University of South Florida

School of Music

USF College of The Arts

Audition Requirements

To become a music major every prospective undergraduate must complete an audition and be accepted into a performance studio. The Master of Music in Performance, Jazz Performance, Conducting, Chamber Music and Piano Pedagogy also require an audition. Portfolio submissions and interviews are required for graduate Composition and Jazz Composition.

Audition requirements for each studio are listed below. Please contact your potential applied professor directly for questions related to audition materials.

In addition to your audition video, students interested in Music Education must also submit a seperate Music Education video.  Requirements for the Music Education video are below.

We are very interested in seeing your personality come through in this video! Please spend some time preparing the following and include ALL THREE in your music education video:

1. Sing and/or rap a verse or chorus from a favorite popular song. Make sure to practice your song before recording!

2. Tell a joke. Prepare ahead of time and tell it with gusto! Imagine you are a comedian on a stage!

3. Then briefly discuss ALL the following:

a. Tell us what instruments you play (or would like to play) outside of the traditional band/orchestra instruments in what musical styles you sing (or would like to sing) outside of the traditional choral repertoire.        

b. Tell us about any teaching opportunities of which you have taken advantage.

c. Pick one of the following and give us your best creative answer:

1. Pretend you’re a high school principal. What is a concern (other than money) that keeps you up at night?

2. What would you do if there was a zombie apocalypse?

 

Bassoon

Undergraduate and Graduate Bassoon Audition Requirements

(NOTE: video requirements can be submitted either as separate videos or as one video - your choice) 

  • Video: Talk about your creative activities and journey as a musician
  • Video: Perform two contrasting pieces (or movements) that best showcase your technical and musical abilities in contrasting styles and tempos. 

    Examples of appropriate repertoire are listed below. Please note that you do not have to select these pieces.

    Any of the 50 Concert Studies Op 26 by Ludwig Milde

    Any Bassoon Concerti by: Vivaldi, Mozart, Hummel, Kozeluh, Jolivet, C. M. von Weber, Villa-Lobos 

    Any Sonata for Bassoon and Piano ​by: Fasch, Telemann, Tansman, Saint-Saens, Sluka

  • Video: In addition to audition requirements listed above, we invite you to submit a video where you reveal another way you express yourself, and your personal music style, through any form of music engagement. While this in encouraged, it is optional and not required.

  • Questions should be sent to Fernando Traba.

Cello

Bachelor of Music Performance and Music Education
  • Outer movement from standard concerto repertoire (or equivalent)
  • One movement from solo Bach Suite or solo Domenico Gabrielli Ricercar
  • One etude or caprice
  • Major and Minor Scales and Arpeggios
Bachelor of Arts
  • 2 contrasting works from standard repertoire (examples may include, but are not limited to, a movement from a concerto and solo Bach Suite, as well as standard solo works)
  • Representative 3 Octave scales and arpeggios
Master of Music Performance
  • 2 contrasting movements from a standard concerto
  • 2 contrasting movements of solo Bach Suite, or 2 contrasting from a pre-classical sonata
  • Additional work of applicant’s choice written since 1940.
Master of Music in Chamber Music

In addition to MM requirements above, include 2 contrasting recordings of chamber music performances (video preferred, though not required) as well as a chamber music resume.

Graduate Certificate
  • 3 contrasting works/movements from representative recital repertoire
Advanced Graduate Certificate
  • Representative Recital Program

Questions should be sent to Professor Scott Kluksdahl.

Clarinet

Undergraduate and Graduate Clarinet/Bass Clarinet Audition Requirements

(NOTE: video requirements can be submitted either as separate videos or as one video - your choice)

  • Video: Talk about your creative activities and journey as a musician

  • Video: Three selections of your choice that best showcase your abilities in your primary performance area, in contrasting styles and tempos. It can be any combination of the following:

    a. Contrasting etudes from either the Rose 32, Rose 40, Thurston Book 2 or Muller

    b. Solo Selections should either be performed on clarinet or bass clarinet. Any Grade 5 or above work should be considered appropriate

  • Video: In addition to audition requirements listed above, we invite you to submit a video where you reveal another way you express yourself, and your personal music style, through any form of music engagement. While this in encouraged, it is optional and not required.

Questions should be sent to Calvin Falwell.

Composition

A successful portfolio submission to the USF composition program includes the following items.

