How should I prepare for the audition?
The repertoire requirements for the audition on piano are the same, regardless of plans for performance, composition, Bachelor of Arts, Media, or Education Majors. Bachelor of Arts majors will be held to the same standard as performance majors in the audition process. Please note that concerto movements are not permitted. Students will not be able to sign up for an audition time until all of the required items have been submitted in the application process.
What should I expect during the audition?
Applicants may start the audition with any work of their choice, including their scales if they choose. The faculty will choose one scale at random and the pianist will then play it in its major and harmonic minor version. The faculty will then select the remaining works in the order of their preference. Most students generally play their scales last in the audition. Auditions are generally about ten minutes long. It is highly unlikely that applicants will be able to perform everything they have prepared for the audition. Depending on the repertoire – there is a chance you could be asked to move forward to another section within a single work or to another movement.
Piano auditions take place in the Harris Fine Arts Center, either in the Nelke Theater or E-400. Students will perform on a superb nine foot New York Steinway Model D. Applicants should dress professionally for the audition. Practice rooms will be available for students to warm up in before their audition.
What should I know about acceptance rates?
In some seasons, there are as many as 100 applicants who audition on the piano. Our program has the capacity to accept about 14 incoming freshman performance majors. The faculty will try to let applicants know the results of the audition in approximately three weeks of the audition.
Live auditions are always the last Saturday in January. There will be five members of the piano faculty listening on that day. Each faculty member will give a numerical score to every audition. Those numbers are then averaged and put into a ranking order of preference. Those scores are also tempered by other available information including the aural skills test, GPA, ACT, and resume.
What should I know about auditioning by tape?
Students unable to attend a live audition have the option of sending a video recorded audition. (This recording must have a video component, and not simply audio.) It is imperative that applicants check the formatting of their recorded DVD should they choose not to perform a live audition. Every year we receive one that does NOT work simply because it has not been properly formatted. Students should not edit within a single work or movement. However, they should feel free to re-record works and movements until they are completely satisfied with their performance. Students should record ALL major and harmonic minor scales for a recorded audition. They can play these in any order, but should perform them in one track. Applicants will not have their DVD returned to them, unless they make special arrangements for its return.
What scholarship opportunities are available?
All applicants are automatically eligible for consideration of a merit scholarship. Students who are accepted into the piano performance major are eligible for an increased scholarship award every April. This increase will depend on their progress and success in the program, and is also subject to the availability of funds. The vast majority of our students are recipients of merit awards by the time they graduate.