2020-2021 Audition Requirements for Video Auditions

Virtual Audition Dates:

Monday, November 2, 2020*
Saturday, November 14, 2020*
Saturday, January 23, 2021*
Monday, February 15, 2021 

Video Audition & Slideroom Submission Deadlines:

Monday, October 26, 2020*
Saturday, November 7, 2020*
Saturday, January 16, 2021*
Monday, February 8, 2021

 *Dates for priority scholarship consideration

 

Guidelines for recording video auditions by area:

*Please note that videos do not have to be professionally produced. We are evaluating YOUR talents not the talents of an editor.

 

Voice

 

2020-2021 AUDITION PROCEDURES: VOICE APPLICANTS

Auditions:

  • All auditions will be held via video recordings, which you will upload to your profile in Slideroom one week before your audition date.
  • Please record your video in the spirit of a live audition or recital performance, preferably in a space with good natural acoustics. Please dress professionally, as you would for a recital or live audition.
  • Please record a separate unedited video for each selection on your repertoire list.
  • Each of those recordings should use a fixed camera position per selection. Strive to record the audio with appropriate proximity to the microphone and at as high a quality possible.
  • Your video recordings must clearly show your face and most of your body from the knees upward. Please face straight forward, performing directly to the camera.
  • Introduce each selection at the beginning of the video. Introduce yourself by filling your information into the following format, and saying, clearly and slowly: “My Name is__________; “I will sing---Title of Composition---by---Composer---(and only if appropriate)---from---Title of Larger Work.”
  • The recordings may be created with a live piano accompaniment (providing that can be done with safe social distancing), with recorded piano accompaniment, or using apps such as Appcompanist. 
  • Do not use orchestral backing tracks.

Audition Selections:

  • All voice applicants are required to submit recordings of two selections in contrasting styles with a comfortable level of difficulty.
  • One selection must be in English and the second selection in French, German or Italian.
  • These selections must be from the traditional solo Classical* vocal repertoire with piano accompaniment. The one exception is for those intending to audition for the Music Theatre concentration. In that case, the English selection may be from the musical theatre repertoire. Please note that pop songs or voice parts from choral material are not acceptable for your audition.
  • All works must be performed from memory.

*Classical repertoire may take the form of art songs, arrangements of folksongs or spirituals, or oratorio or operatic arias. When choosing repertoire to satisfy these requirements, we encourage you to express your individuality through, for instance, exploring the works of Black or other underrepresented composers or other works you find personally meaningful. Choosing repertoire is an excellent opportunity to showcase works that best reflect your culture, gender, or other forms of self-identity.

Audition Day Virtual Callback Interview:

On your designated JMU Audition Day, you will be scheduled for a 10-minute virtual callback interview with members of the JMU Voice Faculty, via video conference. You will receive the link to the Interview appointment several days before your Audition Day. 

During your interview, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Share with us a little bit about yourself and your musical background.
  • Talk to us briefly about your experiences as a singer.
  • Help us understand why you want to study at JMU.
  • Share a little bit about your career path and goals.
  • Sight-read a short selection.
  • Ask questions you might have for the Voice Faculty.

For more information, contact Professor McMillan mcmillkj@jmu.edu 

 

Woodwinds

FLUTE

Flute auditionees should submit a single video recording of the following:

  • Verbal introduction: please state your name and repertoire to be performed.
  • Two pieces of contrasting styles and character which effectively demonstrate your technical and musical ability. Single-movement works, movements of a sonata or concerto, or a substantial etude are acceptable. If select movements are performed, they must be from two contrasting larger works.
  • Chromatic scale in three octaves, from low B or C to high B or C, ascending and descending, at any tempo and in any rhythmic pattern, played twice: slurred the first time and tongued/articulated the second time.
  • Two major scales AND arpeggios of your choice, two or three octaves, at any tempo, in any rhythmic pattern, and with any articulation.
  • The recording should be unedited; all material should be played continuously in one take and submitted in a single video.
  • Total length of video should not exceed 15 minutes.
  • Piano accompaniment is not required.
  • Memorization is not required.

Based on video audition submissions, students may be selected for callbacks. Callbacks will be held on scheduled audition dates. To be considered for a callback, please submit your complete audition materials no later than 7 days before your intended audition date. 