  • Sample Notated Scores (with optional recordings). Undergraduate Applicants: 1-5 Score(s). Masters Applicants: 3-5 Scores
  • List of works and performances
  • Personal Statement describing your experience as a musician/composer
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • 2-3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Interview with USF composition faculty (all undergraduate applicants, selected graduate applicants)

In addition to the above items, undergraduate applicants must take an instrumental audition. An undergraduate application to the composition program will only be fully considered after the applicant IS ACCEPTED into an instrumental studio. Graduate students are admitted based on their portfolios only - MM applicants do not have to take an instrumental audition. Due to the high volume and quality of MM applicants, only a select number of applicants will be invited for an interview with the composition faculty.

Questions should be sent to Paul Reller.

Conducting

Graduate Only

Conducting auditions are required for admission and must be arranged by contacting the appropriate faculty coordinator directly:

Double Bass

BM

  • A movement from the standard solo literature, OR the 1st Movement from a standard bass concerto, including the published cadenza
  • Two (2) standard orchestral excerpts.

MM

  • A movement from the standard solo literature
  • The 1st Movement from a standard bass concerto, including the published cadenza
  • Three (3) standard orchestral excerpts.

DM

  • A complete standard concerto.
  • A complete sonata.
  • Standard orchestral excerpts of contrasting and styles.

Euphonium/Tuba

Undergraduate
  • All major scales. 2 octaves minimum. Tongued quarter-notes ascending and descending.
  • A solo or etude demonstrating your lyrical playing (3-4 min).
  • A solo or etude demonstrating your technical playing (3-4 min).
  • Selections may come from movements of a sonata, concerto, suite, etc.
Graduate Euphonium
  • All major and minor scales. 2 octaves minimum. Tongued quarter-notes ascending and descending.
  • A sonata or concerto, originally written for your instrument.
  • A baroque or classical era transcription, or an Arbans Characteristic Study.
  • 4-5 standard wind band excerpts.
Graduate Tuba
  • All major and minor scales. 2 octaves minimum. Tongued quarter-notes ascending and descending.
  • A sonata or concerto, originally written for your instrument.
  • A baroque or classical era transcription.
  • 2-3 standard orchestral excerpts.
  • 2-3 standard wind band excerpts.
  • If possible, demonstrate proficiency on f-tuba.

Questions should be sent to Professor Joseph Alvarez.

Flute

Undergraduate and Graduate Flute Audition Requirements 

(NOTE: video requirements can be submitted either as separate videos or as one video - your choice)

  • Video: Talk about your creative activities and journey as a musician.
  • Video: Perform two contrasting pieces that best showcase your technical and musical abilities in contrasting styles and tempos

  • Video: sing one acapella major scale beginning on the note of your choice (ascending and descending)

  • In addition to audition requirements listed above, we invite you to submit a video where you reveal another way you express yourself, and your personal music style, through any form of music engagement. While this in encouraged, it is optional and not required.

Questions should be sent to Professor Francesca Arnone.

Guitar: Classical/Popular

Undergraduate
  • Solo guitar transcription from a Suite, Sonata, or Partita by J. S. Bach. Suggestions include (but are not limited to) Prelude BWV 1007, Prelude BWV 998, Prelude BWV 999.
  • 1 concert etude. Suggested composers include (but are not limited to) Barrios, Brouwer, Carcassi, Carulli, Giuliani, Villa-Lobos.
  • 1 free choice piece, which may be performed on a classical, finger-style acoustic, or electric guitar.
  • Sight-reading

Questions should be sent to Professor Erol Ozsever.

Horn

Undergraduate and Graduate
  • Major scales, slurred and musically, two octaves where possible.
  • Chromatic scale, full range of the instrument, slurred and musically.
  • A major solo work written for your instrument (no transcriptions) chosen to demonstrate the ability to play an expressive phrase musically and a technical passage handily. Separate movements, or even works, may be employed to accomplish this. Select music that will show you at your best, not simply the most difficult piece you know.
  • Sight-reading will be asked

Questions should be sent to Professor Andrew Karr.

Jazz Performance

Jazz Auditions will consist of:

A.  A technically challenging exercise
B.  Display of Technical Proficiency 
C.  Musical Performances


 Jazz Audition Requirements

1.  Horns, Guitar, Piano, Bass

2.  Drums (see Drum Audition requirements below)


A.  A technically challenging exercise: a jazz etude or a transcribed solo by a Jazz Master.
There are a number of good jazz etude books and lots of famous solos by jazz greats available (or you can transcribe a solo yourself !) Ask your teacher and/or see the list of a few options.

