Audition Information

The Audition

While the Saturday audition dates have passed, the audition window for Fall 2022 entry is still open!  We're happy to schedule a time to hear your audition - simply click on the "Schedule an Audition" link below to get started.  

At Westfield, our audition committee assesses your overall abilities as a musician, and works hard to determine your aptitude for success as a music student at the collegiate level.  We recognize that all students of music come to us with different strengths and needs based upon previous experiences and opportunities.  For that reason we have two audition options:

  1. Option 1.  Applicants who have experience in advanced applied study should choose this option.  See the “Option 1 Audition Guidelines” below.
  2. Option 2.  Applicants audition by performing two pieces of music of your choice on your primary instrument/voice. The works should be in contrasting styles demonstrating technical and lyrical qualities.  You may choose any genre (jazz, folk, musical theatre, hymns, etc.)

We encourage you to choose an audition option that best demonstrates your experience, musicianship and artistry. 

Remote Audition Options

While we hope that you are able to visit us here on campus, either on a specific audition day or via a specially scheduled audition appointment, we welcome students to audition remotely.  Simply select the “I’d like to audition remotely” option from the dropdown audition date menu.  We will then reach out to you to confirm the details.   

To schedule an audition, follow the link below.

 

Schedule an Audition

Shadow Days

A great way to get to know our students, faculty, and programs is to come and spend a day with us!  Visit classes, rehearsals, have lunch with students at the dining commons, and receive a sample lesson with one of our distinguished applied professors.  Simply contact Dr. Andrew Bonacci at abonacci@westfield.ma.edu to schedule your visit. 

 

Available financial awards include the following:

  • George and Merian Rogers Academic Scholarship
  • Catherine A. Dower Performance Scholarships and Merit Awards
  • L. Kenneth Manzer Scholarship and Merit Awards
  • Music Department Audition Merit Awards

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.

If you have any questions concerning the audition process, please contact one of the following audition committee chairs anytime – we look forward to hearing from you! 

            Dr. Andrew Bonacci: abonacci@westfield.ma.edu

            Dr. Karen LaVoie: klavoie@westfield.ma.edu

Option 1 Audition Guidelines

Brass

Trumpet, Trombone, Horn, Euphonium, Tuba

  • One (1) solo movement from a Sonata or Concerto.
  • One (1) Etude.
Woodwinds

Flute

  • Two (2) contrasting movements of a Sonata, Concerto, or unaccompanied solo piece demonstrating varying tempos and articulation abilities.  One of the movements can be an etude.

Oboe

  • Two (2) contrasting movements of a Sonata, Concerto, or unaccompanied solo piece demonstrating varying tempos and articulation abilities.  One of the movements can be an etude.

Clarinet

  • Two (2) 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.

Bassoon

  • Two (2) contrasting movements of a Sonata, Concerto, or unaccompanied solo piece demonstrating varying tempos and articulation abilities.  One of the movements can be an etude.

Alto Saxophone

  • Two (2) contrasting solos or movements (e.g. Eccles: Sonata; Handel: Sonata; Dressel: Bagatatellen; Jacobi: Sonata; Lunde: Sonata)

Tenor Saxophone

  • Two (2) contrasting solos or movements (e.g. Vivaldi: Sonata in g minor; Porpora: Sinfonia; Caravan: Quiet Time; Schmidt: Sonatina; Burkholder: Sonata.
Strings

Violin

  • One (1) movement from a concerto or sonata
  • One (1) etude of Kreutzer, Fiorillo, etc.

Viola

  • One (1) movement from a concerto or sonata
  • One (1) etude of Kreutzer, Fiorillo, or Mazas

‘Cello

  • One (1) movement from a concerto or sonata
  • A second piece of your choice (in a contrasting style)

Double Bass

  • One (1) prepared Etude or solo movement. Suggested sources: Simandl, Hrabe, Storch, Lee

Electric Bass

  • Please see the “Option 2” audition requirements
Guitar and Bass

Classical Guitar

One (1) selection from each of the following groups of studies, or 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

Alternative literature of equal or greater level of difficulty may be presented.

Electric/Steel String Guitar

  • Please see the “Option 2” audition requirements

Electric Bass

  • Please see the “Option 2” audition requirements

(Double Bass requirements listed above in the “Strings” section)

Piano, Harp, Organ, Harpsichord

Piano

  • Play two (2) pieces of contrasting styles from memory.

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.

Harp

  • Two (2) contrasting movements of a Sonata, Concerto, or unaccompanied solo piece demonstrating varying tempos and articulation abilities.  One of the movements can be an etude.

Organ/Harpsichord

Students who are interested in studying organ or harpsichord should have a minimum of four years of prior piano study, and meet certain basic standards of technical proficiency. The audition will consist of representative examples from the student's current piano repertoire, and will 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 or higher

Percussion

Choose two of the following four areas (Snare, Marimba, Timpani, Drum Set) to demonstrate your skills (you may choose more if you wish). 

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

  • 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)

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

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, etc.)

Suggested literature is listed below. Applicants are by no means limited to the material listed. Selections from musical theatre, choral parts, and popular music are not acceptable for performance-level auditions

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.

Requirements for Jazz Studies Performers

Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Piano

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

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)

All major scales and arpeggios (two-octaves)

Bass (electric or upright)

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)

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
  • Trade 4's over a Blues

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

Jazz Voice

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