Music Auditions & Interviews

Undergraduate performing arts applicants will select their audition date through their applicant portal after submitting their application. There are no prescreening requirements. All School of Music applicants are required to complete an audition or an interview before they receive an admissions decision. UArts hosts both on-campus and virtual audition days. View our 2022-2023 audition day schedule.

Effective August 22, masks will be optional for all members of our community and campus visitors in all of the university’s public spaces, including during performances, special events and other community gatherings, with occasional exceptions. UArts' response to COVID-19 is developinglearn more learn more by visiting our Community Health Policy.

In-Person/On-Campus Auditions

What to Expect

If participating in an in-person/on-campus audition day, you’ll complete a short information form about your prior experience and goals, a placement exam, and your individual audition or interview.

See your major or instrument repertoire requirements below, and be prepared for your audition or interview.

Instrumental Performance applicants must bring their instrument to their audition, with the exception of the piano, drum set and vibraphone.

All Vocal Performance applicants must perform their repertoire memorized. Applicants must bring copies of their audition music for the accompanist. Alternatively, students may self-accompany on piano or self-provided guitar. 

Composition and Music Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology applicants should bring their portfolio of work, as described below, and be prepared to either leave a hard copy with the department or provide a link to view all work online (Soundcloud, Vimeo, GoogleDrive, etc).
 

Virtual Auditions

What to Expect

If participating in a virtual audition day, you must upload the following items to your UArts applicant portal at least two weeks before your audition day:

  • A headshot
  • Information form (available in your portal)
  • Major or instrument repertoire; see below for specific requirements
  • A repertoire or program list that outlines titles, authors, composers and descriptions of the pieces you’ll be performing

Recordings of recitals or concerts are not acceptable, and your video should not exceed 15 minutes. Videos should feature the performer alone in a room without a live audience. Musicians must show a full-body frame with close-up shots of embouchure, hands and face. You should also include information about the instrument you’re playing.

During the virtual audition, you will participate in a welcome from the School of Music and complete your individual audition or interview.

Can’t Make an Audition Day?

In extenuating circumstances, students who can’t make an audition day may be allowed to submit their materials for asynchronous review. A live audition or interview, either in-person or virtual, is strongly preferred. Students participating in an asynchronous audition may still be asked to complete an individual interview via phone or Zoom once they have uploaded the following items to their UArts applicant portal:

  • A headshot
  • Information form (available in your portal)
  • Major or instrument repertoire; see below for specific requirements
  • A repertoire or program list that outlines titles, authors, composers and descriptions of the pieces you’ll be performing

UArts reserves the right to re-audition any applicant admitted on the basis of a submitted audition. In such cases, the university also reserves the right to reconsider and withdraw the original offer of admission or scholarship, if necessary."

Major & Instrument Repertoire Guidelines

Click your program below to learn about audition and recording requirements. If you have any questions about these guidelines, contact Admissions at admissions@uarts.edu.

Expand all Collapse all
Instrumental Performance

Bass

Include each of the following.

  • two octaves of major and minor scales;
  • two octaves of major 7th, minor 7th and dominant 7th arpeggios;
  • music reading: Provide a PDF of a short piece of music to demonstrate your prepared music reading. This should come from a published music book for bass or ensemble sheet music (does not apply for asynchronous audition).
  • perform two pieces, which showcase your best performance: Ideally, one jazz standard and one of another style choice. 
    • be prepared to play in the rhythm section for all styles, 
    • perform the melody, walk a bass line, and solo each one time through the form for jazz selections.   
  • a live rhythm section (drums, guitar or keyboard) would be preferable. Accompaniment apps like iReal Pro, Band-in-a-Box or other backing tracks are acceptable

 

Drum Set

Include each of the following.

  • one jazz selection in a trio, quartet or quintet setting with a walking bass line; short solos (fours) should be included
  • one contemporary fusion or rock piece played with an appropriate rhythm section or track
  • one selection with an Afro-Caribbean, Brazilian or world rhythm
  • one big band excerpt
  • one snare drum etude (concert or rudimental)

Since showing musical interaction is essential to your audition, use a live rhythm section or appropriate play-along track accompaniment for a video recording.
 

Guitar

Include each of the following.

  • Major and minor scales, two octaves, two fingerings in various keys
  • Major 7th, minor 7th and dominant 7th arpeggios, two octaves from 6th and 5th strings in various keys
  • Several voicings of major 7th, minor 7th and dominant 7th chords
  • Perform two compositions which you feel best represent your abilities:
    •  An unaccompanied guitar arrangement in any style. Original arrangements that feature harmonized melodies and diverse chord progressions are encouraged. 
    • A song which demonstrates the ability to play the melody, provide chordal accompaniment, and improvise. This requires a backing track or live recordings of ensembles that feature the applicant.

 

Piano

Include each of the following.

  • major, harmonic and melodic minors, four octaves, two hands, ascending and descending scales using standard Hanon fingering
  • major and minor triads, four octaves, two hands, ascending and descending arpeggios using standard Hanon fingering
  • an etude or short solo piece from the classical repertoire performed by memory; the level of difficulty should be determined by the applicant’s technical and interpretive ability (e.g., Bach, Two-Part Invention; Bartok, Mikrokosmos; Clementi or any sonatina)
  • an improvisation on standard 12-bar blues progression
  • one ballad and one up-tempo piece from the standard jazz repertoire that demonstrate melodic interpretation and improvisational skill
  • seventh chords in all keys: major 7th, minor 7th, dominant 7th and diminished 7th

 

Sax, Trumpet, Trombone and all other instruments

Include each of the following.

  • two octaves of major and minor scales
  • two octaves of major 7th, minor 7th and dominant 7th arpeggios
  • a jazz solo transcription, classical piece, or etude from a published music text
  • an improvised jazz solo on a standard tune or a 12-bar blues progression
Vocal Performance

Include three selections total, representing at least two of the following styles.

  • Classical song (foreign language or English)

  • Jazz

  • Musical theater

  • Contemporary (pop, R&B, rock, etc.)

  • Original composition; for original compositions only, applicants auditioning in person must be able to self-accompany or may provide recorded accompaniment

Composition

Compile a portfolio of 3–5 original music compositions or songs. Compositions should be presented as notated scores, either by hand or by using computerized notation, and in hard copy or digital format. If submitting songs, a lyric or a lead sheet can be submitted in place of notated scores. You may perform your pieces live or present them via recordings at the audition. If presenting recordings, they should be available online (for example on Soundcloud, YouTube, personal website, etc.). Pieces can be vocal, instrumental or MIDI and should demonstrate your best work in a variety of styles.

Music Business, Entrepreneurship & Technology

Short essay: What do you think the future of the music business looks like? What role do you envision for yourself in this ever-evolving industry, and how will a university education help you get there? 

Portfolio: Your portfolio can include any work you’ve produced and may include recordings; videos; documentation of business experience; or promotional work, like show flyers and website links. You can use Soundcloud, YouTube, Google Drive and other similar services to deliver your materials.