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Audition Requirements  

The Admission Audition

Applicants to all UW-Eau Claire music degrees and the music minor must complete an admission, placement, and scholarship audition before enrolling in music courses. The audition is held four times each year for applicants seeking fall semester admission--in November, January, February and early spring-- and is designed to assess the applicant's ability to successfully pursue college-level studies in music, to offer the applicant an opportunity to audition for departmental scholarship assistance, and to better acquaint the applicant with UW-Eau Claire music programs and facilities.

Each audition consists of three components:
1) admission, placement and scholarship audition in the applicant's performance area--piano, organ, harpsichord, voice, violin, viola, cello, string bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, or percussion
2) keyboard placement

Each audition day also includes an information session for applicants and parents.

To register for an audition, select one of the four scheduled dates and complete and send in the audition application form. The department will send confirmation of the date you select and an audition day schedule. A letter of recommendation also must be secured from a high school director or other appropriate music instructor and mailed to the Admissions Coordinator of the Music Department or presented on audition day.

Applicants will be notified by mail within one month of the audition of their music admission status and of any scholarship offer made by the department. Admission to UW-Eau Claire does not guarantee eligibility either to pursue a major or minor in music or for private study in any applied music area. Students planning to major or minor in music must successfully complete all components of the audition to be admitted for study in these degree programs. Acceptance will depend on musical ability demonstrated at the audition and on available studio space. Applicants are encouraged to audition early since both studio space and scholarship availability may be limited by early spring.

Preparation for Audition Day

Prepare the following for the Performance Placement and Scholarship Audition: 


  • Three prepared solos (piano--at least two from memory)
  • Sightreading


  • One song in a foreign language, from memory
  • One classical song in English, from memory (folk, spirituals, popular, Broadway songs are not acceptable)
  • Sightreading
  • No a capella or pre-recorded accompaniments are permitted


  • Three prepared solos
  • Major scales
  • Sightreading


  • Perform an audition, up to 10 minutes, of two solo works from standard harp literature (or movements of larger works) of contrasting style that best represent the student's current level of performance. Selections should demonstrate technical proficiency and musicianship.(Recommended:
    Salzedo, Grandjany, Renie, Tournier, Hasselmans, Pierne, Handel, Debussy, Haydn, Hovhaness, Scarlatti, Bach).

    Applicants auditioning for scholarship funding should play a major cadenza from orchestral repertoire (such as Tchaikovsky: Waltz of the Flowers or Swan Lake, Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnol, Britten: Young Person's Guide To The Orchestra) in addition to the above.

    If you have any further questions regarding harp audition requirements, please contact Paula Smith at

Woodwinds and Brass

  • One prepared solo (memorization optional)
  • Major scales
  • Sightreading
  • Clarinet applicants please see the additional requirements as listed under suggested repertoire


  • TWO (2) prepared solos (memorization optional) demonstrating the student’s musical and technical abilities - ONE (1) on concert/orchestral snare drum (NOT marching/rudimental), and ONE (1) keyboard/mallet percussion (4-mallet technique encouraged but not required).  An additional solo/etude on timpani and/or multiple percussion is fine, but not a requirement.  Entrance auditions on percussion should, at minimum, be equal to or exceed the performance proficiency required for Class A solos on the Wisconsin School Music Association's State Contest list.  See under Festival Music List for possible repertoire suggestions.
  • Major scales and arpeggios on xylophone/marimba
  • Sightreading in all areas of percussion performance
  • Students are required to bring CONCERT size snare drum sticks, one pair medium mallets, and one pair timpani sticks.  Concert snare drum, mallet instruments, small percussion, and timpani will be furnished at the audition site if needed.  Please contact Dr. Crowell at least 5 days before the audition with any equipment requests so as to have the correct instruments in place for your audition time.

Solos comparable to those in Class A on the State Contest list generally represent an expected level of proficiency. (See under Festival Music List for possible repertoire suggestions.) Popular and folk literature are not acceptable. Accompanists for instrumentalists are not required; applicants may bring accompanists if desired. Voice applicants using UW-Eau Claire accompanists must send to the Coordinator of the Voice Division a copy of each song two weeks prior to the audition date.

Keyboard Placement

Applicants without a keyboard background will be placed into beginning class piano. Applicants with previous keyboard experience who feel a more advanced class may be appropriate will take a keyboard placement exam on the audition day.  The placement will include sight-reading and an assessment of fundamental keyboard skills.

If you wish to test out of Beginning Class Piano (MUSI 106)and be placed into Advanced Class Piano (MUSI 108), you should demonstrate:
   -the ability to sightread both clefs with hands together
   -basic knowledge of scales and key signatures
   -understanding of fundamental chord progressions (I, IV, V)

If you wish to test out of Advanced Class Piano (MUSI 108) and be placed into Applied Piano (one-on-one piano lessons, MUSI 151), you should demonstrate:
   -advanced knowledge of scales and/or arpeggios
   -performance of aprepared solo(s)
   -intermediatesightreading skills

Transfer Students and Applicants with AP Music Theory Credits

Transfer students and applicants with AP music theory credits will take the standard Aural Perception Test for admission to the department as a music major or minor.  In addition, if you have completed the AP Exam in music theory with a score of 3 or better, or if you have had college level theory at another college or university, you will take a more rigorous written Theory and Musicianship Placement Exam at the beginning of your first UW-Eau Claire semester (either late August or late January).  This exam takes approximately one hour to complete.  Please call 715-836-4954 to sign up for the exam on the appropriate date.  You will be notified of the time and location of the exam when you call.  An outline of this exam is available as a PDF below.  For information on how to receive college credit for previous work in music theory and aural skills, please contact Dr. Gary Don (

Music Theory and Musicianship Placement Exam Outline (PDF)