Quick Links

Audition Requirements

music_prospective_student_audition_requirements

Photo: Adam Scotti

 

On this pageArtist Diploma | BMus and LMus - Specific Instruments / Voice Requirements

Live Auditions

Due to limitations of recorded auditions, live auditions are preferred. All applicants must perform an entrance audition of approximately 15 minutes' duration (longer for organ and Artist Diploma applicants.) The audition material should be chosen so as to reveal musicianship and technical proficiency to best advantage (see specific instrument/voice requirements below). The panel may interrupt the candidate at any point in a piece to ensure that the auditions proceed on schedule. Candidates must bring a copy of their music to the audition, a list of the pieces to be performed and a repertoire list, including études and ensemble music. The Schulich School of Music will provide accompanists free of charge for the audition time only. Rehearsal costs are the responsibility of the applicant and vary depending on the accompanist. Applicants should contact their accompanist at least 48 hours prior to the audition to arrange rehearsal times, provide music, etc. However, applicants may bring their own accompanists, if they wish, at their own expense.

Recorded Auditions

Recorded video auditions, of approximately 30 minutes' duration, are acceptable only when distance and conflicts prevent the applicant from attending an audition in Montreal. Audition recordings must include the requirements listed for the instrument or voice (see below.) A list of the recordings and repertoire should also be submitted with the recorded material. Video auditions must be of very good technical quality and should be less than 6 months old. The following video formats are accepted: 'avi', 'mov', 'mp4' and 'wmv'. Audition materials must arrive no later than February 1 and must be submitted directly to the Schulich School of Music. Please submit recored material through our upload page. Please review the quality of your videos before submitting.  Upload times will depend on file size and upload speed (determined by service provider.) Please follow instructions provided on the resource page. Applicants (female voice and jazz)who are not intending on attending a live audition are not required to submit screening material. Please select the right option on your application.

Screening

All applicants in female voices and in all jazz instruments who have selected a live audition option on their application will be required to submit audio screening recordings (format: 'mp3') for pre-selection by January 15 (must arrive by that day). No live auditions will be scheduled in female voices or in any jazz instrument until a screening recording has been received and reviewed. See below (instrument/voice requirements) for material to be included on screening recordings. Please submit material in the following way:
  • Upload material to the Schulich School of Music Audition Upload Page. Upload times will depend on file size and upload speed (determined by service provider.) Please follow instructions provided on the resource page.

Following a review of these recordings, selected applicants will be invited to audition (see audition schedule for specific dates.)

Applicants who are not intending on attending a live audition are not required to submit screening material. Please ensure that you select the right option on your application.

Audition & Screening Material (by instrument) : 

Click on title links for details.

Artist Diploma - All instruments (except Jazz)

(No live auditions will be scheduled for female voices until a screening recording has been received and reviewed.)

Screening Requirements (for female voices):

Seven contrasting pieces, in four major languages, representing both operatic and song repertoire.
For Early Music, seven contrasting pieces, in four major languages, representing (a) song repertoire AND (b) opera OR oratorio OR both. Two pieces may be post-1800.

NOTE: Current McGill students completing a music degree are not required to submit screening material. Please note that all McGill music students who graduated more than one year ago are required to submit screening material.

Live or Recorded Audition Requirements (all instruments, except jazz):

Candidates must prepare a recital program of approximately 60 minutes (link to specific instrument/voice requirements). The panel will select the excerpts it wishes to hear.

Solo Piano must prepare a recital program of not less than 45 minutes and a maximum of 60 minutes which must include one work from category B of the six categories shown below for undergraduate degrees.

