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School of Music


Audition FAQ

What should I expect when I visit to audition?
Audition days start around 9 a.m. with a reception for prospective students and their families. Throughout the morning there are scheduled activities, such as a brief recital featuring USC students, a question and answer session with the Dean, and optional tours of campus and the Music Community, a residential area for incoming music majors and minors. Auditions start around 11 a.m. and run throughout the day, and practice rooms are available for warming up and rehearsing. Students are assigned a specific audition time when they arrive to check-in at our registration desk between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.

If you have registered for an audition, we’ll send you a final schedule of your audition day's events about 10 days before your selected audition date.

Where can I get help planning my trip to USC?
The USC Visitor Center is a helpful resource for planning a trip to the university. The center has lists of hotels and restaurants and information on local sights. You can find this on the Visitor Center’s website or call 1-800-922-9755. The School of Music building is located at 813 Assembly Street, very close to the Visitor Center and next to the Koger Center for the Arts.

Directions to the School of Music, 813 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29208.

Campus map

I can’t make any of the audition dates. How can I schedule another date and time to audition?
It is highly recommended that students audition on one of the pre-arranged campus dates, as the audition dates offer prospective students and their families numerous information sessions, as well as optional tours of campus and the Music Community, a residential hall for music majors and minors. If attendance at one of these dates isn’t possible due to extenuating circumstance, please contact the director of music admission, Jennifer Jablonski; 803.777.6614).

Live auditions are preferred, but recorded auditions are accepted from students who live outside of South Carolina campus and who are unable to make arrangements to travel to audition. Recorded auditions should be received no later than the last scheduled audition date. Please note that it is to a student's advantage to audition in person if at all possible, as we can much better assess students' talent and potential in person.

How many students earn music scholarships? In what areas are music scholarships awarded?
About two-thirds of USC music students have been awarded a music scholarship from USC. USC music scholarships, which require terms of service to ensembles and additional course requirements, are awarded on the basis of merit only.

Out-of-state students who earn a scholarship of at least $250 a semester are eligible for a heavily reduced tuition rate as long as they meet minimum academic requirements.

Scholarships are offered in the areas of brass, composition, guitar, jazz, organ, percussion, piano, strings, voice and woodwinds. All students are automatically reviewed for scholarship funds as long as they audition on or before the last scheduled audition date of the audition cycle.

May I audition on more than one instrument? Can I schedule a regular audition and a jazz one on the same day?
Music applicants may also schedule a jazz audition and/or an audition on a strong secondary instrument – including voice – for additional music scholarship consideration. Let us know of your interest in having two or more auditions when you register or email Jennifer Jablonski with information about what additional auditions you would like to perform.

How do I get reviewed for admission to be a composition major?
Plan to audition for us on your primary instrument, as all music majors, including composition majors, must be admitted to the School of Music via audition. On the day you audition, you’ll also have an interview scheduled with the composition faculty at which time your portfolio will be reviewed.

How can I learn about other financial aid opportunities at USC?
Academic scholarship information.

The USC Alumni Association also offers several scholarships to incoming students. For more information check the website or call 803-777-4111.

Scholarships for children of Carolina Alumni Association members, call 803-777-4111 or check the website.

For financial aid information, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships at 803-777-8134 or email. Students applying for financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which becomes available in January and may be obtained from most high school guidance counselors or on the website.

I have questions that I don’t see answered here. Who can address them for me?
Questions about the School of Music auditions and music admissions should be directed to: Jennifer Jablonski, assistant dean of enrollment management, by email or by calling 803.777.6614.

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