Entrance & Scholarship Auditions

On this page, you will find information on auditions to be a music major or minor and music scholarships. Graduate students should review the information on our Master of Music page.

All students who wish to become a music major or minor must complete an Entrance Audition. All incoming students who want to audition for a music scholarship, including non-music majors/minors, must also prepare an Entrance Audition.

Audition Dates and Deadlines

Priority Consideration Deadline

March 1, 2022

Live Audition Dates

February 4, 5, 25, and 26, 2022
 

See the General Audition Information section for more details regarding deadlines and the timeline of results.

Audition Checklist

  • Read the General Audition Information

  • Read the FAQs

  • Review the audition requirements for your primary instrument or voice.

  • Submit a video audition or request a live audition time through the Entrance & Scholarship Audition form. 

  • Apply to WWU, if you haven't already completed your application

General Audition Information

Timeline of Results

The priority consideration deadline is March 1, 2022.

Students are accepted on a rolling basis beginning November 1, 2021, and may receive their audition acceptance prior to the priority consideration deadline.

All students who submit an audition by the priority consideration deadline will be notified of their major or minor acceptance by the end of the day on March 11, 2022. Preference is not given to either audition modality.

Scholarship offers will be sent in a separate email by the end of the day on March 18, 2022.

Submissions After Priority Deadline

Students who missed the priority consideration deadline are still encouraged to submit an audition! Students are accepted to the program and awarded scholarships on a rolling basis contingent on studio availability and fund availability.

Communication with Applicants

All communication will be sent to the email address applicants provide in the Entrance & Scholarship Audition form. Please contact Lee Anne Frahn if you need to change your email address.

Live Auditions

Requesting a Live Audition Date

Live Audition Days: February 4, 5, 25, 26

Students must submit the Entrance & Scholarship Audition form to request a date and time. The Entrance & Scholarship Audition form acts as an application to the music program and music scholarships.  Students will be able to select which dates they prefer. We will do our best to accommodate all preferences.

Live Audition Scheduling

Students will be contacted directly via email by their area coordinator to schedule a live audition. Please contact Lee Anne Frahn if you have not received a response within three full weeks.

Audition Day Details

The Music Department will host an orientation and information session in the morning and afternoon on each live audition day.  Students are encouraged to attend these sessions, but it is not required. Students are encouraged to arrive on campus a minimum of one hour before their audition time to check in and warm-up. Practice rooms will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Further details regarding the audition day will be sent via email to students roughly two weeks before the audition day.

Audition Day Cancellations

If WWU must cancel live auditions due to inclement weather or other, students will be notified via email and text message.

 

The Bellingham area has several hotels that offer a WWU discount! Please visit the Accommodations website for further details.  We encourage you to visit the Visitors Overview website to access campus maps and parking. Please note, paid parking close to the PAC may not be available on audition days. The C/CR lot is approximately a 15-minute walk from the PAC. Past auditioning students have opted to be dropped off next to the 11G parking lot/PAC before their guests have parked in the C/CR lots. Please review the General Campus Map to locate the drop-off location.

As of October 2021, all guests attending Entrance & Scholarship auditions are considered “sponsored” visitors. Sponsored visitors must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test within 72 hrs when checking in for auditions. Please note, this includes all guests coming to campus with the auditioning student.

We will update this section and notify students if COVID policies change before auditions. Please https://www.wwu.edu/coronavirus/visitor-guidance visit the Campus Visitors Guidelines website for more details.

 

Video Submissions

Audition videos must be submitted through the Entrance & Scholarship Audition form. The Entrance & Scholarship Audition form acts as an application to the music program and music scholarships. Audition videos must be submitted links, rather than direct uploads, from video or file sharing sites. Please provide all necessary permissions to view videos, including listing published videos as “unlisted” rather than private.

 

Video Submission Eligibility

All students can submit a video audition regardless of their location and preference is not given to either modality.

Each selection/requirement may be recorded separately.  Introductions to videos are not required but are helpful. Students can also include a title slide with the name of the piece which can be added in IMovie, Windows Movie Maker, or similar. We encourage you to prepare your videos carefully to make sure your or your instrument is fully in frame. Please reach out to the associated area coordinator for questions or concerns about your video submission.

