Audition Instructions

An audition is required for those applying to the Conservatory of Music.

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Conservatory of Music Audition Instructions

On-campus auditions are required if you live within 350 miles of campus and are recommended for all. The requirements that follow are for Performance Majors (levels adjusted for other music degrees). Repertoire equivalent in difficulty is acceptable. Memorization is required for Piano and Voice auditions and recommended for all others. See additional portfolio requirements for Composition majors.

Audition Dates

Audition Date  Registration Deadline and
Conservatory Application Due
Concert Opportunity 
Saturday, November 15, 2014 October 1, 2014

Hayden's Creation with Maestro John Nelson

Saturday, December 6, 2014 November 1, 2014 Christmas Festival (Fri and Sat) featuring Conservatory Ensembles
Saturday, January 17, 2015 December 1, 2014 Opera Music Theater (Fri and Sat) 
Saturday, February 7, 2015 January 10, 2015 Contact Admissions for concert options
Saturday, February 28, 2015

January 10, 2015

Symphony Orchestra Winter Concert featuring Concerto Winners

You may schedule your audition date online.

Audition Instructions by Instrument

Bassoon: Major and harmonic minor scales through four sharps and four flats; an etude that provides a good representation of technical development such as one of the Weissenborn Advanced Studies. A solo work demonstrating maturity as a musician: inclusion of both fast and slow movements preferred.

Cello: Three octave major and harmonic minor scales through four sharps and four flats; an etude of the applicant's choice; a first movement of a concerto, such as Haydn C Major or Boccherini Bb Major, or a work of comparable difficulty; a movement of a J.S. Bach suite; memorization is encouraged.

Clarinet: Major and harmonic minor scales through four sharps and four flats (two octaves, tongued) E, F and G scales should be three octaves. Two etudes of contrasting styles: one demonstrating technical development, the other a slow etude from the Rose 32 Etudes. One solo piece such as: Weber Concertino, Weber Concerto No 1 or 2 (one movement), Osborne Rhapsody, a Stamitz Concerto (one movement), or any work equivalent in difficulty.

Doublebass: Three two-octave scales and one three-octave scale. An etude of the applicant's choice, representing the highest level of technical achievement; two compositions of the applicant's choice, at least of the difficulty level of the Eccles Sonata, or a concerto first movement; an orchestral excerpt, Mozart or Beethoven are recommended.

Euphonium: Major scales A flat, D flat, G flat, B and chromatic scale through two octaves. An etude from Rochuet/Bordogni Melodious Etudes or equivalent. A technical etude from Tyrell, Kopprasch or Arbans. A solo such as Andante and Allegro by Barat, or Sonatina by Hutchinson.

Flute: Prepare either: Exercise EJ#4, in its entirety, from Taffanel-Gaubert - 17 Grands Exercises Journaliers de Mecanisme - or - a complete exercise from Reichert - Seven Daily Exercises, op.5. Prepare an Etude or Caprice by Anderson, Berbiguier or Karg Elert. Prepare a work of your choice and one complete work by Bach, Mozart, or Handel.

Guitar: Etudes by Brouwer, Sor, Ca-cassi, Carulli, Giuliani or Aguado. Two contrasting pieces - one piece, slower in tempo, should demonstrate an ability to shape phrases and control rubatos, tenutos and dynamics. The second piece, faster in tempo, should demonstrate a technical command of scales, arpeggios, slurs, shifts, etc. Any dances from the Lute works or Cello works of J.S. Bach will be especially valuable at the audition, although not required. Please contact the Conservatory Admissions Counselor for more detailed instructions with suggested repertoire.

Harp: Scales and Tonic Glissandos in all Keys. Etudes such as Salzedo: Conditioning Exercises for Harp or Salzedo/Lawrence: Method for the Harp. Two contrasting pieces such as: Sonata in C minor by Peschetti, Sonatina I, II by Dusek, The Harmonious Blacksmith by Handel/Salzedo, Impromptu Capprice by Pierne, A Ceremony of Carols by Britten, Concerto in B Flat by Handel or any of the following pieces by Salzedo: Suite of Eight Dances, Song in the Night, Tango or Rhumba.

