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Admission and Auditions

All School of Music academic programs require a live audition!

Audition dates for the 2022-23 academic year are:

January 15, 2022 

January 29, 2022

The deadline for applying for any scholarship through WCU is February 1, 2022.  This is true both for new students and for current scholarship students who would like to continue receiving their scholarships in 2022-23.  To apply, go to the Scholarship Portal.

Please email Mrs. Whitney McCall in the music office for details or to answer any questions you may have at wmmccall@wcu.edu.

Audition Guidelines for Students

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

Flute

In your audition, you will be asked to perform prepared solo repertoire for your instrument, a selection of scales, and a short sightreading exercise. Please see below for specifics regarding each of these. 

1.          Solo: Please prepare either: two short, contrasting etudes (or two short movements from a solo work for your instrument); or a longer single movement from a solo work. In either case, the goal is to demonstrate your current level of both technical playing and musicianship (dynamics, articulation variety, breathing choices, and rubato and phrasing). 

2.         Scales: please continue to work on scales and technique study as directed by your band director, private lesson teacher, or in consultation with Dr. Spell in the WCU flute studio. We will hear a selection of the scales you have prepared, in the format most familiar to you. Preparation of the chromatic scale, covering as much of the range of the instrument as you are comfortable with, is also encouraged.

3.         Sightreading: The sightreading exercise is designed to give you a chance to demonstrate your musical thinking and decision making, rather than to be a technical hurdle. When practicing sightreading in preparation for the audition, strive to communicate a clear rhythmic pulse, and give articulations and dynamics just as much attention as the notes themselves.

Questions? Please contact Dr. Eldred Spell, Professor of Flute, at: espell@wcu.edu 

 

Oboe

In your audition, you will be asked to perform prepared solo repertoire for your instrument, a selection of scales, and a short sightreading exercise. Please see below for specifics regarding each of these. 

1.          Solo: Please prepare either: two short, contrasting etudes (or two short movements from a solo work for your instrument); or a longer single movement from a solo work. A movement or two from a Handel Sonata or Schumann Romance is recommended. In either case, the goal is to demonstrate your current level of both technical playing and musicianship (dynamics, articulation variety, breathing choices, and rubato and phrasing). 

2.         Scales: please continue to work on scales and technique study as directed by your band director, private lesson teacher, or in consultation with Dr. Peebles in the WCU double reed studios. We will hear a selection of the scales you have prepared, in the format most familiar to you. Preparation of the chromatic scale, covering as much of the range of the instrument as you are comfortable with, is also encouraged.

3.         Sightreading: The sightreading exercise is designed to give you a chance to demonstrate your musical thinking and decision making, rather than to be a technical hurdle. When practicing sightreading in preparation for the audition, strive to communicate a clear rhythmic pulse, and give articulations and dynamics just as much attention as the notes themselves.

Questions? Please contact Dr. Will Peebles, Professor of Bassoon, at: wpeebles@wcu.edu 

 

Clarinet

In your audition, you will be asked to perform prepared solo repertoire for your instrument, a selection of scales, and a short sightreading exercise. Please see below for specifics regarding each of these. 

1.          Solo: Please prepare either: two short, contrasting etudes (or two short movements from a solo work for your instrument); or a longer single movement from a solo work. In either case, the goal is to demonstrate your current level of both technical playing and musicianship (dynamics, articulation variety, breathing choices, and rubato and phrasing). 

2.         Scales: please continue to work on scales and technique study as directed by your band director, private lesson teacher, or in consultation with Dr. Thompson in the WCU clarinet studio. We will hear a selection of the scales you have prepared, in the format most familiar to you. Preparation of the chromatic scale, covering as much of the range of the instrument as you are comfortable with, is also encouraged.

3.         Sightreading: The sightreading exercise is designed to give you a chance to demonstrate your musical thinking and decision making, rather than to be a technical hurdle. When practicing sightreading in preparation for the audition, strive to communicate a clear rhythmic pulse, and give articulations and dynamics just as much attention as the notes themselves.

Questions? Please contact Dr. Shannon Thompson, Professor of Clarinet, at: thompson@wcu.edu 

 

Bassoon

In your audition, you will be asked to perform prepared solo repertoire for your instrument, a selection of scales, and a short sightreading exercise. Please see below for specifics regarding each of these.

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: please continue to work on scales and technique study as directed by your band director, private lesson teacher, or in consultation with Dr. Peebles in the WCU bassoon studio. We will hear a selection of the scales you have prepared, in the format most familiar to you. Preparation of the chromatic scale, covering as much of the range of the instrument as you are comfortable with, is also encouraged.

