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Entering Auditions

Who Should Audition

  • Jazz studies, music education, composers with a primary instrument wanting to take lower division private lessons on that instrument, and instrumental/vocal undergraduate applicants need to complete a successful audition in order to be admitted into the B.A. in music. 
  • Auditions are also required for Graduate students interested in performance-oriented areas of emphasis. Any applicant seeking to receive private lessons should audition on their primary instrument. 

Once you've completed the application process, the Music Department will schedule your audition. If you have completed your application, but you still haven't been able to schedule an audition, please contact the Music Department ASAP.

Department of Music
Music Building, MB 2569
Phone: (510) 885-3135

How Should You Prepare

B.A. in Music (Undergraduates)

Instrumentalist (except piano): Prepare two contrasting selections lasting no more than ten minutes total. Show a contrast of musical styles choosing from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, or Modern eras. No accompaniment necessary, but optional if you provide your own.

  • Pianists: Prepare two or three works of different style periods, approximately 10 minutes in total, memorized. Repertoire selections could include:
    • Baroque compositions such as Bach Inventions or Sinfonias, a Prelude and Fugue from The Well-Tempered Clavier, 1-2 movements from a French Suite, English Suite, or Partita; 
    • a first movement of a classical sonata by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, or their contemporaries; 
    • a work from the Romantic period (Chopin, Schumann, Brahms, Liszt, etc.);
    • a work from the early 20th century (Debussy, Ravel, Prokofiev, Bartók, etc.) or a work post-1945.

Vocalists: Prepare ten minutes of music of your choice (minimum of two songs). At least one song should be in a language other than English. Classical songs or arias, and Musical Theatre selections are preferred. All songs should be memorized. Accompaniment will be provided.

Please note: singer/songwriter applicants should apply through a portfolio submission instead of scheduling a vocal audition.

Jazz Studies, Composers with a primary instrument, Music Education. Follow requirements for your instrument, above. 

M.A. in Music (Graduates)

In addition to the main university application, all graduate applicants must submit the below documents directly to the Department of Music. Email submissions are preferred, and should be addressed to Dr. John Eros, Graduate Coordinator.

  1. Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Résumé
  2. Two (2) references. These references should be teachers or colleagues who can assess your readiness to undertake graduate study. 
  3. A Statement of Purpose (2-3 pages) describing your objectives for pursuing a graduate degree in music, as well as your short and long term goals.
  4. Evidence of your abilities in the area of emphasis you wish to pursue as a graduate student. The following areas require an in-person audition:

Instrumentalists: Prepare an audition that includes at least two representative works from the applicant's Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Music senior recital or comparable repertory. Three or four pieces drawn from multiple style periods are expected. 

Pianists: Representative works from the applicant's Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Music senior recital or comparable repertory. Three or four pieces drawn from multiple style periods are expected, including a complete sonata by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, or contemporaries. Memorization is required. Sight-reading will also be evaluated.

Vocalists: Prepare an audition that includes each of the following: a Baroque aria (sacred or secular); a song by a German Romantic composer; a song by Debussy, Ravel, Fauré, Poulenc, Duparc, or Chausson; a song composed after 1950; and an operatic aria in Italian. The audition will last a maximum of twenty minutes and all of the music is expected to be performed from memory.

Jazz Studies: Prepare an audition that includes: (a) a blues melody and solo on 3-5 choruses; and (b) the melody and solo on 1-2 choruses of either a song from the Great American Songbook (e.g. “Stella,” “All The Things You Are,” “Like Some In Love,” etc.) or a jazz standard (e.g. “Moments Notice,” “Stablemates,” “Along Came Betty,” etc.).

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