Graduate Audition Requirements

General Information

An audition is required for graduate applicants seeking admission in performance, conducting, pedagogy, and jazz. Once accepted into a program, applicants will take proficiency examinations in music history and music theory prior to the first week of classes.

Basic audition instructions: Be prepared to perform two pieces of music on your primary instrument which are contrasting in style and showcase your musical and technical abilities. You will be asked to play scales and to sight read.

AREA-SPECIFIC INFORMATION

The following information has been provided by School of Music areas to further assist students with their audition preparation.

Bassoon Audition Requirements and Repertoire
Cello Audition Repertoire
Choral Conducting Proficiencies
Clarinet Audition Requirements and Repertoire
Classical Guitar
Double Bass Audition Repertoire
Flute Audition Requirements
Percussion Audition Information
Piano Audition Requirements
Saxophone Audition Requirements
Trombone Audition Requirements
Trumpet Audition Requirements
Tuba Audition Requirements
Voice Audition Requirements
Viola Audition Requirements
Violin Audition Requirements

BASSOON AUDITION REQUIREMENTS AND REPERTOIRE

  • A selection from major works such as the Mozart Concerto, the Saint-Saens Sonata, the Weber Concerto in F Major, the Weber Andante and Rondo, or the Hummel ConcertoMajor and minor scales
  • Two orchestral excerpts in addition to the following: Mozart-Marriage of Figaro Overture, Ravel-Bolero, and Tchaikovsky-Symphony No..4, Mvt. 2.

CELLO AUDITION REPERTOIRE

Master of Music

  • An outer movement of a standard concerto
  • Two contrasting movements from one of Bach's Suites for solo cello
  • An etude by Popper or Piatti

Doctor of Musical Arts

  • A complete concerto
  • A complete Bach Suite for solo cello
  • An additional work of contrasting style

CHORAL CONDUCTING PROFICIENCIES AND REQUIREMENTS

Master of Music

The Master of Music in Choral Conducting represents an advanced level of knowledge and skill in the area of conducting.  Applicants must have an undergraduate degree in either Vocal Performance or Music Education, with an emphasis in choral conducting. In a few, rare instances, applicants may enter with a bachelor's degree in a related area of music, but only through clear demonstrated competence in the area of conducting.

45-minute video of a recent rehearsalVideo of a recent public performanceParticipation in an on-campus interview which includes a conducting audition, a sight-singing and pitch recognition examination, a piano skills audition, a vocal diction examination and a personal interview

A video audition may be accepted in cases of international students or those with similar travel difficulties.  In addition, prospective students must be accepted by the University of Memphis and by the School of Music to be accepted into the Master of Music degree program in choral conducting.

Doctor of Musical Arts

The Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting represents an advanced level of knowledge and skill in the area of conducting. Applicants must have a master's degree in either performance or music education, with a specialty in conducting. In a few, rare instances, applicants may enter with a master's degree in a related area, but only through clear demonstrated competence in the area of conducting.

45-minute video of a recent rehearsalvideo of a recent public performanceParticipation in an on-campus interview which includes a conducting audition, a sight-singing and pitch recognition examination, a piano skills audition, a vocal diction examination and a personal interview

A video audition may be accepted in cases of international students or those with similar travel difficulties. In addition, prospective students must be accepted by the University of Memphis and by the School of Music to be accepted into the Doctor of Musical Arts degree program in choral conducting.

For more information, please contact: Dr. Lawrence Edwards, Director of Choral Activities, 901.678.3767, edwards@memphis.edu.

CLARINET AUDITION REQUIREMENTS AND REPERTOIRE

MM/DMA clarinet audition requirements:

• First movement exposition from Mozart Clarinet Concerto, K. 622
• A 20th or 21st century piece
• A piece of your choice of contrasting style
• 3-4 orchestral excerpts, including Mendelssohn Scherzo

Any student may upload a preliminary audio or video medium, however, these do not stand in lieu of a live audition. If you have any questions please contact Dr. Robyn Jones: rljnes12@memphis.edu.

CLASSICAL GUITAR

Master of Music in Classical Guitar

Three contrasting pieces from three different periods
It should include two contrasting movements by Bach

Doctor of Music in Classical Guitar

A movement from a Concerto
A complete Bach Suite
An additional work of contrasting style

DOUBLE BASS AUDITION REPERTOIRE

Master of Music

  • Two contrasting movements of a standard sonata or concerto
  • One movement of a work from an additional style period

Doctor of Musical Arts

  • A complete concerto
  • Two contrasting movements from one of Bach's Suites for solo cello

FLUTE AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Graduate applicant (M.M. and D.M.A.):

  • One sonata by J.S. Bach
  • First and second movements of Mozart's Concerto in G or D major.
  • One full work from the 20th or 21st century
  • Three orchestral excerpts
  • Sight-reading

PERCUSSION AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Master of Music

  • A four-timpani piece
  • A four-mallet marimba piece
  • A Delecluse snare drum solo
  • A multiple percussion piece
  • Sight reading

PIANO AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Master of Music/Piano Performance

Three works contrasting in tempo and style taken from the standard concert repertoire; may include a Bach Partita, a Chopin Impromptu/Etude/Ballade Scherzo, a Beethoven Sonata (excluding the Opus 14's and Opus 49's), a Prokofiev Sonata, an Etude by Debussy, Stravinsky, Scriabin

