Audition Dates for Fall 2016 admittance:

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Saturday, April 30, 2016

If you cannot make it on either of these dates, we are happy to schedule an alternate day and time for your audition. Please indicate that on the Online Registration Form (below) or Contact Us.


In addition to meeting the regular university entrance requirements, students desiring to major in music must demonstrate musical ability by auditioning before the Department of Music faculty. Prospective students should prepare audition materials according to the guidelines below. If you would like assistance choosing music audition materials, or have questions about the audition process, please do not hesitate to contact us: [email protected]

Schedule an Audition

There are two ways to schedule an audition: Register Online or Contact Us via phone or email. Please click the link below to fill out the Online Form. After submitting the completed form, you will be contacted with a confirmation of your audition date.  Specific audition times will be determined the morning of the audition and students are encouraged to keep the day free because audition times, campus tours, etc., may run into the afternoon.

If you have any questions, please call 304-336-8930 or send an email to [email protected]

If you are participating in The Tri-State Select Music Festival (which features both an Honor Band and an Honor Choir this year!), you can audition while you’re on campus! Click here to find out more about the Tri-State Select Music Festival.

A typical Audition Day (see dates above) follows this schedule:

  • 8:00am – Arrival, Registration, Warm-Up Time. Specific Audition times are assigned based on arrival.
  • 9:00am – Auditions begin. Based on the number of students auditioning, this could last until noon.
  • Upon completion, each student is administered a brief music aptitude test we call the “Standardized Aural Perception Examination” (SAPE). This is simply a diagnostic exam that helps us determine your basic musicianship skills. Don’t worry, it’s painless.

For Accompanied Auditions:

Students are strongly encouraged to bring their own accompanists; however, if needed, one may be provided for you. Arrangements must be made with the Department (send email to [email protected] or contact an appropriate faculty member) and sheet music must be mailed no less than two weeks prior to auditions.

Music Audition Requirements:

As part of the audition procedure all students complete an aural skills diagnostic exam.  All students may be asked to sight-read.  Read below for specific audition requirements according to your applied area.


1. Major scales through 4-flats and 4-sharps, the chromatic scale.

2. A solo concert piece of the student’s choosing that demonstrates both technique and musicality.

3. Two contrasting etudes selected from the following or equivalent material:


  • Complete Conservatory Method – J.B. Arban
  • Lyrical Studies – G. Concone
  • 60 Selected Studies – C. Kopprasch
  • Melodious & Rhythmical Studies – J.L. Small


  • Lyrical Studies – G. Concone
  • 60 Selected Studies – C. Kopprasch
  • Advanced Method, Vol. I – H. Voxman (Rubank)


  • Melodious Studies – J. Rochut
  • Advanced Method, Vol. I – H. Voxman (Rubank)


The audition for the guitar studio is an overall evaluation. Most applicants are not equally strong in all areas; in some cases, a deficiency in one area may be mitigated by excelling in another.

1. Sight reading
Fluency in basic sight reading skills is required, and is possibly the most important element of the audition. With hard work, an acceptable level of sight reading ability can be achieved in a matter of a few months. Recommended Preparation: Leavitt, Wm., A Modern Method for Guitar, Berklee Series, Vol. 1 (Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Publications). pp.4-59.

2. Scales
Movable Major scale patterns, any key. Useful fingerings may be found in Berklee, Vol.1 (pp. 60, 70, 80, 90, 100); the “3 notes per string”system; or the Segovia Diatonic Major and Minor Scales (Belwin Mills Publishing Co.).

3. Chord vocabulary
Ability to play chords to a jazz tune, in tempo, from a lead sheet or jazz fakebook, is required. Two fingerings (i.e., “shapes”) for: major 7th, dominant 7th, minor 7th, and diminished 7th chords. Knowledge of chord symbols (e.g.,”Dm7, G7,” etc) is required.

4. Improvisation
Improvisation on a blues or jazz standard of your choice. For this, play-along CDs, such as the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Aids series, are highly recommended and can be mailed to you through Volkwein’s Music (Pittsburgh: 1-800-553-8742; 412-788-5900). Recommended: “Nothin’ But Blues” or “Blues in All Keys.”

5. Solo pieces
Two pieces for solo guitar, in contrasting style. Pieces from the classical repertoire or jazz standards are preferred.NOT acceptable: any piece which is not complete in itself, or not meant for guitar alone, such as an accompaniment for voice or any other instrument; part of an arrangement for a band; or supported by another instrument (e.g., bass, piano, or another guitar).

