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School of Music

Graduate Audition Information

Due to COVID-19 precautions, admission auditions for Graduate programs for Spring 2021 and Fall 2021 will not be conducted in person at the School of Music.  Recordings can be submitted as an unlisted YouTube playlist link in the Graduate Audition Registration form.  In some areas, a follow-up interview and/or lesson appointment will be required to complete the audition process. The graduate audition registration form will be available starting September 15. Audition requirements will remain the same and are listed below. 

An applicant should submit all necessary application materials (including a repertory list and copies of recital programs) at least two weeks before submitting their audition.  Priority for graduate assistantships will be given to those who have submitted their recordings by Feb 1.

To submit a graduate audition, applicants need to complete the Graduate Audition Registration form. Videos should be submitted as an unlisted YouTube playlist URL.  To create an unlisted YouTube playlist, please use the following steps:
1. Make all your audition YouTube videos unlisted in the settings.
2. Create a playlist with the unlisted audition videos
3. Make your playlist unlisted in the settings.
4. Share your unlisted playlist link, copy and paste your link in the Graduate Audition Registration form. 

Register for Graduate Audition


2020-2021 School of Music Audition Schedule

Applicants for Spring 2021 Enrollment
Must submit their recorded audition videos via the Graduate Audition Registration Form by November 20.
Applicants for Fall 2021 Enrollment
Must submit their recorded audition videos via the Graduate Audition Registration Form by February 1.

*Recordings can be submitted as an unlisted YouTube playlist link in the Graduate Audition Registration form.  In some areas, a follow-up interview and/or lesson appointment will be required to complete the audition process.

Completed audition and admission are required by March 7 for Graduate Assistantship consideration.

 

CLARINET

Graduate clarinet auditions are to be prescreened in the USC clarinet studio. Your video recording must be presented in a digital format through an unlisted youtube playlist via the Graduate Audition Request form. Finalists will be chosen and invited to take part in a live audition at one of the scheduled audition dates in January or February. If one of these dates are not possible, special arrangements can be made for alternative audition dates. All finalist are considered for the GA position, if a GA position is available. Contact Professor Eller to see if a GA position is available in clarinet, or visit Graduate Assistantships.

Materials for video recording must contain the following:  

At least two to three significant compositions (or movements) of contrasting styles. The works should demonstrate a mature grasp of phrasing, tone, contemporary techniques, articulation, and general technique. Also, at least 2 standard orchestral excerpts demonstrating articulation skills, technical and lyrical abilities and cadenza-like material.  Memorization is not required.  Masters candidates should upload at least 15 minutes worth of material and Doctoral candidates should upload at least 20 minutes of material.

Materials for the live/final round audition must contain the following:
At least four significant compositions (or movements) of contrasting styles. The works should demonstrate a mature grasp of phrasing, tone, contemporary techniques, articulation, and general technique. Also, at least 4 standard orchestral excerpts demonstrating articulation skills, technical and lyrical abilities and cadenza-like material.  Memorization is not required.  Masters candidates should prepare at least 20 minutes worth of material and Doctoral candidates should prepare at least 30 minutes of material.

COMPOSITION
a.  Bachelor's degree for Master's admission; Master's degree for DMA admission. Applicants must demonstrate experience and promise as a composer through the submission of scores, recordings, and a list of performances.
b.  Two or three compositions that display an understanding of different media; if possible, include complete recordings (CD or DVD preferred; MIDI realizations discouraged).
c.  A resume or curriculum vitae that includes a typed summary of educational and professional experience.
d.  A list of completed compositions that includes the following information: date of composition, duration, instrumentation, and a list of all performances.
e.  A sample of your writing in the form of a published article or term paper.
f.  A brief, 1-2 page essay outlining your goals, ambitions, and interests as a composer, as well as what you hope to accomplish while at USC.

