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Audition Dates for Spring 2022

Music at MSU Denver requires an audition for private instrument instruction and offers both in-person and online audition options.

In-Person Auditions

In-Person Auditions will be held on Saturday, January 8, 2022. Sign up by Monday, January 3, 2022 to secure a spot on the audition roster.

Online Auditions

Online auditions are accepted on a continuous basis, with audition results returning within three weeks of submission. For private lessons in Spring 2022, an online audition must be submitted by 11:59 PM on Thursday, January 13, 2022.

Private instruction is a major component of all music degrees, and is offered to music majors and minors who pass an audition. Students may choose to either submit an online audition or perform an in-person audition. An audition attempt may be made once per semester. A passing audition result is valid for one calendar year.

Incoming students are highly encouraged to meet with a Music Department Intake Advisor prior to auditioning. Schedule a 30-minute online advising appointment here.

Private instruction is available for most instruments, with audition repertoire requirements listed by instrument area below.

 

Audition Repertoire Requirements


Repertoire

Each jazz applicant must perform:

  • One two-octave major scale of your choosing.
  • Four choruses on the provided 12-bar blues (see Audition Materials below). Individual instruments should prepare the following:
    • Horn players/Vocalists: 1 chorus melody, 2 choruses improvisation, 1 chorus melody.
    • Pianists/Guitarists: 1 chorus melody, 2 choruses comping, 1 chorus improvisation.
    • Bassists: 1 chorus melody, 2 choruses walking bassline, 1 chorus improvisation.
    • Drummers: 2 choruses of swing feel (for the head in and 1 chorus of imagined improvisation), 1 chorus improvisation, 1 chorus of swing feel (for the head out).
  • A second, contrasting piece of your choice with a different tempo and feel.
    • For online auditions: You are encouraged to get as creative as possible. The piece can be recorded solo, with a recording of the tune, with a backing track of your choice, with layered excerpts of you playing along with yourself , etc.
    • For in-person auditions: A faculty band will be on site to accompany you  
  • Brief sight-reading (in-person audition only)

Audition Materials

Bb, Eb, Concert, and Bass Clef parts are included for Blues By Five which is a 12 bar blues in Bb. There are four backing tracks also included: one minus horns/voice, one minus piano/guitar, one minus bass, and one minus drums. Vocalists have the option of performing Centerpiece instead of Blues By Five.

For online auditions: Please record your video playing to the track that does not include your instrument.

For in-person auditions: You may use these tracks to practice beforehand. A faculty band will be on site to accompany you during your audition.

Reference Recording: Blues By Five (YouTube)Centerpiece (YouTube)

Charts:
Blues By Five - Concert (PDF)
Blues By Five - Bb (PDF)
Blues By Five - Eb (PDF)
Blues By Five - Bass Clef (PDF)
Centerpiece - Bb with Lyrics (PDF) - (option for vocalists)

Backing Tracks:
Horn Players/Vocalists: Bb Blues - minus horn/voice (Dropbox MP3) 
Pianists/Guitarists: Bb Blues - minus piano/guitar (Dropbox MP3)
BassistsBb Blues - minus bass (Dropbox MP3) 
Drummers: Bb Blues - minus drums (Dropbox MP3) 

Transfer Students

Transfer students wishing to audition for advanced placement with transfer credit from previous collegiate private lessons must contact the Director of Jazz Studies, Dawn Clement (dcleme15@msudenver.edu) for additional requirements prior to auditioning.

Repertoire

Each brass applicant must perform:

  • Three major scales, play two octaves where able.
  • A piece that best demonstrates your ability on the instrument. This can be a piece, excerpt, or movement from the standard repertoire.
  • A second, contrasting piece that best demonstrates your ability on the instrument.

If you have any questions about your brass audition, contact the Director of Brass and Percussion Studies, Michael Hengst (mhengst@msudenver.edu).

Transfer Students

Transfer students wishing to audition for advanced placement with transfer credit from previous collegiate private lessons must contact the Director of Brass and Percussion Studies, Michael Hengst (mhengst@msudenver.edu) for additional requirements prior to auditioning.