Collaborative Piano

Audition Requirements

1) One selection, of the candidate’s choice, from the Solo Piano repertoire. This should be a memorized piece from a major composer that is a minimum of 8 minutes in length.
2) Selections from two of the following three Collaborative Concentrations:

I. Collaborative Concentration: INSTRUMENTAL
Please prepare the piano part from one of the following excerpts:
a) Beethoven, Violin Sonata No. 7, c minor, 1st movement, Allegro con brio  
b) Brahms, Violin Sonata No. 2 in A, Op. 100, 1st movement, Allegro amabile
c) Franck, Violin Sonata in A, 2nd movement, Allegro

Please note: An official violinist will be provided by the Schulich School of Music

II. Collaborative Concentration: VOCAL
Please prepare the following songs:
a) Franz Schubert        Ganymed
b) Johannes Brahms   Meine Liebe ist grün
c) Claude Debussy      Il pleure dans mon Coeur
d) Richard Strauss      Allerseelen
e) Samuel Barber         St. Ita¹s Vision

Please note: A singer will be provided by the Schulich School of Music

III. Collaborative Concentration: OPERA
Please prepare:
a) Any Aria from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro
AND
b) “Sein wir wieder gut” from Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos
OR
c) “Here I Stand” from Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress

Please note: The operatic excerpts should be sung in the original language while playing the orchestral reduction from any standard piano/vocal score.

3) In addition to the above Repertoire, there will be a sight-reading component to the audition as well as an interview with the Panel.

In all auditions the candidate may select the first work (or movement) to be performed.  The panel may interrupt the repertoire offered in the candidate’s audition program. If not auditioning live, video and audio recordings are required.

Voice applicants

should prepare a balanced 60-minute program of song repertoire, performed from memory, and representing the major musical periods, contrasting styles, and the four major languages (English, French, German and Italian). In addition, there should be at least one operatic aria, as well as a recitative and aria from Opera, Oratorio or Cantata (1600 - 1800).

Voice applicants who wish to emphasize operatic performance should indicate this in writing and prepare the following program (Note: we do not offer a major in opera):
a) 3 Operatic arias (contrasting styles and moods)
b) 2 Opera, Oratorio or Cantata Arias (1600-1800)
c) 1 Song or Aria in a 'contemporary' idiom
d) 1 Song or Aria (from Opera, Oratorio, Operetta or Musical Theatre) of the candidate's own choosing

At least two of the arias should include significant recitative. Four languages are required (English, French, German and Italian). The candidate should prepare to act out three of the operatic arias (at least one with recitative) as well as the complete operatic role. The candidate may be requested to participate in a stage movement, acting and improvisation class-workshop on the evening of their scheduled audition day. (Bring appropriate work/rehearsal attire.)

At least 24 hours before their scheduled audition time, all Artist Diploma Voice applicants are requested to submit a copy of their long program and two individual choices of repertoire to be performed to the Chair of the Vocal Area so that an appropriate short program can be chosen. At the audition this short program will be performed in its entirety as a 'mini-recital', after which members of the jury may request other selections from the long program.

If not auditioning live, video recordings are required.


BMus and LMus - SPECIFIC INSTRUMENTS / VOICE REQUIREMENTS

Brass and Woodwinds

Audition material should include one major solo piece with piano accompaniment from the traditional repertoire for the candidate's instrument. This piece should demonstrate ability to play in a lyrical manner and to articulate clearly in both legato and staccato styles. In addition, one technical étude is required. Sight reading may be given.

Early Music Instruments

BMus and LMus (Baroque Violin, Viola, Cello, Viola da Gamba, Flute, Recorder, Oboe, Early brass)

Candidates should prepare music the following material from the baroque period (approximately 1600-1750)
- at least two movements (slow and fast) from a sonata by a German or Italian composer
- an unaccompanied work (transcriptions of material originally written for another instrument is accepted)
- at least two movements, including a prelude, from a suite by a French composer

A minimum of 20 minutes of repertoire should be offered. Sight reading may be given. The candidate will select the first piece to be performed; subsequent choices may be made by the panel.

Artist Diploma (Baroque Violin, Viola, Cello, Viola da Gamba, Flute, Recorder, Oboe, Early brass)

Candidates must prepare a recital program of approximately 60 minutes which covers different styles and genres from the Baroque era. All movements within a work must be prepared. The program must include an unaccompanied work (transcriptions of material originally written for another instrument is accepted).

