Audition Information

In addition to submitting a completed application for admission to Westfield State University, all prospective music majors and minors must audition to be considered for admission to the music program. The application deadline is March 1st, 2019.

Audition dates for the current Academic Year:

  • December 15, 2018
  • February 19, 2019
  • February 23, 2019
  • March 23, 2019
  • April 6, 2019

Schedule an Audition

If you cannot make any of the dates listed and would still like an audition, please contact Karen Ducharme in the music office at  413-572-5356 or kducharme@westfield.ma.edu to make alternate arrangements.

Students interested in part-time, Post-Baccalaureate, or Second Bachelor's programs should contact Shelly Henrichon in the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education prior to scheduling an audition (mhenrichon@westfield.ma.edu).

Available financial awards include the following:

  • Catherine A. Dower Performance Scholarships and Merit Awards
  • L. Kenneth Manzer Scholarship and Merit Awards

Classical instrument specific requirements:

Trumpet, Trombone, Horn, Euphonium, Tuba
  • Chromatic scale covering the practical range of the instrument, in triplets, slurred.
  • All major scales, 2 octaves where appropriate within the practical range of the instrument.
  • Two (2) contrasting solos or movements from a Sonata or Concerto.
  • One (1) Etude.
  • Sightreading

One (1) selection from each of the following groups of studies, or if necessary, equivalent studies by Sor, Carcassi, Giuliani, or Villa-Lobos. 

  • Julio Sagreras, Book I, no. 65; Book II, no. 7
  • Leo Brouwer, Etudes Simplices, no. 1, 2, 5, 6, 8 and 9
  • The following diatonic scales by Andrés Segovia:
  • C major, E-flat major, C-sharp minor, F major and F minor.

Alternative literature of equal or greater level of difficulty may be presented, however in all cases the Segovia Scales are required.

Please contact the music department at 572-5358 for specific audition requirements for harp.

Students who are interested in studying organ or harpsichord are required to have a minimum of four years of prior piano study, and to meet certain basic standards of technical proficiency. The audition will consist of representative examples from the student's current piano repertoire, as well as scales and arpeggios. The audition will also include the sight-reading of a hymn or chorale. The technical difficulty of the audition repertoire should be roughly equivalent to the following works:

  • Mozart, Sonata K. 545, or Sonata K. 332
  • Beethoven, Sonata op. 49 no. 1
  • Bach, any Prelude and Fugue from The Well Tempered Clavier
  • Bartok, any work from Mikrokosmos Book 4

If a student has already begun organ or harpsichord study, and wishes to continue, the audition will consist of representative pieces from his or her current repertoire.

(For all concentrations other than jazz studies)

Choose two of the following three areas (snare, marimba, timpani)

Snare Drum
  • Demonstration of an orchestral roll, flams, and drags.
  • One (1) etude. Suggested books:

    Portraits in Rhythm - Cirone
    50 Contemporary Snare Drum Etudes - Lepak
Marimba
  • All major scales (2 octaves)
  • An etude or sonata movement. Suggested books:

    Masterpieces for Marimba - McMillan
    Modern School for the Xylophone - Goldenberg
Timpani
  • A prepared solo. Suggested composers:

    Vic Firth - The Solo Timpanist
    Alexander Lepak - 32 Solos for Timpani
    Mitchell Peters (Primal Mood, Rondino)
    Garwood Whaley (Statement for Timpani)
  • Play any two scales, either major or harmonic minor in four octaves, in sixteenth notes (four notes to the beat at m.m. = 80).
  • Play two (2) pieces of contrasting styles from memory. 
  • Sightreading
Examples of appropriate repertoire includes (but is not limited to):
  • Baroque: Any of the Bach Preludes and Fugues, Bach Sinfonias, Scarlatti Sonatas, selected dances from the Handel Suites, etc.
  • Classical: A movement from a Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven Sonata.
  • Romantic: Any etude, or solo composition, e.g., Ballades, Nocturnes, Scherzi, etc., from a major Romantic composer--Chopin, Liszt, Brahms, etc.
  • Twentieth Century: A representative composer/work, e.g., Barber Excursions, Prokofiev Visions Fugitives, Debussy Preludes, etc.
Violin
  • One (1) movement from a concerto 
  • One (1) movement from a sonata

(These movements must be in contrasting styles.)

  • One (1) etude of Kreutzer, Fiorillo, or Don’t 
  • Perform a 3-octave major scale and arpeggio in any key
  • Perform a 3-octave minor scale and arpeggio in any key
Viola
  • One (1) movement from a concerto 
  • One (1) movement from a sonata

(These movements must be in contrasting styles.)

  • One (1) etude of Kreutzer, Fiorillo, or Mazas 
  • Perform a 3-octave major scale and arpeggio in any key
  • Perform a 3-octave minor scale and arpeggio in any key
Cello
  • One (1) movement from a concerto 
  • One (1) movement from a sonata

(These movements must be in contrasting styles.)

  • Perform a 3-octave major scale and arpeggio in any key
  • Perform a 3-octave minor scale and arpeggio in any key
Double Bass
  • All major scales (Double Bass: 1 Octave, Bass Guitar 2 Octaves)
  • Chromatic scale from low E (2 Octaves)
  • One (1) prepared Etude. Suggested sources: Simandl, Hrabe, Storch, Lee

(Accompanists will be provided for all voice auditions.)

  • Two (2) memorized solo selections in a total of two languages
    • One (1) in English
    • One (1) in another language other than English (Italian, German, French, Spanish)

Suggested literature is listed below. Applicants are by no means limited to the material listed. Please note: Selections from musical theatre and popular music are not acceptable for entrance into the music program as a voice major.