Students selected for callbacks should be prepared to perform portions from works submitted on the recording, major scales and arpeggios, and sight-reading, as well as complete a brief interview.

For more information, contact Professor Beth Chandler Cahill chand2be@jmu.edu 

 

OBOE 

Oboists should prepare a single video recording containing the following:

  • Introduction: please state your name and what you will be playing.
  • 2 two-octave scales of your choice
  • A minimum of two pieces of contrasting styles and character. Works such as contrasting movements of a sonata, concerto, or standard etude (Barret, Ferling) are acceptable. 
  • The recording should be unedited; the pieces should be played in one take and submitted in a single video. More than one video is acceptable if files are too large.
  • Piano accompaniment is not required.

Based on video audition submissions, students may be selected for a virtual synchronous callback. Callbacks will be scheduled with Dr. Zyko in the week following the audition. In the callback session students will be asked to perform major scales and sight-reading and complete a brief interview.

For more information, contact Professor Zyko zykojm@jmu.edu  

 

CLARINET 

Please submit a single video recording of the following on B-flat clarinet:

  • Chromatic scale, up and down in three octaves from low E to high E, played twice: slurred the first time and tongued/articulated the second time.
  • Verbal introduction: please state your name and repertoire to be performed.
  • Two contrasting pieces, movements or etudes: one slow/lyrical and one fast/technical.
  • Optional: if you strongly wish to demonstrate your playing ability on bass or e-flat clarinets, please record one piece or etude, not exceeding duration of 4 minutes.

Memorization or piano accompaniment is not required.

Students selected for callbacks will be requested to play all major scales and portions from works submitted on the recording as well as complete a brief interview.

Callbacks will take place during the official audition dates. To be considered for a callback, please submit your materials no later than 7 days before your intended audition date.

For more information, contact Professor Jankauskas jankausx@jmu.edu

 

BASSOON

Please submit a single unedited video of the following:

  • B-flat chromatic scale - 3 octaves slurred up and legato articulation down
  • 2 Major scales with at least one that is 3 sharps or flats or above - all slurred - 2 or 3 octaves (up to high C) - please announce scale.
  • 2 Contrasting pieces - one slow/lyrical and one fast/technical - You may use anything from the standard bassoon solo repertoire and/or advanced etudes by Weissenborn or Milde
  • Students interested in the performance concentration should also submit 2 standard orchestral excerpts of your choice.
  • Students selected for a synchronous virtual callback should be prepared to play all major scales and sight read in the callback session.  Optional: Minor scales (melodic or harmonic)

 For more information, contact Professor Barber barbersn@jmu.edu

SAXOPHONE

Please submit unedited individual videos of the following items (multi movement works can have separate files for each movement):

  • Chromatic scale, full range (low B-flat to high F#, or F), slurred up, legato down, at ANY tempo.
  • Two contrasting pieces, movements, or etudes, one slow/lyrical and one fast/technical.  Suggestions include movements of the Creston Sonata, Tableaux de Provence, selections from the Glazunov Concerto, Ibert’s Concertino, or contrasting etudes from Ferling’s Famous 48 Studies.
  • A jazz selection, such as a solo transcription, etude, or improvisation with backing track is OPTIONAL for all students and REQUIRED for jazz majors.

NOTE:  Jazz majors are REQUIRED to prepare two contrasting classical selections.

Saxophonists should audition on alto, tenor, or baritone saxophone (intermediate or professional model).  

Students selected for callbacks should also be prepared to play all major scales, sight read, and take a brief aural skills quiz. Callbacks will be scheduled on the audition day following the one attended.

Audition recordings submitted in Slideroom less than 7 days before an official audition day will be considered for the next official audition day.

For more information, contact Professor Pope popedj@jmu.edu 

 

Brass

TRUMPET

Recorded materials to be submitted for this year’s trumpet auditions will consist of 2 recorded videos: 1 repertoire video, and 1 scales video. Audition videos should be outlined as listed below.

