Select Page
School of Music 9 Audition Requirements

Audition Requirements

students in the brass and woodwind section rehearsing for an orchestra concert

Prospective students should peruse the appropriate information below, apply for acceptance into the School of Music, and then schedule an audition.

Students may arrange an audition anytime by emailing the School of Music with the subject arrange an audition, and they also need to print and mail the application form.

Students should also schedule their Theory Placement Interview during their visit to the School of Music. Prospective students must also apply to and be accepted by Eastern Kentucky University. Auditionees are expected to demonstrate acceptable levels of achievement during their audition performance. Students may also be accepted on probationary status at the discretion of the applied teacher and the department chair.

Brass

Euphonium Auditions

Auditions for admittance to the brass area will consist of the following:

  • Demonstration of major scales (preferably two octaves)
  • Sight reading
  • Prepared solo or two etudes of contrasting styles (i.e. technical and lyrical)

Sample Euphonium Solo Literature
Barat – Andante et Allegro
Barat – Introduction and Dance
Galliard – Sonatas
Guilmant – Morceau Symphonique
Handel / arr. Fitzgerald – English Suite
Marcello – Sonatas
Ropartz – Andante et Allegro

Sample Tuba Solo Literature
Bach / arr. Bell – Air and Bouree
Barat – Introduction and Dance
Galliard – Sonatas
Haddad – Suite for Tuba
Marcello – Sonatas
Vaughan Williams – Six Studies in English Folksong
Wilder – Suite No. 1 for Tuba(Effie)

Sample etudes
Arban – Complete Method for Trombone or Baritone
Blazhevich – 70 Studies for Tuba – books 1 and 2
Blume – 36 Studies for Trombone
Bordner – Practical Studies for Trombone – books 1 and 2
Bordogni/Rochut – Melodious Etudes for Trombone – Book 1
Getchell – Practical Studies for Tuba – books 1 and 2
Kopprasch – Sixty Selected Studies for Trombone  (and Tuba)
Paudert – 24 Studies for Trombone
Tyrell – 40 Progressive Studies for Trombone (and Tuba)

Tubists may use any version of Bordogni Vocalises.

Other possibilities might include
All-state or district tryout music
A solo (other than one above) used for solo and ensemble festival

If you have questions concerning your audition music or would like to set up an audition, contact Professor James Willett  at 859-626-5178 or james.willett@eku.edu.

Horn Auditions

Auditions for admittance to the brass area will consist of the following:

  • Demonstration of major scales (preferably two octaves)
  • Sight reading
  • Prepared solo or two etudes of contrasting styles (i.e. technical and lyrical)

Sample Solo Literature
Beethoven Sonata for Horn
Mozart any of his horn concertos
Saint-Saens Concertpiece (Morceau de Concert)
F. Strauss Nocturno or Concerto, Op. 8
R. Strauss Concerto No. 1

Sample Etudes
Kopprasch Sixty Selected Studies for Horn
Maxime-Alphonse 200 Etudes Nouvelles (Vol. 2 or 3)
Pottag Preparatory Melodies to Solo Work
Shoemaker Legato Etudes for French Horn

Other Possibilities Might Include
All-state or district tryout music
A solo (other than one above) used for solo and ensemble festival

Much of the above music is available as a free download. If you have questions concerning your audition music or would like to set up an audition, contact Dr. Mick Sehmann at 859-893-2507 or mick.sehmann@eku.edu.

