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Program Auditions

Secure your spot

If you're interested in a major or minor in music or musical theatre, we want to help you in the audition process. Once you're accepted at UW-Eau Claire, you may declare a major or minor in theatre with no additional requirements.

To be a music major or minor (including musical theatre), you need to audition on your primary instrument and be accepted into a studio, which is a group of musicians who study under one professor. Auditions take place in the year or semester before your first semester here. We have good and safe plans for you during the time of COVID-19. Please check out the audition information below and let us know if you have questions.  

Musicians - you've got this

It may feel like a big hurdle, but the good news is that the program audition hits three birds with one stone. It includes your admission acceptance as a major or minor, your keyboard placement and scholarship eligibility. Auditions for the many ensembles are at a later date, and details can be found at the Ensembles home page.

But first things first. To begin your application process to declare a major or minor in music or musical theatre, please complete these steps:

If you have not done so already, you will need to activate your account. To do so, you will need the following information:

  • Your username and campus ID (which were sent in an email when you applied or are on your admit letter)
  • Birth date
  • Last four digits of your social security number (if you provided UW-Eau Claire with that information) or your UWEC PIN that you were sent in a separate email

After activating your account, apply online for your audition beginning September 16. Sign in using your UW-Eau Claire username and password. And don't worry - the page you'll get to says "scholarships," but you're in the right place. The audition process also determines your eligibility for music scholarships, so the electronic form is all-in-one.

Audition Information

We encourage all students interested in auditioning for a music major or minor and a musical theatre major to audition in-person.  In-person auditions are preferred because faculty can engage with you more naturally and you are able to check out the campus and get to know our program better.  Specific expectations for each instrument are listed below under “Program audition requirements.”  Information regarding the audition, including the day’s schedule and additional details, will be e-mailed at least one week prior to your audition date.

Audition dates for acceptance in 2022-23
  • Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, wind and percussion only
  • Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022
  • Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022
  • Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022

If you decide to audition in a virtual format, please read the following instructions carefully.  You will still sign up for an audition date on which you will have virtual meetings with the instructors and Department Chair.  The attached document below gives detailed information on how to create and submit your audition video.  The video recording needs to be submitted prior to the date of your audition.  Specific due dates are on the attached document below.

Music and Theatre audition recording information

Audition Results

Scholarship and acceptance decisions will be announced following the February 26 auditions.

Program audition requirements

Specific audition requirements for each instrument and area varies, so check the appropriate section below. You will find suggested repertoires included with the requirements for each area as well.

Requirements for incoming freshmen and transfer students: 

The audition will consist of excerpts from two songs sung from memory and a sight-singing example which will be provided during the audition. Each excerpt must be 32 bars in length and from the musical theatre repertoire. One should be an up-tempo and the other a ballad. Folk songs, spirituals, or popular songs are not allowed. No a cappella or recorded accompaniments are permitted.

The voice faculty suggests that appropriate literature for high school auditionees may be found in the Singer's Musical Theatre Anthology published by Hal Leonard or from vocal scores of the complete musicals. 

Accompanist:

You must perform your pieces with accompaniment - this can either be pre-recorded or live.  The accompaniment should be audible on the video. 

You should memorize the music for your audition. 

 

Requirements for incoming freshmen:

  • Scales
    • Auditioning student may be asked to play all major scales and arpeggios on the xylophone or marimba. 
  • TWO prepared solos (memorization optional) demonstrating the student's musical and technical abilities on concert/orchestral snare drum (NOT marching/rudimental), and 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 www.wsmamusic.com under Festival Music List for possible repertoire suggestions. If you have any questions regarding repertoire, reach out to Dr. Crowell directly at croweljw@uwec.edu.
  • Play an orchestral snare drum roll - begin as quiet as comfortable for around 3 seconds, then crescendo up about 3 seconds to the loudest roll comfortable, hold for a couple of seconds, then back down to the softer level again.

