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Instrument Audition Guidelines

Any questions regarding this information should be directed to Troy Centofanto, Director of Music Admissions. School of Music faculty members are available for pre-audition advisement upon request.

Bass (Electric):
The applicant must perform at least one two-octave major scale and one two-octave melodic minor scale from memory. The applicant should also perform at least one prepared solo piece of his or her choice. These can be etudes, solo transcriptions, standard jazz tunes, or original compositions. Memorization is suggested but not required. The applicant must provide written copies of these pieces in standard notation (tablature is not acceptable). Students should be able to play bass lines in various styles including walking, slapping, finger style funk, original lines, etc. Memorization is suggested but not required. Sight-reading material in standard notation will be presented during the audition. This is intended for placement purposes and should not discourage the applicant from auditioning.
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Bass (Double):
Suggested solos include an etude by Simandl, Bille, Storch, etc.; sonata by Marcello, Vivaldi, etc. (two movements acceptable). Applicants should also be prepared to perform major and minor scales (two octaves preferred).
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Bassoon:
Suggested solos include any concerto by Vivaldi; Sonata by Galliard or Hindemith, Etude by Orefici. Applicants are expected to play major and minor scales in legato and staccato.
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Cello:
Applicants are expected to prepare major and minor scales and arpeggios, three octaves; studies by Dupont, Popper or their equivalent and a movement of a concerto or sonata from the standard repertory.
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Clarinet:
Suggested solos include Mozart Concerto; Debussy Rhapsodie, Weber Concerto 1 and 2; Copland Concerto. Applicants should also prepare all major scales and two etudes of contrasting tempi by Rose.
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Euphonium:
Suggested solos include El Capitan by Sousa; First Suite in Eb by Holst; Circus Overture by Schuman/Owen, Morceau Symphonique by Guilmant or Andante et Allego by Barat. The applicant is also expected to play major scales and to do some sight reading.
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Flute:
Applicants are expected to prepare major and minor harmonic keys over two octaves, slurred, one etude of choice, two contrasting movements of a baroque sonata of choice (e.g. Telemann, Vivaldi, Handel, Bach), and one 20th century work of choice). Piano accompaniment is optional. If you cannot bring your own accompanist to the audition, please send the piano parts to the School two weeks in advance and you will be provided with an accompanist (There is a nominal fee for this service. The fee is to be paid to the assigned accompanist at the time of the audition).
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French Horn:
Suggested solos include Horn Concerto No. 1 or No. 3 by Mozart; Horn Concerto No. 2 by Haydn; Sonata by Beethoven. The applicant is also expected to play major scales and to do some sight-reading.
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Guitar (Classic):
Applicants should be prepared to demonstrate the following skills:
  • Perform two compositions (preferably memorized) representative of at least two of the following musical periods: Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, or 20th Century.
  • Technical Skills - Scales: Two octaves for all twelve keys of major scales, harmonic and melodic. Arpeggios: PIMA, PAMI, PIMAMI, IMA, AMI, IAMA. Chords: At least two different voicings of major, minor, Dom 7th, Minor 7th, Major 7th.
  • Sight-Reading - Single line played above the first position with key signatures containing up to four sharps or flats and three voice compositions in first position.
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Guitar (Jazz):
Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the following skills:
  • Perform two contrasting pieces From the jazz standard repertoire (e.g. ballad, up-tempo). One must be a chord melody solo guitar piece, and may include an optional chorus of improvisation. The other is a selection where the applicant states the melody and performs chorus(s) of improvisation and comping. At the audition, a guitar faculty member will be available to perform with the applicant; otherwise, background tracks on CD or cassette tape are also acceptable. Memorization is preferred but not required.
  • Technical Skills - Scales: two octaves for all twelve keys of major scales and harmonic minor. Arpeggios: two octaves of triads (major, minor, augmented and diminished), four note seventh chords-major 7th, minor 7th, dominant 7th. Chords: at least three different voicings of the following types of chords-major 7th, minor 7th, dominant 7th, minor 7b5.
  • Sight-reading in standard notation will be presented during the audition.
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Harp:
