Classical Auditions

To schedule an audition, please complete the School of Music Audition form.

Applicants should prepare standard selections which give an accurate impression of their highest level of playing and demonstrate a high potential for instrumental mastery.  

These might include: 
  • Scales and arpeggios
  • Classical solos or etudes for instrument/voice
  • Works with orchestral accompaniment
  • Excerpts from ensemble repertoire or jazz standards
  • Traditional repertoire on non-western instruments
The ideal choice of repertoire will include selections of contrasting style, mood, tempo and technique.
 
  • Bachelor of Arts applicants who choose to audition should prepare 10 minutes of music
  • Bachelor of Music applicants should prepare approximately 20 minutes of music
  • Master of Music applicants should prepare 30 minutes of music

*Applicants may bring an accompanist, but this is optional.

If you have further questions about the specifics of your audition, please contact the area coordinators listed below:

View the specific requirements for each instrument for the School of Music auditions.

Violin

  • Scales: Major, three octaves
  • Arpeggios: Major, three octaves
  • Etudes: One selection from a Paganini Caprice
  • Repertoire: Two selections as outlined below
    - Bach: Adagio or Grave and Fugue from the G minor, A minor, or C Major sonatas; or an entire Partita
    - The first movement of a Romantic concerto, i.e. Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Mendelssohn 

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Viola

  • Scales: Major and melodic minor, three octaves
  • Arpeggios: Major and minor, three octaves
  • Repertoire:
    - A Bach unaccompanied suite for cello
    - A movement of a viola concerto from the standard repertoire 

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Cello

  • Scales: Major and minor, three octaves
  • Arpeggios: Major and minor, three octaves
  • Repertoire:
    - Two movements from any Bach unaccompanied suite (memorized)
    - Two contrasting movements from major solo works or concertos representing two different eras

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Double Bass

  • Scales: Major and melodic minor, three octaves
  • Repertoire:
    - A movement from any Bach suite for cello
    - Two movements from a major concerto, e.g. Dragonetti, Koussevitsky, or Bottesini
  • Orchestral Excerpts: Any two of the following:
    - Beethoven: Symphony No. 5, Scherzo and Trio
    - Beethoven: Symphony No. 9, Recitative
    - Mozart: Marriage of Figaro, Overture
    - Prokofiev: Lt. Kiji Suite, solo
    - Verdi: Othello, solo 

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Flute

  • Scales: Major, minor, and chromatic, throughout the range of the instrument
  • Arpeggios: Major and minor throughout the range of the instrument
  • Repertoire:
    - One movement with cadenza from Mozart concertos in D or G
    - One movement or work from the 20th century
    - A movement or work of your choice
  • Orchestral Excerpts: Three contrasting excerpts of your choice

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Oboe

  • Scales: Major and melodic minor, throughout the range of the instrument
  • Arpeggios: Major and minor, throughout the range of the instrument
  • Repertoire: Three contrasting movements from major solo works or concertos, representing three different musical eras

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Clarinet

  • Scales: Major, minor, and chromatic throughout the range of the instrument
  • Arpeggios: Major and minor, throughout the range of the instrument
  • Repertoire:
    - One movement from a major 18th or 19th century concerto, e.g. Mozart, Weber, or similar
    - One movement or work from the 20th century
    - A movement or work of your choice
  • Orchestral Excerpts: Three contrasting excerpts of your choice

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Bassoon

  • Scales: All major and minor, both slurred and articulated in three octaves. (Scales in C#, D, and Eb should be prepared in two octaves.)
  • Repertoire:
    - One movement from a major 18th or 19th century concerto, e.g. Mozart, Weber, or similar.
    - One movement or work from the 20th or 21st century, e.g. Nielsen Concerto, Corigliano Concerto, Stravinsky 3 Pieces or similar.
    - A movement or work of your choice (should contrast in style and tempo from other solo works being performed.)
  • Orchestral Excerpts: Three contrasting excerpts of your choice

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Saxophone

  • Scales: Major and melodic minor, throughout the range of the instrument
  • Arpeggios: Major and minor, throughout the range of the instrument
  • Repertoire: Three contrasting movements from major solo works or concertos, representing three different musical eras