Part I (video 1)

Trumpeters should prepare a minimum of two different pieces in contrasting styles that will best demonstrate their musical and technical abilities. These selections should be of a classical nature and can be selected from the standard solo repertoire listings on the state and national levels of grade IV or above. Memorization is not required, and instrumentalists may perform with or without accompaniment. Materials recorded for this part should be 1 continuous recording.

Part II (video 2)

Students should also submit 2 major scales plus arpeggios performed 2 octaves in the key of B major and C major (trumpet pitch). Materials recorded for this part should be 1 continuous recording.

For a list of suggested repertoire and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit https://www.chriscarrillotrumpet.com/jmu-trumpet-studio

 

TROMBONE

Recorded audition materials for the JMU Trombone Studio will consist of a minimum of 2 video submissions: 1 repertoire video, and 1 scales video. Students who wish to include additional supplemental material such as orchestral excerpts and/or jazz are encouraged to do so. Students may audition on either tenor trombone or bass trombone.  Those who are comfortable performing on both instruments are encouraged to demonstrate that in their submitted materials.

Audition videos should be outlined as listed below:

 

Required:

Part I (video 1)

Students should prepare a minimum of two different pieces in contrasting styles that will best demonstrate their musical and technical abilities. These selections should be of a classical nature and can be selected from the standard solo or etude repertoire. Memorization is not required, and instrumentalists may perform with or without accompaniment. Materials recorded for this part should be one continuous recording.

Part II (video 2)

Students should also submit a minimum of 5 major scales performed 2 octaves. Materials recorded for this part should be one continuous recording.

 

Optional:

Part III (video 3) - - - not required

Students who choose to submit a supplemental video including standard orchestral excerpts and/or jazz may do so here.  

  • For orchestral excerpts, please include 2 or 3 excerpts from the standard orchestral repertoire.
  • For jazz, please include at least one standard from the jazz canon that demonstrates style and improvisational ability.  Students who choose to include examples of their jazz playing may utilize a backing track.

For suggested repertoire and information about the trombone studio, please contact Dr. Andrew Lankford, Professor of Trombone at JMU (lankfoab@jmu.edu).  Students are also encouraged to visit the JMU Trombone Studio website (http://www.jmutrombone.org).

 

HORN

For horn students auditioning during the 2020-2021 year, please submit one unedited continuous video that will include:

  • Two contrasting selections from the standard Concerto, Sonata, or Unaccompanied repertoire. Choices should demonstrate both lyrical playing and technical command. Memorization and accompaniment are optional. For questions related to repertoire, please contact Professor Zook directly (zookir@jmu.edu)
  • Four major scales, played across two octaves followed by two-octave arpeggios. Please record in the following order (in horn pitch, not concert pitch): F major, Bb major, Ab major, E major.
  • Optional: a short standard etude from Kopprasch, Kling, Maxime-Alphonse, Miersch, or Gallay.
  • Optional: up to three standard orchestral excerpts

After you have submitted your audition video and application through Slideroom, you may be contacted by the horn faculty for a virtual callback interview and conversation. Please be prepared to discuss your educational and musical goals, your previous musical experience, and your interest in the School of Music and JMU. 

 

EUPHONIUM

Students should submit the following selections as separate video files. Memorization is not required and candidates may perform with or without accompaniment.

  1. Bordogni/Rochut - Melodious Etudes for Trombone, bk. 1, No. 10.
  2. Voxman - Selected Studies for Baritone, pg. 36: B minor, Moderato.
  3. Solo selection of the candidate’s choice from the standard repertoire listings on the state and national levels of grade IV or above.
  4. All 12 major scales - 2 octaves (eighth notes at 100 bpm).

TUBA

Students should submit the following selections as separate video files. Memorization is not required and candidates may perform with or without accompaniment.

  1. Blazhevich - 70 Studies, vol. I, No. 20.
  2. Tyrell - Advanced Studies for Bb Bass, No. 10.
  3. Solo selection of the candidate’s choice from the standard repertoire listings on the state and national levels of grade IV or above.
  4. All 12 major scales - 2 octaves (eighth notes at 100 bpm).

For more information, contact Professor Stees steeskj@jmu.edu 

 

Percussion

For percussionists auditioning online during the 2020-21 year, please submit your video performance selections via Slideroom. You may upload a single video of your complete audition or several videos. Slideroom accepts all standard video formats and video links (see details here). Please click here for the percussion audition guidelines and suggested repertoire level.