Applicants should be expected to perform two contrasting works, one by a 17th or 18th century composer and one by a 20th century composer (preferably memorized). In addition, applicants are asked to prepare an etude (such as Bochsa Etude No. 1 from Cinquante Etudes Op. 34, Book One) and an orchestral excerpt (such as the Waltz of the Flowers harp cadenza from the Nutcracker Suite). There may be a brief sight-reading excerpt.
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Oboe:
Suggested solos include the G Minor Concerto or a sonata by Handel; F Minor Concerto or A Minor Sonata by Telemann; Concerto in C Minor by Marcello; Concerto by Cimarosa; Sonata by Hindemith. Applicants are also expected to prepare one or two etudes (e.g. Barret), preferably of contrasting tempi.
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Organ:
Applicants are expected to prepare a Bach fugue and a piece from the Romantic Period and the 20th Century.
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Percussion:
Applicants must play snare drum, keyboard percussion, and timpani. Drum set is optional. Applicants must bring their own sticks or mallets for each instrument. Sight-reading will also be required. Audition literature may be selected from etudes or solos of a medium level. Suggested resources include:
  • Snare Drum - Intermediate etudes from Peters, Delecleuse, or Whaley. Required - four to six rudiments and rolls.
  • Keyboard Percussion - two mallet intermediate-level solos or etudes. Required - major scales and arpeggios, two octaves.
  • Timpani etudes from Goodman, Hochrainer, Leonard, Firth or Whaley.
  • Drum Set - play time and improvise (playing "fours") in several styles and tempos, including jazz, rock and Latin.
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Piano:
Applicants are asked to prepare three works, preferably memorized, representative of at least three of the following musical periods: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic and 20th Century. Although not required, some suggested repertoire includes: a Two- or Three-Part Invention by Bach; a movement from a sonata by Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven; a Nocturne by Chopin; "Children's Corner" by Debussy; Six Roumanian Dances by Bartok. The applicant is also expected to play major and minor scales and arpeggios. There will be a sight-reading excerpt.
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Saxophone:
Suggested solos include transcriptions of solos by Bach, Haydn, Handel; Creston Sonata; Concerto for Saxophone by Glazounow. Applicants should also prepare major scales through four sharps and four flats, and one or two etudes.
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Trombone:
Suggested solos include any Galliard or Telemann sonatas; Andante and Allegro by Barat. The applicant is also expected to play major and minor scales and to do some sight-reading.
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Trombone (Bass):
Suggested solos include Sonata by McCarty; Sonata by Lebidev; Fantasies by Telemann. The applicant is also expected to play major and minor scales and to do some sight-reading.
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Trumpet:
Applicants should prepare two works of contrasting style and two etudes of contrasting style from the Charlier, Brandt, Arban, or similar.  Suggested solos include Concerto for Trumpet in Ab by A. Arutunian, Concerto in Eb (or E) by J. Hummel, Concerto in Eb by J. Haydn, Sonata for Trumpet and Piano by P. Hindemith, Legende by G. Enesco.. The applicant is also expected to play major scales.
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Tuba:
Applicants should prepare two contrasting selections which demonstrate their ability on the instrument and overall musicianship. Suggested repertoire includes etudes by Bordogni and Blazhevich and/or solos such as Bach/Bell Air and Bouree, Persichetti Serenade #12, and Hartley Unaccompanied Suite. The applicant may also be asked to play major scales and sight-read at the audition.
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Viola:
Applicants should prepare a major and minor scale and some arpeggios of their choosing (Ex: Exercise #5, Carl Flesch); an etude (Kreutzer or Campagnoli); and any concerto, solo or concert piece that best represents their playing ability at the time of the audition. Memorization is recommended but not required. Professional dress is recommended for the audition.
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Violin:
Applicants should prepare a major and minor scale and some arpeggios of their choosing (Ex: Exercise #5, Carl Flesch); an etude (Kreutzer); and any concerto, solo or concert piece that best represents their playing ability at the time of the audition. Memorization is recommended but not required. Professional dress is recommended for the audition.
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Voice:

Applicants are expected to prepare two songs or arias of different styles and periods from memory, demonstrating vocal ability and potential. One should be from the 20th Century in English and one in a foreign language (French, German, Italian). Vocal exercises may be requested. The student may also be asked to sing without accompaniment and to sight-sing. Some ear training is also expected. The two songs must be coached professionally as the student will be judged on diction and style.