Note for Master's Applicants
Applicants without a Bachelor's degree in music must take either the Music GRE or Graduate Music Diagnostic Examination before admission. Applicants with deficiencies in music theory, orchestration, score reading, counterpoint, keyboard skills, or conducting will be required to remedy those deficiencies. Necessary courses will be determined by the student's academic advisor before the student enters the program via the results of the Graduate Music Diagnostic Examination. It is important to understand that these courses must be completed in addition to the normal requirements for the degree, and that all such courses must be completed before the student registers for MUSC 799. (For example, a student required to take basic orchestration may not count that course toward the completion of the music theory or free electives requirement.) In the event that a necessary course is not offered before the end of a candidate's second year, additional arrangements must be made with the candidate's academic and thesis advisors.


Composition Application Process:
Audition Materials will be reviewed for composition interviews on Dec. 5, Jan. 23 and Feb. 13.  
Qualified applicants will be contacted by the School of Music to schedule an interview. 

Materials must be submitted as follows:
UofSC application due December 1
Music application and audition materials due by Nov. 20 for interview on Dec. 5
Music application and audition materials due by Jan. 15 for interview on Jan. 23
Music application and audition materials due by Feb. 1 for interview on Feb. 13

CONDUCTING

Master's and Doctoral CHORAL CONDUCTING applicants:
Pre-screening video (due by December 15): All choral conducting applicants must submit a pre-screening video of at least 20 minutes which, if possible, includes conducting in both rehearsal and performance. If possible, the camera should be placed facing the conductor.  Selected applicants will be invited to complete an online audition/interview.
 

Master's and Doctoral Instrumental (Wind and Orchestral) applicants:
Audition video (due by February 1): All instrumental conducting applicants must submit an audition video of at least 20 minutes which, if possible, includes conducting in both rehearsal and performance. If possible, the camera should be placed at the back of the ensemble with the focus on the front of the conductor. Include the date(s) and name of the performing ensemble(s).

GUITAR

At least four compositions from different style periods (Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary) that demonstrate tone, technique, and musical proficiency. Considerable flexibility will be permitted in the choice of literature when stylistic areas seem to overlap. The following may serve as a guide:

  • A work by J.S. Bach
  • A sonata (or movement of a sonata) or a set of variations
  • A major 20th century work
  • One composition of the applicant's choice

Except for an avant-garde works, all compositions should be performed from memory.


Guitar Area Application Process:
Videos will be pre-screened for follow-up auditions on the following dates: Dec. 5, Jan. 23  and Feb. 13.
Qualified applicants will be contacted by the School of Music to schedule a follow-up audition.

Materials must be submitted as follows:
UofSC application due December 1
Music application and audition materials due by Nov. 20 for follow-up audition on Dec. 5
Music application and audition materials due by Jan. 15 for follow-up audition on Jan. 23
Music application and audition materials due by Feb. 1 for follow-up audition on Feb. 13

JAZZ PERFORMANCE

Play and improvise in at least three different jazz idioms (Swing, BeBop, Cool, Fusion, etc.) and perform one work from the "classical" repertory.

ORGAN

  • One major work by J.S. Bach (such as a Prelude and Fugue or a trio sonata)
  • One work each from the 19th and 20th centuries
  • One work of the applicant?s choice

OPERA PERFORMANCE

By invitation only after admission to the MM-voice program, on-campus audition consisting of two contrasting arias or solo scenes, one of which should be staged.

 

OPERA STAGE DIRECTING

By invitation only, an analytical presentation of an opera for production that includes information on the composer and librettist, with period and historical references, character analysis, set and costume concepts, and comments on the musical style; presentation of an impromptu movement audition.

 

PERCUSSION

Prospective Students must audition in ALL areas listed below to be considered for admission into the percussion program. Prospective Graduate students in percussion will submit a video audition.  Each instrument category should be recorded as a single unedited take.  For example, one video for Snare Drum solo and snare drum excepts, one video for keyboard solos and xylophone excerpts, and one video for timpani solo and excerpts.  Full excerpts are not required, only the major "spots" from each excerpt is expected.


Masters of Music
If you have questions about your audition repertoire, please contact Dr. Scott Herring

Snare Drum:  A solo from Douze Etudes by Jaques Delecluse, Etudes for Snare Drum (purple book) by Mitchell Peters, or The Solo Snare Drummer by Vic Firth.  One orchestral except - examples may include Scheherazade (III and IV), Lt. Kije, Shostakovich #10

Marimba:  A movement of a Bach Cello Suite or a movement from the Sonatas and Partitas for Violin and an advanced work by composers including Burritt, Kopetzki, Schwantner, Mackey, Maslanka, among others.  

