Auditions and Screening: Early Music M.Mus.

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

All auditions will be conducted by video recordings. Deadline to submit recorded auditions:  February 1, 2021

For programs normally requiring screening material, screening for Fall 2021 is not required. Please continue to monitor the admission website for any adjustments to the admission process and audition repertoire.

Questions: please contact graduateadmissions.music [at] mcgill.ca (the admission office)

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 February 1st.

Recorded auditions

  • Virtual interviews and online interactions may be scheduled for select applicants. Applicants may be contacted after admission material has been submitted. You are not required to sign up in advance.
  • For Early Music Voice, you can present material with or without the use of a piano. You can use a pre-recorded track, or sing a cappella, whatever is available to you. As a reminder all material should be sung from memory.

  • You must upload a video recording by February 1, which will be considered your audition.
  • Make sure the sound quality on your video recording is excellent. Re-record a piece if it does not sound clear. Your recordings should be less than 8 months old.
  • You can submit recordings from live performances.
  • We accept avi, mov, mp4 or wmv formats. 
  • Follow the instructions to upload your video by February 1. Upload times depend on file size and speed of service provider.

Audition repertoire

Instrumental applicants:

Baroque Violin, Viola, Cello, Viola da Gamba, Lute, Flute, Recorder, Oboe, Early brass:

  • Prepare 60 minutes of recital material, 20 minutes of which may contain chamber music.
  • Include a work by Bach, a French suite or sonata, and an Italian sonata.

Fortepiano:

  • 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. 

Harpsichord:

  • Prepare 60 minutes of recital repertoire.
  • Include a major work by J.S. Bach and two Scarlatti sonatas. The remaining pieces should include works by the English Virginalists, 17th-century Italian composers, and the French Clavecinistes.

Voice applicants:

Prepare 30 minutes of repertoire, performed from memory. Include:

  • 2 Arias from Opera or Oratorio, including Passion and Cantata (1600 - 1800); at least one must be with recitative.
  • 1 Recitative and Aria from a French or Italian Cantata.
  • 5 contrasting songs chosen from the Baroque, Renaissance and/or Medieval periods.
  • 4 languages (English, French, German and Italian are required).
  • You can submit recordings from live performances – as long as the recording is not too distant overall, and that the sound of the voice is very clear.
  • For all recordings, less reverberant sound capture is more indicative of the singer’s abilities and therefore a more suitable and effective submission.
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