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Admission and Auditions

School of Music Audition dates for the academic year 2021-2022 are now available.

Dates are subject to change weather permitting.

January 15, 2022 

January 29, 2022

Thank you for your interest in the School of Music at Western Carolina University. 

Freshman applications for the 2021-22 academic year are now closed, but transfer students may apply until April 1, 2021. 

Please be aware that applications for scholarships for the 2021-22 academic year closed on February 1, 2021.

If you applied to and were accepted by Western Carolina University, you may still audition for the music program if there is room in the studio in which you are interested. Please email Mrs. Whitney McCall in the music office for details or to answer any questions you may have at wmmccall@email.wcu.edu.

Audition Guidelines for Students

The School of Music is not accepting string auditions at this time.

Prospective students will not audition in person, due to social distancing protocols put in place in response to COVID-19. Please submit your audition video by January 25, 2021 in order to be considered for a place in the studio and for a music scholarship.  Because we will not get to meet you in person at the audition, we strongly encourage you to contact the faculty member who will be your studio teacher to set up a Zoom lesson. Please do this no less than a week prior to your submission of your audition.  

Flute Audition Requirements 2021

Please submit an “unlisted” Youtube link to your flute audition video to Dr. Eldred Spell (espell@email.wcu.edu).  

Your flute audition video should include the following:

1. Solo movement or etude from the standard literature demonstrating both lyrical and technical playing.

2. Scales: D major, F major, and Ab major (at least two octaves). Chromatic scale (three octaves).

Oboe Audition Requirements 2021

Please submit an “unlisted” Youtube link to your oboe audition video to Dr. Will Peebles (wpeebles@email.wcu.edu). 

Your oboe audition video should include the following:

1. Solo: a movement or two from a Handel Sonata or Schumann Romance (recommended), or anything from the standard repertoire that best demonstrates your lyrical and technical abilities.

2. Scales: D major and Eb major (2 octaves), Ab major (1 octave).  Chromatic scale on C (2 octaves); 

Clarinet Audition Requirements 2021

Please submit an “unlisted” Youtube link to your clarinet audition video to Dr. Shannon Thompson (thompson@email.wcu.edu). 

Your clarinet audition video should include the following:

1. Solo movement or etude from the standard literature demonstrating both lyrical and technical playing.

2. Scales: D major (C concert), F major (Eb concert), and Ab major (Gb concert) – at least two octaves. Chromatic scale – at least three octaves.

Bassoon Audition Requirements 2021

Please submit an “unlisted” Youtube link to your bassoon audition video to Dr. Will Peebles (wpeebles@email.wcu.edu). 

Your bassoon audition video should include the following:

1. Solo: a movement or two from the Telemann F minor sonata or Mozart Concerto (recommended), or anything from the standard repertoire that best demonstrates your lyrical and technical abilities.

2. Scales: Eb major,  Ab major, and G major (2 octaves).  Chromatic scale on Bb (3 octaves).

Saxophone Audition Requirements 2021

Please submit an “unlisted” Youtube link to your saxophone audition video to Dr. Ian Jeffress (jeffress@email.wcu.edu). 

Your saxophone audition video should include the following:

Solo: one or two movements of a work for the instrument (or two contrasting etudes) that demonstrate your current level of musicianship and technical ability. Examples of suitable audition repertoire include:

  • J. Rueff – Chanson et Passepied
  • W. Ferling – two contrasting etudes from 48 Famous Studies
  • H. Eccles – Sonata, ed. Rascher (mvts. I and II)
  • P. Maurice – Tableaux de Provence (mvt. I or mvts. II and III)
  • H. Couf – Introduction, Dance, and Furioso
  • B. Heiden – Sonata (mvt. I or III)
  • P. Creston – Sonata, op. 19 (mvt. I or III)

Scales: F major (Ab concert), B major (D concert), and Eb major (Gb concert) - all either two octaves or full range of the instrument.  Chromatic scale covering the full range of the instrument (low Bb to palm F or F#, depending on your instrument).

BRASS AUDITIONS

Trumpet Audition Requirements 2021

Students will not audition in person, due to social distancing protocols put in place in response to COVID-19. Please submit an “unlisted” Youtube link to your trumpet audition video to Dr. P. Bradley Ulrich (ulrich@email.wcu.edu) by January 25, 2021 for music scholarship recommendations..