3.         Sightreading: The sightreading exercise is designed to give you a chance to demonstrate your musical thinking and decision making, rather than to be a technical hurdle. When practicing sightreading in preparation for the audition, strive to communicate a clear rhythmic pulse, and give articulations and dynamics just as much attention as the notes themselves.

Questions? Please contact Dr. Will Peebles, Professor of Bassoon, at: wpeebles@wcu.edu 

 

Saxophone

In your audition, you will be asked to perform prepared solo repertoire for your instrument, a selection of scales, and a short sightreading exercise. Please see below for specifics regarding each of these.

1.          Solo: Please prepare either: two short, contrasting etudes (or two short movements from a solo work for your instrument); or a longer single movement from a solo work. In either case, the goal is to demonstrate your current level of both technical playing and musicianship (dynamics, articulation variety, breathing choices, and rubato and phrasing). 

2.         Scales: please continue to work on scales and technique study as directed by your band director, private lesson teacher, or in consultation with Dr. Jeffress in the WCU saxophone studio. We will hear a selection of the scales you have prepared, in the format most familiar to you. Preparation of the chromatic scale, covering as much of the range of the instrument as you are comfortable with, is also encouraged.

3.         Sightreading: The sightreading exercise is designed to give you a chance to demonstrate your musical thinking and decision making, rather than to be a technical hurdle. When practicing sightreading in preparation for the audition, strive to communicate a clear rhythmic pulse, and give articulations and dynamics just as much attention as the notes themselves.

Questions? Please contact Dr. Ian Jeffress, Associate Professor of Saxophone, at: jeffress@wcu.edu

Trumpet

In your audition, you will be asked to perform prepared solo repertoire for your instrument, a selection of scales, and a short sightreading exercise. Please see below for specifics regarding each of these.

Note:  Trumpet applicants should come to the 1/15/22 audition date, or set up an individual audition date/time directly with Dr. Ulrich (ulrich@email.wcu.edu)

Your trumpet audition 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.  Please contact Dr. Ulrich if you have questions (ulrich@email.wcu.edu)
2.  Major Scales and Arpeggios:  The applicants will be asked by the audition committee to perform by memory random scales from the list provided below [embedded image, already on website].  These major scales and arpeggios should be TONGUED in the rhythmic pattern shown. 
3.  Chromatic Scale: Should be slurred as fast and EVENLY as possible.  Evenness is more important than the tempo.
4.  Sight Reading.: A short excerpt for the student to sight read will be given at the audition.

Questions? Please contact Dr. P. Bradley Ulrich, Professor of Trumpet, at: ulrich@wcu.edu

 

Horn

In your audition, you will be asked to perform prepared solo repertoire for your instrument, a selection of scales, and a short sightreading exercise. Please see below for specifics regarding each of these:

1.          Solo: A prepared piece 3-7 minutes in length which showcases your technical and lyrical abilities. A movement of a concerto, sonata, All-District audition solo, or contest piece is acceptable.

2.          Major Scales and Arpeggios: The faculty member(s) will select 3-5 scales for you to play. Scales should be played 2 octaves and tongued.

3.         Sight Reading.: A short excerpt for the student to sight read will be given at the audition.

Questions? Please contact Dr. Travis Bennett, Professor of Horn, at: tbennett@wcu.edu 

 

Trombone/Euphonium

In your audition, you will be asked to perform prepared solo repertoire for your instrument, a selection of scales, a collection of short etudes, and a short sightreading exercise. Please see below for specifics regarding each of these:

1.          Major Scales: Play all the scales in an articulated, sostenuto-tenuto style. Quarter note = 74.

2.          Required Etudes: The three required etudes can be found below [embedded images, already on website].

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).

4.         Sight Reading.: A short excerpt for the student to sight read will be given at the audition.

Questions? Please contact Dr. Zsolt Szabo, Associate Professor of Trombone and Euphonium, at: zszabo@wcu.edu 

 

Tuba

In your audition, you will be asked to perform prepared solo repertoire for your instrument, a selection of scales, and a short sightreading exercise. Please see below for specifics regarding each of these:

1.          Scales:  The audition committee will select 3-5 scales major scales and arpeggios.  Scales should be played two octaves and tongued.

2.         A required excerpt from Holst - First Suite in Eb: The excerpt can be found at: https://www.wcu.edu/learn/departments-schools-colleges/fpa/music/admission-and-auditions/index.aspx under the Tuba audition requirements.

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).

4.         Sight Reading.: A short excerpt for the student to sight read will be given at the audition.Questions? Please contact Dr. Michael Schallock, Professor of Tuba, at: mschallock@wcu.edu 

PERCUSSION

When planning your audition for acceptance as a music major at WCU, with an applied area of percussion, please keep the following guidelines in mind.  If you have questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Adam Groh, Assistant Professor of Percussion, at amgroh@wcu.edu or 828-227-3263.

