All applicants to the School of Music are required to successfully audition on their primary instrument. Additionally, applicants to the Composition or Music Therapy programs will interview for those programs.
All auditions include:
1) Required performance elements (see below)
3) A singing test to determine aural skills (pitch-matching, rhythm-matching and sight-singing)
Please note: There is no music-theory exam component to your audition. However, if you would like to attempt to place into a higher level of theory and/or aural skills, see the instructions and deadlines here.
Auditioning for the Fredonia School of Music
The school does not specify audition repertoire; rather, we encourage you to consult with your teacher to choose good literature that you can perform well. Bear in mind that the purpose of the audition is to gather evidence of both current ability and the potential to complete the preferred degree program. Thus, we look for pitch accuracy, correct and steady rhythm, physical coordination, the ability to make expressive musical statements, and disciplined work habits. Instrumental auditions must be unaccompanied. Vocalists are required to audition with an accompanist (NOTE: we encourage you to bring your own accompanist, but the university will provide accompanists for both on- and off-campus voice auditions).
Candidates for the Bachelor of Music degree in Performance are expected to demonstrate a higher level of proficiency than applicants for other programs. The audition includes tests in pitch matching, sight-reading, and sight-singing.
Students are encouraged to audition on campus, if at all possible. We currently offer an off-campus audition in Long Island and Albany, NY (note: we do not audition percussionists at off-campus sites), and recorded auditions for those that cannot attend in-person. Information about the audition request process and fees follows on the Undergraduate Admissions & Audition Information page. Space in some studios is limited, so you are urged to audition as early in the year as possible. Students wishing to be considered for music scholarships must audition no later than February.
Specific audition requirements by instrument/area
Bassoon | Cello | Clarinet | Euphonium | Flute | Guitar (Classical)
Harp | Horn | Oboe | Piano | Percussion | Saxophone | String Bass
Trombone | Trumpet | Tuba | Violin | Viola | Voice
Composition | Music Therapy | Sound Recording Technology | BA Jazz Studies
Brass (trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba) & Woodwind except flute (clarinet, saxophone, oboe, bassoon)
Perform two contrasting selections—single-movement pieces or movements from sonatas or concertos showing technique, tone and musicianship. Also be prepared to play all major scales and a chromatic scale (two octaves).
Perform at least two contrasting selections — single-movement pieces or movements from sonatas or concertos representing different periods of music. One of the selections must be Baroque or Classical (such as Bach or Mozart). Also be prepared to perform all major scales and a chromatic scale, all at least 2 octaves.
Perform two contrasting works. These two selections may be movements from larger works (e.g. a movement of unaccompanied Bach or a first movement of a standard concerto at level of Viotti, Mozart, or Bruch) or shorter, complete works (e.g. a showpiece by Sarasate or Kreisler). In addition, prepare one etude or caprice by Mazas, Dont, Kreutzer, Rode, etc. Prepare two 3-octave scales and arpeggios (major, harmonic and melodic minor)—one in G, A, B-flat, C, D, or E, and one in A-flat, B, D-flat, E-flat, F, or F-sharp.
Perform two contrasting works (one slower, one faster) from different time periods (one baroque, the other classical, romantic, or modern). Examples: a movement from a Bach cello suite, plus a movement from a concerto by Hoffmeister or Walton. Choose two scales (major, melodic and harmonic minor) and their arpeggios (major and minor) and play them in three octaves.
Perform two contrasting and complete movements from the standard repertoire. Pieces could include movements from a Bach cello suite, a movement from a standard concerto or baroque or classical sonata, or an etude or virtuoso piece by Duport, Popper or Piatti. All major and melodic minor scales in at least three octaves.
Perform two or three contrasting movements or pieces showing facility through at least sixth position. The selections should demonstrate musical use of vibrato, and basic bowings such as legato, detaché and martelé. Perform two-octave scales and arpeggios in major and melodic minor in at least two different keys. NOTE: electric bass may NOT be used for the audition.
