Audition Process

All students seeking a music major must audition for acceptance into the Department of Music on their major instrument/voice before a panel of music department faculty.

We encourage all students to apply to Elmhurst College before auditioning for financial aid purposes.

2017-2018 Audition Dates

Schedule an audition online or if the following dates will not work for you, please contact Gayle Bisesi at  to arrange a personal audition appointment.

  • Monday, Jan. 15, 2018
  • Friday, Feb. 23, 2018
  • Friday, March 2, 2018
  • Saturday, March 10, 2018
  • Saturday, April 7, 2018
  • Saturday, April 21, 2018
  • Friday, May 18, 2018

Summer auditions are primarily for acceptance into the department. Students who audition in the summer (June) for the upcoming school year may not be considered for a music scholarship. Ex. Someone auditions in June and plans on attending Elmhurst in September.

Summer auditions do not preclude a student from consideration for academic or other scholarships offered by Elmhurst nor does it diminish a student’s eligibility for financial aid from College-sponsored sources.

Audition Requirements by Instrument

Trumpet

  • All major scales, two octaves
  • Prepare any two contrasting etudes from the following: Concone, Snedecor, Small, Arban or Bousquet

OR

  • Prepare one of the following solo pieces, or, a piece at this level or above. For questions and inquiries please contact Matt Lee.
  • Petite Piece Concertante – Balay
  • Andante and Allegro – Balay
  • Fantasie in mi bemol – Barat
  • Andante and Allegro – Ropartz
  • Concerto in E flat (1st Movement, exposition only) Haydn or Hummel
  • Concerto – Arutunian
  • Orchestral Excerpts (optional)

French Horn

  • All Major Scales – 2 octaves
  • Prepare any two contrasting etudes from the following: Maxime Alphonse, Kopprasch, Andraud 335 selected studies for horn

OR

  • Prepare one of the following suggested solo pieces:
  • Concertos 1, 2, 3, or 4 – Mozart
  • Concerto no. 1 – Richard Strauss
  • Nocturno – Franz Strauss
  • En Foret – Eugene Bozza
  • Adagio and Allegro – Schumann
  • Morceau de Concert – Saint-Saens
  • Bach Cello Suites
  • Orchestral excerpts optional

Trombone

  • All major scales, two octaves
  • Prepare any two contrasting etudes from the following: Bordogni (Rochut Vol.1), Kopprasch, Blazhevich

OR

  • Prepare one of the following suggested solo pieces:
  • Morceau Symphonique (Guilmant)
  • Andante and Allegra (Barat)
  • Concertino (David)
  • Or a similar level solo or concerto

Euphonium

  • All major scales, two octaves
  • Prepare any two contrasting etudes from the following: Rochut vol. 1, Tyrell, Voxman, Arban Selected Studies 1-14

OR

  • Prepare one of the following suggested solo pieces: Morceau Symphonic, Guilamaunt Andante and Allegro, Barat

Tuba

  • All major scales
  • Prepare any two contrasting etudes from the following: Bordogni (Rochut vol.1), Kopprasch, Blazhevich or Tyrell

OR

  • Prepare one of the following suggested solo pieces: Sonata No. 1 in F Major, Marcello, Adagio & Allegro, Teleman, Suite for Tuba, Hadad

Prepare two pieces

  • An Etude (Study) by Carcassi, Carulli, Sor, Brouwer, Giuliani, or Pick
  • A second piece of your choosing by any composer from the Baroque, Romantic, Impressionistic or 20th Century Periods

Note: This could include a Jazz or Electric Guitar piece.

Major Scales

Play all in first position

Sight-Reading 

Read a single line piece (to be presented at audition)

Prepare “The Autumn Leaves” (G minor) or “There Is No Greater Love” (Bb)

  • Play the head
  • Solo one chorus
  • Accompanist will play the two A sections
  • Play the melody on the bridge to the end

Sight-Reading

As selected by the committee.

Prepare “Tenor Madness” (Bb)

  • Play the head
  • Walk for a piano solo
  • Play a Bass solo
  • Play the head out

Prepare “Autumn Leaves” as a Bossa (comping only)

Sight-Reading

Sight-read a big band chart.

Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone

  • Prepare “The Autumn Leaves” (G minor) or “There Is No Greater Love” (Bb)
  • Play the head
  • Solo one chorus
  • Accompanist will play the two A sections
  • Play the melody on the bridge to the end
  • Sight-reading as selected by the committee

Guitar and Piano

  • Prepare “The Autumn Leaves” (G minor) or “There Is No Greater Love” (Bb)
  • Play the head
  • Solo one chorus
  • Accompanist will play the two A sections
  • Play the melody on the bridge to the end
  • Sight-reading as selected by the committee

Drum Set

  • Play swing time for four bars, solo for four bars (trade 4’s) at quarter note = 120
  • Play the same at half note equals 120 but trade 8’s
  • Play as many of these styles as possible:  Swing with brushes, ballad with brushes, 3/4 swing, Bossa Nova, Samba, Afro Cuban 6/8, Mambo, or Songo, Funk, Rock
  • Sight-read a big band chart

Bass

  • Prepare Tenor Madness (Bb)
  • Play the head
  • Walk for a piano solo
  • Play a Bass solo
  • Play the head out
  • Prepare “Autumn Leaves” as a Bossa (comping only)
  • Sight-read a big band chart

Vocalists

  • Prepare “The Autumn Leaves” or “There Is No Greater Love” in the appropriate key
  • Sing the head
  • Scat one chorus
  • Accompanist will play the two A sections
  • Sing the melody on the bridge to the end
  • Sight-reading as selected by the committee

Be able to demonstrate as much facility on as many percussion instruments as reasonably possible – Snare drum solo, Mallet solo, Timpani solo and Drumset.