Repertoire

Classical guitar applicants must perform their audition on a classical guitar. Jazz and rock fingerings are not acceptable for this audition (see Jazz audition requirements instead). Applicants are expected to have a reasonable ability to read music notation (not just tablature). 

Each classical guitar applicant must perform:

  • Any major or minor scale using right hand finger alternation.
  • A piece of your choosing, or one of the suggested audition pieces below.
  • A second piece of your choosing, or another one of the suggested audition pieces below.

Suggested Audition Pieces

Applicants are encouraged to perform two of the following pieces for their audition. These pieces are detailed in Professor Alex Komodore's Audition Preparation video.

Professor Komodore's Audition Preparation Video (YouTube)
Moorish Dance (PDF)
Exercise 13 (PDF)
Lesson 46 (PDF)
Lesson 61 (PDF)
Torito (PDF)

Applicants who have any questions or hesitations about their guitar auditions are encouraged to reach out to Director of Guitar Studies, Alex Komodore (komodore@msudenver.edu, 303-521-4371 call/text) for guidance or a free lesson. 

Transfer Students

Transfer students wishing to audition for advanced placement with transfer credit from previous collegiate private lessons must contact the Director of Guitar Studies, Alex Komodore (komodore@msudenver.edu) for additional requirements prior to auditioning.

Repertoire

Each percussion applicant must perform:

  • Two major and two minor scales of your choosing and/or a demonstration of a couple of snare drum rudiments (long roll, 5-stroke roll, flams, drags, etc.)
  • Choose two from the following options:
    1. Snare drum solo or etude (rudimental or concert style)
    2. Mallet solo or etude or excerpt (2 or 4 mallet) on an instrument of your choosing (Marimba, Vibraphone, etc.)
    3. Timpani solo or etude
    4. Multi-percussion solo or etude

Transfer Students

Transfer students wishing to audition for advanced placement with transfer credit from previous collegiate private lessons must contact the Director of Brass and Percussion Studies, Michael Hengst (mhengst@msudenver.edu) for additional requirements prior to auditioning.

 

Repertoire

Each piano or organ applicant must perform:

  • One four-octave major scale and one four-octave minor scale played with proper fingerings, hands together, ascending and descending.
  • One piece of Western art music (Baroque period [1600-1750] through present day).
  • A second, stylistically contrasting piece of Western art music (Baroque period [1600-1750] through present day). Please choose a piece by a composer from a contrasting time period to your first piece.

Transfer Students

Transfer students wishing to audition for advanced placement with transfer credit from previous collegiate private lessons must contact the Director of Piano Studies, Jooeun Pak (jpak14@msudenver.edu) for additional requirements prior to auditioning.

Repertoire

Each string applicant must perform:

  • One two- or three-octave scale of your choosing. Please specify the chosen scale on the video. 
  • A piece or movement from the standard repertoire of your instrument, such as a movement from a concerto or sonata, unaccompanied solo, show piece, etc.
  • A second, contrasting piece. A contrasting piece must differ in tempo, time period, composer, etc. 

Transfer Students

Transfer students wishing to audition for advanced placement with transfer credit from previous collegiate private lessons must contact the Director of Orchestras, Brandon Matthews (bmatthe8@msudenver.edu) for additional requirements prior to auditioning.

 

Repertoire

Auditioners in the voice area are encouraged to select pieces which are melodic and show the auditioner’s ability to sing. The songs need not be excessively difficult and may be sung in their original language or in English translation. Students auditioning into the BFA Music Theatre degree program must contact the Department of Theatre prior to auditioning. An accompanist will be provided for in-person auditions; please bring a copy of your music. If you are submitting an online audition, live piano accompaniment is preferred but you may instead be accompanied by a recorded track; you should not accompany yourself instrumentally or submit an a cappella.

Each classical voice applicant must perform:

  • A major scale (“do” to “do”) followed by a major arpeggio (do – mi – sol - ^do^ - sol – mi – do) which should be sung on a neutral syllable such as “da” rather than solfege syllables.
  • A piece which best displays your vocal quality. This may be an art song, folk song, musical theater, sacred song, or opera aria.  
  • A second piece, preferably in contrasting style, which best displays your vocal quality. This may be an art song, folk song, musical theatre, sacred song, or opera area.
  • Brief tonal recall and sight-singing (in-person audition only).