Memorization is not required. The candidate will select the first piece to be performed; subsequent choices may be made by the panel.

Early Music Voice

(No live auditions will be scheduled in female voices until a screening recording has been received and reviewed.)

Screening Requirements (for female voices):

For Early Music Voice Performance, same screening requirements as Voice Performance (BMus and Licentiate, 3 contrasting pieces in at least two languages) but at least one piece must have been written before 1800.
For Early Music Voice non-performance same screening requirements as Voice Concentration (BMus, 2 contrasting pieces in two languages) but at least one piece must have been written before 1800.

Live or Recorded Audition Requirements:

Applicants wishing to specialize in Early Music Voice should follow the same audition requirements as Voice Performance or Concentration. It is strongly suggested that the candidate prepare at least two songs or arias from the baroque repertoire or earlier.

Guitar

The audition material should include three pieces of contrasting styles, one of which may be an étude selected from the classical guitar repertoire. The works presented should be of musical and technical content commensurate with the candidate's knowledge and abilities.

Harp

BMus and LMus
The audition material should include three pieces of different styles (one of which should be a 20th-century composition.) and an étude. 

Artist Diploma
Candidates must prepare a recital program of approximately 60 minutes. The panel will slesct the exerpts it wishes to hear.

Harpsichord

BMus and LMus:

Candidates should prepare three pieces in contrasting styles, including:
- a work by J.S. Bach
- a work by one of the French clavecinistes (Couperin, Rameau, D'Anglebert, Duphly, etc)
- another work of the candidate's choice.

A minimum of 20 minutes of repertoire should be offered. Sight reading may be given. The candidate will select the first piece to be performed; subsequent choices may be made by the panel.

Artist Diploma:

Candidates must prepare a recital program of approximately 60 minutes which covers the following:
- a work by JS Bach
- a work by one of the French clavecinistes (Couperin, Rameau, D'Anglebert, Duphly, etc)
- a work by one of the English virginalists or JP Sweelinck
- a work by an early seventeenth-century Italian composer (Frescobaldi, Merulo, etc)
- at least one sonata by Domenico Scarlatti
- another work of the candidate's choice.

Memorisation is not required. The candidate will select the first piece to be performed; subsequent choices may be made by the panel.

Jazz

(Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Piano, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Voice)

[Note to Electric Bass applicants: If accepted, you will be required to switch to upright bass.]

(No live auditions will be scheduled in any jazz instrument until screening recordings have been received and reviewed.)

Screening Recording Requirements (all instruments except Jazz Drums):

Select two pieces from the three categories below. The tunes listed below are examples. Applicants may choose other tunes than those listed below.
1. Blues: Billie's Bounce; Au Privave; Straight No Chaser; Tenor Madness; Sonny Moon for Two; Blues Walk.
2. Ballads: Body and Soul; What's New; I Can't Get Started; I Fall in Love to Easily.
3. Jazz Standards: Blue Bossa; Solar; All the Things You Are; So What; Green Dolphin Street; Stella by Starlight; Four; Night and Day.

For each of your selections, prepare the MELODY and an IMPROVISED SOLO
Screening Recording Requirements for Jazz Drums:

Select 1 piece from each of the following categories:
1. medium or up-tempo swing
2. bossa nova, samba, afro cuban or other straight 8th feel

Live or Recorded Audition Requirements (all instruments except Jazz Drums):

A live rhythm section accompaniment will be provided. All applicants who attend a live audition are expected to perform with that group (applicants cannot bring in their own rhythm section.)

Select one piece from each of the first three categories below. The tunes listed below are examples. Applicants may choose other tunes than those listed below.
1. Blues: Billie's Bounce; Au Privave; Straight No Chaser; Tenor Madness; Sonny Moon for Two; Blues Walk.
2. Ballads: Body and Soul; What's New; I Can't Get Started; I Fall in Love to Easily.
3. Jazz Standards: Blue Bossa; Solar; All the Things You Are; So What; Green Dolphin Street; What is this Thing Called Love; Stella by Starlight; Four; Night and Day.