Horn: Three pieces of contrasting styles by different composers and periods. Please demonstrate range, technique, lyrical style and dynamic contrast. Those auditioning for performance should prepare several varied orchestral excerpts.

Oboe: Major and harmonic minor scales through four sharps and four flats. Two pieces in contrasting styles by different composers and periods. Etudes by Barret or Ferling and movements from concertos or solos from the standard repertoire are all acceptable. Choose repertoire that demonstrates an understanding of style, musical interpretation, dynamics, range and technique. Performance majors should also prepare two orchestral excerpts.

Organ: Two organ works of contrasting periods and styles: one fast and articulate, and the other slow and lyrical, demonstrating the student's best efforts and abilities. Piano proficiency is required. Students with no previous organ study may elect to audition on piano with pieces such as 1) two J.S. Bach Two- or Three-part Inventions, 2) a fast movement from a Classical sonata (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, et al.), 3) a Romantic or 20th-century work.

Percussion: Performance on snare drum, keyboard percussion, and timpani. Any solo, etude, or excerpt that best reflects the student's experience and ability as a percussionist in these areas will be accepted.

Piano (Bachelor of Music in Performance): Three compositions: 1) a Bach three-part Sinfonia or a Prelude and Fugue from the Well-Tempered Clavier; 2) an Allegro movement from a sonata by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven (achievement level of at least Haydn D Major, Hob.XVI:37, Mozart K. 282 or Beethoven Op. 79); 3) either a nineteenth or a twentieth century work (achievement level of at least Schubert Impromptu, Op. 142 No. 2, Bartok Sonatina, or Debussy Arabesque). Prepare four major and four harmonic minor scales. Two should begin on a black note and two on a white note. Each must be performed over a four-octave span, hands together, minimum quarter note = 84, 4 notes per beat. Major and minor triad arpeggios in the same sharp and flat keys, four-octave span, hands together, minimum quarter note = 72, 4 notes per beat. Applicants must submit a repertoire list of significant works performed over the last four years. Your music must be memorized.

Piano (All other music degrees): Three compositions: 1) a Bach two-part Invention; 2) an Allegro movement from an easier sonata by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven (achievement level of at least Beethoven Op. 49 No. 1 or Mozart K. 545); 3) either a 19th or 20th century work (achievement level of at least Chopin Prelude Op. 28 No. 6, Schumann Scenes of Childhood, Roy Harris Little Suite, Kabalevsky Sonatina Op. 13 No. 1). Prepare four major and four harmonic minor scales. Two should begin on a black note and two on a white note. Each must be performed over a four-octave span, hands together, minimum quarter note = 72, 4 notes per beat. Major and minor triad arpeggios in the same sharp and flat keys, four-octave span, hands together, minimum quarter note = 60, 4 notes per beat. Applicants must submit a repertoire list of significant works performed over the last four years. Your music must be memorized.

Saxophone: Major and harmonic minor scales through four sharps and four flats; these scales should be played the full range of the instrument. Chromatic scale throughout the full range of the instrument. Two etudes of contrasting styles: one demonstrating technical development, the other a slow etude. (i.e. the Ferling Studies.) These studies should demonstrate the fullest extent of the student's musical development. A major work: Glazounov Concerto, Creston Sonata or a piece of equal difficulty.

Trombone: All Major and chromatic scales, two octaves. Select two etudes and one solo that demonstrates ability to play in time, in tune, with a characteristic sound, in a variety of styles including legato and marcato. Also be prepared to sight-read and be able to read in alto and tenor clefs. Suggested repertoire includes but should not be limited to: Rochuet/Bordogni - Melodious Etudes, Tyrell, Kopprasch, Arbans, Blazhevich - Studies in Clefs, Guilmant - Morceau Symphonique, David, Larsson, Saint-Saens and Galliard. Repertoire suggestions for Bass Trombonists include: Lebedev, McCarty, Three Easy Pieces by Hindemith, or Concertino by Lieb.

