Auditions and Screening: Performance D.Mus.

The impact of COVID-19 has altered the Fall 2021 admissions cycle. We will not be holding on-campus auditions.

All auditions will be conducted by video recordings and supported by supplemental virtual interviews (following review of application and recorded material.)
The deadline to submit recorded auditions is January 15, 2021.

NOTE: Screening for Fall 2021 is not required. Please continue to monitor the admission website for any adjustments to the admission process and audition repertoire. Please contact the admission office with any questions.

Current McGill students

Note: Students who wish to use their final recital as an entrance audition run the risk of not being considered for entrance scholarships due to the difference in the timing of audition decisions and recitals. We encourage students to submit a recorded audition by January 15.

For instructions on how to upload your material, follow our application guide.

Audition repertoire

Brass

Focus on chamber music, orchestral or solo repertoire. 

  • Prepare 60 minutes of recital material in various styles.
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview.

Conducting

This year your options are: choral, orchestral and wind orchestra.

At your live audition:

  • You will participate in a 15-30 minute rehearsal with one of our choral and/or wind ensembles.
  • You may be asked to sight-sing and read a score at the keyboard.
  • You may be briefly tested on your background knowledge of choral, orchestral and wind orchestra literature.
  • CHORAL CONDUCTORS WILL BE asked to perform 2 (two) CONTRASTING ARIAS OR ART SONGS.
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview.

Early Music Instruments

For your live audition:

  • Prepare 60 minutes of recital repertoire.
  • Include a work by Bach, a French suite or sonata, and an 18th-century Italian sonata. Where appropriate, include works from the 17th century.
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview.

Early Music Voice

For your live audition:

  • Prepare a balanced 60-minute program, to perform from memory. Represent the major musical periods (Baroque, Renaissance, Medieval), contrasting styles (opera, oratorio, cantata, air de cour, songs), and the four major languages (English, French, German, Italian). Include at least two recitatives and works from the repertoire on which you want to focus your research project.
  • At least 48 hours before your audition, submit a copy of your program and two individual choices of repertoire to the Voice Area Chair (Dominique Labelle). The jury will extract a short program for you to perform as a "mini-recital" at your audition. Afterwards, they may ask to hear other selections from your original program.
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview.

Fortepiano

For your live audition:

  • Prepare 60 minutes of recital repertoire on a five-octave classical fortepiano (FF-a3).
  • Include at least one sonata by Joseph Haydn.  The remaining works may be freely chosen from Mozart, Beethoven, Clementi, CPE Bach, or any other composer active between ca. 1750 and 1805. 
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview.

Guitar

Options include chamber music or solo performance.

  • Videos must be complete, unedited takes, with no edits between pieces
  • Include your name and instrument in your video's file name
  • Submit a list of your recorded pieces in the order in which they appear in your video
  • Videos should be approximately 30-35 minutes in length
  • Include works relevant to your proposed performance specialization. For example, prepare contemporary works if your focus is on 20th century music, prepare renaissance and baroque works if your specialization is early music, etc.
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview (granted to select applicants after application and audition material is evaluated.)

Harp

For your live audition:

  • Prepare 60 minutes of repertoire.
  • Include four works in different styles, with at least one 20th century composition and an étude.
  • You may be asked to sight-read.
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview.

Harpsichord

For your live audition:

  • Prepare a balanced 60-minute program representing the most important styles of the 17th and 18th centuries.
  • Include works from the repertoire on which you want to focus your research project.
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview.

Jazz

For your live audition:

  • Create a 20-minute mini-concert of pieces which should include at least one piece from the standard jazz repertoire plus 2-3 original pieces (minimum of 1 original is required)
  • Bring a printed copy of the music you have prepared for the audition panel.
  • You will be provided with a rhythm section free of charge for the audition ONLY
  • Rehearsal costs vary and are your responsibility.
  • The Jazz Area will arrange your rehearsal time/room which will occur the day before your audition and give you contact info for your provided rhythm section so you can arrange rehearsal payment, provide music, etc
  • If possible, you can also bring your own band, at your expense
  • The panel may interrupt your audition at any moment in a piece to ensure that auditions proceed on schedule.
  • Prepare for a 30-minute interview after the concert portion
  • Drummers: Bring your own cymbals!

Organ and Church Music

For your live audition:

  • Prepare 60 minutes of recital repertoire.
  • Include a major work by J.S. Bach, along with pre-Bach, romantic and contemporary selections.
  • You can choose between a mechanical action or electric action instrument. You can also audition on two different instruments. You can use a registration assistant at the mechanical action console, but you should do your own registrations at the electric console.
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview.