Your trumpet audition video should include the following:
1.  Solo. Solos should not exceed 7 minutes in length and should showcase your technical and lyrical abilities. A movement of a concerto, sonata, All-District audition solo, or contest piece is acceptable.  Videos of solo(s) MUST be filmed in one continuous shot and unedited. Please position your camera so your embouchure and fingers are in view the entire time. Experiment with the sound quality before you record.  Try not to point directly into the camera microphone as this often distorts the sound.
2.  Major Scales and Arpeggios.  Please perform the following major scales and arpeggios TONGUED in the rhythmic pattern seen below.  Videos of scales MUST be filmed in one continuous shot and unedited.

scales

 

scales

 

Horn Audition Requirements 2021

Students will not audition in person, due to social distancing protocols put in place in response to COVID-19. Please submit an “unlisted” Youtube link to your Horn audition video to Dr. Travis Bennett (Tbennett@email.wcu.edu) by January 25, 2021 for music scholarship recommendations..
1.  Solo. Solos should not exceed 7 minutes in length and should showcase your technical and lyrical abilities. A movement of a concerto, sonata, All-District audition solo, or contest Piece is acceptable.  Videos of solo(s) MUST be filmed in one continuous shot and unedited. Please position your camera so your embouchure and fingers are in view the entire time. Experiment with the sound quality before you record.  Try not to point directly into the camera microphone as this often distorts the sound.
2.  Major Scales and Arpeggios.  Please perform the following major scales and arpeggios (2 octaves, tongued): C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, G, D, A (starting pitches)

Videos of scales MUST be filmed in one continuous shot and unedited.

Trombone/Euphonium Audition Requirements 2021

Students will not audition in person, due to social distancing protocols put in place in response to COVID-19. Please submit an “untitled” Youtube link to your trombone/Euphonium audition video to Dr. Zsolt Szabo (zszabo@email.wcu.edu) by January 25, 2021 for music scholarship recommendations..

Your trombone/euphnium audition video should include the following:

1. Major Scales. Play all from F Major to G Major tongued. The C major scale is optional. Quarter note = 74.

    Record in video format in a single take.

again

 


part1-2

This is a caption positioned off a photo

2. Required Etudes. Record in order.

Scales

 

Number 38 & 39 – Quarter note = 64-72.

Scales

 

3.   Open choice of solo or excerpt (5-7 minute segment). 

Selection may include all-district piece, another band or orchestra excerpt, solo and/or ensemble part, lead line in style of choice (written or improvised, with or without recorded accompaniment).

Tuba Audition Requirements 2021

Students will not audition in person, due to social distancing protocols put in place in response to COVID-19. Please submit an “unlisted”  Youtube link to your tuba audition video to Dr. Michael Schallock (mschallock@email.wcu.edu) by January 25, 2021 for music scholarship recommendations..

Your tuba audition video should include the following:

1. Major Scales (as written below, two octaves, tongued, C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, D, G).  Quarter note = 74.  Record in video format in a single take.

tuba

 

tubaagain

 


2.  Required Excerpt.

Scales

 

3.   Open choice of solo or except (2-7 minute segment). 

Selection may include all-district piece, another band or orchestra excerpt, solo and ensemble part, lead line in style of choice (written or improvised, with or without recorded accompaniment).

Percussion Audition Requirements 2021

Students will not audition in person, due to social distancing protocols put in place in response to COVID-19. Please submit an “unlisted” Youtube link to your percussion audition video to Dr. Adam Groh (amgroh@email.wcu.edu) by January 25, 2021 for music scholarship recommendations.. Some students may be contacted for follow-up interviews during the week of 1/25/21.

Your percussion audition video should include the following: 1. Etude or solo in ALL THREE of the following areas. When choosing repertoire, students should select etudes that are at least one page in length. You may substitute pieces of similar or greater difficulty.

Snare Drum – Any standard etude in the concert style (Peters, Cirone, Delecluse, or similar).

Keyboard – Any standard two or four-mallet etude or solo (Bach, Goldenberg, MacMillan, Peters, Ford, Davila, Gaines, Musser, or similar).

