Entrance & Scholarship Auditions

 

On this page, you will find information regarding department and scholarship auditions. Graduate students should visit the information on our Master of Music page.

 

Who Should Audition?

All students who want to be a music major or minor should audition. All students who want to be considered for a music scholarship should also audition. Music scholarships are open to all WWU students, regardless of major.

To join most ensembles students will complete a different process called Ensemble Auditions. We also offer two bands and one choir that can be joined without an audition. Please visit the Ensemble and Ensemble Auditions page for more details.

Audition Dates and Deadlines

Upcoming 2022-2023 Academic Year

The priority consideration deadline has passed. However, we are still accepting auditions for major and minor acceptance for fall 2022 with the exception of the percussion studio.

Auditions are currently reviewed on a rolling basis contingent on studio availability. Scholarships are awarded based on fund availability.

2023-2024 Academic Year

Updated audition requirements and dates will be posted in October 2022. The audition form will open in November 2022. Live auditions will be held on two weekends in February 2023, with the deadline to submit videos by the end of February 2023.

Audition Checklist

General Audition Information

Audition Details

All students interested in a music major, minor, or scholarship will complete an audition on their primary instrument or voice, regardless of program interest. Prospective composition majors will submit a portfolio for consideration, see below for more details.

Live Audition Dates

Live audition dates for the incoming 2022-2023 academic year have passed. Students should contact the area coordinator to see if a live audition is possible.

Scheduled live audition dates for the incoming 2023-2024 will be posted in fall 2022.

Audition Results

Students are accepted on a rolling basis and may receive their audition acceptance prior to the priority consideration deadline. Although we accept on a rolling basis we will not fill studio spots prior to the priority consideration deadline. 

Scholarship awards will be sent via email after the priority consideration deadline. Students who submit an audition after the priority consideration deadline will be sent on a rolling basis. Students who did not receive an award will be notified. 

Video Audition Details

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.

Music Acceptance vs. WWU Admissions

Students must apply to WWU through the Admissions Office. Students can audition for our program at any time before or after submitting an admissions application. Students do not need to wait for WWU acceptance to audition. 

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.

Helpful Academic Information

Students who are accepted as a music major or minor through an Entrance & Scholarship audition will be able to enroll in core music classes. Core music classes include music theory, aural skills, and keyboarding skills. 

Music Major

A typical incoming music major will have the following schedule for their first quarter. 

  • Music Theory I, MUS 122 (2 cr.)
  • Aural Skills I, MUS 121A (1 cr.)
  • Keyboarding Skills I, MUS 121B or 221B ( 1 cr.)
  • Private "Applied" Lessons ( 2 cr.)
  • Major Ensemble ( 2 cr.)
  • One to two GURs

Incoming voice performance majors will take Intro to Voice Studies (MUS 166A) for 2 credits.

 

Music Minor

A typical incoming music minor will have the following schedule for their first quarter. 

  • Music Theory I, MUS 122 (2 cr.)
  • Aural Skills I, MUS 121A (1 cr.)
  • Keyboarding Skills I, MUS 121B or 221B ( 1 cr.)
  • Major/GUR
  • Major/GUR

Music minors must complete theory, aural skills, and keyboarding skills concurrently unless they have tested out through assessments.

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.

Music 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. 

First Quarter Assessments

Incoming students are given the option to take the final for MUS 122 and MUS 121A to determine if they may place out of the first quarter of core classes. There are no consequences for not passing the assessment.

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 are 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.
  •  

Composition Major Requirements

Acceptance to the composition major has two parts: an audition on a primary instrument or voice and a composition portfolio review. 

Prospective composition majors submit a portfolio of original compositions to declare a BMus Composition degree. Students who are not ready to submit a portfolio can still audition for the program on their primary instrument or voice and submit a portfolio later for acceptance to the composition studio.

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.

 

 

 

 

Audition Requirements

All students interested in a music major, minor, or scholarship will complete an audition on their primary instrument or voice, regardless of program interest.

Please use the links below to review your audition information, then review the FAQ's.

Brass Auditions

 

Email Gustavo Camacho with any questions or concerns. 

The following information applies to incoming 2022-2023 auditions. Audition information for the 2023-2024 academic year will be available in fall 2022.

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 Auditions

 

Email Eli Schille-Hudson with any questions or concerns.

The following information applies to incoming 2022-2023 auditions. Audition information for the 2023-2024 academic year will be available in fall 2022.

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 Auditions

 

Prospective students may choose to audition for percussion and/or drumset as their primary instrument. Please contact Dr. Patrick Roulet with any questions or concerns.

The following information applies to incoming 2022-2023 auditions. Audition information for the 2023-2024 academic year will be available in fall 2022.

22-23 AY Update

The percussion studio is full for the 22-23 academic year and is no longer accepting auditions. Students are encouraged to audition for ensembles and prepare for entrance and scholarship auditions for fall 2023. 

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 Auditions

 

Email Milica Jelača Jovanović with any questions or concerns. 

The following information applies to incoming 2022-2023 auditions. Audition information for the 2023-2024 academic year will be available in fall 2022.

Repertoire Requirements

  • Audition material must be memorized except for complicated complex/random contemporary scores.
  • 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. 

Piano Requirements by Degree Interest

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.

String Auditions

 

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

The following information applies to incoming 2022-2023 auditions. Audition information for the 2023-2024 academic year will be available in fall 2022.

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 Auditions

 

Email Tim Fitzpatrick with any questions or concerns. 

The following information applies to incoming 2022-2023 auditions. Audition information for the 2023-2024 academic year will be available in fall 2022.

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.

Voice Requirements by 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 before hand, 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.

Woodwind Auditions

 

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

The following information applies to incoming 2022-2023 auditions. Audition information for the 2023-2024 academic year will be available in fall 2022.

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.

The Entrance & Scholarship Application form acts as an application for the music program. 

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. 

Yes! Students can audition on more than one instrument for scholarships and major/minor consideration. 

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.