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Undergraduate Audition

Requirements


Click on your instrument (or scroll down) for specific audition requirements:

Flute
Oboe
Clarinet
Bassoon
Saxophone

Trumpet
Trombone
Horn (French Horn)
Euphonium
Tuba
Violin
Viola
Cello
Double Bass
 
Voice (Classical)
Piano
Keyboard Music Ed
Organ
Percussion

Jazz Bass
Jazz Drum Set
Jazz Guitar
Jazz Piano
Jazz Voice
All Non-Rhythm Section
Instrumental Jazz Auditions

Composition (pdf)

 

Acceptance to the undergraduate music major or minor at UMass Amherst is determined in part by an audition. For details about how to apply, please visit our Undergraduate Admissions page.

Pieces selected for the audition should demonstrate technical facility and musicality.

If you have any questions, please contact the appropriate faculty member for your instrument/voice before the audition.
Music Department Travel Directions & Map (pdf)

Sight Reading will be required at all auditions.


SUBMITTING A RECORDED AUDITION

Participating in an on-campus audition is highly recommended, especially if a student wishes to be considered for a scholarship. If a student is unable to attend a regularly scheduled audition, it is possible to request a Special Audition (see Application/Audition Request Form). If distance prohibits a student from coming to campus for a live audition, a CD or DVD may be submitted by mail in addition to the online Application/Audition Request Form.

All CDs (or DVD's) should be submitted by mail, with a listing of the program performed, in addition to a completed online Music Application/Audition Request Form. Please send the CD or DVD to John Huling, Director of Admissions, Music & Dance Dept., 271 Fine Arts Center, UMass Amherst, Amherst MA 01003. Call 413-545-6048 or email jhuling@music.umass.edu with any questions.

The Department reserves the right to require a live audition in addition to a recording before granting final admission to any degree program.


Voice      (Click for Jazz Voice)

Professor William Hite, williamhite@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-6049

For Voice applicants: Pre-screening materials are required. Please send a link to the materials listed below to williamhite@music.umass.edu (preferred) or send a CD/DVD to the Department (Director of Admissions, 271 Fine Arts Center, UMass Amherst, Amherst MA 01003) at least 3 weeks prior to your requested audition date for review. You will then be notified as to whether the faculty would like you to perform a live audition.

Pre-screening materials for Voice: Two songs (both with piano accompaniment), one of which should be sung in a foreign language (i.e. French, German, Italian, etc.)

REGULAR AUDITION REQUIREMENTS:

A - Repertoire
Three (3) songs memorized, selected from the art song, Lieder, oratorio, opera or folk ballad literature demonstrating more than one language. (An accompanist will be provided.)

B - Aural Skills
Students will be asked to perform melodic and rhythmic sight reading as well as tonal memory exercises.

 

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Piano

Professor Nadine Shank, shank@nadineshank.com, (413) 545-0053

If applying for the Jazz Piano program, click here. Jazz Piano applicants are not required to perform a classical piano audition.

A - Repertoire

  • A representative piece from the Baroque period such as an Invention by Bach.
  • The first movement of a sonata such as those by Haydn, Mozart (excluding K. 202 and 545) or Beethoven (excluding Op. 49, Nos. 1 and 2, and Op. 79).
  • A piece from the Romantic Era or modern literature.

B - Technique

  • Major and minor scales (two octaves/two hands).
  • Major and minor arpeggios played two octaves, two hands. A simple ear-training test will be administered to each student.

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Keyboard Music Education

Professor Nadine Shank, shank@nadineshank.com, (413) 545-0053

If applying for the Jazz Piano program, click here. Jazz Piano applicants are not required to perform a classical piano audition.

A - Repertoire

  • A representative piece from the Baroque period such as an Invention by Bach.
  • The first movement of a sonata such as those by Haydn, Mozart (excluding K. 202 and 545) or Beethoven (excluding Op. 49, Nos. 1 and 2, and Op. 79).
  • A piece from the Romantic Era or modern literature.