Trumpet: Three contrasting solos (selected excerpts are fine). Choose repertoire that demonstrates understanding of style, interpretation and phrasing as well as tone quality, dynamics, range, and technique. Performance majors should also include three orchestral excerpts.

Tuba: Major scales A flat, D flat, G flat, B and chromatic scale through two octaves. A legato etude from Concone, Fink or Bordegni/Rochnet. A technical etude from Tyrell, Kopprasch or Arbans. A solo such as Suite for Tuba by Hadad, Concertino by Frackenpuhl, Air and Bouree by Bach, Adagio and Allegro by Telemann.

Viola: Scales and Arpeggios: D major and D minor (harmonic or melodic) 3-octave scales and arpeggios to be played slurring three notes at a time. One etude from Kreutzer, Mazas, Campagnoli, or Fuchs.  Two contrasting movements from either:  Bach – Cello Suites, Violin Sonatas and Partitas , or Telemann – Fantasies, or  M. Reger Suite No 1 in G minor.  One movement from a substantial work such as: Hoffmeister- Concerto in D Major (mvt I), Stamitz- Concerto in D Major (mvt I or III), Bloch- Suite Hebraique (mvt I), J.C Bach-Concerto (mvt I or III), Hindemith- Trauermusik (all mvts), Hindemith- Der Schwanendreher (mvt I or II), Schumann- Fairy Tales (any mvt), Schubert- Arpeggione Sonata (any mvt), Walton- Concerto for Viola (mvt I), Bartok- Concerto for Viola (mvt I), Brahms- Sonatas Op. 120 No. 1 or 2 (any mvt), Bruch- Romance.

Violin: Three octave major and melodic minor scales and arpeggios through four sharps and four flats; a movement of a solo Bach sonata or partita; an etude, such as Kreutzer, Dont or Rode; a first movement of a standard concerto, such as Mozart, Mendelssohn, Bruch, Lalo, Barber, or another of comparable difficulty; memorization is encouraged; applicants are welcome to demonstrate any work they may have done in improvisation or composition.

Voice: Three songs of contrasting nature, sung from memory: 1) an Italian, German or French art song; 2) an American or British art song; 3) own choice. Tonal quality, pitch perception, and poetic sense will be evaluated along with sight singing and rhythm. An accompanist is provided for all voice auditions.

Composition Portfolio

Composition Majors Only: In addition to the primary instrument audition, composition applicants should submit a portfolio of three to four original compositions (no arrangements), preferably with recordings. Scores that are submitted electronically must be in either .pdf or .mus format, and recordings that are submitted electronically must be in .mp3 format. Compositions will be evaluated based on the following criteria: originality, musical interest, quality of instrumental/vocal writing, and accuracy of notation. An interview with the composition faculty is also required.

Recorded Audition Instructions

On-campus auditions are strongly recommended, and are required for applicants living within 350 miles of Wheaton. If you live beyond 350 miles, you may submit a video recording, which should be of the best possible sound quality. It is important that you present yourself as professionally as possible; e.g. pianists and accompanists should perform using the highest quality instrument available. Label the recording with your name, instrument or voice part, and audition repertoire. The recording may not be edited, except to add tracks or chapters. A limited number of Skype audition slots are also available, or you are welcome to upload an audition to a private YouTube channel and send a link to both music@wheaton.edu and conservatoryauditions@gmail.com.

Repertoire requirements for recorded auditions are identical to those conducted on-campus. See the audition instructions by instrument for details.

Note: Instrumentalists should play two scales and two arpeggios (four total).

Recorded auditions must be uploaded or received by the following deadlines:

 

Application Type  Recorded Audition Deadline
Freshman Early Action November 15
Freshman Regular Action February 15
Transfer Fall Semester October 15
Transfer Spring Semester March 1

Surface mail: Admissions Office, Wheaton College, 501 E. College Avenue, Wheaton, IL 60187–5593

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