Conservatory Audition Procedures and Guidelines
You are expected to prepare three works from the standard repertoire representing different musical periods and styles. Selections should demonstrate your musicianship and technical proficiency to your best advantage. Please choose pieces that are within your capabilities, thoroughly prepared, and convincingly performed. Aural pitch matching, sightreading and playing of scales may be requested.
Auditions are held at regular intervals in the Conservatory; no pre-screening is required. Instrumentalists (not singers) may submit a recorded audition to the Conservatory of Music at digitalaudition.bw.edu. It will be reviewed
when the application and all supporting materials have been received.
If pursuing the Bachelor of Arts Music Major independently or as part of the Arts Management program, you will be asked to perform an audition including two prepared solo pieces on your primary instrument or voice according to the guidelines below.
An accompanist will be provided for ALL voice auditions. Instrumentalists have the option of performing auditions with their own accompanist.
An Evaluation of Piano Skills is required of all auditioning students, except those with piano or organ as their primary applied instrument. A short piece representative of the level of piano proficiency should be prepared. This piece does not need to be memorized. Those with no piano experience will be placed in the first level of class piano.
All music majors with piano or organ as their primary applied instrument may choose to prepare an audition of one solo piece on an orchestral instrument or voice. This audition will be considered for the student’s secondary instrument and/or large ensemble requirement for the desired degree program.
Prospective Music Education, Music Theory, Music History and Literature, Composition, and Music Therapy Majors will have a brief interview with one or more members of the faculty. This interview will be used to assess applicants’ suitability for the desired major. Students who submit a recorded audition are responsible for contacting the Conservatory Admission Office to arrange the required interview.
Prospective Bachelor of Music in Composition Majors must submit copies of two original compositions for review. Recordings are strongly recommended (midi version is acceptable). These should be submitted prior to the audition with other music credentials; they will not be returned.
Candidates for the Music Theory Major or Music History and Literature Major should describe their interest in pursuing a theory or history major in the Music Essay. In addition, candidates should submit a writing sample demonstrating research and communicative ability.
Prospective Music Theatre students only are required to upload a pre-screening by October 1 for November auditions dates and by December 1 for January and February audition dates. Pre-screening files can be uploaded at getacceptd.com/bwmusic. For more Music Theatre Pre-Screen information, please click here.
The compositions listed below are considered suitable for audition. These suggestions are an indication of the degree of achievement expected.
Pianists and vocalists are required to memorize all selections. Memorization is not required for organ, string, wind, brass, or percussion auditions.
Violin: Three contrasting movements should be selected that demonstrate the applicant’s range of capabilities, both technical and stylistic. These three works should include one movement of a standard concerto, one movement of an unaccompanied work (such as a Bach solo sonata or partita), and one work of the applicant’s choice. Works by at least two different composers should be represented on the audition. Applicants are encouraged to consult with Julian Ross (firstname.lastname@example.org) if there are any questions about these repertoire requirements.
Viola: Any three contrasting movements which demonstrate a student’s range of capabilities. These movements should include a movement of a concerto, a movement of an unaccompanied Bach Suite (originally for cello), and a movement of the student’s choice. Works from at least two
different composers should be represented on the audition. Applicants are encouraged to consult with Louise Zeitlin (email@example.com or 440-826-8093) with any questions.
Cello: Any three contrasting movements which demonstrate the
student’s range of capabilities, both technical and stylistic. The applicant may choose movements from any repertoire including sonatas, concertos, Bach Suites, or etudes. If the applicant wishes, it is acceptable to pick two movements from the same work, though at least two composers must be represented. Applicants are encouraged to consult with Regina Mushabac (firstname.lastname@example.org or 440-826-2099) if there are questions about these repertoire requirements.
Double Bass: Two contrasting movements from a sonata or concerto. Examples include the sonatas of Marcello, Vivaldi, or Eccles or concertos of Capuzzi, Dragonetti, Dittersdorf, or Koussevitsky. Also, prepare an etude of your choice.
Harp: Selections from orchestral and solo harp literature appropriate to the individual student.
Flute: One movement of a classical concerto or baroque sonata, i.e. Mozart Concerti in D major or G major, or Bach Sonatas in E major or e minor. One piece from music by a French composer (Schirmer or equivalent). One piece of choice, in a contrasting style. All major, harmonic minor, and melodic minor scales; minimum two-octave range. Applicants are encouraged to consult with George Pope (email@example.com) and Sean Gabriel (firstname.lastname@example.org) if they have questions.
