Audition Requirements | Webster University

Audition Requirements

Chambers Singers at the Gateway Arch.On-campus auditions are the most valuable for both auditioning students (you!) and Webster University (us!).

At the audition, you are heard and interviewed by professors appropriate to your primary instrument or program of study. You also take a music theory placement exam and complete a piano placement exam. You also undertake a brief pitch memory and sight-reading exercise. Applicants must submit a letter of recommendation from a music instructor. Graduate students take entrance exams so we may assess your undergraduate training and readiness for advanced study.

Since applied music studies form one of the core portions of a music degree, all students audition on a primary instrument (or voice). Much of the admission decision is based on this audition.

Composition (BM, MM)

Students present a portfolio of scores in various styles as well as recordings of the works from performances or electronic realizations, if possible. Scores should be formatted using a standard notation software program such as Finale or Sibelius. Applicants also perform on their major instrument. Follow the guidelines for vocal, piano/organ, instrumental or jazz studies.

Composition (Songwriting) (BM)

Students perform two original songs, usually as a singer at the piano, or a singer with a guitar. Applicants bring along lead sheets, which should be formatted using a standard notation software program such as Finale or Sibelius. We will also wish to review three further lead sheets for other songs you have composed.

Instrumental (BM, MM) and Orchestral Performance (MM)

Undergraduate students present three works, preferably from a concerto, etude or sonata. Selections should demonstrate technical facility, musicality, tone quality and phrasing. MM/Orchestral Performance applicants should also prepare excerpts from the standard symphonic repertoire.

Jazz Studies (BM/Performance; BM/Music Technology; MM/Performance)

Instrumentalists present three works: such as a blues; a standard by Ellington, Gershwin, Porter or similar composer; or an original or contemporary work from memory to demonstrate improvisation skills. Vocalists should perform three standards from the jazz repertoire from memory. Scat singing may be requested of vocalists. Graduate applicants perform four works from memory from the above categories. All students must demonstrate knowledge of basic scales and chord symbols. Drum set applicants will demonstrate an understanding of swing, Latin, fusion and other styles. A brief sight-reading demonstration may be required.

Music Direction for Musical Theatre (BM)

Students sing or play two Broadway standards. Singing and playing at the same time is even better. We do not wish to hear a prospective music director singing in belt voice. The audition will include sightreading of Broadway songs from various eras and genres.

Music Education (BMEd)

Students follow the guidelines provided for auditions in piano, vocal or instrumental performance or jazz studies.

Piano or Organ (BM, MM)

Piano and organ students present a minimum of three works, performed from memory, in contrasting styles. Two selections must be from the Baroque, Classical or Romantic periods. The third work should be from the Impressionist or contemporary periods.

Voice (BM, MM)

First-year students present three songs from memory, in classical styles with at least one work in an international language. Sophomore students follow freshman guidelines, but prepare at least two songs in an international language. Junior students should prepare four works, including an aria, in contrasting languages and styles. Graduate students submit previous recital programs and will be assessed on knowledge of repertoire, diction, and language phonetics. Graduate applicants perform five works, including oratorio/opera arias and songs from the classical repertoire in four languages. Applicants may be asked to sight-sing or vocalize to assess pitch perception and tone production.

NOTE: Musical Theatre and Vocal Performance are two different programs. Musical Theatre is housed in the Department of Theatre and requires a separate audition.

Bachelor Of Arts (BA)

In this degree which is designed for students who wish a double major outside of music, students should follow the guidelines for their primary instrument/interest listed previously.

Master Of Arts (MA)

Students should follow the guidelines for their primary instrument/interest as listed on this page.

Church Music (MM)

Students present a minimum of three works in contrasting styles from the classical or sacred repertoire for piano, voice or organ as a major instrument. If piano or organ is not the major instrument, a demonstration of keyboard skills is required.

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