Requirements for transfer students:

  • Scales
    • All major scales and arpeggios on the xylophone or marimba.
  • THREE prepared solos (memorization optional) demonstrating the student's musical and technical abilities on concert/orchestral snare drum (NOT marching/rudimental), keyboard/mallet percussion (4-mallet technique encouraged but not required), and timpani. An additional solo/etude on multiple percussion is fine, but not a requirement. Transfer auditions on percussion should exceed the performance proficiency required for Class A solos on the Wisconsin School Music Association's State Contest list. If repertoire suggestions are needed please contact Dr. Crowell.

Shared requirements for all applicants:

  • Sight-reading required 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.

Incoming freshmen and transfer requirements are the same:

1. Three prepared solos (at least two from memory) representing three of the four musical eras (Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Twentieth Century). Entrance auditions on piano should be equal to the performance proficiency required for Class A solos on the Wisconsin School Music Association's State Contest list. See sample repertoire below.

2. Sight-reading, demonstration of technical facility via scales and arpeggi, pitch recognition and aural memory.

Suggested repertoire:
  • Bach, J.S.
    • Inventions and Sinfonias
    • The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I &II
  • Mozart
    • Rondo in D major, K. 485 
    • Fantasy in d minor, K. 397
    • Sonatas
  • Haydn
    • Sonatas
  • Beethoven
    • Bagatelles
    • Sonatas
  • Chopin
    • Preludes, Op. 28
    • Nocturnes
  • Mendelssohn
    • Songs Without Words
  • Debussy
    • Children's Corner
    • Pour le Piano
  • Ginastera
    • Twelve American Preludes
    • Rondo on Argentine Children's Folk Tunes, Op. 19
  • Kennan
    • Three Preludes

You may take some time between excerpts, but do not stop or pause the recording.  Allow the recorder to capture the time you take between excerpts. When positioning the camera, be sure that we can see you and your instrument clearly in the video - the camera should be at eye level.  The length of the recording should be approximately 10 minutes.

Cello  

Requirements for incoming freshmen and transfer students are the same:  

One major or minor scale, one Etude (Popper, Lee, Duport etc.), and one movement of a sonata or concerto from the standard violoncello repertoire

String Bass

Requirements for incoming freshmen and transfers are the same:

One two-octave major or minor scale of the applicant's choice;                  
Two contrasting pieces (these may be a movement of a solo work, or an orchestral excerpt)

Applicants interested in participating in the jazz program should prepare a head and walking bass line for a jazz standard (this may count as one of the two contrasting pieces in the requirement above).

Viola

Requirements for incoming freshmen and transfers are the same:

One three-octave scale, major or minor. Two contrasting pieces, WSMA Class A or equivalent

Violin

Requirements for incoming freshmen and transfers are the same:

One three-octave major or minor scale and two contrasting pieces

Guitar

Guitar candidates for incoming first-year and transfer students must display proficiency in the following areas:

One major or one minor scale and two contrasting etudes, pieces or movements of a larger solo work from the standard classical guitar repertoire.   

Applicants interested in participating in the jazz program should prepare a jazz standard and play the head, comp and improvise over a backing track (this may count as one of the two contrasting pieces in the requirement above).

The audition will consist of two songs sung from memory and a sight-singing example which will be provided during the audition. One memorized song must be in English and one song must be in a foreign language. Folk songs, spirituals, popular songs, or music theatre selections are not allowed.  No a cappella or recorded accompaniments are permitted.

The voice faculty suggests that appropriate literature for high school auditionees may be found in the Twenty-six Italian Songs & Arias published by Alfred Publishing, the Joan Boytim/Hal Leonard series, the Boosey & Hawkes Imperial Edition series, or the Oxford series.  Songs from the Class A State Music Festival lists are recommended.

Accompanist:

You must perform your pieces with accompaniment - this can either be pre-recorded or live.  The accompaniment should be audible on the video. 

You should memorize the music for your audition. 

 

 

General requirements:

  • One prepared solo (memorization optional)
  • Major scales
  • Sight-reading
Bassoon

Requirements for incoming freshmen and transfer students are the same: 

1. Scales
  a) Chromatic: low B-flat to top of student's range
  b) Major scales: two or more octaves, through four sharps/flats including C major 

2. Prepared solo, preferably with accompaniment. Entrance auditions on bassoon should be equal to the performance proficiency required for Class A solos on the Wisconsin School Music Association's State Contest list. See suggested repertoire below.  