  • English: American folk songs or sacred songs or selections from beginners anthologies such as Pathways of Song (ed. Christy), First Book of Solos(ed. Boytim).
  • Italian: Selections from 26 Italian songs and arias or other Italian collections 16th- 19th Centuries, single composer collections such as Donaudy, Tosti, Vivaldi, Scarlatti.
  • German: Brief, simpler selections of Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Mendelssohn Lieder
  • French: Brief, accessible mélodie of Chausson, Chaminade, Faure, Hahn
  • Spanish: Folk song settings of Spanish songs, de Falla, Rodrigo, Nin

Sightreading:
8 - 16 bars of mainly stepwise motion without modulation. Remain in your starting key, sing all scale degrees accurately. Perform rhythms correctly, establish and maintain a beat and meter. Any system is acceptable, solfeggio, numbers, single syllable, etc. Self-conducting while performing rhythmic examples is encouraged.

Flute
  • Scales: All Major scales and C-chromatic scale slurred and with standard articulation throughout the practical range of the flute.
  • Repertoire:  One or more movements of a Sonata, Concerto, or unaccompanied solo flute piece demonstrating varying tempos and articulation abilities. Chosen works should be in different historical styles.  One of the movements can be an etude.
Oboe
  • Chromatic scale covering the practical range of the instrument, in triplets, slurred
  • All major scales in 2 octaves
  • Two (2) contrasting solos or movements from a Sonata or Concerto
  • Sightreading
Clarinet
  • Major scales up to 4 sharps and 4 flats and melodic minor scales up to 2 sharps and 2 flats; two octaves except E, F, and G, which should be 3 octaves.
  • Chromatic scale from low E to high E. 
  • Two contrasting solos or concerto or sonata movements (e.g. Concertos by Mozart, Stamitz, Weber), or one solo and one study from either Rose 32 or 40 Studies.
  • Sightreading
Bassoon
  • Chromatic scale covering the practical range of the instrument, in triplets, slurred.
  • All major scales in 2 octaves.
  • Two (2) contrasting solos or movements from a Sonata or Concerto
  • Sightreading
Alto Saxophone
  • Chromatic scale covering the practical range of the instrument, in triplets, slurred.
  • All major scales in 2 octaves
  • Two (2) contrasting solos or movements (e.g. Eccles: Sonata; Handel: Sonata; Dressel: Bagatatellen; Jacobi: Sonata; Lunde: Sonata)
  • Sightreading
Tenx or Saophone
  • Chromatic scale covering the practical range of the instrument, in triplets, slurred.
  • All major scales in 2 octaves
  • Two (2) contrasting solos or movements (e.g. Vivaldi: Sonata in g minor; Porpora: Sinfonia; Caravan: Quiet Time; Schmidt: Sonatina; Burkholder: Sonata.
  • Sightreading
Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Piano
  • All major scales
  • Sightreading
  • Chromatic scale encompassing practical range of the instrument
  • Two (2) prepared pieces from the standard jazz repertoire (in contrasting styles – blues, latin, swing, ballad, waltz) structured in the following form:
    • 1st chorus - Melody
    • 2nd chorus - Accompaniment (piano only)
    • 3rd chorus - Improvised Solo
    • 4th chorus - Melody
Jazz Guitar
  • All major scales and arpeggios (two-octaves), in time
  • Two (2) prepared pieces from the standard jazz repertoire (in contrasting styles – blues, latin, swing, ballad, waltz) structured in the following form:
    • 1st chorus - Melody
    • 2nd chorus - Accompaniment
    • 3rd chorus - Improvised Solo
    • 4th chorus - Melody
       
  • Sightreading (melodies, chord symbols and chord voicing's)
Jazz Bass
  • All major scales and arpeggios (two-octaves)
  • Play bass accompaniment in the following styles:  
  • Blues, Medium Up-Tempo Swing, Bebop, Latin/Bossa, Ballad, Jazz Waltz
  • Perform two pieces from contrasting jazz styles (you may use a recorded accompaniment track if you wish, but it is not required)
  • Sight-reading: Reading of notated bass parts, commonly found in big band and small group charts, AND read a lead sheet and create a functional bass line from it
Jazz Drum Set

A demonstration of each of the following styles:

  • Medium-tempo swing (with sticks and brushes)
  • Up-tempo swing
  • Bossa nova
  • Samba
  • Funk
  • Ballad with brushes

(be prepared to play time in 4/4 and 3/4)

  • Trade 4's over a Blues
  • Demonstrate proficiency in two of the following areas: Mallets, Timpani, Snare
  • Sightreading
Jazz Voice
  • Demonstration of piano skills
  • Three (3) prepared pieces from the standard jazz repertoire (in contrasting styles – blues, latin, swing, ballad, waltz) structured in the following form:
    • 1st chorus - Melody
    • 2nd chorus - Improvised Solo
    • 3rd chorus - Melody
    • Sightread

 What To Expect

The audition visit generally takes about two hours. First, you will take part in a short question and answer session where you will meet with faculty members and students, and have an opportunity to learn more about our programs. Next, you will take short placement exams in the areas of Music Theory and Music History. Finally, your performance - this is conducted much like a "mini-lesson," where you’ll perform for and interact with the faculty. You’ll also be asked to demonstrate your sightreading and sightsinging abilities.

Please understand that a successful audition does not guarantee admission to Westfield State University. You must also be accepted by the Office of Admissions at Westfield State University.