Trombone Auditions

Auditions for admittance to the Trombone Studio will consist of the following:

  • Demonstration of major scales (preferably two octaves)
  • Sight reading
  • Prepared solo or two etudes of contrasting styles (i.e. technical and lyrical)

Sample Solo Literature
Barat – Andante et Allegro
De La Nux – Concert Piece
Galliard – any one of the six sonatas
Guilmant – Morceau Symphonique
Ropartz – Andante et Allegro
Rousseau – Concert Piece
Saint-Saens – Cavatine

Sample Technical Etudes
Arban – Complete Method for Trombone or Baritone
Blume – 36 Studies for Trombone
Bordner – Practical Studies for Trombone – books 1 and 2
Kopprasch – Sixty Selected Studies for Trombone
Paudert – 24 Studies for Trombone
Tyrell – 40 Progressive Studies

Sample Lyrical Etudes
Bordogni/Rochut Melodious Etudes – book 1
Cimera 55 – Phrasing Studies for Trombone
Fink – Studies in Legato

Other Possibilities Might Include
All-state or district tryout music
A solo (other than one above) used for solo and ensemble festival

If you have questions concerning your audition music or would like to set up an audition, contact Dr. Nathan Siler at 502-548-9988 or Nathan.Siler@eku.edu.

Trumpet Auditions

Auditions for admittance to the brass area will consist of the following:

  • Demonstration of major scales (preferably two octaves)
  • Sight reading
  • Prepared solo or two etudes of contrasting styles (i.e. technical and lyrical)

Sample Solo Literature
Barat – Andante et Allegro
Goedicke – Concert Etude
Haydn – Concerto for Trumpet
Hindemith – Sonata for Trumpet
Hummel – Concerto for Trumpet
Ligeti – Mysteries of the Macabre
Ropartz – Andante et Allegro

Sample Etudes
Arban – Complete Method for Trumpet
Bousquet – Thirty-Six Celebrated Studies
Charlier – 36 Etudes
Concone – Lyrical Studies
Getchell – Second Book of Practical Studies
Vannetelbosch – Etudes

Other Possibilities Might Include
All-state or district tryout music
A solo (other than one above) used for solo and ensemble festival

If you have questions concerning your audition music or would like to set up an audition, contact Dr. Joseph Van Fleet at 859-948-9374 or joseph.vanfleet@eku.edu.

Tuba Auditions

Auditions for admittance to the brass area will consist of the following:

  • Demonstration of major scales (preferably two octaves)
  • Sight reading
  • Prepared solo or two etudes of contrasting styles (i.e. technical and lyrical)

Sample Euphonium Solo Literature
Barat – Andante et Allegro
Barat – Introduction and Dance
Galliard – Sonatas
Guilmant – Morceau Symphonique
Handel / arr. Fitzgerald – English Suite
Marcello – Sonatas
Ropartz – Andante et Allegro

Sample Tuba Solo Literature
Bach / arr. Bell – Air and Bouree
Barat – Introduction and Dance
Galliard – Sonatas
Haddad – Suite for Tuba
Marcello – Sonatas
Vaughan Williams – Six Studies in English Folksong
Wilder – Suite No. 1 for Tuba(Effie)

Sample Etudes
Arban – Complete Method for Trombone or Baritone
Blazhevich – 70 Studies for Tuba – books 1 and 2
Blume – 36 Studies for Trombone
Bordner – Practical Studies for Trombone – books 1 and 2
Bordogni/Rochut – Melodious Etudes for Trombone – Book 1
Getchell – Practical Studies for Tuba – books 1 and 2
Kopprasch – Sixty Selected Studies for Trombone  (and Tuba)
Paudert – 24 Studies for Trombone
Tyrell – 40 Progressive Studies for Trombone (and Tuba)

Tubists may use any version of Bordogni Vocalises.

Other Possibilities Might Include
All-state or district tryout music
A solo (other than one above) used for solo and ensemble festival

If you have questions concerning your audition music or would like to set up an audition, contact Professor James Willett  at 859-626-5178 or james.willett@eku.edu.

