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School of Music

Graduate Audition Information

Graduate Audition Information 

All 2022-23 auditions will take place in person at the UofSC School of Music.  Applicants may request to submit video recordings in lieu of a live audition if they have extenuating circumstances. 

The January 28th, Graduate Audition Day will feature current graduate student performances during the opening presentation and will offer various sessions specifically for prospective graduate students.  Graduate applicants are encouraged to register for the Graduate Audition Day, but may select any of the below audition days their instrument is offered.  You must submit application materials to the USC Graduate School BEFORE your audition.

*Applicants who are feeling ill or displaying any symptoms of COVID 19 should not attend a live audition.  Please contact the Assistant Director of Music Admissions, Jennifer Mitchell at jmitchell@mozart.sc.edu or 803-777-4281 to reschedule your audition due to illness.  

The deadline to submit all other application materials as required by the degree programs (Graduate School application, letters of recommendation,  resume, repertoire list, writing samples, test scores, etc.) is FEBRUARY 18, 2023.

Register for Graduate Audition


2022-2023 School of Music Audition Schedule

Applicants for Spring 2023 Enrollment
Audition Date:

Saturday, December 3
   *All areas

Applicants for Fall 2023 Enrollment
Audition Dates:
Saturday, December 3
   *All areas
Saturday, January 21
   *All areas with the exception of brass, jazz, percussion and woodwinds
Saturday, January 28
   *All areas.  **Graduate Audition Day.
Saturday, February 11
   *Brass, jazz, percussion and woodwinds only
Saturday, February 18
   *All areas
**Graduate applicants may select any day their instrument is offered for their audition but are encouraged to select our Graduate Audition Day where the audition day presentations and sessions will be geared towards prospective graduate students. 

Completed audition and admission are required by February 18 for Graduate Assistantship consideration.

 

HORN

Please prepare 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.

TROMBONE

Please prepare 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.

TRUMPET
Graduate - (MM & DMA
)

Masters audition requirements:

  • Charlier Etude #2
  • A Concerto of choice (Mvt I only)
  • 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: 

  • Same requirements as the Masters, plus a choice of a first movement of a piccolo trumpet work (Fasch, Tartini, Torelli, Corelli, Telemann, Richter, et al.

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.

TUBA/EUPHONIUM

Please prepare 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.

No in-person or instrumental audition is required for MM or DMA composition applications. Please see information on the Graduate Admissions page for specific MM and DMA composition application requirements.  Scores and recordings should be submitted to Traci Hair at thair@mozart.sc.edu

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.

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, includes conducting in both rehearsal and performance. The camera should be placed facing the conductor.  Selected applicants will be invited to an on-campus audition on Feb. 5-6 for MM applicants and Feb. 6-7 for DMA applicants.  Notification of selection and audition information will be sent by Jan. 13, 2023.
 

Master's and Doctoral Instrumental (Wind and Orchestral) applicants:
Audition video (due by December 15): 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 multi-movement sonata or major one-movement sonata
  • A major 20th- or 21st-century work
  • One composition of the applicant's choice

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

Please contact Mak Grgić if you have any questions about your audition repertoire.

 

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

  • A minimum of five selections in English, French, German, and Italian.  
  • Two of the selections must be arias.  
  • At least 3 musical periods (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 1900-1950, post 1950) should be represented. 
  • At least one art song in French, German or Italian.  
  • All repertoire should be performed from memory.  
 

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. 


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 excerpt 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.

 

STRINGS

CELLO:
Please contact Claire Bryant with any questions regarding audition repertoire.

Master of Music
  • Two contrasting movements from any of the Six Cello Suites by J.S. Bach
  • One movement of a concerto 
  • One movement of a solo or collaborative sonata
  • One short solo cello work written after 2000 by a self-identifying composer from an underrepresented group such as: female, BIPOC, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx, AAPI, Native American, LGBTQIA+, and non-binary. Please contact Professor Claire Bryant if you need recommendations for repertoire to fulfill this requirement. 
Performances from memory are encouraged for solo and concerto repertoire. Please be prepared to introduce your selections to the jury in a thoughtful and engaging way.