Timpani – Any standard etude or solo piece (Firth, Whaley, Peters, Beck, Carroll, Hochrainer, or similar).

****COVID-19 Note: We recognize that students may be experiencing limited access to instruments due to the current circumstances. If you have concerns about being able to include any of the following items, please contact Dr. Groh to discuss alternative options. We are committed to ensuring that all students who want to audition for the Percussion Studio in the WCU School of Music are able to do so.

2. In addition to the prepared solos and etudes you should also submit the following:

Rudiments – Choose FOUR rudiments from the list of 40 PAS Drum Rudiments and include them with your videos.

Scales – Choose THREE major scales (2 octaves, no arpeggios necessary) and include them with your videos.

Video submission guidelines:

  • All pieces should be recorded in one complete take with no edits or splicing.
  • We know that it may not be possible due to logistics, but if you are able, please record the entire audition in one complete take.
  • Position the camera at least a few feet away from you and the instrument, and be sure that our view of you, your hands/implements, and the playing surface are not blocked by music stands, etc.

Piano Audition Requirments 2021

Students will not audition in person, due to social distancing protocols put in place in response to COVID-19. Please submit an “unlisted” Youtube link to your audition video to Dr. Andrew Adams (aadams@email.wcu.edu) by January 25, 2021 for music scholarship recommendations..

1. Play two or three solos works, contrasting in style. These do not have to be memorized.

2. Play technical elements such as scales, arpeggios, or chord progressions. You may choose which you would like to play or have WCU faculty members choose.

3. Sight read (live auditions only).

4. Be prepared to talk with us about your studies:

How long have you had lessons with a teacher?

Have you studied music theory?

Have you done any accompanying?

Do you play other instruments?

Do you compose original pieces or arrange works by others?

What are your goals at WCU and beyond?

Audition Instructions for Traditional Voice Majors

Students will not audition in person, due to social distancing protocols put in place in response to COVID-19.  Please submit an “unlisted” Youtube link to your traditional voice audition video to Dr. Mary Kay Bauer (mkbauer@wcu.edu) by February 28, 2021.  

PART I. Your video should include two polished, memorized songs in contrasting style with accompaniment. The contrast should demonstrate to the faculty what your voice can do NOW. Appropriate choices might display your vocal range, agility, breath control, size, power, language acuity, interpretation skills, etc. We do not accept acapella songs, hymns, or part singing from a choral piece as appropriate audition repertory.

Tips for success:

1. Remember Voice Faculty want to hear what your voice can do. Choose repertoire that shows your range, power, interpretation and stage presence. Here are some song collections which might help you choose your repertoire:

  • 24 Italian Songs and Arias (also published as 26 Italian Songs and Arias and 28 Italian Songs and Arias)
  • First Book Series (There is a First Book for each voice type)
  • Folk Song Arrangements
  • 56 Songs You Like To Sing

2. Perform as if engaging outwardly – not inwardly. Animate your expression as you tell your story so that it translates well through video.

3. Dress appropriately for the occasion. Looking your best will help give you confidence.

4. Consider accompaniments carefully. You may use a live pianist, pre-recorded pianist, YouTube karaoke accompaniment or an accompaniment app such as Appcommpanist. You may not, however, sing along with another recorded singer. We recommend that you practice with your accompaniment often prior to your video-taping.

PART II:  Successful candidates will be invited to continue the audition process in a remote synchronous Zoom meeting at a later date.  Notice will be sent via email and a specific time will be arranged.  This 2nd round of auditions will include:  

1. Sight-Reading. You will be given a short acapella piece to sight read. You may use any method of sight-reading – solfege, numbers or neutral syllable. Reading music is essential to success as a Music Major but perfection in sight reading is not required for acceptance into our program. Sight reading is an improvable skill, but reading music is essential.

2. Brief Interview. The audition panel will interview you briefly to explore past musical experiences as well as college and career goals.

Audition Instructions for Commercial Voice Majors

Students will not audition in person, due to social distancing protocols put in place in response to COVID-19. Please submit an “untitled” Youtube link to your commercial voice audition video to Dr. Mary Kay Bauer (mkbauer@wcu.edu) by February 28, 2021 for music scholarship recommendations.

PART I.  Voice auditions should be video taped (see below for uploading instructions) and should be submitted no later than Febaury 28, 2021.