Guitar

Guitar Auditions

Welcome! If you a prospective student, please begin by completing this Google form. After Dr. Dennis Davis receives your responses, he will contact you to discuss the application for admission to the School of Music, scheduling an audition, and applying to and be accepted by the university. Be sure to contact Dr. Davis if you have any questions about the application or audition process. Talented guitarists are also encouraged to apply for guitar scholarship consideration. If awarded, the amount of the guitar scholarship will be based on the talent of the applicant (not the financial need). All students are encouraged to prepare classical, jazz, and contemporary selections for their audition and Dr. Davis can help you prepare for your audition if you email him at dennis.davis@eku.edu to arrange coaching sessions. The suggested repertoire for scholarship consideration includes, but is not limited to:

Classical Guitar

1. Perform two works from the standard repertoire for classical guitar. These works should be selected from different style periods and have contrasting tempos. Suggested composers include J.S. Bach, Francisco Tárrega, Leo Brouwer, Fernando Sor, Mauro Giuliani, John Dowland, and Andrew York. However, the list of composers for classical guitar is extensive and grows daily, so feel encouraged to ask if a particular work/composer is suitable for your audition. Prospective students should select works that best demonstrate their skills and abilities.

2. Fingerstyle sight-reading in the first three positions in various keys and with a variety of rhythms.

3. Two and three octave major and minor scales.

Contemporary Guitar (plectrum and/or fingerstyle)

  • Jazz

Perform two contrasting jazz standards by playing the head, comping the changes, and then improvising over the chord changes. Students may bring their own recorded accompaniments or use backing tracks provided at their audition. Suggested styles include Swing, Latin, Blues, and Bebop, and representative songs include Autumn Leaves, All the Things You Are, Black Orpheus, Straigt No Chaser, Girl from Ipanema, Just Friends, Satin Doll, Blue Bossa, Blues for Alice, or similar selections from the Real Book.

  • Contemporary

Perform any contemporary guitar work of your choosing (pickstyle, fingerstyle, pop, jazz, blues, etc…). Selections by artists such as Andy McKee, Tuck Andress, Mike Stern, Tommy Emmanuel, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Chet Atkins, Earl Klugh, Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, Herb Ellis, Pat Metheny, John Scofield, or Al DiMeola, for example, are encouraged. You may also substitute an original composition for this part of the audition.

Theory/History

1. Written and aural examinations test the prospective student’s knowledge of music notation, theory (aural/written), and history. While this test is only diagnostic, students are encouraged to prepare for it so that they can avoid remedial theory courses during their first year. Please prepare by studying our Music Theory Review Guide. If you have trouble, we offer remedial help to students during your first year at EKU. Please see the websites below for free theory and rhythm learning tools.

Basic Assumptions

Some high school guitarists are prepared to study guitar at the college level. However, most freshman guitar students have problems reading music and few have adequate classical preparation. These deficiencies are quite normal, but they need to be quickly resolved and those students will remain provisional until the end of their first semester.

It is assumed that all freshman guitar majors, regardless or their degree program, will work diligently to remedy any deficiencies that fall below the minimum national standards acceptable for collegiate guitar study at the freshman level. Such standards include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Ability to read music through the 5th position (12th position is needed by the end of the freshman year).
  • Ability to perform a variety of notated rhythms, including dotted and tied values, various 1/16th note groupings, and triplets.
  • A basic understanding of musical terms and nomenclature symbols, such as: D.S., repeat signs, key signatures, accidentals, ties/slurs, left/right hand fingering indications, pick-stroke markings, and basic Italian tempo and expression markings.
  • Knowledge of the modes and how they align with chords and chord progessions. The order of sonorities found in major and minor keys. The CAGED system of fretboard visualization and basic major 7th, minor 7th, dominant 7th, half-diminished 7th, and diminished 7th chord shapes.
    Again, no student has been able to perfectly execute all of these tasks at their audition. Some of my finest students could not read music well when they first began their guitar studies. Students who are serious about majoring in guitar quickly remedy their deficient areas. Its not important how many years you’ve owned a guitar; its how many hours you’ve practiced–and practiced intelligently with good problem solving skills.

YouTube has a plethora of tutorial videos for guitarists to study. Use them to learn proper classical technique, sitting position, left and right hand mechanics (see rest strokes, free strokes, and fretting technique, for example), and there are also many video lessons of viable audition works, such as Lagrima.