B - Technique

  • Major and minor scales (two octaves/two hands).
  • Major and minor arpeggios played two octaves, two hands. A simple ear-training test will be administered to each student.

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Organ

Professor Ernest May, emay@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-0624

A - Repertoire

  • A prelude and fugue from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier (on the piano), or an Invention.
  • A Bach fugue, chorale trio, or trio sonata movement for organ.
  • An organ piece of the applicant's choosing.

B - Technique
Major and minor scales and arpeggios (two octaves) for both keyboard and pedals.

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Flute

Professor Christopher Krueger, krueger@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-2918

A - Repertoire
One or more movements each, from three different works demonstrating fast playing, slow playing, and articulation abilities. These works should be in different historical styles. For example: a fast movement from a Mozart Concerto, a slow movement from a Bach Sonata, and a modern work such as Varèse, Density 21.5. One of these movements may be an etude.

B - Technique
Major and minor scales, arpeggios and chromatic scales throughout the practical range of the instrument.

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Oboe

Professor Fredric T. Cohen, fcohen@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-4688

A - Repertoire

  • A piece such as Vivaldi's Concerto in A Minor, Mozart's Concerto in C Major K314, Schumann's Drei Romanzen or Hindemith's Sonata for Oboe & Piano.
  • An etude by Barrett or Ferling which demonstrates technical ability.

B - Technique
Major and minor scales, arpeggios and chromatic scales slurred and with standard articulation throughout the practical range of the instrument.

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Clarinet

Professor Michael Sussman, msussma@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-4776

A - Repertoire

  • A movement from the standard literature for clarinet, such as the Mozart or von Weber concertos or the sonatas of Hindemith or Saint-Saëns.
  • Two (2) etudes, one fast and one slow, selected from Rose 32 Etudes or the equivalent.

B - Technique
Major and minor scales, arpeggios and chromatic scales slurred and with standard articulation throughout the practical range of the instrument.

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Bassoon

Professor Stephen Walt, swalt@music.umass.edu, (413) 577-2347

A - Repertoire

  • Two (2) contrasting movements from standard concertos or sonatas, such as Mozart's Concerto for Bassoon or Telemann's Sonata in F Minor. The movements need not come from the same piece.
  • An etude selected from Milde's Scale and Arpeggio, Concert Studies, or similar studies.

B - Technique
Major and minor scales, arpeggios and chromatic scales slurred and with standard articulation throughout the practical range of the instrument.

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Saxophone

Professor Jonathan Hulting-Cohen, hultingcohen@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-2810
Jazz: Professor Felipe Salles, fsalles@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-6051

For all undergraduate saxophone auditions, please prepare the following:

  • All major, harmonic and chromatic scales, full range (from low Bb to high F or F#, ideally using both side and front fingerings for high E, F, and F#)

  • To demonstrate your intonation capabilities by playing roots, fifths and thirds in all keys and registers against a drone

  • Two contrasting movements of a standard classical work, such as:

    • Alexander Glazunov – Concerto
    • Paul Creston – Sonata
    • Alfred Desenclos – Prelude, cadence et finale
    • William Albright – Sonata
    • Paule Maurice – Tableaux de Provence
    • Jacques Ibert – Concertino da camera
    • Warren Benson – Aeolian Song
    • Bernard Heiden – Sonata
    • Eugène Bozza – Aria
    • Others possible – Inquire with Professor Jonathan Hulting-Cohen
  • Two contrasting Ferling or comparable études

  • To discuss your musical and academic history and possible future goals

  • To give Professors Hulting-Cohen and Salles a hard-copy list of your classical, jazz and other repertoire to date, as well as the years you studied them

If applying for the Jazz program, click here for additional requirements.

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Horn (French Horn)

Studio Site
Professor Josh Michal, jmichal@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-7735

A - Repertoire

  • A fast and a slow movement chosen from works such as the Mozart horn concertos, the Haydn concertos, the Strauss Concerto Op. 11, the Beethoven Sonata, the Dukas Villanelle, and the Bernard Heiden Sonata.
  • An etude such as those by Gallay, Kopprasch and Kling.