3. Sight-reading  

Suggested repertoire:     

  • Galliard, J.E. Sonatas
  • Hindemith, Paul Sonata     
  • Merci, Luidgi Sonata in G minor     
  • Mozart, W.A. Concerto, K. 191: any movement     
  • Philips, Burrill Concertpiece
  • Stevens, Halsey 3 Pieces: any movement
  • Telemann, G.P. Sonata in F minor
  • Weber, C.M. von Concerto: any movement
  • Weissenborn, J. Capriccio
Clarinet
Requirements for incoming freshmen:

1. Scales
     a) Chromatic: low E to high G above staff
     b) All scales 2 octaves, except E, F, F#, and G, which should be prepared 3 octaves if possible

     c) Transfer students only: Melodic minor scales through four sharps and flats

2. Two contrasting solos or solo with contrasting etude, accompaniment optional. Entrance auditions on clarinet should be equal to the performance proficiency required for Class A solos on the Wisconsin School Music Association's State Contest list or on the MSHSL approved music list. See suggested repertoire below.  

3. Sight-reading

4. Bass clarinet applicants should ideally audition on Bb clarinet, but if this is not an option, please prepare a solo equal to the performance proficiency required for Class A solos on the Wisconsin School Music Association's State Contest bass clarinet list.  

5. If you're interested in auditioning for the UWEC clarinet studio, please contact Dr. Fraley via email fraleyj@uwec.edu to set up a complimentary trial lesson.  

Suggested repertoire:

Etudes:

  • Rose: 32 Etudes
  • Voxman: Selected Studies

Solos:

  • Paquito D’Rivera: Vals Venezolano and Contradanza
  • Adolphus Hailstork: Three Smiles for Tracey, mvt II
  • Felix Mendelssohn: Sonata
  • W. A. Mozart: Concerto
  • Willson Osborne: Rhapsody
  • Johann Stamitz: Concerto in Bb Major
  • Eva Wasserman-Margolis: The Generation of Hope
  • C.M. v.Weber: Concertino
  • C.M. v.Weber: Concerto No. 1 or 2
Flute
Requirements the same for incoming freshmen and transfer students:
  1. Major scales in at least two octaves
  2. Two contrasting works or movements, contrasting both in tempo and in style, i.e., a slow legato work in the "singing style," and a faster technical work. Entrance auditions on flute should be equal to the performance proficiency required for Class A solos on the Wisconsin School Music Association's State Contest list. See suggested repertoire below.
  3. Sight-reading

Suggested repertoire:

  • Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonatas
  • Henri Büsser: Prélude et Scherzo 
  • Valerie Coleman: Fanmi Imèn, Danza de la Mariposa 
  • George Enesco: Cantabile et Presto 
  • Gabriel Fauré: Fantasie 
  • George Frideric Handel: Sonatas 
  • Paul Hindemith: Sonata 
  • Arthur Honneger: Danse de la chèvre 
  • Louis Ganne: Andante et Scherzo 
  • Philippe Gaubert : Fantaisie, Nocturne et Allegro Scherzando 
  • Katherine Hoover: Kokopeli, Winter Spirits 
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concertos, Andante in C 
  • Francis Poulenc: Sonata
  • Georg Philipp Telemann: Fantasias, Suite in A Minor, Sonatas 

 

 

Oboe

Requirements the same for incoming freshmen and transfer students:

1. Scales: All major scales, 2 octaves or full range of student’s ability

2. One melody from the 40 Progressive Melodies of Barrett’s Oboe Method (imslp.org) (can also be found in Gekler’s Oboe Method, Book 2)

3. Prepared solo of two contrasting movements, accompaniment is optional. Entrance auditions on oboe should be equal to the performance proficiency required for Class A solos on the Wisconsin School Music Association's State Contest list. See suggested repertoire below.  Please feel free to contact Dr. Garvey with any questions about audition repertoire. 