Play Along/Etudes for various instruments:
Jazz Conception etudes by Jim Snidero
Essential Etudes: The Blues - Mel Bay
Gordon Goodwin Play Alongs
Oscar Peterson - Jazz Exercises, Minuets, Etudes & Pieces for Piano
Bud Powell Omnibook

B. Technical Proficiency:

Play the following scales in the keys listed (on YOUR instrument, no need to transpose for Bb and Eb instruments)

Eb, A, Db major scales with arpeggios (to the 9th is preferred)

C, F, E harmonic minor scales with arpeggios (to the 9th is preferred)

Ab, B dorian modes with arpeggios (to the 9th is preferred)

Bb, D mixolydian modes with arpeggios (to the 9th is preferred)

** If you know other jazz scales, include examples. (bebop scale, altered dominant, diminished, whole tone, lydian dominant, etc.)

C. Performance of Music (4-5 selections)

Choose your audition music from the jazz repertoire (well known jazz tunes and standards) in contrasting styles and tempos, i.e., ballad, different jazz standards, blues or rhythm changes, straight 8th feel, etc.

Choose from the suggested tune list below and/or choose other jazz standards you are familiar with.  NOTE: be sure the 4-5 tunes you choose include contrasting styles and tempos.

The jazz repertoire performance needs to be in a group format, recorded with live musicians or recorded accompaniment tracks. You are expected to play the melody and improvise on your instrument.

Play the Melody, then improvise one or two choruses and play the melody to end.

Pianists and Guitarists will need to "comp" the chord changes for one chorus as well.  If you are playing with a play along, just “comp” as if a soloist was playing.

Bassists need to “walk” bass lines which outline the harmony for the swing tunes and play appropriate bass lines for other styles. Bassists also need to play the melody to some (if not all) of the tunes and improvise on most (if not all) of the tunes.

Suggested Tune List:

Blues:  
Billie’s Bounce (F), Tenor Madness (Bb), Sandu (Eb), Things Ain’t What the Used to be. (Bb)

 Swing Standards:
Autumn Leaves, Take the A Train, Four, Ornithology, Lester Leaps In, Softly as in a Morning Sunrise, Afternoon in Paris, All the Things You Are.

 Other Feels:

Bossa: 
Blue Bossa, Wave, Girl from Ipanema

Jazz Waltz: 
Someday my Prince Will ComeBluesette

Ballad:
Body and Soul, Peace, In a Sentimental Mood                

NOTE:  email Professor Jack Wilkins if you have other tracks you’d like to submit (live recordings with a group, etc..)

DRUMS Audition requirements

A.  A technically challenging exercise:

A jazz etude or a transcribed solo by a Jazz Master.
There are a number of good jazz etude books and lots of famous solos by jazz greats available (or you can transcribe a solo yourself !) Ask your teacher and/or see the list of a few options.

Gordon Goodwin Play Alongs
Jazz Essentials Volume 1
Jazz Essentials Volume 2
The Art of Bop Drumming 

B.  Technical Proficiency:

Drummers need to show technique through snare rudiments and full set stylistic patterns (various grooves: Swing, Samba, Afro-Cuban, Latin-Bossa Nova, etc.)

1. Play the written exercises provided. (USF Jazz Drum exercise)

2. Play the following styles/feels, as directed:

  • Medium Swing (mm 120)
    Play swing feel for 12 measures, then “trade 4’s” with yourself, play 4 bars of swing feel followed by 4 bars of improvised solo in the style, repeat.  Do this for 24 measures.
  • Fast Swing. (mm 260)
    Play for 36 measures (3 choruses of a 12 bar tune, like a Blues). Mark the form, (splash at the beginning of each 12 bars) and build each chorus as if you are playing behind a soloist. Be sure to “comp” on snare in a swing style as part of your performance.
  • Bossa Nova (mm140-160)
    Play for 24-36 mesaures demonstrating at least 2 Bossa patterns.
  • Samba (mm220-260)
    Play for 24 measures and the switch to another samba variation for 24 more measures.
  • Funky, Modern Groove
    Play a Funky, Modern Groove that you like for 16-32 measures, then play a short solo in that style  (8-16 measures).

C. Performance of Music

Drummer Play Along Tracks – choose at least two tracks from each group to include with your audition submission.

NOTE:  email Professor Jack Wilkins if you have other tracks you’d like to submit (live recordings with a group, etc..)