B - Technique
Major and chromatic scales throughout the practical range of the instrument.

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Trumpet

Professor Eric Berlin, berlin@music.umass.edu, (413) 577-1582, Trumpet Studio website
Jazz: Professor Jeffrey W. Holmes, jwholmes@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-6046

  1. Etude 1 from Vassily Brandt's 34 Etudes (edited by Robert Nagel) published by International Music Co., Catalog #1391
  2. Two contrasting movements (in their entirety) from one of the following:
    1. 1) Kent Kennan Sonata
    2. 2) Paul Hindemith Sonata
    3. 3) Flor Peeters Sonata
    4. 4) Halsey Stevens Sonata
    5. 5) Eric Ewazen Sonata
    6. 6) Alexander Arutiunian Concerto (play beginning to letter L)
    7. 7) Franz Joseph Haydn Concerto in Eb
    8. 8) Johann Nepomuk Hummel Concerto in E or Eb
  3. c. Scales
    1. Major Scales up two four sharps and flats - tongued and slurred (one or two octaves covering the practical range of the instrument)
    2. Two octave C Chromatic Scale (slurred in triplets, quarter note = 100)

If applying for the Jazz program, click here for additional requirements.

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Trombone

Professor Greg Spiridopoulos, gspiro@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-6059

A - Repertoire
A piece such as Barat's Andante et Allegro, a sonata by Galliard, Marcello's Sonata in G Minor or Ropartz' Andante and Allegro.

B - Technique
Major and chromatic scales, played to demonstrate the candidate's range on the instrument.

If applying for the Jazz program, click here for additional requirements.

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Euphonium

Professor John Bottomley, jbottoml@music.umass.edu, (413) 577-2346

A. Two contrasting movements or single work with contrasting material from standard repertoire. Examples:
    1. Barat- Andante & Allegro
    2. Galliard- Sonatas
    3. Ropartz- Andante & Allegro
    4. Guilmant- Morceau Symphonique

B. One etude from:
    1. Bordogni (Rochut)- Melodius Etudes Vol. 1

C. Scales
    1. All Major scales- Two octaves
    2. Two octave chromatic scale

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Tuba

Professor John Bottomley, jbottoml@music.umass.edu, (413) 577-2346

A. Two contrasting movements from the standard repertoire. Examples:
    1. Hindemith- Sonata
    2. B. Marcelo- Sonatas
    3. Haddad- Suite for Tuba
    4. Barat- Introduction and Dance

B. One etude from either:
    1. Bordogni- 43 Bel Canto Studies (Robert King)
    2. Blazhevich- 70 Studies for Tuba (Robert King)

C. Scales
    1. All Major scales- Two octaves
    2. Chromatic scale- Two octaves starting on low Bb

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Percussion

Professors Ayano Kataoka, ayano@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-3258 and Thomas Hannum, hannum@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-6060

If applying for the Jazz Drum Set program, click here. Jazz Drum set applicants are encouraged to, but are not required to perform a classical percussion audition. Contact: Professor Thomas Giampietro, thomasg@music.umass.edu, (413) 577-1709

A - Repertoire (Please prepare solos/etudes for ALL of the instruments listed below)

  • Snare Drum - solo or etude (i.e. Cirone, Delecleuse) AND rudimental solo (i.e. Wilcoxon, Pratt)
  • Marimba - Solo for four mallets (i.e. Stout, Abe, Musser, Gomez, Bach) AND solo or etude for two mallets (i.e. Creston, Bach, Green, Goldenberg)
  • Timpani - solo or etude (i.e. Firth, Goodman, Carter, Carroll, Whaley)

B - Technique

  • Sight-reading on snare drum and marimba AND
  • All major and minor scales on marimba AND
  • Tuning on timpani

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Violin

Professor Elizabeth Chang, echang@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-0023 
Link to Violin Studio webpage

A - Repertoire

  • A movement from a concerto or a short piece demonstrating the level of technical proficiency in both hands
  • A contrasting work in another style
  • An etude from Kreutzer, Dont, Fiorillo, Rode, Mazas or comparable study