4. Sight-reading

Suggested repertoire:

  • Tomaso Albinoni: Concerto for Oboe in d minor (imslp.org)
  • Benjamin Britten: Six Metamorphoses after Ovid
  • Madeline Dring: Danza Gaya (trevcomusic.com)
  • Vivian Fine: Sonatina for Oboe and Piano (imslp.org)
  • Ulysses Kay: Suite in B (trevcomusic.com)
  • Alyssa Morris: Four Personalities (trevcomusic.com)
  • Carl Nielsen: Fantasy Pieces (imslp.org)
  • Clara Schumann: Three Romances, Op. 22 (imslp.org)
  • Robert Schumann: Three Romances, Op. 94 (imslp.org)
  • Camille Saint-Saëns: Oboe Sonata (imslp.org)
  • William Grant Still: Incantation and Dance (trevcomusic.com)
  • Georg PhilippTelemann: Sonata in A Minor (imslp.org)
Saxophone

Transfer students have one additional requirement over incoming freshmen: 

1.Scales

      a) Chromatic: low B-flat to high F

      b) All major scales: two octaves when possible

      c) TRANSFERS: also prepare minor scales: through four sharps/flats including a minor

2. Prepared solo, preferably with accompaniment. Entrance auditions on saxophone should be equal to the performance proficiency required for Class A solos on the Wisconsin School Music Association's State Contest list. See suggested repertoire below.

3. Sight-reading

Suggested repertoire: Alto Saxophone:

  • Creston: Sonata    
  • Eccles: Sonata 
  • Frackenpohl: Dorian Elegy    
  • Handel-Rascher: Sonata No. 3 
  • Jacobi: Sonata
  • Rueff: Chanson et Passepied
French Horn

Requirements the same for incoming freshmen and transfer students:    

1. Major and minor scales up through four sharps and flats
2. Prepared solo representing both lyrical and technical ability, or two works/movements that represent those areas. Entrance auditions on French horn should be equal to the performance proficiency required for Class A solos on the Wisconsin School Music Association's State Contest list. See suggested repertoire below.
3. Sight-reading

Suggested repertoire:    

  • Mozart Any of the four Concerti and Concert Rondo
  • Strauss, R. Concerto Op. 11 (No. 1)
  • Strauss, Fr. Concerto
  • Hindemith Sonate
  • Heiden Sonata
Trombone

Transfer students have additional requirement over incoming freshmen:

1. Scales
  a) Major scales ascending-descending in two octaves (where possible) 
  b) Chromatic scales in two octaves ascending &descending from any pitch
transfers only add: 
  c) Minor scales through four flats/sharps including a minor

2. Prepared solo or two contrasting movements. Entrance auditions on trombone should be equal to or surpass the performance proficiency required for Class A solos or movements from the Sonata Category on the Wisconsin School Music Association's State Contest list. See suggested repertoire below.  

3. Sight-reading - may be included with audition panel's discretion

Suggested repertoire:    

  • Olmutz Concerto, Elizabeth Raum, Editions Bim
  • Red Sky, Anthony Barfield, Self Published
  • "Andante et allegro J. Ed.", Barat, Southern Music Co. 
  • Sonata No. 3 in a minor, B. Marcello, Kendor Music Co. 
  • Sonata in f minor, Telemann, Ostrander, International Music Co. 
  • Annie Laurie, A. Pryor, Ludwig Music Co.     
  • Morceau Symphonique, A. Guilmant, Warner Brothers
  • Concertino, F. David, International Music Co. (Mvts. I &II or II &III)     
  • Hasse Suite, Hasse, Gower Rubank
  • Thoughts of Love, A. Pryor, Carl Fischer
  • Cavatine, C. Saint-Seans, Durand & Co.
  • Romance, C. M. von Weber, Kalmus
  • Concerto for Trombone, L. Grondahl (pick two movements)
Trumpet

Incoming Freshmen:

1.  Scales 
  a)  Chromatic: low B-flat to top of student's range  
  b)  Major scales: two octaves - C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, G, D, A, E 

2.  Prepared work(s) exhibiting flexibility, lyrical and technical qualities. Genres of prepared works should include contrasting styles from the baroque, classical, and 20th century musical periods. Entrance auditions on trumpet should be equal to the performance proficiency required for Class A solos on the Wisconsin School Music Association's State Contest list. See suggested repertoire below. 