Students should demonstrate training and facility in at least two (2) of the four (4) core instrument categories.

Snare Drum (core instrument)
  1. One rudimental solo/etude from Pratt, Wilcoxon, or equivalent (published works only).
  2. One orchestral solo/etude from Cirone, Peters, Goldenberg, or equivalent (published works only).

Mallets (core instrument)

  1. All major scales and arpeggios, the chromatic scale (two octaves).
  2. One solo/etude from Goldenberg, Peters, Abe, J.S. Bach, Creston, Musser, Rosauro, or equivalent (published works only). A 4-mallet solo is preferred though not required (published works only).

Timpani (core instrument)

  1. Demonstrate tuning ability (tune a given pitch on any drum).
  2. One prepared solo/etude for 3-4 timpani from Goodman, Vic Firth, Peters, or equivalent (published works only).

Drum Set (core instrument)

  1. Demonstrate the following styles with either a metronome or (preferably) a play-along track (e.g. “Essential Styles” Book 1 by Steve Houghton):
  • Swing (also demonstrate trading 4-bar solos and time)
  • Funk/Rock
  • Bossa Nova
  • Samba

Hand Drumming / World Percussion (optional – please contact us prior to the audition)

  • Demonstrate mastery of technique and various style on congas, bongos, Brazilian instruments, djembe, and/or other various ethnic percussion instruments. Candidate should contact the instructor prior to the audition to confirm instrument availability and acceptable repertoire.


1. Prepare two compositions of contrasting styles, preferably from memory.

Examples of Suggested Repertoire:

  • J. S. Bach – Two or Three-part Inventions
  • D. Scarlatti – keyboard sonatas
  • One or more movements taken from a Classical keyboard sonata by such composers as Franz J. Haydn, W. A. Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Muzio Clementi, etc.
  • F. Schubert – Impromptus, Moments Musicaux
  • F. Chopin – Preludes, Nocturnes, Waltzes
  • F. Mendelssohn – Songs Without Words
  • J. Brahms – Waltzes, Intermezzi, etc.
  • C. Debussy – Children’s Corner Suite, Suite Bergamasque, etc.
  • S. Prokofieff – Visions Fugitives
  • B. Bartok – Mikrokosmos


1. Perform a composition from the Baroque Era, preferably by Johann Sebastian Bach, such as a chorale prelude from the Orgelbüchlein, or one of the preludes and fugues.

2. Perform either:

  • a composition selected from the French romantic repertoire, OR
  • a composition from the 20th-century repertoire


Prospective students in voice should be prepared to sing two or three songs from the standard vocal repertoire for their vocal audition. Songs of contrasting mood, tempo, and language are recommended. One of the songs may be from the musical theater repertoire. It is recommended, but not required, that students bring their own accompanists whenever possible. It is also recommended that students sing as many of their audition songs as possible from memory.

Criteria for acceptance as a music major in voice include the following:

1. An easily produced vocal tone of adequate size and pleasing quality.

2. Good vocal musicianship, as demonstrated by the ability to sing with good pitch and rhythmic accuracy, and to sing legato phrases in which dynamics are meaningfully employed.

3. Expressiveness, as demonstrated by the communication to the listener of the emotional content of the song being sung.

Recommended Literature:


  • An aria in Italian from 26 Italian Art Songs and Arias, edited Paton.
  • An art song or aria from The First Book series (individual books are by voice part), edited Boytim.


  • 15 American Art Songs, compiled Arvin.
  • 20th Century Art Songs or Fundamentals in Singing, edited Paton.

THEATER SONGS from any beginning theater songbook collection

  • The Singers’ Musical Theater Anthology or Music Theater Classics.


1. Major scales through 4-flats and 4-sharps, the chromatic scale.

2. A solo concert piece of the student’s choosing that demonstrates both technique and musicality.

3. Two contrasting etudes selected from the following or equivalent material:


  • Melodious & Progressive Studies (Book 1, blue), Pub. Southern.
  • 18 Exercises, Berbiguier.


  • 48 Famous Studies for the Oboe, W. Ferling.


  • 50 Bassoon Studies, Op. 8, Vol. 2, Weissenborn.


  • 32 Etudes, or 40 Etudes, Rose.
  • Melodious & Progressive Studies (Book 1 or 2), Hite.


  • 48 Famous Studies, W. Ferling
  • Selected Studies, H. Voxman (Rubank)


Please visit the Marching Band page for details about joining this organization.