Each BFA in Music Theatre voice applicant, after contacting the Department of Theatre, must perform:

  • A major scale (“do” to “do”) followed by a major arpeggio (do – mi – sol - ^do^ - sol – mi – do) which should be sung on a neutral syllable such as “da” rather than solfege syllables.
  • A musical theatre piece which best displays your vocal quality. 
  • A second musical theatre piece, preferably in contrasting style, which best displays your vocal quality.
  • Brief tonal recall and sight-singing (in-person audition only).

Transfer Students

Transfer students wishing to audition for advanced placement with transfer credit from previous collegiate private lessons must contact the Director of Voice Studies, Bradley Thompson (bthomp40@msudenver.edu) for additional requirements prior to auditioning. General additional requirements are outlined here: Voice Area Advanced Placement Audition (PDF)

Repertoire

Each flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon applicant must perform:

  • One scale of your choosing.
  • One 3-5 minute piece demonstrating your lyrical playing.
  • One 3-5 minute piece demonstrating your technical playing.

Each saxophone applicant must perform:

  • A two-octave E Major scale (saxophone key, not concert).
  • One 2-3 minute piece.
  • A second, contrasting 2-3 minute piece.

Transfer Students

Transfer students wishing to audition for advanced placement with transfer credit from previous collegiate private lessons must contact the Director of Woodwinds Studies, Patricia Surman (psurman@msudenver.edu) for additional requirements prior to auditioning.

Repertoire

If you play an instrument not listed above (for example harp, accordion, etc.) please use the following repertoire requirements for your audition:

  • Any major or minor scale 
  • A piece of your choosing
  • A second, contrasting piece of your choosing

If you believe you are not ready to audition for private instruction, we offer audition consultations to guide you in your practice and preparation: Request an Audition Consultation

What to Expect in an In-Person Audition

In-person auditions are held in January, February, April and August in the King Center on the Auraria Campus. When you sign up for an in-person audition, you can expect:

  • Auditions are approximately 12 minutes in length.
  • Practice rooms are available for warming up; plan to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your audition time to check-in.
  • Accompanists are provided for voice area auditions. A faculty band will accompany for jazz area auditions. Students in other instrument areas may bring their own accompanist if preferred.
  • Appropriate attire at the audition is expected.
  • Audition results will be emailed within the week following your audition.

What to Expect in an Online Audition

Submitting an online audition is a simple, 3-step process:

Step 1: Video record audition repertoire for your instrument.

Step 2: Upload your recordings as unlisted videos on a YouTube channel.

Step 3: Complete and submit the online audition application, including links to the unlisted YouTube videos. 

Online auditions are accepted on a continuous basis, though deadlines apply depending on the desired semester of private instruction. Applicants are notified of their audition results within three weeks of submitting an online audition.


Transfer Students

Transfer students with previous private instruction credits may audition into an advanced level of lessons. To audition into an advanced level of lessons, students must contact the director of their instrument area prior to submitting their auditions for additional requirements. They may also be asked to present a list of repertoire studied at the college level and copies of college transcripts to the audition panel. 

 

Ensemble Auditions

The ensembles listed below require a successful audition for participation. Ensemble auditions are generally held during the first week of classes each semester. Students interested in joining Chorale may sign up for an audition online. For other ensemble auditions, contact the ensemble director below to sign up:

MUS 3819  Chamber Music, contact Michael Hengst
MUS 3820  Chorale (mixed choir), Sign up online 
MUS 3825  Wind Ensemble, contact David Kish 
MUS 3828  Jazz Ensemble, contact Dawn Clement
MUS 3830  Guitar Ensemble, contact Alex Komodore
MUS 3832  Collaborative Piano, contact Jooeun Pak
MUS 3827  Symphony Orchestra, submit audition video online
MUS 3829  Jazz Combo, contact Dawn Clement
MUS 3833  Opera, contact Gene Roberts
Non-credit  Pep Band (paid, basketball season only), contact Michael Hengst

 

Questions?

Contact the Music Department Coordinator, Christine Devine (collinch@msudenver.edu). 


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