There are numerous videos on how to play jazz, including chord shapes, the CAGED system, modes, and jazz standards.

Other sites teach users how to read notation and rhythms and understand music theory. Other YouTube videos discuss specific strategies for learning how to read music on the guitar.

Percussion

Percussion Auditions

Piano

Piano Auditions

Conflict with Audition Dates?

If you have a conflict with the scheduled dates, we can accommodate others but please email bernardo.scarambone@eku.edu for more information.

Piano Audition Requirements

Undergraduates

Performance

  • Two contrasting pieces originally written for the piano from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century or Impressionistic eras.
  • All pieces should be memorized
  • Approximately 10-15 minutes of music
  • Sight reading
  • Students should prepare four major and four harmonic minors scales and Arpeggios, hands together, at least two octaves, parallel motion

Music Education / Music Industry

  • Two contrasting pieces originally written for the piano from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century or Impressionistic eras.
  • Memorization encouraged, but not required
  • Approximately 10 minutes of music
  • Sight reading
  • Students should prepare two major and two harmonic minors scales and Arpeggios, hands together encouraged, at least two octaves, parallel motion

Graduate Students

Performance

  • Three to Four contrasting pieces originally written for the piano from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century or Impressionistic eras.
  • All pieces should be memorized
  • At least 20 minutes of music
  • Sight reading

Music Education

  • Two to three contrasting pieces originally written for the piano from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century or Impressionistic eras.
  • Memorization encouraged
  • At least 15 minutes of music
  • Sight reading

Voice

Voice Auditions

Information is posted on auditioning for the Voice Program.

Vocal Ensembles Auditions

University Singers

Auditions for University Singers are held during the first two days of the fall semester in Foster 104. A prepared piece is not necessary. You will be asked to sing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” will be vocalized to determine your range, and will be asked to demonstrate sight-reading, interval, and tonal memory skills. The audition lasts approximately 10 minutes.

EnChor and Koros

Participation in EnChor or Koros does not require an audition. Simply register for the course, and we’ll see you at the first rehearsal.

More Information

For more information about the EKU Choirs, email Director of Choral Activities Dr. Richard Waters at richard.waters@eku.edu.

Choral Conducting Auditions

Information on choral conducting auditions is posted here.

Woodwinds 

Bassoon Scholarship Auditions

Undergraduate or Transfer

Students will be asked to perform the following:

  1. Major scales, up to three flats and three sharps (at least two octaves) & a two octave chromatic scale
  2. Two selections of contrasting styles – one that demonstrates technical facility and the other that demonstrates a quality in tone and phrasing. The compositions listed below are suggestions, and repertoire of equal or more advanced difficulty may be substituted. Please feel free to contact the instructor with questions regarding the audition repertoire.
  3. Vivaldi concerto (any)
  4. Galliard Sonata
  5. Telemann Sonata
  6. Weissenborn’s 50 Advanced Studies
  7. Milde Scale or Concert Studies
  8. Sight-reading

Graduate

Students will be asked to perform the following:

  1. Major and minor scales (two and/or three octaves when possible) & a three octave chromatic scale
  2. Two selections of contrasting styles – one that demonstrates technical facility and the other that demonstrates a quality in tone and phrasing. The compositions listed below are suggestions, and repertoire of equal or more advanced difficulty may be substituted. Please feel free to contact the instructor with questions regarding the audition repertoire.
  3. Mozart Bassoon Concerto, K 191(mvts. 1 & 2)
  4. Osbourne Rhapsody
  5. Saint-Saens Sonata
  6. Gordon Jacob’s Partita for Solo Bassoon
  7. Weber Ungarische Fantasie or Concerto in F Major, op. 75
  8. Vivaldi, Concerto in a minor, F.8, No. 7
  9. Vivaldi, Concert on e minor, F.8, No. 6
  10. Milde Concert Studies I or II
  11. Sight-reading

For additional information regarding bassoon auditions and admission, you may contact Dr. Christine Carucci at christine.carucci@eku.edu.