The audition should consist of two songs contrasting in style AND feel. Examples of contrasting contemporary songs are: an upbeat rock tune, a jazz ballad, a slow R&B song, or a country up-tempo song, etc. Both pieces may be contemporary, but a classical selection is acceptable. All selections should be memorized.

Tips for success:

  1. Remember Voice Faculty want to hear what your voice can do. Choose songs that show your vocal ability, “IT” factor, personality and your ability to tell stories.
  2. Songs that need a full band, dancers, lights, etc. are not the best for auditions. Choose songs by good SONGWRITERS.
  3. You may use tracks, a live accompanist, or accompany yourself.

PART II. Successful candidates will be invited to continue the audition process in a remote synchronous Zoom meeting at a later date. Notice will be sent via email and a specific time will be arranged.  This 2nd round of auditions will include:

  1. Sight-Reading/tonal memory. You will be given a short acapella piece to sight read. You may use any method of sight-reading – solfege, numbers or neutral syllable. Reading music is essential to success as a Music Major but perfection in sight reading is not required for acceptance into our program. Tonal memory involves hearing tones and singing them back accurately.
  2. Improvisation. You will be asked to improvise to a recorded track.
  3. Brief Interview. The audition panel will interview you briefly to explore past musical experiences as well as college and career goals.

Bass Studio Audition Requirements

Students will not audition in person, due to social distancing protocols put in place in response to COVID-19. Please submit an “unlisted” Youtube link to your CMAP Jazz Guitar video to Dr. Chris Beyt (cjbeyt@email.wcu.edu) by January 25, 2021 for music scholarship recommendations.

Scales

The performance of major and natural minor scales is required for jazz bass auditions. Please be prepared to perform one octave major and minor scales using at lease 2 dif-ferent scale fingerings (the shifting of one scale fingering to a new position does not fulfill this requirement).

Performance of Jazz Standards

1. With a backing track, walk and solo over a jazz blues form.

2. With a backing track, perform a jazz standard of your choice. Examples would be Au-tumn Leaves, All The Things You Are, Blue Bossa, Recordame, etc. Play the melody for the first chorus then walk for the second chorus. Backing tracks without a recorded bass part can be made available upon request.

Funk Bass Line

Improvise a funk bass line with a single-chord backing track that does not already have a bass in the recording. Many backing tracks are available on YouTube, and should for-warded to Dr. Beyt prior to audition.

Sight Reading

Sight reading is required for all bass auditions at WCU. Students should be prepared to sight read melodic material in traditional music notation (not tablature) and an under-standing of key signatures will be required. Prospective students will be asked to sight-read a lead sheet style song by performing the melody for a chorus and improvising a bass part over the chord changes as if accompanying a soloist.


Guitar Studio Audition Requirements

Students will not audition in person, due to social distancing protocols put in place in response to COVID-19. Please submit an “unlisted” Youtube link to your CMAP Jazz Guitar video to Dr. Chris Beyt (cjbeyt@email.wcu.edu) by January 25, 2021 for music scholarship recommendations.

Scales and Chords

1. The performance of major and natural minor scales is required for jazz guitar audi-tions. Please be prepared to perform 2 octave major and minor scales using at lease 2 different scale fingerings (the shifting of one scale fingering to a new position does not fulfill this requirement).

2. Demonstrate major, minor, dominant, half diminished, and diminished 7th chords off a given root in two different fretboard positions.

Improvisation

Perform an improvised solo over a rock or funk backing track of single chord. Many backing tracks are available on YouTube and Spotify, and should forwarded to Dr. Beyt prior to audition.

Performing a Jazz Standard

With a backing track, perform a jazz standard of your choice. Examples would be Au-tumn Leaves, All The Things You Are, Blue Bossa, Recordame, etc. Play the melody for the first chorus, comp the chords of the form for the second chorus, and improvise for one to three choruses over the form. Backing tracks without a recorded bass part can be made available upon request.

Sight Reading

Sight reading is required for all jazz guitar auditions at WCU. Students should be pre-pared to sight read melodic material in traditional music notation (not tablature), and an understanding of key signatures will be required. Open position reading is expected, but it is a good idea to read in higher positions on the guitar neck, such as 2nd, 5th, and 7th positions. Prospective students will also be asked to sight read a chord chart consisting of major and minor chords as well as major, minor, dominant, half diminished, and di-minished 7th chords.