Master of Music/Piano Pedagogy

Three works in contrasting tempo and style taken from the standard teaching repertoire; may include a Bach Invention, a Scarlatti Sonata, Chopin Nocturne/ Impromptu/Preludes, first movement of a Mozart or Haydn Sonata, Debussy Prelude

Doctor of Musical Arts/Piano Performance

A full recital program of standard concert repertoire representing the four stylistic periods

Doctor of Musical Arts/Collaborative Piano

  • Solo work, eg. Chopin Ballade, complete Beethoven Sonata
  • An instrumental duo sonata, eg. Spring Sonata, Faure Sonata
  • A complete song cycle, eg. Dichterliebe
  • A concert aria or major aria from an opera
  • Sight-reading
  • Transposition at sight

 

SAXOPHONE AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

MM, DMA

Prepare two contrasting works from standard solo literature. Candidates are encouraged to prepare one work composed after 1980. The graduate level curricula are flexible and may consist of some combination of classical and jazz study, or exclusively one or the other. A standard tune performed from memory with a playalong may be substituted for one classical selection. Exceptionally strong jazz applicants who are more comfortable in this style but have a strong interest in studying classical style at the graduate level may find the BM audition repertoire suggestions more palatable. Contact Michael Shults at mashults@memphis.edu with questions. Classical repertoire suggestions include:

Concerto by Dahl
Concertino da Camera by Ibert
Prelude, Cadence et Finale by Desenclos
Sonata by Albright
Sequenza IXb by Berio
Sonata by Denisov
Etudes by Christian Lauba
Fuzzy Bird Sonata by Yoshimatsu
Klonos by Swerts
Caprice en Forme de Valse by Bonneau

Saxophone, MM in Jazz and Studio Music

Perform two contrasting jazz standards –melody and improvisation - from memory with a playalong (irealPro, Aebersold, learnjazzstandards.com). Consider tempos, styles, eras, minor vs. major key, functional vs. non-functional harmony. Sight-reading may be required. Applicants may be quizzed on their knowledge of jazz chord/scale theory.

TROMBONE AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Master of Music

  • 2-3 standard solos from the repertoire that show your versatility, expressive and technical strengths. The committee will choose to portions of the solos.
  • 5-6 standard orchestral excerpt of your choice.
  • Optional: Jazz transcriptions or improvisational skills. If improvising, provide iReal Pro digital file on your devise to plug into an audio system.

Doctor of Musical Arts

  • 3-4 standard solos from the repertoire that show your versatility, expressive and technical strengths. The committee will choose to portions of the solos.
  • 6-8 standard orchestral excerpts of your choice.
  • Optional: Jazz transcriptions or improvisational skills. If improvising, provide iReal Pro digital file on your devise to plug into an audio system.

TRUMPET AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Two or three Etudes/Solos of contrasting character should be prepared which best demonstrate your sound, range, and technique.

For questions or assistance please email: Dr. David Spencer at dspencer@memphis.edu.

TUBA AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Master of Music/Doctor of Musical Arts

All graduate level applicants should be able to demonstrate both the bass and contrabass tubas at the advanced level.

  • Melodious etude
  • Technical etude
  • 2-3 solos from the standard repertoire
  • Orchestral and band excerpts of your choice
  • Sight-reading

 VOICE AUDITION REPERTOIRE

All graduate voice applicants (both MM and DMA) must submit a pre-screening video. This video should be one opera aria in the original language plus a contrasting selection of your choice. Live auditions will be granted to applicants who pass this screening. Repertoire from the pre-screening video may be repeated at the live audition. 

Master of Music (Same requirements for performance and pedagogy degrees)

  • One Early Italian Art Song or Aria (before 1750)
  • One German Lied
  • One French Mélodie
  • One Operatic Aria
  • One Aria from Oratorio
  • One 20th or 21st Century English Art Song

Songs are to be performed from memory except for the oratorio aria which may be performed with music.

The audition committee will select repertoire to be heard from the prepared material above. Applicants should submit undergraduate recital programs and/or a representative repertoire list of undergraduate literature performed by the applicant.

Doctor of Musical Arts

  • One Early Italian Art Song or Aria (before 1750)
  • One German Lied
  • One French Mélodie
  • One Operatic Aria
  • One Aria from Oratorio
  • One 20th or 21st Century English Art Song

Songs are to be performed from memory except for the oratorio aria which may be performed with music. Selections must be representative of the following stylistic periods: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and 20th Century. The performance must demonstrate a high degree of artistic and technical achievement. Applicants must submit recital programs and/or a representative repertoire list.

VIOLA AUDITION REPERTOIRE

Master of Music

  • Two contrasting movements from one of Bach's Suites for solo viola
  • A movement from one of the major viola concertos such as Bartok, Walton, or Hindemith Der Schwanendreher
  • An additional work of contrasting style

Doctor of Musical Arts

  • A complete Bach Suite for solo viola
  • A movement from one of the major viola concertos such as Bartok, Walton, or Hindemith Der Schwanendreher
  • An additional work of contrasting style

VIOLIN AUDITION REPERTOIRE

Master of Music

  • An outer movement of a standard concerto from the 19th or 20th century
  • Two contrasting movements of one of Bach's Sonatas or Partitas for solo violin
  • An additional work of contrasting style

Doctor of Musical Arts

  • An outer movement of a standard concerto from the 19th or 20th century
  • A complete Bach Sonata or Partita for solo violin
  • The first movement of a Mozart concerto