The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Students should schedule an audition as early as possible, and may do so even before submitting the application for academic acceptance. Auditions may take place prior to academic acceptance to the University; however, Music Department faculty cannot hear an audition unless a University application has been submitted. Click here for the official UMass Music Admissions page.

For inquiries regarding the general UMass Music Admissions/Audition process, please contact the Admissions Director, Nathaniel Gowen, at

Undergraduate Audition Requirements - Classical

  1. All major, harmonic minor 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#)
  2. Demonstration of your intonation capabilities by playing roots, fifths and thirds in all keys and registers against a drone
  3. 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  
  4. Two contrasting Ferling or comparable études
  5. Discuss your musical and academic histories, and possible future goals

Undergraduate Audition Requirements - Jazz

  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.

Students must also prepare the non-jazz audition repertoire for their instrument; see classical audition requirements above.

Graduate Audition Requirements

  1. Two contrasting works demonstrating your greatest artistry
  2. Demonstrate your intonation capabilities by playing roots, fifths and thirds in all keys and registers against a drone
  3. Discuss your musical and academic history and possible future goals