If you choose a tune that is not on the above suggested list, please bring a lead sheet for the rhythm section.

For each of your selections, prepare the MELODY and an IMPROVISED SOLO.
The candidate should also prepare:
1. Classical Study:
A short study or étude of the candidate's choice. For Saxophone a study by Marcel Mule, Ferling or Guy Lacour.
2. Transcription:
For both recorded and live auditions, please prepare one transcription. You must play your transcription along with the original recording. For example, play along with the original recording of Charlie Parker's improvised solo on Now's the Time. The object is to evaluate accuracy, style, time concept, articulation, phrasing and sound. The transcription should be memorized and, for live auditions, be sure to bring a CD of the original recording of your transcription to play along with.

Candidates must be prepared to play/sing major scales and modes, major, minor, dominant seventh chords and arpeggios, diminished seventh chords and arpeggios, diminished and whole tone scales.

Sight reading will be given.

Bassists will be asked to demonstrate walking lines as well as solo ability on all three pieces.

Pianists and guitarists will be asked to demonstrate comping as well as solo ability on all three pieces.

See also Taped Auditions & Recommended Preparation Material to follow below.

Live or Recorded Audition Requirements for Jazz Drums:

[Note: If granted a live audition, Jazz Drummers should bring their own cymbals.]

Candidates should prepare a short study (2-3 minutes) to show rudimental skills.
They should also be prepared to demonstrate the following proficiencies:
- Swing, latin (Bossa nova, samba, Afro-cuban), rock and funk styles
- Alternating sections - latin, swing, latin, swing, such as Green Dolphin Street or Night and Day
- Trading 4's, 8's or choruses on a blues, 32-bar AABA tune, and tunes of alternating latin, swing, latin, swing sections, while keeping the form of the pieces
-Left hand and bass drum independence while maintaining a steady ride and hi-hat rhythm
- Ability to play with wire brushes as well as sticks and to change smoothly from brushes to sticks
- Sight reading
- Some knowledge of mallet instruments, piano, or guitar is preferable, but not mandatory.
- Transcription not required of jazz drums.

Recorded Audition Requirements: please submit (Video) three jazz pieces (ballad, blues and one standard) and play the head and improvise. In addition please submit one transcription (including a PDF of the partition) and one classical study. Piano and guitar applicants should include (play) chords behind someone elses solo. Voice applicants should improvise. Bass applicants should play a head, walk and solo. If a rhythm section is not available, a play-along recording is acceptable.

NB: Play-along records are not acceptable for drummers. A rhythm section must be used.

Organ

Candidates should prepare three pieces, one from each of the following:
a) Prelude and Fugue from North German school (Buxtehude, Bruhns, Lubeck, Bach)
b) Slow movement from a Bach trio sonata or Bach D minor trio (BWV 583)
c) A short romantic or contemporary piece
Memorization of at least one piece is preferable, but not compulsory.

Sight reading will be given as follows:
a) Four-part harmonizations of a chorale to demonstrate candidate's understanding of part writing. All voices are to be played on the keyboard.
b) Three-part trio texture to illustrate independence of hands and feet.

Questions may be asked to determine the candidate's comprehension of basic problems of organ registration and construction. Reference: The Organ Handbook. Klotz (Concordia). The audition will last approximately 30 minutes.

Percussion

Snare drum:
- long roll; closed roll
- one rudimental solo
- one solo from Delécluse méthode de caisse-claire, Lepak, or Cirone or similar
- orchestral excerpts: Ravel: Bolero; Prokofiev: Peter & the Wolf

Keyboard:
- one 2-mallet solo; one 4-mallet solo
- orchestral excerpts: Mozart: The Magic Flute; Ravel: Ma mère l'oye

Timpani:
- one study from Mitchell Peters: Intermediate Timpani Studies, Saul Goodman: Timpani Method, or J. Delécluse studies or similar

Sight reading will be given on snare drum, timpani and keyboard (2 mallets).