Academic Information

All prospective music majors and minors must complete an Entrance audition to enroll in music core sequences. These sequences include music theory, aural skills, and keyboarding skills. Students that are admitted as a music major or minor will declare their degree before they enroll in their first quarter of music core classes. New freshman/running-start students will declare at orientation. New transfer and post-bacc students will declare at orientation or via an appointment with the Program Coordinator. 

Keyboarding Skills

Competency on the piano is not required for major or minor admission to the brass, percussion, string & guitar, voice, or woodwind area. Students in these programs build basic and intermediate skills on the piano through keyboarding skills courses. Piano majors and those with extensive piano lesson experience will take an advanced and accelerated set of keyboarding skills courses.

Core Equivalency Assessments

The Music Core Equivalency Assessments are diagnostic assessments for students with transferable credits in music theory, aural skills, and/or keyboarding skills. These assessments allow eligible students to test out of core classes based on their placement. Eligible students will be sent more information after completing an Entrance & Scholarship audition. Mid-year applicants for winter and spring quarters may be able to take assessments before completing an audition to help with advising and enrollment. 

 

Scholarship recipients must enroll in private lessons and a major ensemble according to their area of study below. Private lessons will include an additional course fee to enroll. Major ensembles include band, orchestra, and choir. Jazz ensembles do not apply to this requirement unless the scholarship is from the jazz area.

  • Brass: Enrollment in an ensemble is required, lessons are optional for non-majors/minors and music minors.
  • Guitar: Enrollment in an ensemble and lessons is required for all recipients.
  • Percussion: Enrollment in an ensemble and lessons is required for all recipients.
  • Piano: Enrollment in lessons is required, ensemble enrollment is optional for non-majors/minors and music minors.
  • Strings: Enrollment in an ensemble and lessons is required for all recipients.
  • Voice: Enrollment in an ensemble and lessons is required for all recipients.
  • Woodwind: Enrollment in an ensemble and lessons is required for all recipients.
  • Jazz: Enrollment in an ensemble is required for all recipients.

Decisions related to general WWU admissions are completed independently by the WWU Admissions Office. The Music Department evaluates incoming students based on their artistic technique and eligibility for our program, whereas the Admissions Office evaluates students based on several factors for admission to the University as a whole. We appreciate your understanding that acceptance into the Music Department does not guarantee admission to Western Washington University.

Students do not need to wait to be accepted to WWU before completing an audition. Students can submit an audition and complete the admissions application in any order.

Live Auditions and COVID-19

Students will be notified as soon as possible following any decision to cancel live audition dates due to COVID-19. Notifications will be sent via email.  

Students should be aware that cancellations could be sent up to the day of the audition. 

Students who have concerns about COVID or late cancellations are encouraged to submit a video audition. If you already submitted a live audition request, please email Lee Anne Frahn (frahnl@wwu.edu) for more information.

Audition Requirements

After reviewing the general audition information and FAQ's, look at the detailed audition requirements for your primary instrument or voice.

Composition Major Requirements

In addition to auditioning on their primary instrument or voice, students who wish to major in composition must also submit a portfolio of original compositions for consideration. 

Acceptance to the composition has two parts: a performance audition and a composition portfolio review. 

Prepare the following materials for your composition portfolio.

  • 2-3 original compositions.
  • At least one notated (PDF format preferred). Audio recordings are required if a composition is not notated. Audio recordings for notated works are not required but are helpful.

Portfolio items are accepted as links only in the Entrance & Scholarship Audition form. Please make sure the share settings are set to "anyone with the link can view" to ensure its accessibility. Applicants should make sure all links are active/available until they are notified of their acceptance.

Acceptance to the composition has two parts: a performance audition and a composition portfolio review. Students must be accepted by their primary instrument or voice studio as a composition major to declare a composition degree.

Students will be notified via email if they have been admitted as a BMus Composition major, along with other degree programs if applicable. Students who feel they are not prepared to submit a portfolio should still indicate this degree choice through the Entrance & Scholarship Audition Form. Students who did not submit a portfolio can still be accepted as a Bachelor of Arts in Music Major until their portfolio has been reviewed.

