Performance majors must pass an audition for acceptance into the concentration. The personal audition should be completed before acceptance and must be completed no later than the end of the first semester of study. A high-quality tape recording may be accepted for conditional admission. The full, personal audition is, however, required by the end of the first semester. Applicants for assistantships in a performance area must complete the personal audition before an assistantship can be granted.
Performance applicants should be prepared to perform works representative of three different style periods, of a level of difficulty expected of an undergraduate full recital. In the case of voice majors, the works should also be representative of three foreign languages. Keyboard majors should be prepared to play a half-hour audition of at least three compositions from memory. Instrumental and vocal students should prepare a 20-minute audition.
Composition majors must submit acceptable scores and/or tapes of original works showing technical facility in 20th-century techniques of composition no later than the end of the first semester of study. Students displaying the potential but not the achievement expected of a senior composition major may be conditionally accepted. Students accepted conditionally must also enroll at the undergraduate level in composition until deficiencies are overcome.
For composition students, a strong emphasis is placed on hearing and performing compositions. A Contemporary Music Ensemble has recently been formed; and each year, the university hosts a Contemporary Music Festival, which brings recognized composers and performers to campus. Student compositions are performed throughout the year in recitals, and each student's most outstanding work is featured in a concert each spring.
This program offers three tracks: choral, orchestral or wind conducting. Each track contains a minimum of 32 credits with the same general outline. All have courses in common and others unique to that track. All tracks require at least six credits in music literature, a course in analysis, a course in composition, a minimum of six credits in applied conducting, also ensembles and a conducting recital. Those wishing to take courses in more than one of these tracks must take them as electives.
In addition to departmental requirements in ear training, written theory and music history, admission to the choral conducting concentration requires the successful completion of entrance examinations in conducting, keyboard skills and sightsinging, and French, Latin, German and Italian diction. Undergraduate or graduate credit in a course in vocal pedagogy must be presented for graduation.
In addition to departmental requirements in ear training, written theory and music history, admission to the instrumental concentration requires the successful completion of entrance examinations in conducting, keyboard skills and orchestration.
Music education students majoring in music education should complete a personal interview. This concentration does not qualify the student for teacher licensing; although some of the work toward the degree may apply to Virginia licensure. Students planning to teach on the college level are not required to meet these certification requirements.