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.

2020 Video Auditions

Elmhurst College is temporarily changing the audition process because of the COVID-19 outbreak. See the details below. Until further notice, in-person campus auditions will not be conducted.

Submit a Video Audition

Step 1: Create your audition videos and prepare to upload them to YouTube.

Step 2: Once on YouTube, select “UNLISTED”—do not upload as “Private” or “Public.” The unlisted option ensures that our faculty will be able to review your videos.

Step 3: Fill out this audition form, at which time you will be asked to include the YouTube links to your audition videos.

Step 4: Please submit your video auditions between March 21 and May 16.

Performance Video Guidelines

  • Edited live performance videos are not acceptable
  • You must be physically seen on the video
  • Use one video camera with no editing
  • No edits within a piece or movement
  • No effects on the instrument or voice
  • No microphones except those built into your phone or computer
  • If auditioning on piano, please video your hands (a side view is acceptable)
  • Business casual attire is recommended.

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

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 refer to the Office of Admission 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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