Please Note: If you are not well versed on a particular instrument, please prepare a simple melody to show that you are at least working on it.

Repertoire suggestions
(Feel free to use repertoire outside of this list)

Snare drum

Selections from Anthony Cirone, Morris Goldenberg, John Pratt, Wilcoxen

Mallets

Selections from Morris Goldenberg, George Hamilton Green, Mitchell Peters

Timpani

Selections from Vic Firth, Saul Goodman

Drumset

Be able to play as many of these styles as possible: Swing (sticks and brushes), jazz ballad with brushes, 3/4 swing, swing trading 4’s with yourself, bossa nova, samba, songo, mambo, afro cuban 6/8, funk, rock.

Sight-Reading

  • Be able to sight-read a few bars of a drum set chart
  • You will be asked to play a sight-reading example or two on snare drum

Repertoire Selection

  • Prepare two works of contrasting styles chosen from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionist/20th century periods or any suitable jazz selection of your choice. For example: first movement of a sonata by Mozart and a piece by Ravel.
  • Memorization is strongly recommended but not required
  • There are no time requirements on any piece, but the audition itself will not exceed 10 minutes

Scales

Prepare one major and one harmonic minor scale of your choice.

Sight-Reading

Sight-read an excerpt of piano music that will be presented at the audition.

Violin

  • One major and one melodic minor three-octave scale (your choice of keys)
  • One etude or caprice (e.g. Dancla, Mazas, Paganini, Sitt, Wohlfahrt, etc.)
  • One movement of a Bach Sonata or Partita
  • A first or third movement from a major concerto
  • An alternative styles work (if you’re interested in studying this genre)

Viola

  • One major and one melodic minor three-octave scale (your choice of keys)
  • One etude (e.g. Dont, Fuchs, Hoffmeister, Sitt, etc.)
  • One movement of a Bach Solo Suite
  • A first or third movement from a major concerto
  • An alternative styles work (if you’re interested in studying this genre)

Cello

  • One major and one melodic minor three-octave scale (your choice of keys)
  • One etude(e.g. Duport, Grutzmacher, Piatti, Popper, etc.)
  • One movement from a Bach Cello Suite
  • A first or third movement from a major concerto
  • An alternative styles work (if you’re interested in studying this genre)

Double Bass

  • One major and one melodic minor two-octave scale (your choice of keys)
  • One etude or exercise from a standard method book or etude book
  • Two solo compositions for bass in contrasting styles
  • An alternative styles work (if you’re interested in studying this genre)

Harp

  • One etude that demonstrates technical fundamentals on harp
  • One solo composition in a style contrasting the above etude
  • An orchestral excerpt or a solo cadenza
  • An alternative styles work (if you’re interested in studying this genre)

Prepare two pieces of contrasting styles

  • All pieces must be memorized
  • Prepare two pieces
  • One piece must be classical and preferably in a foreign language (English is acceptable as well)
  • Second piece can be one of three styles: musical theater, jazz or classical

Sight-Reading

  • There will be a short sight-reading excerpt

Flute

  • All major scales, two octaves
  • Chromatic scale, low C to high A (octave above the staff)
  • Two contrasting solos, movements or etudes different periods (i.e. Baroque, Romantic, Contemporary)

Oboe

  • All major scales, full range recommended
  • Chromatic scale, low Bb to high E (above the staff)
  • Two contrasting solos, movements or etudes

Clarinet

  • All major scales, two octaves
  • Chromatic scale, low E to high F (above the staff)
  • Two contrasting solos, movements or etudes

Bassoon

  • All major scales, two octaves where possible
  • Chromatic scale, Bb (below bass clef staff) to high Bb (3rd line treble clef)
  • Two contrasting solos, movements or etudes

Saxophone

  • All major scales, full range recommended
  • Chromatic scale, low Bb to high F (above the staff)
  • Two contrasting solos, movements or etudes

Interview

Each student will participate in a brief interview with our director of music admissions and various department faculty to discuss their goals, aspirations, what they will bring to Elmhurst College and answers to any questions they may have.

Accompaniment Options

  • Accompanists are optional for instrumentalists
  • Elmhurst College faculty pianist (if requested in advance)
  • Your own pianist
  • CD Track without your instrument present
  • Microphones will not be used

Music for the Faculty Panel

On the day of your audition, please bring four copies of each piece of music you will be playing. These will be distributed to the faculty panel.

Attire

Your overall presentation is important.

  • Business casual attire is recommended
  • Jeans, tennis shoes, shorts and t-shirts are not recommended

Scholarships

You will be considered for a scholarship following your audition. The music department provides scholarships to students who demonstrate excellence in performance. Scholarships are determined based on the entrance audition; additional scholarships are awarded to continuing students, and academic scholarships are available through the College’s Office of Admission.

Please visit the Office of Admission website for more information about Elmhurst’s overall admission policies and processes.

Music Admissions Contact

For clarification about the audition process, contact:

Gayle Bisesi

Director of Music Admission

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