School of Music

Graduate Auditions

Once the Office of Graduate Admissions application is complete, the School of Music Graduate Studies Committee will review the materials and make a recommendation to the Coordinator of Graduate Studies. The Coordinator of Graduate Studies will contact applicants selected for an audition. Applicants will take a sight singing exam at the time of the 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 Composition audition:

  • A test of keyboard skills, ear training, and score reading is required

The Conducting audition:


  • Choral and Wind: Prepare a musical score(s) of at least 10 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.


  • 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.
  • Choral: 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 BM on that instrument.

Preference will be given to conductors who have performance expertise.

The JazzStudies audition:

  • Prepare a 15-minute performance of jazz repertoire that is diverse in style and that shows improvisational abilities.

The Performance audition: Organ

  • Perform three major works: one of J. S. Bach and one each from the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Sightread and organ composition at the level of a Rheinberger trio


  • Timpani: Play either an etude from Solo Timpanist (Vic Firth) or March (Carter).
  • Drum: Play an etude from First 12 Etudes for Snare Drum (Deleceuse).
  • Mallets: Play a 4-mallet solo and 3 orchestral excerpts.


  • 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 19th or 20th century
  • Sightread a piano composition at the level of a Haydn sonata


  • Perform the first movement (or equivalent) of a standard concerto (with cadenza)
  • Perform one movement from a 19th or 20th 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 etude of their choice for one of the above categories.


  • Perform a complete concerto or sonata from the Classical Era
  • Perform one composition each from the 19th and 20th centuries
  • Perform six standard orchestral excerpts


  • Perform a 20-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, sightread at the piano a chordal melody like a hymn tune.