Clarinet Scholarship Auditions

Undergraduate or Transfer

Students will be asked to perform the following:

  1. Major scales (at least two octaves)
  2. Two selections of contrasting styles – one that demonstrates technical facility and one that demonstrates tone quality and musicality. Suggested repertoire includes the following, although repertoire of equal or more advanced difficulty may be substituted. Please feel free to contact the instructor with questions regarding the audition repertoire.
  • Weber Concertino
  • Mozart Concerto for Clarinet(any movement)
  • Weber Concerto No. 1 or No. 2(any movement)
  • Concerti by Stamitz
  • Etudes by C. Rose (Rose 32)
  • All-State  or Regional Audition Music

3. Sight-reading

Graduate

Students will be asked to perform the following:

  1. Major and minor scales (two and/or three octaves when possible)
  2. Two selections of contrasting styles – one that demonstrates technical facility and one that demonstrates tone quality and musicality. Suggested repertoire includes the following, although repertoire of equal or more advanced difficulty may be substituted. Please feel free to contact the instructor with questions regarding the audition repertoire.
  • Sonatas by Brahms, Poulenc
  • Concerti by Mozart, Weber, Copland, Nielsen
  • Muczynski Time Pieces
  • Etudes by Cavallini (30 Caprices), Jeanjean (18 Etudes)

3. Two contrasting orchestral excerpts – Suggested repertoire includes the following, although repertoire of equal or more advanced difficulty may be substituted.

  • Beethoven – Symphony No. 4, 6, 8
  • Mendelssohn – Midsummer’s Night Dream (Scherzo)
  • Rimsky-Korsakov – Capriccio Espagnol, Scheherazade.

4. Sight-reading

For additional information regarding clarinet auditions and admission, you may contact Dr. Adria Sutherland at adria.sutherland@eku.edu.

Flute Scholarship Auditions

Undergraduate or Transfer

Students are encouraged to prepare two contrasting works or movements for their audition that demonstrate technical facility and musical expression. Students should also be prepared play any of the major scales up to four sharps or flats in two octaves. A brief demonstration of sight-reading abilities may be requested.

Suggestions for audition repertoire:

  • Any All State or Regional audition pieces
  • Mozart Andante in C
  • Gluck Dance of the Blessed Spirits
  • Bach – any sonata
  • Handel  any sonata
    • Works from the following collections:
    • Donald Peck 36 Repertoire Pieces for Solo Flute(Schirmer)
    • Cavally 24 Short Concert Pieces(Southern)
    • Flute Music by French Composers(Schirmer)

Graduate

Graduate students should prepare two major solos, one from each column below.

Earlier Periods Later Periods
Bach Sonata in B minor Dutilleux Sonatine
Bach Sonata in E minor Hanson Serenade
Bach Sonata in E major Prokofiev Sonata
Bach Partita in A minor Jolivet Chant du Linos
Bach Suite in B minor Liebermann Sonata
Telemann Suite in A minor Colquhoun Charanga
CPE Bach Sonata in A minor Bozza Image
CPE Bach Concerto in D minor Taktakishvilli Sonata
Mozart Concerto in D  
Mozart Concerto in G  

 

After the Audition

The actual audition is very brief, and is followed by a sample lesson. Any student interested in a full sample lesson is encouraged to contact Dr. Kean at kristen.kean@eku.edu in advance of their audition.