 

Group I – Swing 8ths:

Count Bubba’s Revenge – Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band Playalong

Whodunnit? - Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band Playalong

Swinging for the Fences - Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band Playalong

High Maintenance - Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band Playalong

Twelve – Peter Erskine Playalong vol. 2

Summer Waltz - Peter Erskine Playalong vol. 2

Boogie Shuttle Stop - Peter Erskine Playalong vol. 2

Journey to the Center of the Blues - Peter Erskine Playalong vol. 1

School Days – John Riley the Art of Bop Drumming

Last Week - John Riley the Art of Bop Drumming

Miles – Jazz Conception by Jim Snidero

Drums Only
Group II – Straight 8ths:

Badlands - Peter Erskine Playalong vol. 1

La Almeja Pequena - Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band Playalong

Horn of Puente - Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band Playalong

Father Song – Jazz Conception by Jim Snidero

Or any of the Brazilian Grooves from Peter Erskine’s BRS application (with drum track muted)

 Questions should be sent to Professor Jack Wilkins.

 

 

 

Oboe

Undergraduate and Graduate Oboe Audition Requirements

(NOTE: video requirements can be submitted either as separate videos or as one video - your choice)

  • Video: Talk about your creative activities and journey as a musician
  • Video: Perform two contrasting pieces that best showcase your technical and musical abilities in contrasting styles and tempos. Any Grade 5 or above work would be considered appropriate. Also play major scales, full range in the pattern of your choice, and a full range chromatic scale.

  • Video: In addition to audition requirements listed above, we invite you to submit a video where you reveal another way you express yourself, and your personal music style, through any form of music engagement. While this in encouraged, it is optional and not required.

    Questions should be sent to Professor Amy Collins.

Percussion

Undergraduate
  • Snare Drum: Prepare a solo from a state contest list (i.e. Florida Bandmasters Solo and Ensemble list) or from any of the major snare books such as Cirone, Delecluse and Peters. Sight reading and demonstration of rudiments may also be asked.
  • Keyboard Percussion: Prepare at least one solo from a state contest list (i.e. Florida Bandmasters Solo and Ensemble list) or any literature that you feel demonstrates your skills on marimba, vibes or xylophone. Sight reading, scales etc. may be asked.
  • Timpani: Prepare to sing intervals and tune pitches. Solos on timpani are optional for incoming Freshman.
Graduate
  • Prepare a solo of your choice for snare, keyboard percussion and timpani.
  • Sight reading, tuning, hand instruments, standard orchestral excerpts may also be asked.

Questions should be sent to Kevin Von Kampen.

Piano

Bachelor of Music in Performance
  • Prepare three complete works from the standard piano repertoire to be performed from memory. Sight-reading will also be requested at the audition.
Bachelor of Science in Music Education and Bachelor of Arts
  • Prepare two contrasting works, each from a different time period. One of the two works should be performed from memory. Sight-reading will also be requested at the audition.

Graduate

  • Three contrasting works from the standard concert/recital repertory
  • Memorization required for all three works

Questions should be sent to Professor Svetozar Ivanov.

Saxophone

Undergraduate and Graduate Saxophone Alto Audition Requirements (Alto, Tenor, Baritone)

(NOTE: video requirements can be submitted either as separate videos or as one video - your choice)

  • Video: Talk about your creative activities and journey as a musician.
  • Video: Perform two contrasting pieces that best showcase your technical and musical abilities in contrasting styles and tempos.

  • In addition to audition requirements listed above, we invite you to submit a video where you reveal another way you express yourself, and your personal music style, through any form of music engagement. While this in encouraged, it is optional and not required.

Questions should be sent to Katherine Weintraub-Pearce.

Trombone

Undergraduate and Graduate
  • Major scales, slurred and musically, two octaves where possible.
  • Chromatic scale, full range of the instrument, slurred and musically.
  • A major solo work written for your instrument (no transcriptions) chosen to demonstrate the ability to play an expressive phrase musically and a technical passage handily. Separate movements, or even works, may be employed to accomplish this. Select music that will show you at your best, not simply the most difficult piece you know.
  • Sight-reading will be asked

Questions should be sent to Professor Tom Brantley.

Trumpet

Undergraduate
  • Major scales slurred, two octaves where possible.
  • Chromatic scale full range of the instrument.
  • Sight reading
  • Charlier Etude #2 and pick two (all first movements) from: Kennan Sonata, Stevens Sonata, Haydn Concerto, Hummel Concerto, Tomasi Concerto, Chaynes Concerto, Hindemith Sonate, Goedicke Concert Etude (complete).
Graduate
  • Undergraduate requirements plus 5 orchestral excerpts.

Questions should be sent to Professor Jay Coble.

Viola

Bachelor of Music Performance and Music Education
  • One movement from standard concerto repertoire (or equivalent)
  • At least one movement from solo Bach Cello Suite or from a Violin Sonata or Partita
  • One etude of the candidate's choice
  • Sight reading may also be required. 

     

Bachelor of Arts
  • 2 contrasting works from standard repertoire
  • Representative 2 or 3 Octave scales and arpeggios
  • Sight reading may also be required. 

