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General Audition Information

Auditions are required for admission to all graduate programs. Consult the audition requirements for your major. All auditions are evaluated by faculty members from the relevant departments. Westminster provides an accompanist for vocal auditions. Auditions are by appointment only and are limited to those who have submitted an application form and application fee. The application form and processing fee must be received at least three weeks prior to the selected audition date. Therefore, it is to your advantage to sign up early for an audition.

As long as the above criteria have been met and unless notified to the contrary, students should assume that the date they have selected is confirmed. Although the scheduled audition date will appear on correspondence regarding completion of the applicant file, no correspondence specific to auditions will be sent until approximately two weeks prior to the scheduled date.

We urge all applicants to audition in person whenever possible. Recorded auditions are accepted for applicants living more than 250 miles from Princeton or having extenuating circumstances. Recorded auditions are not permitted for the graduate programs in Piano Accompanying or Choral Conducting and for the conducting portion of the Sacred Music audition.

Please note:
Neither the Westminster College of the Arts Office of Admission nor the individual departments will provide any feedback about the audition to any inquirers, including applicants, parents or teachers.

Audition Requirements

Please find the requirements for the following areas below:

Special Admissions Programs

Once you've reviewed the audition and admission requirements below, submit your application. When we have received your application you will receive email instruction on how to select an audition date.

If you cannot attend a live audition, you may submit a recorded audition.

Audition Requirements - All Master of Music Programs

Choral Conducting

All applicants must stubmit the pre-screening recording through DecisionDesk.

Applicants must submit a preliminary screening recording in order to be considered for an invitation to an on-campus audition.

Deadline: Both the application and recording must be submitted no later than December 1.

We will no longer accept DVDs or VHS pre-screening recordings.

Recording Requirements:

  1. The recording must be in English.
  2. Twenty to thirty minutes of conducting/rehearsing a choir that the candidate regularly conducts, or an ad hoc group formed for the taping.
    (Previously recorded accompaniment is not accepted.)
  3. Camera positioned to show a head-on view.
  4. Music of contrasting tempi that demonstrates legato and marcato gesture.
  5. A list of works conducted.
  6. Follow the instructions for uploading the pre-screening recording found on the DecisionDesk website.

Please also upload the following:

  1. List of works conducted
  2. Resume
  3. Essay (statement of goals)
  4. Copies of all undergraduate transcripts

Our faculty will review all of the submitted pre-screening recordings and invite selected candidates to audition on campus.

Composition

Applicants should submit a digital portfolio of original works to include:

  1. Three recent works which best demonstrate present abilities. One of which should be of moderate to large scale (e.g., movement of string quartet, choral work of at least 5 minutes. Please submit PDF files of the three representative scores and recordings of these scores in MP3 format. In the absence of live/studio recordings, MIDI realizations, delivered in MP3 format, are an acceptable alternative.
  2. Submit a list of all composition (this should include medium, date of composition, performance/reading of the piece).
  3. Compose a tonal, two-part invention based on the motive provided here: Invention Stimulus.

All students must complete an interview with a composition faculty member.

Submit your digital portfolio

Music Education

Applicants should possess an undergraduate degree in music education or a valid teacher certificate and must complete the following:

  1. Audition in applied area of study (organ, piano, voice, or composition - see Primary Instrument Audition Requirements.
  2. An interview with a member of the music education faculty.
  3. Although not required, the department would be pleased to review a DVD or videotape of the candidate teaching.

Organ Performance

  • Applicants should prepare a program of no more than one half-hour, including a major work of J.S. Bach. The remainder of the program should include works of contrasting styles and periods, and should include at least one lyrical and one virtuosic selection. The quality of performance and choice of repertoire for the graduate degree must be at least at the level of a senior recital in organ.

  • Performance from memory is encouraged, but not required.

Recorded auditions must be submitted in video format and must show pedals. Complete instructions at www.rider.edu/recordedauditions

Piano Accompanying and Coaching

  1. R. Strauss: Ständchen (high key).
  2. Barber: The Daisies (high key).
  3. Fauré: Clair de lune (high key).
  4. Debussy: Green (in G-flat).
  5. A Schubert song, of the applicant’s choice. (The applicant will play the accompaniment while singing or speaking the vocal line).
  6. A complete Beethoven sonata (excluding op. 27, no. 2; op. 49; and op. 79) or a comparable work from the solo piano literature, played from memory.
  7. Applicants will be asked to sight-read works from the standard vocal literature as well as to sight-read in German and French.

A member of the voice faculty will perform the vocal literature. The candidate will have 30 minutes to rehearse with the vocalist.