Please plan to audition on one of the School of Music’s audition dates. These dates can be found on the WCU School of Music website, and occur in mid- to late January. Students who cannot audition on one of the give dates are welcome to arrange an individual time with Dr. Groh, ideally prior to the last formal audition date. Acceptance into the percussion studio is highly competitive and space is limited.  Auditions that occur after the School of Music’s last audition date are not guaranteed to be considered for acceptance.

You must prepare an 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).

  Drumset **OPTIONAL** – Students are not required to perform on drumset, but may do so if they choose.  Demonstrate fluency with at least three musical styles (medium swing, funk, bossa nova, etc.). 

**Any questions about repertoire selections may be directed to Dr. Groh**

In addition to your prepared repertoire, you will also be asked to perform the following: 

1.          Selected rudiments from the 40 PAS International Drum Rudiments (may be found at pas.org)         

2.         Selected major scales

3.         Sightreading on snare drum and keyboard percussion instruments

Choose repertoire that showcases your highest level of technical and musical skill. How you play is more important than what you play. As such, students who give mature, polished, and convincing performances of “easier” repertoire are more likely to be successful than students who struggle with the technical demands of “harder” repertoire.  Your audition is your opportunity to demonstrate what you are capable of, so choose repertoire that will allow your artistry to shine through. 

Questions? Please contact Dr. Adam Groh, Assistant Professor of Percussion, at: amgroh@wcu.edu 

KEYBOARD

In your audition, you will be asked to perform prepared solo repertoire for your instrument, a selection of scales and technical elements, and a short sightreading exercise. Please see below for specifics regarding each of these.

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.

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?

Questions? Please contact Dr. Andrew Adams, Professor of Piano, at: aadams@wcu.edu 

VOICE

Please see below for specific information regarding the components of the Classical Voice and Commercial Voice auditions. Any questions regarding voice auditions should be directed to:

Dr. Mary Kay Bauer, mkbauer@wcu.edu (classical voice)

Dr. Tiffany Jackson, tjackson@wcu.edu (commercial voice)

Audition Instructions for Classical Voice Majors

A vocal audition for admission to the School of Music at WCU consists of three parts. 

Part I.  The Singing Portion.  The Classical Voice audition 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, ability to tell a story, 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 NOW. 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
1.          Perform as if engaging outwardly – not inwardly. Keep your eyes open and focused. Know your story. Animate your expression as you tell this story.

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

3.         You must perform with a live pianist. The School of Music will provide an accompanist if you do not supply one. Be sure to communicate to Dr. Bauer your accompanist needs and provide a clean score.

Part II. 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. 

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

*** *** ***

Audition Instructions for Commercial Voice Majors

A vocal audition for admission to the School of Music at WCU consists of three parts. 

Part I.  The Singing Portion.  The Commercial Voice 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, or from different style eras, but a classical selection is acceptable. All selections must be memorized.

Additional acceptable styles: 

Hip hop/R&B (In the vein of Lauryn Hill, Drake, Mary J. Blige etc.) 

*Hip Hop auditions much include legitimate singing 

Soul: Sam Cook, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Motown, etc. 

Tips for success:

1.          Remember Voice Faculty want to hear what your voice can do NOW. 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. might be your favorite, but they may not be best for auditions.  Carefully choose songs by award winning SONGWRITERS.

3.         You may use tracks, a live accompanist, or accompany yourself.  If you are planning to use a live accompanist, please contact Dr. Jackson and provide a score/lead sheet.

4.         Remember that this is a “singing” dominant program.  You may be passionate about a particular style of music, but this audition will be simply judged on your singing ability. 

Part II. Sight Reading or Tonal memory:

Sight-Reading/Tonal Memory.  You will be given a short acapella piece to sight read.  You  may use any method of sight-reading – solfege, (do, re, mi, etc., numbers, or a neutral syllable – la la la, doo doo, etc.).

1.          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.           You will be asked to improvise to a recorded track, sing call and response, or sing an aural harmonization exercise provided by Dr. Tiffany Jackson.

Part III.  Brief Interview:

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

Commercial Bass

In your audition, you will be asked to perform a jazz standard and walk and solo over a blues form, demonstrate scales, improvise a funk bass line, and sightread. Please see below for specifics regarding the components of your audition.

1.          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 different scale fingerings (the shifting of one scale fingering to a new position does not fulfill this requirement).

2.         Performance of Jazz Standards:

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

b.         With a backing track, perform a jazz standard of your choice. Examples would be Autumn 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.