After you have submitted your portfolio and performance videos through Slideroom, the percussion faculty may invite you for an additional virtual callback interview and discussion. Please be ready discuss your interest in JMU, your background as a percussionist, and your educational goals. 

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to email Casey Cangelosi at cangelcr@jmu.edu

 

Strings

The string area may contact prospective applicants after the virtual audition day to coordinate a virtual callback if deemed necessary.

 

VIOLIN

Violin Audition: (two pieces)

Required piece: Bach Violin Concerto in A Minor, First movement

(Suggested edition: Use Galamian International Edition or from Suzuki Bk. 7)

Any piece of your choice, preferably from a different composer

Format: One take, both pieces (preferred). Accompaniment is not required or encouraged

For more information, contact Professor Huang huangwx@jmu.edu 

 

VIOLA 

Viola Audition: (two pieces)

  • Required piece: Any Prelude or Gigue movement from the Six Suites by J. S. Bach for viola solo 
  • Second piece:  A selection for the viola of your choice, preferably from a different composer and in contrasting style to the required piece or an original composition or arrangement

Specific Examples of Successful Auditions include:

  • a movement of a sonata by Marcello or Eccles
  • a movement from a Concerto by Hoffmeister, Stamitz or Telemann
  • a one movement concert piece or solo such as Romance by Bruch
  • a Contemporary concerto movement, sonata movement or solo piece

Format: One take for both pieces (preferred). Accompaniment is not required or encouraged.

Students are encouraged to consult the viola professor regarding their second audition choice and alternatives for accessing sheet music if needed.

For more information, contact Professor Pheonix-Neal phoenidk@jmu.edu 

 

CELLO

Record a video audition, 10-15 minutes in length, of 2 or 3 contrasting works. 

  • Accompaniment is not required or encouraged
  • One take that includes all selections is preferred

All auditionees are encouraged to contact Professor of Cello Carl Donakowski (donakocp@jmu.edu) to discuss their audition repertoire selections.

Some examples of repertoire from past successful auditions:

  • Prelude or Gigue from a Suite for Unaccompanied Cello by J.S. Bach
  • The first or last movement of a concerto such as those by Haydn, Elgar, Saint-Saens, Dvorak, Schumann, Shostakovich.
  • A movement from a Baroque or Classical Sonata such as those by Vivaldi, Marcello, or Boccherini
  • A short piece such as BruchKol Nidrei, Summer Julie-O, Haydn Divertimento
  • An Etude such as PopperHigh School of Cello Playing Op. 73 or Studies Preparatory to the High School of Cello Playing, Op. 76, Duport, 21 Etudes, Lee 40 Melodic and Progressive Etudes

For more information, contact Professor Donakowski donakocp@jmu.edu 

 

DOUBLE BASS

Share a snapshot of your musical progress, creative identity, and professional preparation through two or three contrasting selections (totaling 10 minutes or less) performed on double bass and chosen in consultation with Dr. Suggs.

Although not a determinant factor for acceptance into the double bass studio, the electronic submission of supplemental musical work beyond double bass performance is welcomed if it aligns with creative or career motivations (i.e. secondary instruments such as bass guitar, piano, and voice; or compositions, arrangements, or electronic productions; or academic writing).

Auditions for the double bass studio are not weighed against other applicants or arbitrary standards, but considered on their own merits with the goal of identifying students with the passion and perseverance necessary for a life in music. In other words, worry about preparation and authenticity, not perfection.

Please set up a free consultation in advance of the audition. Free consultations as well as audition clinics for prospective double bass students will be available remotely - send an inquiry to Dr. Suggs (suggsss@jmu.edu). Suggestions for families and prospective double bassists visiting campus can be found here.

