Audition Information and Requirements

Auditions: The Basics

Your U.D. experience begins with an audition, which will take place in late January for admission in the following Fall semester. Prospective students have many questions about the audition process, which I've tried to answer as best I can below. As always, feel free to contact me for any additional information.

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What Will Be on the Audition?

Candidates should select repertoire which showcases as many aspects of their playing as possible, such as slurring, legato and marcato tonguing, lip trills, high, middle and low register, loud and quiet dynamics, etc. Click here for the most up to date audition requirements.

Other important components of the audition include major scales and sightreading. You should be prepared to play all major scales, preferably two octaves slurred up and tongued down.

Sightreading material is drawn from etudes or solo works of medium difficulty, and is usually only a few phrases long. You can practice this skill by reading solos or etudes for other instruments, paying special attention to rhythmic accuracy, pitch accuracy and phrasing, in that order.

General Advice on Getting Through It

Auditions, like any performance situation, can be stressful, but they are a fact of life for musicians. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to help you be at your best for the audition day.

If I Pass the Audition, am I Admitted?

In addition to the Music Department audition, your admission status to the University is determined by the strength of your application, your grades, SAT scores and other factors which are apart from your musicianship. All students must be admitted to the University in addition to the Music Department, but a strong audition certainly goes a long way toward helping your admissions prospects if your grades or SATs are less than stellar!

Solid Rhythm

A convincing regular pattern of accents and accurate division of the beats

A Clear Sense of Phrasing

Phrases that have a recognizable shape and lead logically from one to the next

Clean Articulation

Phrases that have a recognizable shape and lead logically from one to the next

Dynamic and Tonal Range

Dynamic involves the ability to play clearly in loud and soft dynamics. Moreover, tonal involves the ability to play clearly in high, middle and low registers

Be Prepared!

As obvious as that sounds, you should have a clear plan for what repertoire you plan to play, Your admission audition for any school should be prepared much like you would prepare a public performance.

Play for Others

Plan ahead so that you can play your audition material for as many people as possible before the audition. These could be your friends, teachers, parents or anyone else who can spare 10-15 minutes to hear you run through your repertoire. Getting used to playing with others present will make your audition or performance experience feel comfortable.

Know the Music!

Sounds obvious, but here this means knowing the meanings of all the terms and symbols in the printed music, checking your tempo against the metronome marking if provided, and having a clear sense of what the accompaniment sounds like, even if you will be unaccompanied at the audition.

Come and See Me!

I am always happy to see prospective students before their audition for a "sample" lesson so we can talk about your playing, your audition material, and get to know one another a bit better. Many teachers at colleges and universities make a similar offer, so take advantage of it whenever possible.

Get Plenty of Rest

No one performs their best when tired, so plan to get sufficient sleep before the audition.

Don't Leave Your Best in the Practice Room!

At the audition day plan on a moderate warm-up and avoid the temptation to blast through your audition material multiple times before you are called to the audition room. At our auditions, we always allow players to play a few notes before they begin to get comfortable with the sound of the room, so take advantage of the opportunity.

Play Without Self-Judgment

Before you begin to play your audition, give yourself permission to play freely and to trust your thorough preparation to carry you through. An audition committee (or an audience) always wants to hear your best, so focus on giving them your best rather than worrying over mistakes you can't take back.

Be Prepared to Talk

At UD, we frequently ask candidates about themselves, their educational or career goals, or about performance experiences that have been special to them. This is a great opportunity to share why a music degree is important to you, and to point out any other information that might help the committee reach an admissions decision.

Undergraduate Auditions

Your audition will tell us where you are presently in your development. The guidelines listed below should be within reach for most high school students with at least one year of private study.

Suggested Undergraduate Audition Repertoire

Exposition of Mozart Concerto no. 3, K. 447. Any edition of the Concerto is acceptable, and the work is widely available. Contact me if you need help finding it.

Additional etude, single-movement concert piece, or a movement from a concerto or sonata

All major scales, two octaves, slurred up tongued down


Recommended Sources for Etudes for Undergraduate Auditions

Gallay 22 Studies, 28 Etudes Op. 13, or 12 Etudes Op. 57

Kling 40 Studies

Kopprasch 60 Selected Studies

Maxime-Alphonse Etudes, Books 2 or 3

Pottag and Andraud Selected, Progressive, Melodious, and Technical Studies

Recommended Solo Pieces of Undergraduate Auditions

Mozart Concerto No. 2 K. 417, or Concerto no. 4 K. 495

Saint-Saëns Morceau de Concert (Concertpiece)

Franz Strauss Notturno or Concerto, Op. 8

Richard Strauss Concerto No. 1 op. 11

Graduate Auditions

Graduate applicants should demonstrate a high level of technical and musical attainment, A thorough knowledge of the standard solo, etude and orchestral literature is assumed for potential graduate students. In addition, graduate applicants should demonstrate comfort with contemporary idioms, including extended techniques and rhythmic complexity typical of contemporary literature.

Suggested Graduate Audition Repertoire

First and second movements of Mozart Concerto no. 4, K. 495

One Romantic era single-movement work or movement from a Romantic era concerto

One contemporary work for solo horn, demonstrating familiarity with extended techniques

All major and minor scales, 2-3 octaves as appropriate

Sightreading, including transposition at sight

Representative Solo Pieces for Graduate Audtions

Douglas Hill Jazz Set

Maxwell-Davies Sea Eagle

Bozza En Foret

Dukas Villanelle

Other Graduate Solo Pieces

Gliere Concerto in B-flat major op. 91

Messaiaen Appel Interstellaire (Intergalactic Call) from Des Canyons aux étoiles

Strauss Concerto no. 2

Persichetti Parable no. 8 for solo horn.