Piano Pedagogy and Performance

All of the following - two must be from memory

  1. A prelude & fugue from J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier or other large works by Bach.
  2. A full sonata by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven (excluding op. 49 & op. 79).
  3. A large-scale Romantic work (e.g., Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, or Brahms).
  4. A 20th-century work (e.g., Debussy, Ravel, Prokofiev, or Bartok).

All applicants will complete an interview with the Piano Pedagogy faculty at the audition.

Piano Performance

All of the following from memory:

  1. A prelude & fugue from J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier or other large works by Bach.
  2. A full sonata by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven (excluding op. 49 & op. 79).
  3. A large-scale Romantic work (e.g., Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, or Brahms).
  4. A 20th-century work (e.g., Debussy, Ravel, Prokofiev, or Bartok).

Sacred Music

  1. Audition in applied area of study (organ, piano, voice, or composition - see Primary Instrument Audition Requirements).
  2. Conducting Audition -applicants will conduct a Westminster choir in an assigned piece at the on-campus audition
  3. Sacred Music Interview - interview with a member of the Sacred Music faculty
  4. Applicants for Sacred Music Composition will also have an interview with the composition faculty and follow the requirements for a composition primary.

Voice Pedagogy and Performance

At least five works from memory from the list below, including Italian, French, German and English. A single selection may be used to fulfill more than one requirement:

  1. A recitative from the 17th or 18th century.
  2. An aria from an opera or oratorio.
  3. An art song
  4. One selection composed since 1950

Primary Instrument Audition Requirements

Composition

Digitally submit three original scores that best present your abilities. A recording is desirable but not required.

Conducting

All applicants with a concentration in conducting must complete an on-campus conducting audition. Auditionees will conduct a Westminster ensemble in an assigned piece or pieces at the on-campus audition.

Organ

  1. One work by J.S. Bach or another Baroque composer.

  2. One work by a romantic or contemporary composer.

  3. One hymn of at least three stanzas, prepared with a creative introduction. Free harmonizations and interludes are encouraged, but not required.

  4. Prepare an anthem accompaniment. This will be provided at least six weeks prior to audition date.

Piano

Follow repertoire requirements for Piano Pedagogy and Performance major.

Voice

At least five works from memory from the list below, including Italian, French, German and English. A single selection may be used to fulfill more than one requirement:

  1. A recitative from the 17th or 18th century.
  2. An aria from an opera or oratorio.
  3. An art song
  4. One selection composed since 1950

Special Admissions Programs

Admission Requirements for American and Public Musicology

  1. Application for Admission and Application fee ($50)

  2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score

  3. Two research papers of at least 2,500 words, one of which is on a music topic.

  4. Official transcripts from every college/university attended

  5. Two Letters of Recommendation

  6. Aims and Objectives Statement outlining professional goals and expectations for the degree program.

  7. Current Resume

  8. TOEFL or IELTS scores if English is not native language or did not attend US university

  9. A Skype interview may be requested by faculty

Admission Requirements for Master of Music Education

  1. Completed admissions application.

  2. Academic transcripts from all previous colleges, universities, and/or conservatories.

  3. Video recording of conducting or classroom teaching (approximately 20 minutes and should not be a concert or performance). Video recordings of applicants for the MME – Choral Emphasis degree must include satisfactory evidence of conducting and personal musicianship.

  4. Professional resume.

  5. Two recommendation letters.

  6. Personal interview with a member of the Music Education faculty.

Admission Requirements for Master of Voice Pedagogy (not the M.M. in Voice Pedagogy and Performance)

  1. Completed admissions application.

  2. Academic transcripts from all previous colleges, universities,and/or conservatories.

  3. A digital portfolio to include:

    1. Audio or video recording demonstrating singing ability (need not be current).

    2. Professional resume.

    3. A statement of intent, outlining professional goals and expectations for Westminster's MVP program.

    4. A sample of academic/professional writing, new or previously composed (e.g., research paper completed for previous academic work, published or submitted article, an original review of an article from the Journal of Voice or Journal of Singing or a brief, original paper on a topic, such as breathing, phonation, registration or voice literature).

    5. Candidates with significant prior teaching experience may include printed programs, audio recordings, reviews or letters of support from former or current students (optional).

    6. Two letters of recommendation speaking to singing and/or teaching ability.

  4. Admissions interview (scheduled with a member of the program faculty).

  5. Applications will be considered only from candidates who can document significant professional experience, and who have worked in their chosen field for at least five years since their undergraduate degree was completed.