Master of Music Performance
  • One concerto movement
  • 2 contrasting movements of solo Bach
  • Work of applicant’s choice (may include a sonata movement, a modern work, standard orchestral excerpts, etc.)
Master of Music in Chamber Music
  • In addition to MM requirements above, include 2 contrasting recordings of chamber music performances (video preferred, though not required) as well as a chamber music resume.
Graduate Certificate
  • 3 contrasting works/movements from representative recital repertoire.
  • May include standard orchestral excerpts.
Advanced Graduate Certificate
  • Representative Recital Program, including 2 standard orchestra excerpts

Questions should be sent to Dr. Christina Adams.

Violin

Bachelor of Music Performance and Music Education
  • One movement of a concerto (or equivalent) from the violin repertoire

  • One movement from an unaccompanied baroque work (i.e., Bach or Telemann)

  • One caprice or etude from any era

  • Representative 3 Octave scales and arpeggios

  • Sight reading may also be required

     

Bachelor of Arts
  • 2 contrasting works from the violin repertoire (examples may include, but are not limited to, a movement from a concerto and an unaccompanied work from the baroque era

  • Representative 3 Octave scales and arpeggios

  • Sight reading may also be required

     

Master of Music Performance
  • One movement of a concerto (or equivalent) from the violin repertoire 

  • 2 contrasting movements of solo Bach
  • Work of applicant’s choice from any era
Master of Music in Chamber Music
  • In addition to MM requirements above, include performance recordings of 2 contrasting chamber music works (video preferred, though not required) as well as a chamber music resume.

     

Graduate Certificate
  • 3 contrasting works/movements from representative recital repertoire
    Advanced Graduate Certificate
  • Representative Recital Program

Questions should be sent to Professor Carolyn Stuart.

Voice

Voice Audition Guidelines and Requirements

USF School of Music's Voice Program offers vocal study based on Classical vocal technique and repertoire such as Art songs, Opera, and Oratorio (not Jazz, MT, Pop, or any commercial music). Therefore, your audition pieces should be all Classical vocal repertoire: Art Song, Aria, or Folk Song arranged for the concert stage with piano accompaniment (IE: Spirituals). Musical Theater selections are not acceptable. Acceptance to our voice program is competitive, so we recommend that all auditionees prepare their audition (for several weeks, months, or years) with a voice teacher(s) who can help you adequately/properly (preferably with help from a voice teacher(s) who has a record of successfully preparing students for college voice auditions) for them to maximize their chance of being admitted.

Video Quality:

Your audition videos do not need to be professional quality or studio recordings. However, the sound and video quality should be as good as possible to accurately hear your vocal quality and see the facial expressions/body gestures.

Piano Accompaniment:

Please use Piano accompaniment (You may use live or pre-recorded piano accompaniment)

Audition Repertoire Samples: (but not limited to the songs in these books)

Sample Materials for auditions can be found in the "Twenty-Four Italian Songs & Arias" collection or The First/Second Book of SATB Solos, also the Joan Boytim Series.

Repertoire used for Florida Vocal Association Solo and Ensemble Assessments are also good examples.

Undergraduate (Freshmen vs. Transfer):

If you have not taken the college-level Applied Voice Lessons for credit before your audition, you are considered a Freshman and should audition accordingly. If we decide to accept you into our program as a voice major, we will determine at what applied voice year/level you are accepted based on your audition's strength and merits and notify you.

 Undergraduate (Freshmen)

Prepare Two Art Songs of classical nature in contrasting style or tempo.
One selection must be in English.
The other one should be in a foreign language (German, French, Italian, Latin, Spanish, etc.)
Musical Theater selections are not acceptable.
Audition must be performed by Memory.

Undergraduate (Transfers)

Prepare Three pieces. One may be an operatic or oratorio aria, if appropriate to your level of vocal ability. Art Songs are preferred.
One selection must be in English.
The other two pieces should be in two different foreign languages (German, French, Italian, Latin, Spanish, etc.)
Musical Theater selections are not acceptable.
Audition must be performed by Memory.

Graduate

Five Solo Vocal pieces from the Standard Classical Vocal Repertoire such as Art Song or Aria from Oratorio or Opera.
One Aria: One of the five pieces must be an Aria from Opera or Oratorio. Other selections may be any combination of Art Songs, Arias, or Folk Songs.
Language Requirements: Five pieces should cover at least four major languages.
One in English
One in Italian
One in French
One in German
The 5th may be in any languages

Any questions regarding the audition should be sent to the Head of the USF Voice Program, Professor Kyoung Cho