NOTICE:  Voice auditions require piano accompaniment. If you are unable to furnish a pianist, the School of Music can do so for a nominal fee. Piano music must be submitted two weeks prior to your scheduled audition. Music may be submitted via mail (attn. Director of Music Admissions) or email. Please limit file size to 2 MB or less. Original music is assumed to be owned and present at the time of the audition.

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Jazz:
In addition to the standard (classical) audition requirements, applicants will be expected to demonstrate the following skills:

Prepared Music

  • Winds, Vocalists, Piano, Guitar, Bass - Perform a portion of a solo transcription or jazz ensemble that demonstrates the ability to interpret jazz (swing) phrasing.
  • Drums - See Drum Set under Percussion.

Sight-reading

  • Winds, Vocalists - Sight-read music containing typical rhythms in both swing and straight eighth-note styles.
  • Piano - Sight-read notated rhythms, written lines and chord changes and demonstrate the ability to comp in both swing and straight eighth-note styles.
  • Bass - Sight-read notated rhythms, written lines and chord changes and demonstrate the ability to play idiomatic bass lines in both swing and straight eighth-note styles.
  • Drums - See Drum Set under Percussion. Sight-reading will also be required.

Improvisation (optional)

  • Winds, Vocalists, Piano, Bass - Improvise over a Bb Blues, Ladybird (by Tadd Dameron), and/or a tune of applicant's choice (bring chord changes).
  • Drums - Improvise full choruses and trade fours over the following forms: Blues and/or 32-bar AABA song (I Got Rhythm, Take The "A" Train, etc.)

Suggestions for Prepared Music

  • Winds - Solo transcription of any legendary jazz instrumentalist (e.g. Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderly, Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Brown, J.J. Johnson, Frank Rosolino) or a section part from jazz ensemble literature.
  • Vocalist - Solo transcription of any legendary jazz vocalist (e.g. Billy Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Chet Baker) or a personal interpretation of a jazz standard.
  • Piano - Solo transcription of any legendary jazz pianist (e.g. Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Thelonius Monk, Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea) or any piano part from jazz ensemble literature.
  • Bass - Solo transcription of any legendary jazz figure (see above) or jazz bassist (e.g. Ron Carter, Oscar Pettiford, Paul Chambers, Jaco Pastorius, John Patitucci) or any bass part from jazz ensemble literature.
  • Drums - See Drum Set under Percussion.

For further information about the jazz audition, please contact:

Mike Tomaro Director of Jazz Studies
412.396.5867
tomarom@duq.edu
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Electronic Composition - Additional Requirements
Students applying to enter the Electronic Composition track of the Music Technology degree program must submit a portfolio consisting of three notated examples of their best original compositions. Pieces should demonstrate an applicant's compositional techniques in either contemporary classical (acoustic or electronic), jazz or original sound tracks for multimedia, video or film productions. Pop, rock and electronic dance music compositions are not recommended. Digital recordings (AIFF, WAV or Quick Time files) or sequenced examples (standard MIDI file format 1 for general MIDI instruments) of the compositions are optional.

In addition, applicants should submit a short essay describing their goals as a composer. The essay should include information about the applicant's background in composition, such as formal study and live or recorded performances of his or her works, as well as a statement explaining how this degree program can help accomplish the applicant's goals. All applicants must receive passing marks in all three audition areas: performance (on one of the instruments listed above), theory and musicianship.

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Music Education Candidates:
At the time of the audition, students wishing to enter the Music Education Program should bring a printed essay describing why they wish to become a music educator.