Perform a memorized solo from the standard repertoire and two etudes that utilize different techniques (i.e. arpeggio, scale, rest-stroke melody). Be prepared to perform from memory any two and three octave major and melodic minor scales (Segovia edition) with rest or free stroke (i-m; m-a). NOTE: electric guitar may NOT be used for auditions. Guitarists must call Professor Piorkowski before scheduling the audition (716-673-4641).
Perform two contrasting movements (slow and fast) from a sonata or concerto that demonstrates technique, tonal control and general musicianship. Perform representative scales and arpeggios.
Perform a solo and required materials on each of the following: snare drum, mallets, and timpani (the audition does not include drum set or multiple percussion). The solo for one of the instruments must be upper-level in difficulty (NYSSMA level 5 or 6), while the others may be more moderate (NYSSMA level 3 or 4). Additional requirements:
- Snare drum: in addition to the solo, everyone will be asked to play from the 26 basic rudiments and sight-read. Students who choose snare drum as their advanced area should play both 1) a rudimental solo with open rolls and precise rudimental stickings and 2) an orchestral-style solo or etude to demonstrate closed orchestral style rolls.
- Mallets: in addition to a 2-mallet solo, everyone must play all major scales and major arpeggios in any form for two octaves, and sight-read. Students who choose mallets as their advanced area may want to play both a 2- and a 4-mallet solo.
- Timpani: in addition to the solo (this can be for 2 or more timpani), everyone must demonstrate ability to tune the instruments for the selected solo, using a pitch pipe, tuning fork, or piano to get the pitches. The solo does not have to have tuning changes within the piece. Sight-reading is also required.
- Note: Percussion students must bring their own sticks, mallets, and copies of music to the audition. Students are encouraged to communicate with Dr. Stonefelt in preparation for the audition for clarification of the materials and procedures in any of the three percussion areas. Call 716-673-4645 or email Karolyn.Stonefelt@fredonia.edu.
No percussion auditions are held at off-campus auditions.
Perform three memorized solos in contrasting styles (e.g. Baroque, Classical, Romantic). Major and harmonic minor scales and arpeggios in four octaves (all keys for Performance applicants, keys starting on white notes for others).
Perform three memorized selections (four if auditioning for Performance or Music Education) chosen from the standard classical vocal literature. The selections must include at least two languages and contrasting styles. Note: musical theatre, jazz, or other styles are not acceptable.
Additional procedures for Composition
All applicants must audition for the School of Music on their primary instrument (or voice). The audition-day schedule for Composition applicants will include (in addition to the audition on your primary instrument) a private interview with the head of the degree program. Those who audition off-campus will be contacted by the School of Music about a phone or online interview once audition results are known.
Composition applicants must also submit a portfolio of 3-5 written scores (and recordings if available) to the Head of Composition (Dr. Deemer). We prefer that they be sent via email (scores as PDFs, recordings as MP3s) to Dr. Deemer (firstname.lastname@example.org) before the audition day. Hard copies may be brought to the audition day interview, however.
Audition for the School of Music on your primary instrument (or voice). A private interview is not required for admission to the degree program in Sound Recording Technology.
BA Jazz Studies
In addition to satisfying the classical audition requirements, applicants for the BA in Jazz Studies major must complete specific jazz requirements. Accompaniment will be provided, although you must bring three (3) copies of each lead sheet (melody with chord symbols) in concert key (drummers exempt). Please find specific jazz audition requirements here. Questions? Email Nick.Weiser@fredonia.edu
About off-campus auditions: Representatives from the School of Music hold auditions each January on Long Island and in the Albany area. While auditioning at one of these sites may be convenient for you, please understand we may record the audition in order to facilitate evaluation. Percussion auditions are not held at the off-campus sites. Also, off-campus auditions will not include the computer-administered Music Theory test. This will not make a difference in the admission decision. If you choose to audition off-campus, we strongly recommend that you participate in one of Fredonia's Open House visitation days.
Applicants interested in the B.F.A. Musical Theatre degree program must complete the Musical Theatre audition form available through the Department of Theatre and Dance. Contact the Department of Theatre and Dance for more information at (716) 673-3596 or email@example.com. An audition with representatives of the School of Music and Department of Theatre and Dance is required.