Piano Studio Audition Requirements

Students will not audition in person, due to social distancing protocols put in place in response to COVID-19. Please submit an “unlisted” Youtube link to your Commercial Jazz Piano audition video to Pavel Wlosok (pwlosok@wcu.edu) by January 25, 2021 for music scholarship recommendations.

Scales

Demonstration of fundamental piano technique by playing one major and one minor scale, two hands together one octave apart, four octaves up and four octaves down in slower to moderate tempo.

Prepared Piece

Demonstration of jazz/pop music styles by playing at least three of the following choices:

- A Blues – a melody and 2-3 choruses of improvisation, either solo or with a play-along

- A Rhythm Changes – such as I Got Rhythm, Oleo, Anthropology, or the likes – again melody and a few choruses of improvisation if possible

- A standard jazz song in a swing style – anything from Ellington, Monk, Bill Evans (the pianist), Mingus, Coltrane and the likes should be fine

- A jazz ballad and own arrangement of it

- A bossa-nova piece such as Blue Bossa, How Insensitive, Recordame, or Girl From Ipanema or similar

- Any piece of prospect’s choice, be it an original composition or arrangement of cin-ema, pop, or jazz song or film music

If the prospect has played any classical music, it would be helpful to hear that as well – Bach’s Invention or part of Prelude and Fugue, some Classical period piece such as first movement of Haydn or Mozart sonata, and/or Romantic piece by Chopin, Schubert, Schumann, or similar (not too complicated or too difficult). While this part is not required, it is welcome to those who recently switched from classical to pop/jazz piano.

Sight Reading

Sight Reading is required of all Jazz and Commercial Piano Majors. Each prospect is encouraged to demonstrate sight-reading of a standard real book lead-sheet with proper harmonization in left hand and melody in the right hand, as well as a sight-reading of a short two-staff piano excerpt from classical repertoire (both to be determined by the in-structor at the end of the audition process).

For further questions please contact Pavel Wlosok (pwlosok@email.wcu.edu)

Commercial Percussion Studio

Students will not audition in person, due to social distancing protocols put in place in response to COVID-19. Please submit an “unlisted” Youtube link to your Commercial Percussion audition video to Jim Elenteny (jelenteny@wcu.edu) by January 25, 2021 for music scholarship recommendations.

Drum Set

Prepared Piece

Your prepared piece must be:

  • performed live straight through, no editing
  • three–five minutes in length.

Improvisation

You will improvise over a short instrumental backing track.

In addition to the above requirements you may also be asked to play selected examples from the following list of grooves:

  • 4/4 swing
  • 3/4 swing
  • Jazz shuffle
  • Funk
  • Rock
  • Bossa nova
  • Mambo
  • Calypso/soca
  • Reggae

Hand Percussion (note: this is an option in addition to your drumset audition)

You may audition with hand percussion instruments such as congas, bongos, cajon, timbales, frame drum, or another primary instrument.

Be prepared to demonstrate the following:

  • Specific, basic tone on the conga drum (closed tones, open tones, heel-toe, hand-rocking motion, slaps muted, and slaps open)
  • Basic performance of timekeeping for cha-cha and mambo
  • Congas: basic tumbao rhythm at a slow tempo—including some basic variations and improvisations
  • Bongos: basic martillo rhythm at a slow tempo—including some basic variations and improvisations

You may also demonstrate any knowledge of basic Afro-Cuban and/or Brazilian acces-sory percussion instruments.

For further questions please contact. Jim Elenteny jelenteny@email.wcu.edu 

 

Audition Instructions for Commercial Voice Majors

Students will not audition in person, due to social distancing protocols put in place in response to COVID-19. Please submit an “unlisted” Youtube link to your Commercial Voice audition video to Dr. Mary Kay Bauer (mkbauer@wcu.edu) by January 25, 2021 for music scholarship recommendations.

PART I. Voice auditions should be video-taped (see below for uploading instructions) and should be submitted no later than January 25.