B - Technique
A three-octave scale in any key

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Viola

Professor Kathryn Lockwood, klockwood@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-9457
Viola Studio website

A - Repertoire

  • Two (2) contrasting movements from a Bach solo suite or similar work
  • A contrasting work in another style; a movement from a sonata or a concerto

B - Technique

  • A three-octave scale in any key
  • A three-octave arpeggio in any key
  • An etude selected from the studies of Kreutzer, Fiorillo, Dancla or Don’t

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Cello

Professor Astrid Schween, aschween@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-9646

A – Repertoire
Two (2) contrasting selections that best represent your level of performance. One selection should demonstrate tone quality and control; the other should feature left hand technical facility.

B – Technique
Major scales in three (3) octaves

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Double Bass

Professor Salvatore Macchia, smacchia@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-6053

If applying for the Jazz Bass program, click here. Jazz Bass applicants are not required to perform a classical bass audition, but are required to study on upright bass for two years.

A - Repertoire

  • A sonata such as those by Marcello, Telemann, Eccles or the first movement of the Dragonetti Concerto
  • An etude from Simandl 30 Etudes, Storch-Hrabe 57 Etudes, or another etude of comparable difficulty

B - Technique
Two- and three-octave major and minor scales

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Jazz Voice

Professor Catherine Jensen-Hole, jensen-hole@music.umass.edu, (413) 577-2459

Please note: For Vocal Jazz Major/Minor auditons you do not need to send in a pre-screening CD nor do you have to prepare any classical repertoire.

Audtion process:

1. Prepare three stylistically different tunes from the standard Jazz repertoire. These should include a medium tempo jazz selection, a jazz ballad, and the third song can be blues based, a bossa, samba or contemporary jazz song. Lead sheets should be prepared in your own key.

2. Improvisation on one tune is encouraged but not obligatory.

3. Scales: one octave ascending and descending chromatic scale

4. Sight Reading: un-pitched jazz rhythmic sequences in swing feel.

An accompanist (piano) will be provided.

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Jazz Guitar/Piano

Professor Jeffrey W. Holmes, jwholmes@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-6046

  1. Three stylistically different tunes from the standard Jazz repertoire. These should include a medium tempo jazz selection such as Out Of Nowhere, Just Friends, or Joy Spring, a blues such as Billie's Bounce or Straight No Chaser (not Blue Monk), and, a contrasting up tempo jazz, jazz waltz, Latin, or contemporary jazz piece (no ballads). Performance of the melody, comping and a minimum of two improvised choruses per tune will be required (4 improvised choruses for blues). Bring four copies of each lead sheet.

    Non-jazz pieces may be prepared in addition to the above requirements (bring lead sheets as applicable).
  2. Students will be asked to demonstrate “comping” styles over blues, rhythm changes (like “Oleo”), and a more contemporary “vamp” sequence.
    Scales: all major and minor two octaves ascending and descending (piano both hands).
    ii V I's in all major and minor keys: comp and improvise in 2 and 4 measure increments.
    Sight Reading: single lines, rhythmic sequences and chord changes in jazz and related styles such as Latin and rock/funk.
    Instrument and/or voice pitch matching may also be administered.


  3. Guitarists must bring their own patch cords. An amp will be provided.
  4. An accompanist (piano and/or bass) will be provided.

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Jazz Bass

Professor Jeffrey W. Holmes (Coordinator), jwholmes@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-6046
Professor Salvatore Macchia (Bass), smacchia@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-6053

  1. Three stylistically different tunes from the standard Jazz repertoire. These should include a medium tempo jazz selection such as Out Of Nowhere, Just Friends, or Joy Spring, a blues such as Billie's Bounce or Straight No Chaser (not Blue Monk), and, a contrasting up tempo jazz, jazz waltz, Latin, or contemporary jazz piece (no ballads). Performance of the melody, comping and a minimum of two improvised choruses per tune will be required (4 improvised choruses for blues). Bring four copies of each lead sheet. Non-jazz pieces may be prepared in addition to the above requirements (bring lead sheets as applicable).
  2. Students will be asked to demonstrate “comping” styles over blues, rhythm changes (like “Oleo”), and a more contemporary “vamp” sequence.
    (Bass players will "walk" over directives)
    Scales: all major and minor two octaves ascending and descending.
    ii V I's in all major and minor keys: comp and improvise in 2 and 4 measure increments.
    Sight Reading: single lines, rhythmic sequences and chord changes in jazz and related styles such as Latin and rock/funk.
    Instrument and/or voice pitch matching may also be administered.