3.  Possible sight-reading

Transfer Students:

1.  Scales    
  a)  Chromatic: low G to top of student's range 
  b)  All major scales: two octaves      
  c)  Natural and harmonic minor: two octaves 

2.  Prepared work(s) exhibiting flexibility, lyrical and technical qualities. Genres of prepared works should include contrasting styles from the baroque, classical, and 20th century musical periods. Entrance auditions on trumpet should be equal to the performance proficiency required for Class A solos on the Wisconsin School Music Association's State Contest list. See suggested repertoire below. 

3.  Possible sight-reading

Suggested Solo Repertoire:

  • Arban,  Jean-Baptiste, Carnival of Venice
  • Arutunian, Alex, Concerto for Trumpet
  • Balay, Guillaume, Andante and Allegretto
  • Bozza, Eugene, Badinage
  • Bozza, Eugene, Caprice
  • Clarke, Herbert L., Maid of The Mist, Bride of The Waves, The (Polka Brillante), From The Shores of The mighty Pacific, Sounds From The Hudson, The Southern Cross, The Debutante 
  • Enesco, George, Legende
  • Goedicke, Alexander, Concert Etude
  • Handel, George Frideric, Aria con Variazioni
  • Hindemith, Paul, Sonata For Trumpet
  • Hummel, Johann Napomuk, Concerto for trumpet
  • Haydn, Joseph, Concerto for Trumpet
  • Kennan, Kent, Sonata for trumpet
  • Neruda, Johann Baptist Georg, Concerto For Trumpet
  • Ropartz, Guy, Andante and Allegro
  • Thome, Francis, Fantasie
  • Charlier  Theo, 36 Etudes transcendantes  #2, 4, 6, 24
  • (Charlier Etudes must be in addition to a Solo)
Euphonium or tuba

1. Major and minor scales up through four sharps and flats

2. Prepared solo representing both lyrical and technical ability, or two works/movements that represent those areas. Entrance auditions on euphonium or tuba should be equal to the performance proficiency required for Class A solos on the Wisconsin School Music Association's State Contest list. See suggested repertoire below. 

3. Sight-reading

Suggested Repertoire:

Euphonium:

  • Guilmant Morceau Symphonique
  • Barat, J.E. Introduction and Dance
  • Mozart Concerto for Bassoon, K. 191, Mvmt. I or Mvmt. III

Tuba:    

  • Haddad, Don Suite for Tuba, Mvmt. I
  • Vaughan-Williams, R. Concerto in F minor, Mvmt. I
  • Gregson, Edward Tuba Concerto, Mvmt. I

For students interested in becoming a composition major, the composition audition consists of a meeting with a composition faculty member to discuss your musical works and to take a musicianship exam. For this meeting, bring some of your compositions (2-3 of your best works) along with you and any recordings if you have them. In addition, you must audition on your principal instrument (which might be voice) and take the piano placement exam (if not auditioning on piano). We also encourage composition students to audition on their secondary instruments (if you have one) as well. Be sure to read the requirements for the audition process for those instruments. If you are accepted into the composition program, but not on your principal or secondary instrument, you may take five semesters of piano lessons to fulfill the applied instrument requirement.

Final Important Points

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 interested, you may request a Zoom meeting for a keyboard placement exam on your audition day.

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 sight read 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) you should demonstrate:

  • advanced knowledge of scales and/or arpeggios
  • performance of a prepared solo(s)
  • intermediate sight reading skills
Required Skills for Admission to MUSI 141 and MUSI 142

In order to enroll in MUSI 141 and 142, you must take an assessment test and demonstrate the ability to:

  • Assign letter names to pitches in treble and bass clefs;
  • Count and notate rhythms in simple meters;
  • Count and notate rhythms in compound meters;
  • Identify and notate major and minor scales;
  • Identify major and minor keys from key signatures;
  • Notate major and minor key signatures.

Upon acceptance into the Music Program, you will receive information if it is necessary for you to prepare for MUSI 141 and MUSI 142.

Music Theory Placement

Transfer Students and Applicants with AP Music Theory Credits 

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 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 us through the form below.

Music Theory and Musicianship Placement Exam Outline

Letters of Recommendation

One to two letters of recommendation are required, and these will be submitted online through the application process. Letters must be submitted at least one week prior to the audition date.

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