight-reading. In addition, an aural skills test will see if you can sing back rhythms and pitches that are played on the piano by the professor hearing your audition, and to see if you can sing melodies at sight.

13. How long will I wait until I learn the audition outcome?


You must complete your application process with the University before audition outcomes are shared. If your University application has been completed prior to the audition date, you may receive a letter from USM stating that you have been accepted as an "undeclared" major, pending the outcome of the audition. Usually, you will receive a letter from the School of Music within seven to ten days after your audition.
 If you have not yet been accepted to USM, we will not notify you of the audition outcome until the admissions process is completed.

14.  How do I apply for School of Music scholarships?


Any student auditioning prior to March 1st in any scholarship season will be considered for School of Music scholarship awards. Typically these are four year awards. No extra paperwork or application is required for consideration.


15.  Can I receive a description of the audition through the mail?

You may receive a more detailed description of the theory/aural skills portion of the audition and a hardcopy of the instrument or vocal audition requirements upon request. Audition information.