  3. Jazz bassists will be required to study acoustic bass for a minimum of two years (Classical audition materials may be part of the audition - see Double Bass requirements if applicable)
  4. Amplified bassists must bring their own patch cords. An amp will be provided.
  5. An accompanist (piano or guitar) will be provided.

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Jazz Drum Set

Professor Jeffrey W. Holmes (Coordinator), jwholmes@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-6046
Drum Set faculty: Professor Thomas Giampietro, thomasg@music.umass.edu, (413) 577-1709

  1. Students will demonstrate the following styles: swing (moderate, moderate trading 4's between time and solo; and up-tempo), Latin (bossa and samba), Jazz waltz, funk, moderate rock, brushes: medium tempo swing and ballad, 12/8 Afro-Cuban and songo and an odd meter (5/4 or 7/4-swing)
  2. Performance of a jazz or straight-8 th tune selected from the standard jazz repertoire. An accompanist (piano or guitar, with or without bass) will be provided. This should NOT be a big band chart! And the student will also be required to improvise a solo over the form of their chosen tune. Bring 4 copies of the lead sheet for this tune.
  3. Students will also play a prepared drum set solo of their choice – please bring 4 copies of the piece. The prepared solo should be either a solo composed by the student or a transcription of a recorded jazz solo.
  4. Students will be required to sight read a big-band chart, a rhythm sheet and/or a lead sheet.
    Voice pitch matching may also be administered.
  5. A drum-set will be provided for the audition. However, please bring your own cymbals (including high hats), snare drum, bass drum pedal and sticks/brushes/mallets.

Please note: All Drum Set auditionees may also prepare a percussion audition to include snare drum and mallet selections. Please see Percussion requirements above. Make sure you identify on your audition application whether you will be preparing a percussion component.

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All Non-Rhythm Section Jazz Auditions

Professor Jeffrey Holmes, jwholmes@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-6046

  1. Three stylistically different tunes from the standard Jazz repertoire. These should include a medium tempo jazz selection such as Out Of Nowhere, Just Friends, or Joy Spring, a blues such as Billie's Bounce or Straight No Chaser (not Blue Monk), and, a contrasting up tempo jazz, jazz waltz, Latin, or contemporary jazz piece (no ballads). Performance of the melody and a minimum of two improvised choruses per tune will be required (4 improvised choruses for blues). Bring four copies of each lead sheet. Non-jazz pieces may be prepared in addition to the above requirements (bring lead sheets as applicable).
  2. Students will be asked to demonstrate rhythm changes (like “Oleo”) and a more contemporary “vamp” sequence.
    Scales: all major and minor through 4 sharps and 4 flats; two octaves ascending and descending.
    ii V I's in all major and minor keys: comp and improvise in 2 and 4 measure increments.
    Sight Reading: single lines, rhythmic sequences and chord changes in jazz and related styles such as Latin and rock/funk.
    Instrument and/or voice pitch matching may also be administered.

  3. An accompanist (piano or guitar, with or without bass) will be provided.
  4. Students must also prepare the non-jazz audition repertoire for their instrument; see Saxophone, Trumpet and Trombone (or whatever your main instrument is) audition requirements above. You may also contact the studio Professor for your instrument if you have questions.

Any further JAAMS instrumental audition questions, contact Professor Holmes, Director of Jazz and African-American Music Studies: jwholmes@music.umass.edu .

For Vocal Jazz audition questions, contact Professor Jensen-Hole jensen-hole@music.umass.edu.

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Dance Department