Percussion

  • Prepare a 30-minute program (minimum), demonstrating your ability on several of the main basic percussion instruments, i.e., timpani, keyboard percussion, snare drum, multiple percussion.
  • Select musical works that reflect the repertoire and research directions that you want to focus on during your doctoral degree. If the current circumstances prevent you to access some instruments (such as timpani or multi-percussion), please contact our percussion area coordinator, fabrice.marandola [at] mcgill.ca (Prof. Fabrice Marandola), to discuss repertoire options.
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview.

    Collaborative Piano

    • Prepare for a 30 minute interview and to sight-read.
    • Prepare 15-20 minutes of music of your choice, from the solo piano repertoire. Present repertoire from one or two composers.  Memorization is optional.
    • Prepare selections from all three concentrations listed below, or choose two of the instrumental pieces plus the vocal or opera repertoire. If you want to work primarily with singers, you must include all three concentrations.

    Collaborative concentrations:

    • Instrumental: A violinist will be provided by the School. Prepare the piano part from one (or two) of the following excerpts:
      • Beethoven, Violin Sonata No. 7, c minor, 1st movement, Allegro con brio  
      • Brahms, Violin Sonata No. 2 in A, Op. 100, 1st movement, Allegro amabile
      • Franck, Violin Sonata in A, 2nd movement, Allegro
    • Vocal: A singer will be provided by the School. Prepare the following songs:
      • Franz Schubert, Ganymed
      • Johannes Brahms, Meine Liebe ist grün
      • Claude Debussy, Il pleure dans mon coeur
      • Richard Strauss, Allerseelen
      • Samuel Barber, St. Ita's Vision
    • Opera: The operatic excerpts should be sung in the original language while playing the orchestral reduction from any standard piano/vocal score. Prepare:
      • Any Aria from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Sein wir wieder gut” from Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, or
      • “Here I Stand” from Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress

    Piano

    For your live audition:

    • Prepare a 60 minute solo recital program. Memorization is optional. The panel may choose to hear complete works and/or excerpts.
    • Select pieces from major composers, in a range of styles, genres and periods.
    • Feature repertoire from the area in which you want to focus your major research and performance.
    • Prepare for a 30 minute interview about your research interests.

    Strings

    Audition Video Requirements Strings

    • Videos must be complete, unedited takes
    • You may record individual works and/or movements as separate tracks, but you must combine all tracks into one video file before submission
    • Include your name and instrument in your video's file name
    • Submit a list of your recorded pieces in the order in which they appear in your video

    For your live audition: Cello, Double Bass, Viola, Violin

    Piano accompaniment, where applicable, is encouraged but not required.

    • Prepare a 60-minute program of repertoire from various musical periods.
    • Include two contrasting movements from the solo works by J.S. Bach.
    • You will be assessed for scholarships based on your audition. No separate application is required.

    Voice (Opera and Voice)

    For your live audition:

    • Prepare a balanced 60-minute program of repertoire, to perform from memory. Represent the major musical periods, contrasting styles, and the four major languages (English, French, German and Italian). Include at least one operatic aria as well as a recitative and aria from Opera, Oratorio or Cantata (1600-1800).

    Woodwinds

    (Piano accompaniment is encouraged not required)

    Flute

    All Graduate Programs:

    • Mozart Concerto in G or D Major, complete, with cadenzas
    • Bach Sonata in E Minor, 1st and 2nd Movements
    • Prokofiev Sonata 1st Movement
      AND
      Choose between A or B

      A. Any piece from Flute Music by French Composers or Dutilleux Sonatine
      and
      Piece of candidate’s choice 5 minutes

      B. Orchestral Excerpts (Orchestral Excerpts for Flute with Piano Accompaniment, Jeanne Baxtresser & Martha Rearick, Theodore Presser Company):
    • Ravel, Maurice: Daphnis et Chloé Suite no. 2
    • Debussy, Claude: Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, L. 86
    • Beethoven, Ludwig van: Leonore Overture no. 3, op. 72
    • Bach, Johann Sebastian: Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben, Soprano aria from St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244
    • Mendelssohn, Felix Bartholdy: Symphony no. 4, “Italian”, op. 90
    • Brahms, Johannes: Symphony no. 4, op. 98
    • Stravinsky, Igor: Firebird Suite (1919 version)
    • Stravinsky, Igor: Petrouchka (1947 revised edition)
    All other woodwind instruments:

    For your live audition, focus on chamber music, orchestral or solo repertoire.

    • Prepare 60 minutes of recital material in various styles.
      In addition to a variety of solo repertoire, the audition may include orchestral excerpts.
    • Prepare for a 30 minute interview regarding your research and other professional interests and aspirations.
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