Xylophone:  One orchestral excerpt - examples may include Porgy and Bess, Harry Janos, Appalachian Spring, Polka, Colas Breugnon

Timpani:  A solo or Etude from Hochrainer, K. Gay, Lepak, etc.  Also an orchestral excerpts from Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Brahms.

Sightreading will be asked on marimba and snare drum


Doctor of Musical Arts
If you have questions about your audition repertoire, please contact Dr. Scott Herring

Snare Drum:  A solo from Douze Etudes by Jaques Delecluse, Keiskleiriana by Jaques Delecluse, or The Solo Snare Drummer by Vic Firth.  Two orchestral excepts - examples may include Scheherazade (III and IV), Lt. Kije, Shostakovich #10, etc.

Marimba:  A movement of a Bach Cello Suite or a movement from the Sonatas and Partitas for Violin and an advanced work by composers including Burritt, Viñao, Schwantner, Klatzow, Mackey, Maslanka, among others. 

Xylophone:  Two orchestral excerpts - examples may include Porgy and Bess, Harry Janos, Appalachian Spring, Polka, Colas Breugnon

Timpani:  A solo or Etude from Hochrainer, K. Gay, Lepak, etc.  Also two orchestral excerpts from Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Brahms.

Sightreading will be asked on marimba and snare drum

 

PIANO AND PIANO PEDAGOGY

Applicants for MM degrees should prepare a program 30 minutes in length; for DMA degrees, 45 minutes is needed. The audition program should feature works in contrasting styles from the standard literature. Except for avant-garde works, all compositions should be performed from memory.


Piano Area Application Process:
Videos will be pre-screened for follow-up auditions (sight-reading exam) on the following dates: Dec. 4, Jan. 22, Feb. 5 and Feb. 19
Qualified applicants will be contacted by the School of Music to schedule a follow up audition. 

Materials must be submitted as follows:
UofSC application due December 1
Music application and audition materials due by Nov. 20 for follow up audition on Dec. 4
Music application and audition materials due by Jan. 8 for follow up audition on Jan. 22
Music application and audition materials due by Jan. 22 for follow up audition on Feb. 5
Music application and audition materials due by Feb. 1 for follow up audition on Feb. 19 

Videos must be submitted by the February 1 deadline for graduate assistantship consideration.  Videos submitted after the February 1 deadline will be reviewed on a space and award availability basis.
 

STRINGS

VIOLA:

***Alternative repertoire will be approved on a case by case basis.***

Master of Music

  • Two contrasting movements from any of the Six Cello Suites by J.S. Bach
  • One movement of a standard concerto such as Bartok, Walton, Hindemith, Schnittke, or Penderecki
  • One movement of a standard sonata

Unaccompanied movements by Bach must be performed from memory.  The String Faculty recommends that the concerto be memorized.

Doctor of Musical Arts

  • Two contrasting movements from any of the Six Cello Suites by J.S. Bach
  • One movement of a standard concerto such as Bartok, Walton, Hindemith, Schnittke, or Penderecki
  • One movement of a standard sonata
  • A 20th or 21st century work of the applicant's choice

Unaccompanied movements by Bach and the concerto must be memorized.


VIOLIN:

***Alternative repertoire will be approved on a case by case basis.***

Master of Music

  • Two contrasting movements from a solo sonata or partita by J.S. Bach
  • One movement of a standard concerto such as Bruch, Barber, Mendelssohn, Saint-Saëns, Sibelius, Vieuxtemps, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, or Brahms
  • One movement of a standard sonata

Unaccompanied movements by Bach must be performed from memory.  It is highly recommended that the concerto also be performed from memory.

Doctor of Musical Arts

  • Two contrasting movements from a solo sonata or partita by J.S. Bach
  • One movement of a standard concerto such as Bruch, Barber, Mendelssohn, Saint-Saëns, Sibelius, Vieuxtemps, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, or Brahms
  • One movement of a standard sonata
  • A 20th or 21st century work of the applicant's choice

Unaccompanied movements by Bach and the concerto must be memorized.