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
  • One short solo cello work written after 2000 by a self-identifying composer from an underrepresented group such as: female, BIPOC, Hispanic/Latino/Latinx, AAPI, Native American, LGBTQIA+, and non-binary. Please contact Professor Claire Bryant if you need recommendations for repertoire to fulfill this requirement. 
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.

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

Master of Music and Graduate Certificate
  • 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.

VOICE

  • Masters of Music in Performance 
      • A minimum of five selections representing compositions from at least three of the following periods: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 1900-1950, post 1950.  
      • Of those 5 selections, at least 3 should be art songs and 1 must be an aria performed in the original language.  
      • The following languages should be represented: English, French, German, and Italian.  
      • All repertoire should be performed from memory.  
  • Masters of Music in Opera Theatre
      • A minimum of five selections in English, French, German, and Italian.  
      • Two of the selections must be arias.  
      • At least 3 musical periods (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 1900-1950, post 1950) should be represented. 
      • At least one art song in French, German or Italian.  
      • All repertoire should be performed from memory.  
  • Doctor of Musical Arts Prescreen 
      • DMA voice applicants must submit pre-screen audition videos to be considered for in-person auditions. These should include: 
        • A minimum of five selections representing compositions from at least three of the following periods: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 1900-1950, post 1950.  
        • Of those 5 selections, 4 should be art songs and 1 must be an aria performed in the original language.  
        • The following languages should be represented: English, French, German, and Italian.  
        • All repertoire should be performed from memory.  
  • Doctor of Musical Arts On-Site Audition 
    • If invited to an on-site audition, all candidates should prepare 30 minutes of repertoire.  Selections should include: 
      • Art songs from multiple stylistic periods (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 1900-1950, post 1950) 
      • At least one operatic aria performed in the original language. 
      • The following languages should be represented: English, French, German, and Italian.  
      • All repertoire should be performed from memory. 

 

 

BASSOON

MASTERS AND GRADUATE CERTIFICATE DEGREE AUDITIONS
  • Prepare three contrasting selections, such as individual movements from sonatas, concertos, or other solo works. You are encouraged to perform at least one selection by a composer from a community that has been historically underrepresented in the field (women, persons of color).
  • One of these selections can be an etude.
  • Three standard orchestral excerpts, contrasting in style and technical / lyrical demands.
  • Sight reading may be required.
  • For questions regarding audition repertoire or to set up a lesson either on or in advance of your audition day, please contact Michael Harley, mharley@mozart.sc.edu
DOCTORAL DEGREE BASSOON AUDITIONS
  • Prepare four contrasting selections, such as individual movements from sonatas, concertos, or other solo works. You are encouraged to perform at least one selection by a composer from a community that has been historically underrepresented in the field (women, persons of color).
  • One of these selections can be an etude.
  • One of these selections must have been written in the last 50 years.
  • Four standard orchestral excerpts, contrasting in style and technical / lyrical demands.
  • Sight reading may be required.
  • For questions regarding audition repertoire or to set up a lesson on or in advance of your audition day, please contact Michael Harley, mharley@mozart.sc.edu

CLARINET

Graduate clarinet auditions are to be prescreened for the USC Clarinet Studio with a video submitted no later than one month before applicants' desired live audition date. 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 December, 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.

FLUTE

Candidates in flute should prepare two movements from different compositions from the standard solo repertoire that show a contrast in style, one of these selections should be by an underrepresented composer (woman, BIPOC composer). This link includes some sources for this music.

OBOE

Either No. 2 or No. 3 must be a complete major work which is not less than 10 minutes in length.

  1. Two etudes showing the applicant’s level of technical and musical ability.
  2. A slow/fast pair of movements or a complete shorter work from any Baroque or Classical piece, not less than 8 minutes in length (may include repeats).
  3. A sonata or concerto movement (or pair of movements) or a short work (or pair of short works) in a style other than Baroque or Classical, not less than 6 minutes in length.
  4. William Grant Still- “Incantation and Dance” for oboe and piano.
  5. Three orchestral excerpts demonstrating slow, fast, and articulated passages.

SAXOPHONE

  • Please prepare 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.
  • Masters candidates should prepare at least 20 minutes worth of material
  • Doctoral candidates should prepare at least 30 minutes of material.
  • For questions regarding audition repertoire or to set up a lesson either on or in advance of your audition day, please contact Clifford Leaman, cleaman@mozart.sc.edu

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