Dr. Alfred & D. Suzi Osher School of Music

Audition Information

Undergraduate Admissions & Audition Information

 

 

Completing Your Osher School of Music Application

  • Apply to the University of Southern Maine
    • Your application to USM must be started prior to confirmation of your audition reservation.
  • Reserve your date through Get Acceptd
    • Performance auditions, diagnostic testing and interviews will be completed in person on the USM Gorham campus
    • On-line video submission also available
    • Fee waivers available
  • All auditions completed by February 18, 2022 will be considered for an Osher School of Music Scholarship.

 

Located in and supported by the vibrant arts community of Southern Maine, we offer an engaging learning environment featuring seven Undergraduate and five Graduate tracks of study. Schedule your audition and study with world-class faculty at the Osher School of Music at the University of Southern Maine.

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 18, 2022.

All auditions materials will be processed online through GetAcceptd. The site will open for reservations on October 15, 2021. Early submission is recommended. Dates for diagnostic testing and application decision are:

  • November 19, 2021*  Instrumental and Vocal included
  • January 21, 2022*    Instrumental, Vocal and Musical Theatre included
  • January 28, 2022*    Instrumental and Vocal included
  • Februrary 4, 2022*   Instrumental and Vocal included
  • February 11, 2022*  Instrumental only - No Vocal Auditions
  • February 18, 2022*  Instrumental, Vocal and Musical Theatre included
  • April 15, 2022  Instrumental, Vocal and Musical Theatre included

 

*Music Talent Scholarship 

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

 

Undergraduate Audition Requirements

An audition is required for acceptance to all Osher School of Music Undergraduate degree programs and minors. To schedule an audition, an applicant must first submit their application to the USM's Office of Admissions.

COVID-19 update:
Our hope is that all auditions, interviews, portfolio reviews and aural skills testing for admission will be completed in person. We will, however, be adhering to all COVID-19 protocols including requirements to offer proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test on the day of your audition.

 

Every candidate for admission to the School of Music is required to complete a performance audition on their primary instrument. Applicants to the Music Education program will also complete an interview. Composition applicants are also required to submit a portfolio of their work for review. 

All auditions include:

  1. Performance Audition (see Audition Requirements by instrument below)
  2. Aural Skills 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 listed below. You should prepare music that demonstrates the full range of your technical and musical accomplishments.

Vocalists must perform to accompaniment. You may perform with a live accompanist or you may perform to a pre-recorded accompaniment. An accompanist may be requested for a standard fee or you may bring your own.

Accompanists for instrumental auditions are optional.

Suggested Audition Repertoire by Instrument or Area

Bassoon | Clarinet | Composition | Euphonium | Flute | Guitar | Harp | Horn | Oboe | Organ | Percussion | Piano | Saxophone | Strings | Trombone | Trumpet | Tuba | Voice

Bassoon

Music Education, Composition, Bachelor of Arts & Minors

    • Two contrasting etudes or solos that demonstrate:
      • Lyrical expression
      • Technical proficiency

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.

 

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 Clarinet

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]

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]

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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. All materials should be uploaded to your profile on Get Acceptd. 
  • 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

Music Education, Composition, Bachelor of Arts & Minors

  • Two contrasting etudes or solos that demonstrate
    • Lyrical expression
    • Technical proficiency

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


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Flute -

Music Education, Composition, Bachelor of Arts & Minors

  • Two contrasting etudes or solos that demonstrate
    • Lyrical expression
    • Technical proficiency

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 [don't need to be memorized]

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Guitar -

Classical 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

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)

 

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 Classical 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

Memorization is at the performer's discretion.

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Horn -

Music Education, Composition, Bachelor of Arts & Minors

  • Two contrasting etudes or solos that demonstrate
    • Lyrical expression
    • Technical proficiency

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

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Oboe -

Music Education, Composition, Bachelor of Arts & Minors

  • Two contrasting etudes or solos that demonstrate
    • Lyrical expression
    • Technical proficiency

Performance Majors

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

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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.

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 -

All majors- Classical Percussion                 

  • 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 -

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.

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.

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 must play a two-part Invention by J.S. Bach or a work of comparable difficulty.  The candidate must also 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 -

Music Education, Composition, Bachelor of Arts & Minors

  • Two contrasting etudes or solos that demonstrate
    • Lyrical expression
    • Technical proficiency

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

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.

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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.

 Memorization is at the performer's discretion.