CELLO: 

***Alternative repertoire will be approved on a case by case basis.***

Master of Music

  • Two contrasting movements from any of the Six Cello Suites by J.S. Bach
  • One movement of a standard concerto such as Haydn C or D, Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations, Elgar, Dvorak, Schumann, Shostakovich
  • One movement of a standard sonata

Unaccompanied movements by Bach must be performed from memory.  It is highly recommended that the concerto also be performed from memory. Please be prepared to speak about your selections.


Doctor of Musical Arts

  • Two contrasting movements from any of the Six Cello Suites by J.S. Bach
  • One movement of a standard concerto such as Haydn C or D, Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations, Elgar, Dvorak, Schumann, Shostakovich
  • One movement of a standard sonata
  • A 20th or 21st century work of the applicant’s choice (written after 1975)

Unaccompanied movements by Bach and the concerto must be performed from memory. Please be prepared to speak about your selections.


DOUBLE BASS:

Graduate Degrees

  • First movement from a standard double bass concerto – Bottesini, Vanhal, Dittersdorf, or similar
  • A movement from the Bach suites for solo cello.

These are suggested pieces only-any standard work of comparable quality is acceptable.

 

TRUMPET
Graduate - (MM & DMA
)

Graduate auditions are prescreened in the USC trumpet studio. Your video recording must be presented in a digital format through an unlisted YouTube playlist, submitted through the Graduate Audition Registration form. Finalists will be chosen and invited to take part in a live audition (sometime between January & March). All finalist are considered for the TA position (if a TA position is available - please contact Prof. Ackley to see if a TA position is available in trumpet). Materials for both the video recording and the live audition must contain:

Masters audition requirements:

  • Longinotti Etude No. 7, complete
  • Haydn or Hummel Trumpet Concerto (Mvt. I, with cadenza)
  • Honegger Intrada
  • Orchestral Excerpts:  Mahler 5 (opening & lyrical solo - 1 before No. 13 through No. 14), Petroushka (Ballerina Dance), Pictures (opening), Pines of Rome (offstage), Leonore No. 3.  

DMA audition requirements:

  • Choice of a piccolo trumpet work (Mvt I only - Fasch, Tartini, Torelli, Corelli, Telemann, Richter, et al.)
  • Longinotti Etude No. 7, complete
  • Tomasi Concerto (Mvt. I)
  • Orchestral Excerpts: Mahler 5 (opening & lyrical solo - 1 before No. 13 through No. 14), Petroushka (Ballerina Dance), Pictures (opening), Pines of Rome (offstage), Leonore call No. 3.

Live audition durations are approx. 20-25 minutes in length. Sightreading and scales may be asked based on time allowed.  An "interview" may also be a part of the audition. No accompaniment required.

VOICE

Masters of Music 

  • Four pieces representing compositions from at least three of the following periods: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and 20th/21th Century.  At least one piece should be in English.
  • One operatic aria sung in the original language should be included
  • The following languages should be represented: English, French, German, and Italian

All repertoire should be performed from memory.

Doctor of Musical Arts on-site auditions:
If invited to an on-site audition, all candidates should prepare 30 minutes of repertoire.  This should include:

  • Art Songs from multiple stylistic periods (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century/21st Century)
  • At least one operatic aria sung in the original language
  • Repertoire in at least three languages

All repertoire should be performed from memory.


Voice Area Application Process:
Videos will be pre-screened for follow-up auditions (interview, sight-reading/aural skills evaluation) on the following dates: Dec. 5, Jan. 23, Feb. 13
Qualified applicants will be contacted by the School of Music to schedule a follow-up audition.

Materials must be submitted as follows:
UofSC application due December 1
Music application and audition materials due by Nov. 20 for follow-up audition on Dec. 5
Music application and audition materials due by Jan. 15 for follow-up audition on Jan. 23
Music application and audition materials due by Feb. 1 for follow-up audition on Feb. 13

WIND INSTRUMENTS

At least four significant compositions (or movements) of contrasting styles. The works should demonstrate a mature grasp of phrasing, tone, contemporary techniques, articulation, and general technique. Memorization is not required.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.

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