Students who are not prepared to submit a portfolio can still audition for the composition major at Entrance & Scholarship Auditions! Please submit the Entrance & Scholarship audition form and include composition under your degree interest. Students who are accepted on their primary instrument as a composition major will have the status of "pre-major" until a portfolio has been reviewed. Composition "pre-majors" can declare and begin a Bachelor of Arts in Music major until admittance into a composition studio.

Students who didn't submit a portfolio may be able to begin composition lessons to work on their portfolio, contingent on studio availability. 

Please contact Dr. Charles Halka with any questions or concerns.

 

 

 

 

Brass Requirements

 

Email Gustavo Camacho with any questions or concerns. 

Horn

  1. Any solo or etude that demonstrates your current technical level on the horn (the most challenging thing you can play well)
  2. Any solo or etude featuring lyrical passages (slowish tempo, slurred passages, long phrases, etc.)

Trumpet

  1. Two contrasting selections from standard solo repertoire or etudes, one lyric and one technical - please feel free to contact the professor if you are unsure if a selection is appropriate
  2. Major and minor scales and arpeggios through four sharps and four flats (two octaves when possible)
  3. Sight-reading may be requested at the on-campus audition only

Tuba

  1. Any two of the first four solos in “Solos for the Tuba Player” by Wekselblatt
  2. First movement of Haddad “Suite for Tuba”
  3. First ten studies from the “Studies for BB♭ Tuba” by Tyrell
  4. Major and minor scales through four sharps and four flats (two octaves when possible)
  5. Sight-reading may be requested at the on-campus audition only

Tenor/Bass Trombone & Euphonium

  1. Two or three studies from “Melodious Études” by Rochut, Book I (bass trombone should play one octave lower where feasible)
  2. One etude from Studies 1 - 10 of the Blazhevich Clef Studies, in either C, F or G Major
  3. Five selected studies from the Arban Method, Book 1
  4. Major and minor scales and arpeggios through four sharps and four flats (two octaves when possible)
  5. Sight-reading may be requested at the on-campus audition only

Guitar Requirements

 

Email Eli Schille-Hudson with any questions or concerns.

Audition Requirements

Please prepare the following:

  1. Any Major scale and any natural-minor scale, each spanning two octaves, played apoyando.
  2. Any exercise from Mauro Giuliani’s Centoventi Arpeggi, 1-10.
  3. One of the following:
    • Any study by Fernando Sor OR
    • Any study from Leo Brouwer’s Estudios Sencillos 
  4. A selection the applicant chooses to reflect their strengths as a musician. Any style is welcome; improvisations and original compositions also welcome.

Audition Details

  • Items 1-3 must be performed finger-style in classical playing position (with a footstool or support) on a nylon string classical guitar.
  • Item 4 may be performed on any guitar in a sitting position of the applicant’s choice.

Guitar Audition Resources

  1. Scale notation, tablature, and fingering resources are available for free through our Google Drive folder.
  2. Giuliani resources are available for free through our Google Drive folder.
  3. Fernando Sor  (opp. 6, 29, 31, 35, 44, 60) are available for purchase via Telca Editions, and for available for free through our Google Drive folder. 
  4. Leo Brouwer's Estudio Sencillos is available via Sheet Music Plus.

Percussion Requirements

 

Prospective students may choose to audition for percussion and/or drumset as their primary instrument.

Percussion auditions are not available on February 26. If you cannot make any other live audition dates, please contact Dr. Patrick Roulet  to arrange a different date to visit campus. 

Please contact Dr. Patrick Roulet with any questions or concerns.

Percussion Concentration

Snare Drum (Required)
  1. Snare drum etude or solo 
  2. Closed buzz roll performed soft-loud-soft – 30 seconds 
  3. Double-stroke open roll performed slow-fast-slow – 30 seconds 
Mallet Percussion vibraphone, marimba or xylophone

(Optional- choose one or more from the list below)

  • An original song or composition of your own 
  • A piece of music that you have learned in music environments such as a family or community ensemble, jazz group, pop or rock band etc.  
  • A few minutes of you performing the style of music you are the most passionate about.
Timpani (optional)

Timpani solo or etude

Multi-percussion (optional)