Oboe: Any movement(s) from sonatas by Handel, Telemann, Saint-Saëns, Hindemith, or Poulenc, or from concertos by Mozart, Marcello, or Strauss; contrasting etudes by Barrett or Ferling; all major and minor scales.
Clarinet: At least two selections in contrasting styles. Sonatas by Hindemith, Saint-Saëns, Brahms, and Bernstein. Concertos by Mozart, Weber, and Debussy. Etudes by Rose and Cavallini.
Saxophone: Sonatas by Creston, Hindemith, and Jacobi; transcriptions of Bach, Handel, and Eccles; concertos by Glazounov, Ibert, Tomasi, and Dahl.
Bassoon: Sonatas by Vivaldi, Telemann, Fasch, Saint-Saëns, and Hindemith; concertos by Vivaldi, Mozart, and Weber.
Trumpet: Sonatas by Torelli, Handel, Telemann, Kennan, and Hindemith; concertos of Haydn, Hummel, Tomasi, and Giannini; solo pieces of the candidate’s choice. Scales and sight-reading may be required.
Horn: Mozart Concerto No. 2 or No. 4, first movement; R. Strauss Concerto No. 1, first movement; Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5, second movement solo. All major and minor scales and arpeggios, two octaves.
Trombone: Etudes from materials such as Kopprasch, Blazhevich, and Rochut. Solos such as David, Hindemith, Guilmant, and Marcello. Orchestral excerpts welcome, but not required.
Tuba: Three contrasting etudes, one each from Blazevich, Bordogni/Rochut, and Kopprasch. All major scales.
Percussion: Etudes or pieces comparable in difficulty to those listed below for snare drum, mallets, and timpani; drum set encouraged but not required. Scales and sight-reading may be required.
- Snare Drum: Performance in concert and rudimental styles, e.g., one of Cirone’s Portraits in Rhythm and a solo from Wilcoxon’s The All-American Drummer.
- Mallets: Performance on marimba, xylophone, or vibraphone, e.g., works by Goldenberg, Musser, Peters, Smadbeck, or Abe.
- Timpani: Etude from Goodman, Firth, Hinger, or Delecluse methods. Interval tuning may be required.
- Drum Set: Demonstration of different styles, and/or transcriptions. Written solo not necessary.
Guitar: Execution of two scales from “The Segovia Scales,” as well as any type of chromatic scale. (Other scales are permitted, with a minimum of two octave range.)
Performance of any etude from the Fernando Sor Etudes (Segovia Edition) from 1-10. Or, any composition by M. Giuliani or his contemporaries.
Performance of any piece transcribed from repertoire for the Lute, Vihuela, Renaissance and/or Baroque guitar.
Performance of any prelude or etude by Heitor Villalobos or Leo Brouwer. Or, any composition by F. Tarrega or his contemporaries. Memorization is always encouraged.
Organ: Three contrasting selections from the following categories: Chorale preludes, preludes and fugues by Bach or works of other Baroque composers such as Buxtehude, Böhm and Lübeck; works of Franck, Mendelssohn, Brahms or works of other Romantic composers; works of Langlais, Hindemith, Dupré, Sowerby or works of other late Romantic or Modern/20th Century composers. Works need not be memorized.
Piano: For all degrees except the Bachelor of Arts, a Prelude and Fugue of J.S. Bach plus two other works (or movements of larger works) by different composers. Students auditioning for the Bachelor of Arts degree should prepare two contrasting works. All pieces must be memorized and should demonstrate a range of musical and pianistic styles. Four octave major and minor scales and arpeggios, sight-reading, and an ear test are part of the audition for all applicants.
Music Theatre: You will be expected to audition in voice, theatre, and dance areas.
- Voice: three memorized 32-bar selections; one ballad, one up-tempo, and one piece of your choice, all from the music theatre repertoire. An accompanist will be provided.
- Drama/Theatre: one age-appropriate monologue from either classical or contemporary drama not to exceed one minute in length. It is highly recommended that you read the play in advance.
- Dance: a group dance call will be conducted at the end of the audition day. Bring appropriate movement clothes and jazz shoes.
- Music Skills: a brief assessment of tonal readiness.
Music Theatre students must submit prescreening and will be invited back for a live audition. Recorded audition accommodations cannot be made. For more Music Theatre Pre-Screen information, please click here.
Voice: Three memorized selections chosen from songs and arias of the 17th and 18th centuries; art songs from the 19th century to present; and operatic and oratorio literature when suitable for the singer. Show tunes, pop songs, and religious pop songs are not appropriate.