Successful applicants in the past have performed:

  • a movement of an unaccompanied work contrasted by a movement of a concerto

or

  • a scale exercise or etude demonstrating left hand facility contrasted by a lyrical selection demonstrating tone

or

  • an original composition contrasted by a few short professional orchestral audition excerpts

or

  • a transcription of an improvised solo by an acclaimed jazz artist with a selection of chamber music (2 or more musicians including duo with piano)

Specific examples from previous successful applicants included:

  • Movement(s) of Baroque sonatas or suites written or adapted for the double bass by Eccles (G minor), Vivaldi (A minor), Marcello (E minor), J.S. Bach (recommendations: Suite no. 1 in G major: Allemande, Courante, Menuets, Gigue; Suite no. 3 (transposed into G major, Sterling Edition): Allemande, Courante, Bourrées, Gigue). Free public domain sheet music available atorg 
  • Selections from the Charlie Parker Omnibook; or transcriptions of solos by Ray Brown, Paul Chambers, or other jazz bassists or instrumentalists; multiple choruses of a 12-bar blue demonstrating solid intonation, walking feel, solo improvisation, and playing the head
  • First movement (exposition and cadenza) of a concerto by Dragonetti (Nanny), Dittersdorf, Vanhal, Bottesini, or Koussevitsky and orchestral excerpts from recent professional orchestra auditions such as: Movement III from Beethoven’s Symphony no. 5; Act IV double bass solo from Verdi’s Otello; Movement III from Mahler’s Symphony no. 1; Movement 1 from Mozart’s Symphony no. 35; Richard Strauss’ Don Juan. Free excerpts available at com

For more information, contact Professor Suggs suggsss@jmu.edu 

 

HARP

Please submit a single audio video file, with all repertoire and excerpts having been recorded, in order, in one continuous take. The editing of audio is not permitted, except to trim length at the beginning and end of your recording.
 
1. Two contrasting pieces from the standard classical harp repertoire, such as those by Carlos Salzedo, Marcel Grandjany, Henriette Renié, or J.S. Bach (transcriptions). Both pieces must be played from memory.
 
2. Two standard orchestra excerpts of your choosing. Excerpts may be played with music and memorization is not required.
 
3. Sight reading is not required. 
 
Callbacks: At least 2 weeks following the submission of each audition video, the instructor will reach out to the prospective harp student (via video call or phone) to conduct an interview to discuss student interests in music and their reasoning for choosing James Madison University as a potential college option. 

For more information, contact Ms. Wappel jaclyn.wappel@gmail.com 

GUITAR

  • The purpose of the audition is to evaluate musicianship, disposition and the ability to play classical guitar, weighed against the standards and needs of the School of Music. To make the audition a useful means of evaluation, it is of utmost importance that students choose pieces they can play well and that are well within their musical and technical abilities. Students are required to perform THREE pieces of classical guitar literature on a nylon-string instrument. Each selection should be chosen from a different style period (Renaissance, Baroque, Romantic or 20th century). Pieces selected must demonstrate the following techniques: slurs, arpeggios and scales. Suggested sources would be anything from or comparable to Frederick Noad’s “Solo Guitar Playing, Vol. 1”. In addition, students will be asked to sight-read an easy selection -comparable to the early exercises 40-60 in Julio Sagreras  Book 1- and also, to play 2-3 major scales and any major and minor triads(chords) that they have learned. (NOTE: Sight Reading not required for a pre-recorded video audition, but may be required during call back interview) We are looking mostly for musicality and expressive playing so focus on those aspects of your performance not speed!

  • Students who are perspective Jazz Guitar majors, should play at least one selection on classical following the above criteria, as well as be prepared to play TWO “standards” from the jazz repertoire - any pieces from “The Real Book vol. 1 - Hal Leonard”, (i.e. Autumn Leaves, So what, All the Things you are, Blue Bossa, F or Bb Blues). On each selected tune, students should be prepared to play the melody, two  choruses of improvised soling as well as accompaniment chords (“comping”), using a “play-along track” if the audition is online. The improvised solo should show knowledge of the arpeggios and chord scales from the harmonic progression of the selected piece. There will also be a brief sight-reading excerpt from, or comparable to, the first few exercises from William Leavitt’s “Melodic Rhythms for Guitar”. (NOTE: Sight Reading not required for a pre-recorded video audition, but may be required during call back interview)  

  • Students do not officially audition for JMU’s Jazz Major till their 3rd semester, but if the focus of the prospective student is jazz, they will only need  to play ONE classical selection and TWO jazz pieces. NOTE: all prospective Jazz Guitar majors are required to take four semesters of classical instruction so please make sure you put some time into learning the fundamentals with an instructor for your classical piece.