Solo or etude
 

Drumset Concentration

Snare Drum (Required)
  1. Closed buzz roll performed soft-loud-soft
  2. Double-stroke open roll performed slow-fast-slow
  3. Snare drum etude or solo
Drumset (Required)
  1. Demonstrate the following styles at various tempos: swing, mambo, bossa nova, samba, rock/funk
  2.  Trade four bars of solo with four bars of swing time at a medium tempo (32 bars)
  3. Drumset solo, etude, or transcription of a recorded drum solo
  4. You may also submit a video recording of a live performance with a school jazz ensemble
Mallet percussion (optional)

(Optional- choose one or more from the list below)

  • A solo, song, etude, or piece of music of your choice using two or four mallets
  • An original song or composition of your own.  
  • A piece of music that you have learned in music environments such as a family or community ensemble, jazz group, pop or rock band etc.  
  • A few minutes of you performing the style of music you are the most passionate about.

Piano Requirements

 

Email Milica Jelača Jovanović with any questions or concerns. 

Piano Audition Repertoire Requirements

  • Audition material must be memorized.
  • The minimum level of difficulty should be like the following:
    • Bach, “Short Preludes” & “Inventions” 
    • Clementi, Haydn, Mozart & Beethoven “Sonatinas”
    • Bartok “Mikrokosmos” Books 3 & 4
  • At this time, prospective music majors cannot present jazz, pop, rock, new age, or personal compositions. Music minors may present one piece from the jazz genre. 

Non-Music Major/Minor

Students auditioning for scholarships only are encouraged to prepare the music major requirements. Please review the repertoire details and the Piano Audition Repertoire Requirements section above. 

Please contact  Milica Jelača Jovanović with any questions or concerns.

Music Minor

Prepare the following:

  • Two contrasting pieces

Repertoire Details

  • One piece can be from the jazz genre
  • The second piece must be from one of the following classical style periods; Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic, 20th/21st Century Classical.

Review the Piano Audition Repertoire Requirements section above.

Music Major

Prepare the following:

  • Three contrasting pieces
  • Practice sight-reading. Sight-reading will be evaluated for academic purposes at on-campus auditions but does not weigh into admission decisions.

Repertoire Details

  • One work must be from the Baroque (~1600-1750) or Classical Period (~1750-1830)
  • The remaining repertoire must be from one of the following classical style periods; Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic, 20th/21st Century Classical.

Review the Piano Audition Repertoire Requirements section above.

Strings Requirements

 

Email Grant Donnellan  with any questions or concerns. Accompaniment is not required.

Violin

  1. One movement of a Solo Sonata or Partita by J.S. Bach. 
  2.  One movement of a Major Concerto OR a Virtuoso Work. 
    • Concerto Examples: Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Saint-Saens, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, Bruch, Barber, Vieuxtemps, Wieniawski, et al, 
    • Virtuoso Examples: Saint-Saens Havanaise or Introduction and Rondo Capriciosso, Wieniawski Polonaise Brillante, Sarasate Zapateado, Ravel Tzigane, Kreisler Praeludium and Allegro, et al. 
  3. One Etude: any of the etudes/caprices of Kreutzer, Rode, Fiorillo, Dont (op. 35) Gavinies, Paganini, Wieniawski (opus 10) or Ernst. 
  4. One scale of your choice, three or four octaves at a moderate tempo, six to eight notes per bow. 
  5. One major and relative minor arpeggio of your choice, three or four octaves. 
     

Viola

  1. 3 octave scale of your choice. 
     
  2. 1 movement of Bach Solo Suite. 
  3. 1 movement of a Sonata (by Brahms, Clarke, Schubert, etc.) or Concerto (by Walton, Bartok, Hindemith, Stamitz, etc.) demonstrating your current level of musicianship and technique. 

Harp

  1. Two pieces of different style, memorized. 
    • Examples; Handel Concerto in B-flat, Haydn Theme & Variations, Pescetti C Major Sonata, Pierne Impromptu Caprice, Debussy First Arabesque, selections from Suite of Eight Dances by Salzedo. 
  2. Major and melodic minor scales. 
  3. Sight reading at on-campus auditions only. 

Double Bass

  1. 1 etude from Nanny’s “Complete Methods” book 1 OR solo of candidate’s choice. 
  2. Two contrasting orchestral excerpts (one by Mozart). 
  3. Scales through half, 1st & 2nd positions. 
     