The audition should consist of two songs contrasting in style AND feel. Examples of contrasting contemporary songs are: an upbeat rock tune, a jazz ballad, a slow R&B song, or a country up-tempo song, etc. Both pieces may be contemporary, but a classi-cal selection is acceptable. All selections should be memorized.

Tips for success:

  1. Remember Voice Faculty want to hear what your voice can do. Choose songs that show your vocal ability, “IT” factor, personality and your ability to tell stories.
  2. Songs that need a full band, dancers, lights, etc. are not the best for auditions. Choose songs by good SONGWRITERS.
  3. You may use tracks, a live accompanist, or accompany yourself.

PART II. Successful candidates will be invited to continue the audition process in a re-mote synchronous Zoom meeting on January 16th or January 23rd. Notice will be sent via email. This 2nd round of auditions will include:

  1. Sight-Reading/tonal memory. You will be given a short acapella piece to sight read. You may use any method of sight-reading – solfege, numbers or neutral syllable. Read-ing music is essential to success as a Music Major but perfection in sight reading is not required for acceptance into our program. Tonal memory involves hearing tones and singing them back accurately.
  2. Improvisation. You will be asked to improvise to a recorded track.
  3. Brief Interview. The audition panel will interview you briefly to explore past musical experiences as well as college and career goals.

MIDI / Synthesis Studio Online Audition Guidelines

Students will not audition in person, due to social distancing protocols put in place in response to COVID-19. Please submit your MIDI / Sythesis audition materials to Dr. Justin Leo Kennedy (jkennedy@wcu.edu) by January 25, 2021 for music scholarship recommendations. 

An auditioning student must demonstrate:

  • Experience in using a DAW (digital audio workstation)
  • Strong interest in sound design and audio production
  • Strong interest in live performance with technology
  • Ability to play a prepared piece of written music on an instrument
  • Ability to sight read written music on an instrument
  • Ability to play scales

Your MIDI / Synthesis audition package should include the following 3 materials:

  1. A videoed performance of one of the following: a jazz standard, a classical piece, or a pop standard. If you choose a pop song, there must be a notated lead sheet version of it.
    • Standards can be found in the Real Book or other published fake books.
    • Please do not play a piece from MuseScore or an original composition.
  2. A video of the student playing through the scales of Ab major, F major, and E minor.
  3. An original audio file from a DAW such as Ableton Live, Logic Pro, or FL Studio.
    • This can be an original composition.
    • Any genre is welcome (pop, hip hop, EDM, orchestral, etc.).
    • Please send an MP3 or WAV file format.

Prospective students should record video of their audition performances in their homes, or wherever else is convenient for them. A simple smartphone video will suffice, but submitting a better recording quality is preferred. Students may perform on any instrument they like, but keyboard is preferred.

Candidates whose work demonstrates a potentially good match with the studio will be contacted for a video interview with our Commercial Music and Audio Production faculty members. In that interview, students will be asked to sight-read the melody of a lead sheet. After that, students will be asked to sight read some chord changes.

All materials in your package should be emailed to Dr. Justin Leo Kennedy (jkennedy@wcu.edu). Your videos should be uploaded to YouTube as "unlisted" videos and then hyperlinked to Dr. Kennedy in the email. Your DAW audio file can be sent as a downloadable attachment or uploaded to a website such as SoundCloud or Spotify and then hyperlinked in the same email to Dr. Kennedy.

What is taught to MIDI / Synth Studio students?

The MIDI / Synthesis studio is anchored in 4 disciplines: performance, sound design, audio production, and computer literacy. Regardless of instrumental background, all students study piano keyboard proficiency and live performance with technology. For further information please contact Dr. Kennedy jkennedy@wcu.edu 

learn more about the midi / synthesis studio 

Music Theory Placement Test

The Music Theory Placement Test will be given on the weekend prior to the first day of classes (date and time TBA).  It will be used to place you into music theory courses appropriate to your skill level, but will have no effect on your acceptance into the School of Music. If you have transfer credit or advanced placement in music theory, you may be placed into more advanced theory courses upon demonstration of advanced competence. Topics covered in the Music Theory Placement Test include:

  • Clef reading
  • Key Signatures
  • Interval and Triad Qualities
  • Scales and Modes
  • Non-Chord Tones
  • Meters and Rhythmic Notation
  • Simple 4-part writing
  • Harmonic Analysis
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