Piano

Live or Recorded Audition Requirements:

At least three solo pieces (i.e., no concertos) must be presented:
-- one from category a
-- one from category b, and
-- one from category c, d, e, or f

a) At least one movement of a sonata (or a group of variations) from the 18th/early 19th century, e.g., Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert.
b) One piece from the 19th century, e.g., Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms.
c) One piece from the 17th/18th century, e.g., Bach, Scarlatti, Rameau, Handel, Couperin.
d) One piece from the end of the 19th/early 20th century, e.g., Fauré, Debussy, Ravel, Albeniz, Schoenberg, Reger, Scriabin, Rachmaninoff.
e) One piece from the 20th century (up to c.1950), e.g., Bartok, Webern, Hindemith, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Messiaen.
f) One piece from the contemporary repertoire, e.g., Stockhausen, Boulez, Berio, Xenakis, Mather, Cherney, Rea, Tremblay, Vivier.

For Performance programs (B.Mus., L.Mus.), a minimum of 20 minutes of repertoire should be offered including one substantial work.  The candidate will select the first work to be performed but may be interrupted by the panel. Sight reading may be given and memorization is required, with the exception of recent contemporary works (category f).

For non-performance programs, 15 minutes (or more) must be prepared, with memorization optional. The candidate will select the first work to be performed. No sight reading will be given.

Strings

Candidates for the Lloyd Carr-Harris String Scholarships should prepare an hour of repertoire, including the repertoire indicated in the audition requirements, and the concerto must be a complete major concerto.

Violin:
- scales: major, minor melodic and harmonic, 3 octaves, 8, 12 and 24 notes per bow
- arpeggios: 3 octaves, 9 notes per bow
- unaccompanied Bach: 2 contrasting movements
- first and second movements from a classical, romantic or 20th-century concerto

All concertos and unaccompanied Bach to be played from memory.

Viola:
- scales: one three-octave scale, major, minor melodic and harmonic, 3, 6, 8, 12, and 24 notes per bow
- arpeggios: one three-octave arpeggio, major and minor, 3 notes per bow
- unaccompanied Bach: two contrasting movements
- first and second movements of a pre-classic, classical, romantic or 20th-century concerto or sonata

All concertos and unaccompanied Bach to be played from memory.

Cello:
- scales: major and minor melodic and harmonic, 3 octaves, detached and one octave per bow
- arpeggios: 3 octaves, major and minor, 3 notes per bow
- unaccompanied Bach: 2 contrasting movements
- first and second movements of any pre-classic, classical or romantic concerto

All concertos and unaccompanied Bach to be played from memory.

Double Bass:
- 2 contrasting movements of a standard concerto or sonato, with piano accompaniment (please provide the piano part)
- 1 movement from a solo Bach suite (in any key) or any study for solo double bass
- 2 contrasting exerpts from the standard orchestral repertoire

Memorization of the audition repertoire is not required.

If not auditioning live, video is required.

Voice

(No live auditions will be scheduled in female voices until a screening recording has been received and reviewed.)

Screening Recording Requirements (for female voices):

For Performance (BMus and Licentiate), 3 contrasting pieces in at least two languages.
For non-performance, 2 contrasting pieces in two languages.

Live or Recorded Audition Requirements:

For Performance programs (BMus and Licentiate), the audition program should consist of five contrasting songs or arias to be performed from memory and representing at least three of the four major languages (English, French, German, Italian). Candidates should provide six typed copies of their program for the audition panel. Copies of the music for the panel are not required. The candidate will select the first two pieces to be performed; subsequent choices may be made by the panel.

For non-performance programs, the audition program should consist of three contrasting songs or arias to be performed from memory and representing at least two languages. Candidates should provide six typed copies of their program for the audition panel. Copies of the music for the panel are not required. The candidate will select the first piece to be performed; subsequent choices may be made by the panel.

If not auditioning live, video recordings are required. Live auditions are strongly recommended. Applicants who submit recordings, if recommended for acceptance, could be admitted into a non-performance program of their choice. They may re-audition for performance during a later period or during the next academic year. Decisions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.