Cello

  1. 3 or 4 octave scale of your choice. 
  2. Etude by Popper or similar. 
  3. Two contrasting works from different stylistic periods. 
    • Eg. Bach Solo Suite and Sonata (by Brahms/Grieg/Shostakovich etc.) or Concerto (by Saint-Saens, Lalo, Dvorak, Haydn, etc.) or shorter concert work is also acceptable.
       

Voice Requirements

 

Email Tim Fitzpatrick with any questions or concerns. 

Prepare the following material based on your degree interest. Accompaniment is not required for live or recorded auditions. A pianist will be available for live auditions; sheet music can be sent to the pianist beforehand, or sight read at the live auditions. 

Music Minor and Non-Music Major/Minor

Prepare one piece of your choosing, any genre or style.

If you are also auditioning for the performance major, please prepare only the performance major requirements.

Majors: Bachelor of Arts, Composition, History & Literature, Music Education

Prepare one piece of your choosing, any genre or style.

If you are also auditioning for the performance major, please prepare only the performance major requirements.

Performance Major

Prepare two pieces of contrasting styles from the following options:

  • Folksong
  • Art Song
  • Aria

We encourage your pieces to be from two different language traditions, but this is not required.

Voice Studio Information

Currently, voice students in lessons typically study art songs, classically arranged folk songs, golden-age musical theater, and opera, along with opportunities to perform in jazz ensembles, music theatre productions, and a variety of student clubs. While our curriculum focuses on Western classical music, we are excited about the potential of exploring other styles in private lessons. We welcome and are excited to hear any pieces that show your vocal potential and passion.

Woodwind Requirements

 

Email Lisa McCarthy with any questions or concerns. Accompaniment is not required. Students may be contacted for a zoom interview.

Flute

  1. Two contrasting etudes from "Melodious and Progressive Studies", Book one, revised by Robert Cavally or 25 Romantic Etudes, Opus 66 by Ernesto Kohler
  2. Flute solo of choice

Clarinet

  1. Two contrasting etudes from “32 Studies” by Cyrille Rose
  2. Clarinet solo of choice

Bassoon

  1. Two Weissenborn or Advanced Rubank études 
  2. Bassoon solo of choice

Saxophone

  1. Two studies from Ferling 48 Famous Studies, Rubank Selected Studies, Klose 25 Exercises or Niehaus Jazz Studies 
  2. Saxophone solo of choice

Oboe

Prepare and perform two pieces of your choice that demonstrate:​​​​​

  • your technical ability, your musical expressiveness, and contrasting in style, tempo, etc. 
  • music you love and connect with

Required Statement

Submit a statement about what it is you love about playing music, and the oboe in particular. We are interested in who you are, what music means to you, how long you’ve been playing, what kinds of musical experiences you’ve had, and how you envision music being part of your life at WWU and beyond.

Audition Guidelines and Resources

Students are encouraged to review the following links for standard training methods and repertoire examples.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Recommendation letters are not necessary to audition for our program. If students wish to provide recommendation letters, they made provide links to the letters within the Entrance & Scholarship Audition Form.

No accompaniment is needed for video submissions, including voice auditions. Voice students may sing along with a backing track or pre-recorded accompaniment if they wish.

There is no official application for the music program. Audition materials and information submitted through the Entrance & Scholarship audition form act as an application for our degrees and/or scholarships.

Students who choose not to audition for our program have many opportunities to participate in our department. Students can enroll in ensembles, music GURs, MUS 101, and applied/composition lessons. While students can enroll in University Choirs without an audition, all other ensembles will require an audition to enroll. Some studios may require a studio audition or instructor permission to join an applied area or to enroll in composition lessons. Our core courses such as music theory, aural skills, keyboarding skills, music history, conducting, and music education courses are restricted to those who have been accepted via an entrance audition.

Yes! Students must complete the general admissions application for Western Washington University. Acceptance to the music major or minor does not guarantee admission to the general university. Students must be accepted through the admissions office in order to join us in the fall. 

Looking for more information?

If you have any questions, we're happy to find you an answer. Call the Music Department Office 360-650-3130, or view the directory of faculty and staff.