Oboe Scholarship Auditions

Undergraduate or Transfer

Students will be asked to perform the following:

  1. Major scales, at least 2 octaves up to high d (d above the staff)
  2. Two selections of contrasting styles. One should be a fast selection which demonstrates technical proficiency, and a slow selection which demonstrates lyricism and tone. The following is some suggested repertoire. Please feel free to contact the instructor with any questions regarding the audition repertoire.
  • movements from Telemann Sonata in A minor
  • movements from Handel Sonata in C minor
  • William Grant Still Incantation and Dance
  • Gabriel Grovlez Sarabande et Allegro
  • Etudes from Gekeler Oboe Method, book 2
  • Etudes from Ferling, 48 famous studies
  • Etudes from Rubank, Advanced Method (book 3)

3. Sight-reading

Graduate

Students will be asked to perform the following:

  1. Major and all forms of minor scales, with a range up to high g
  2. Two solo selections of contrasting styles. One which demonstrates technical proficiency and another demonstrating lyricism. The following is some sample repertoire. Please feel to contact the instructor with any questions regarding the audition repertoire.
  • Movements from Mozart Oboe Concerto
  • Movements from the Strauss Concerto
  • Tomasi Evocations
  • Dorati Cinq Pieces
  • Saint-Saëns Sonata
  • Etudes from Ferling, 48 famous studies
  • Barret Grand Studies etudes
  • Two contrasting standard orchestral excerpts

3. Sight-reading

For additional information regarding oboe auditions and admission, you may contact Dr. Julie Smith at Julie.Smith@eku.edu.

Saxophone Scholarship Auditions

Undergraduate or Transfer

What to expect – a typical audition consists of playing one or more pieces from the standard repertory that the student has prepared, scales as requested by the instructor, sight-reading, and (optionally) a prepared jazz piece – possibly a solo, etude, or transcription – and an improvised solo. While auditioning on alto saxophone is not mandatory, it is desirable that at least one selection be performed on alto, and it should be understood that students’ lessons will primarily be on the alto saxophone.

Preparation
Standard Repertory – one or more solo or etude excerpts that demonstrate technical proficiency on the saxophone as well musicality, ideally in contrasting styles. The Kentucky All-State material from the current or previous years may be used as part of the audition; other examples may be found below. The pieces do not have to be memorized.

Composer Title Prepare
 Eugene Bozza Aria whole piece
Pierre Lantier Sicilienne whole piece
Handel / Rascher Sonata III or XIII 2 contrasting movements
Lawson Lunde Sonata 2 movements
Bernhard Heiden Sonata movements 1 and 2 or movement 3
Paul Creston Sonata 2 movements
W. Ferling 48 Famous Studies 2 contrasting etudes
Gatti / Lasilli 35 Melodious Technical Ex.  2 contrasting etudes
  • Scales – it is expected that students would know at a minimum the major scales through four sharps and four flats (minimum) and a chromatic scale. These scales should be performed from memory and should include the full range of the horn. Students who do not know these scales are still encouraged to audition, but they should expect to learn them quickly upon admission to the Music program.
  • Sight-reading – the best way to “practice” sight-reading is to sight-read regularly, paying close attention not only to notes and rhythms but also to dynamics, articulations, and other musical nuances.
  • Jazz solo, etude, or transcription (optional) – common examples include etudes from “Jazz Conception for Saxophone” (Int. or Adv.) by Lennie Niehaus, one of the etude books by Bob Mintzer, the Charlie Parker Omnibook, or similar etude books or transcription anthologies.
  • Improvised solo (optional) – students are encouraged to improvise a solo over a blues progression, “rhythm changes,” or other standard chord progression. A limited number of playalong CDs may be available; students are encouraged to bring an accompaniment CD or make arrangements for one to be provided prior to the audition.

Graduate

Auditions follow a similar format; students are expected to be familiar with major and natural, harmonic, and melodic minor scales in all 12 keys as well as the chromatic scale using the full range of the horn. Suggested solo literature should include pieces of appropriate technical and interpretive difficulty; some examples include the Sonataby Paul Creston, Sonataby Robert Muczynski, and Caprice en forme de valseby Paul Bonneau.

For more information regarding saxophone auditions and admission contact Dr. Larry Nelson at 859-622-5006 or larry.nelson@eku.edu.

School of Music


521 Lancaster Avenue
Foster 101
Richmond, KY 40475
Phone: 859-622-3266
Email: music@eku.edu

Connect with Music @ EKU