  • *Please submit a single audio video file, with all repertoire having been recorded, in order, in one continuous take. The editing of audio is not permitted, except to trim length at the beginning and end of your recording.

    *At least 2 weeks following the submission of each audition video, the instructor will reach out to the prospective guitar student (via video call or phone) to conduct an interview to discuss student interests in music and their reasoning for choosing James Madison University as a potential college option. (Note: students may be asked to sight read or play additional material during the call-back interview.)

For more information, contact Mr. Larrabee ajlarrabee74@gmail.com 

 

Piano

Audition

Pianists should submit one unedited video (in a single take), that includes both the scales and the audition pieces.

All piano students must submit a minimum of two contrasting selections that will demonstrate their technical and musical ability. The pieces could be chosen from the Baroque period through the 21st century, and examples of effective pairings might be pieces by Bach & Debussy, Haydn & Chopin and Beethoven & Gershwin. Memorization is encouraged. Students should also include 2 different scales, played 4 octaves ascending and descending, evenly and with good fingering. 

Pianists interested in the Jazz Studies concentration or minor must also submit two selections, but one should be jazz, and may also include some improvisation.

As part of their submission, all auditioning piano students must provide a repertoire list and a resume in addition to the transcript and letters of recommendation. 

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Interview

All auditioning pianists will be scheduled for a virtual callback interview on their chosen Audition Day. During the interview, prospective pianists will be asked about their musical background, their interest in JMU, and their musical aspirations. This is also a good opportunity for the student to ask any questions they might have about the program, the School of Music and the university. 

Interviews will be 10-15 minutes in length and will be scheduled by the piano faculty.

 

Composition

In addition to a required applied area audition, students who wish to gain entrance into the composition program must also submit a portfolio of scores and recordings that represent your best work in composition to date.  Your composition portfolio will be submitted through Slideroom as part of your School of Music application and should consist two or three pieces that show the range of your work (ensembles, style, length, technique, etc).  Submissions should be in PDF format for scores and MP3 format for recordings.

After submitting your portfolio through Slideroom, you may be invited to do a 15-minute callback interview with the composition faculty on the afternoon of one of the virtual audition days.  For the interview, please be prepared to discuss your composition background and experience as well as your interests and goals for studying composition in college.  You will also have the opportunity to ask the faculty any questions you have about the program.

Please note that the JMU composition concentration is centered on contemporary concert music. Students interested in majoring in popular music, jazz, or musical theatre are encouraged to pursue concentrations in the music industry, jazz studies, or musical theatre areas.

If you have any questions about the program or any difficulty uploading your portfolio files, please direct your questions to Dr. Haney (haneyjx@jmu.edu) and Dr. Guinivan (guiniver@jmu.edu).

 

 

Jazz Studies

While all students auditioning for any degree program in the School of Music must prepare a classical audition based on the guidelines set forth for their primary applied instrument, any instrumentalists or vocalists interested in pursuing the concentration in Jazz Studies are encouraged to prepare a separate supplemental audition consisting of two jazz selections in contrasting tempos and styles (such as blues, jazz standards or bossa nova). Please refer to the individual audition guidelines on your primary instrument for further details on the classical audition. Jazz audition submissions will be reviewed by faculty members in the Jazz area. 

To develop solid instrumental or vocal fundamentals and a broad range of musical awareness and experience, all prospective Jazz Studies students must take classical applied lessons in addition to any Applied Jazz Study during the freshman and sophomore years, with optional classical applied study the junior and senior year.

The supplemental jazz audition should be in the form of a video recording submitted through Slideroom, preferably with live accompaniment or a backing track. If you record the backing track from an external source, it is strongly recommended that you use a high fidelity bluetooth speaker, rather than a mobile phone, tablet or laptop speaker. When creating the video, try several test recordings to make sure you are getting a good balance between your sound and the backing track, striving for approximately 60% you and 40% the track. The video should demonstrate technical and musical ability, familiarity with jazz repertoire and styles, and if possible, skill at improvisation. Memorization of the selections is encouraged.

For more information, contact Professor Dotas dotascj@jmu.edu 

 


 

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