3.         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.

4.         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.

Questions? Please contact Dr. Chris Beyt, Assistant Professor of Jazz Guitar, at: cjbeyt@wcu.edu 


Guitar

In your audition, you will be asked to perform a jazz standard, improvise, demonstrate scales and chords, and sightread. Please see below for specifics regarding the components of your audition.

1.          Scales and Chords:

                            i.            The performance of major and natural minor scales is required for jazz guitar auditions. 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).

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

2.         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.

3.         Performing a Jazz Standard: With a backing track, perform a jazz standard of your choice. Examples would be Autumn 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. 

4.         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 diminished 7th chords.

Questions? Please contact Dr. Chris Beyt, Assistant Professor of Jazz Guitar, at: cjbeyt@wcu.edu 


Commercial Piano

In your audition, you will be asked to perform in a selection of styles, demonstrate scales, and sightread. Please see below for specifics regarding the components of your audition.

1.          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.

2.         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 cinema, pop, or jazz song or film music

3.         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.

4.         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).

Questions? Please contact Pavel Wlosok, Professor of Jazz Studies, at pwlosok@wcu.edu

 

Commercial Percussion

In your audition, you will be required to perform a prepared piece, improvise, and may additionally demonstrate proficiency with hand percussion. Please see below for specifics regarding the components of your audition.

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. Dr. Justin Leo Kennedy jkennedy@wcu.edu

Commercial Voice Majors

A vocal audition for admission to the School of Music at WCU consists of three parts. 

Part I.  The Singing Portion.  The Commercial Voice 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, or from different style eras, but a classical selection is acceptable. All selections must be memorized.

Additional acceptable styles: 

Hip hop/R&B (In the vein of Lauryn Hill, Drake, Mary J. Blige etc.) 

*Hip Hop auditions much include legitimate singing 

Soul: Sam Cook, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Motown, etc. 

Tips for success:

1.          Remember Voice Faculty want to hear what your voice can do NOW. 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. might be your favorite, but they may not be best for auditions.  Carefully choose songs by award winning SONGWRITERS.

3.         You may use tracks, a live accompanist, or accompany yourself.  If you are planning to use a live accompanist, please contact Dr. Jackson and provide a score/lead sheet.

4.         Remember that this is a “singing” dominant program.  You may be passionate about a particular style of music, but this audition will be simply judged on your singing ability. 

Part II. Sight Reading or Tonal memory:

Sight-Reading/Tonal Memory.  You will be given a short acapella piece to sight read.  You  may use any method of sight-reading – solfege, (do, re, mi, etc., numbers, or a neutral syllable – la la la, doo doo, etc.).

1.          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.           You will be asked to improvise to a recorded track, sing call and response, or sing an aural harmonization exercise provided by Dr. Tiffany Jackson.

Part III.  Brief Interview:

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

Performance Technology Audition Requirements

(formerly called MIDI/Synthesis Audition Requirements)

A student auditioning for private lessons in Performance Technology must demonstrate:

· Strong interest in performing live music using technology

· Experience using a DAW (digital audio workstation)

· Strong interest in sound design and audio production

· 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

There are five audition requirements. Students should be prepared to:

1. Play through major and minor scales.

2. Sight-read the melody of a lead sheet (right-hand only).

3. Sight-read chord changes of a lead sheet (hands together).

4. Perform of one of the following: a jazz standard, a classical piece, an R&B / soul standard, or a pop standard. Standards must be chosen from a Real Book publication. Examples of repertoire you may consider playing include Mood Indigo by Duke Ellington, Minuet in G minor (BWV Anh 115) by J.S. Bach, or Baby Love by Diana Ross & The Supremes (Holland–Dozier–Holland).

Please bring 3 printed copies of your sheet music to the audition. Do not play from sheet music you have downloaded from MuseScore. Also, do not play an original composition for this portion of the audition.

Keyboard is the preferred audition instrument for the first 4 requirements outlined above; however, students may perform on any instrument they like.

5. Perform a work of music where technology is the primary instrument. You may choose whatever instrument you like. Some options include smartphone, MIDI keyboard, launchpad, synthesizer, turntable, Theremin, or Arduino. For this portion of the audition, you may play an original composition. Any genre is welcome (pop, hip hop, EDM, orchestral, etc.). Please do not play over a backing track. Instead, look at videos such as TAETRO’s “Akai MPK MINI MK3 Ableton Live Looping Performance” or Lisa Bella Donna’s “At Home with the Moog Grandmother”. These are good examples of performances where technology is the primary instrument.

What is taught to Performance Technology students? The Performance Technology 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. If you have questions or want more information, please contact Dr. Kennedy jkennedy@wcu.edu

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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