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Trombone -

Music Education, Composition, Bachelor of Arts & Minors

  • Two contrasting etudes or solos that demonstrate
    • Lyrical expression
    • Technical proficiency

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 Classical Trombone listings 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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Trumpet - 

Music Education, Composition, Bachelor of Arts & Minors

  • Two contrasting etudes or solos that demonstrate
    • Lyrical expression
    • Technical proficiency

Classical Performance-

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

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Tuba -

Music Education, Composition, Bachelor of Arts & Minors

  • Two contrasting etudes or solos that demonstrate
    • Lyrical expression
    • Technical proficiency

Performance Majors

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

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 Voice

Music Education - Vocal (MUE and MUEC Composition)

  • 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 - 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:
    • The above series are edited by Joan Boytim and published by Hal Leonard.
    • 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 Solo Singer Series
    • The Young Singer Series 

 Music Performance - Musical Theatre Concentration (MUPT)

SLATE

There should not be a separate “slate” video. Instead slates are to appear at the beginning of each piece. The proper slate for a song is to share your name, the song title, and show in which it appears. The proper slate for a monologue is to share your name, the title of the play, the character in the play, and the playwright

SONGS

Students should prepare 2-contrasting pieces: One song should be a ballad and one song should be an uptempo. The students can choose from Option A or Option B. 

  • Option A: One song should be written prior to 1970. This song can be either the uptempo or the ballad. One song should be written after 1970 and contrast the style of the first.
  • Option B: Both songs should be from contemporary musicals (any musical written after 1970) and contrast in style.

Each song file should be 60-90 seconds (this time limit includes the slate at the beginning of the piece; please do not upload media files longer than 90 seconds). Students must sing to live or recorded accompaniment. No “a cappella” singing. Songs should be filmed in a ¾ shot which means the top of the head to the knees should be visible in the frame.

  • MONOLOGUES

    Monologues must be from a published play. They cannot be from musicals, television shows, or movies. Each monologue file should be 60-90 seconds in length (this time limit includes the slate at the beginning of the piece; please do not upload media files longer than 90 seconds)

    Choose one 60-90 second contemporary monologue (written during the 20th Century-present) from a published play. This time limit includes the slate at the beginning of the piece; please do not upload media files longer than 90 seconds. The contemporary monologue should be filmed in a “close-up” shot which means the top of the head to the chest should be visible in the frame.

    DANCE

    Please prepare 30-60 seconds of a solo dance, in whatever dance discipline you are most comfortable: jazz, ballet, modern, tap, African, hip hop, or contemporary. (Applicants do not need to slate in any dance media.)

    All choreography must be performed to music; no “a cappella” dancing. All dance media should be presented in a “full body” shot with the student’s entire body in the frame at all times. Please use steps and movement that you are familiar with and can execute well. Dance media can be self-choreographed, but must be a solo video of you. This can include a show, competition, or other performance so long as you are clearly being featured.

Music Performance - Jazz Concentration (MUPJ)

  • Prepare 3 Songs.  
    • Perform two songs of contrasting style from the jazz genre (e.g. ballad, swing, Latin). The candidate should demonstrate their jazz improvisation abilities in at least one of the two jazz selections.
    • Perform one classical piece of your choosing. Please see the suggested list above.

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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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?

See the audition dates above. A number of regularly scheduled audition decision dates will be held throughout the spring.

2.  How do I schedule an audition?

You may book your audition via GetAcceptd at any time. GetAcceptd is a nationally recognized audition platform, allowing for online submission of video for faculty review. There is a $30 fee to enter their system. If this fee is in any way an obstacle for you, please contact Christenia Alden-Kinne, ckinne@maine.edu or visit: this page. We will make sure we hear your audition!

3.  Where are the auditions held?

Reserve your date through Acceptd
Performance auditions, diagnostic testing and interviews will be completed in person on the USM Gorham campus. On-line video submission also available through Acceptd.

4.  Do I need an accompanist for my audition?

Vocalists must perform to accompaniment. Your video may feature you with a live accompanist or you may perform to a pre-recorded accompaniment.

An accompanist for the instrumental audition is optional. Your video may feature you with a live accompanist, recorded accompaniment or you may perform solo. 

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

Musical Theatre candidates may audition on any date available to vocalists.

 6.  What should I wear to the audition?


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

 7. 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.

8.  What should I prepare for the audition?


Auditions requirements vary by instrument. See the audition requirements.

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


All students take

  1. A written assessment measuring the ability to understand basic melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic elements of music, which includes listening examples and written knowledge of key signatures, time signatures, basic intervals and major and minor scales. In addition, an aural skills test will be administered to 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.

10. 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.

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


Any student auditioning by the priority decision date will be considered for School of Music scholarship awards. Typically these are four-year awards. No extra paperwork or application is required for consideration.


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

You may receive a description of the theory/aural skills portion of the audition and a hardcopy of the instrument or vocal audition requirements upon request to Christenia Alden-Kinne ckinne@maine.edu
207 780-5265