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Horn

  • Scales: Major and melodic minor, two octaves
  • Arpeggios: Major and minor triads, over the full range of the instrument
  • Etudes: None
  • Repertoire: Four selections as outlined below
    - One movement of a concerto by Strauss, Hindemith, Jacob, or Weber
    - One movement of a major work by Hindemith, Dukas, Schuman, Bozza, or Britten
    - Two contrasting excerpts from: Till Eulenspiegel, Tchaikovsky Symphony 5, Brahms Symphony 1 or 3, Shostakovich Symphony 5, Beethoven Symphony 3, Siegfried’s Rhine Journey including transposition

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Trumpet

  • Scales: Major and melodic minor, two octaves; chromatic low F-sharp to high B-flat on B-flat trumpet.
  • Arpeggios: Major and minor triads, over the full range of the instrument
  • Etudes: Two contrasting etudes from Arban, Bousquet, Brandt, Charlier, Goldman, Sachse, or Smith Top Tones
  • Repertoire: Three contrasting movements from Arutunian, Haydn, Hummel, Neruda or Telemann Concertos; Halsey Stevens, Hindemith or Kennan Sonatas; or Honneger Intrada including transposition

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Trombone

  • Scales: Major and melodic minor, at least two octaves; chromatic from valve low E-flat to high B-flat
  • Arpeggios: Major and minor triads, at least two octaves
  • Etudes: One each from Rochut Melodius Etudes, Book 2 Marcel Bitsch Advanced Etudes
  • Repertoire:
    - Two movements from any standard concerto (e.g. Lars Eric Larsson, Ferdinand David; Launy Grondahl; Henri Tomasi; Paul Creston Fantasy; etc.)
    - Several standard orchestral excerpts (e.g. Ravel: Bolero; Mozart: Tuba Mirum solo from the Requiem; Rossini: William Tell Overture; Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel; Wagner: Ride of the Valkyrie; Saint-Saens: Third Symphony Adagio)

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Tuba

  • Scales: Major and natural, harmonic, and melodic minor, whole-tone, and chromatic; staccato and legato
  • Arpeggios: Major and minor triads
  • Etudes: Two contrasting etudes from Rochut: volume I and II; Blazhevich: volume I and II, Kopprasch: Studies, Arban: Studies, Vasiliev: Melodious Etudes
  • Repertoire: Carnival of Venice; one concerto movement, memorized: e.g. Strauss: horn concerto no. 1 or no. 2, transcription of a J.S. Bach flute or cello concerto; orchestral repertoire examples from Torchinsky: 20th-century Orchestra Studies or Brown: Orchestral Excerpts

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Piano

  • Repertoire: Four or five contrasting works from different eras. At least two works must be memorized.
  • Repertoire examples:
    - Prelude and Fugue from Bach The Well-Tempered Clavier, or an English Suite
    - A mature work by Haydn, J. Dussek, Weber, Beethoven, or Schubert
    - A concerto or sonata by Mozart
    - A Romantic, Late Romantic, or twentieth-century sonata or other large-scale work, i.e. Chopin: Ballade, or Schumann: Papillion
    - Character pieces or etudes by Szymanowski, Martinu, Janacek, Schoenberg, Webern, Ligeti, Bartok, Faure, Debussy, Ravel, Messiaen, Scriabin, Rachmaninov, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, or Stravinsky
    - A serious work composed since 1950
    - Performers should be able to provide insight into historic and theoretical aspects of all works performed

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Guitar

  • Repertoire: Four contrasting works selected from the following examples:
    - Renaissance work at the level of Sanz, Narvaez, or Mudarra
    - Baroque work at the level of Weiss or Bach
    - Classical work at the level of Sor, Giulani, or Mertz
    - Romantic or Spanish work at the level of Tarrega, Moreno-Torroba, Albeniz, or Granados
    - 20th century work at the level of Martin, Henze, or Britten
    - A concerto by Rodrigo, Villa-Lobos, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, or Ponce 

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Harp

  • Scales and arpeggios in all keys and pedal settings
  • Two works chosen from:
    - 1) 1st movement of Handel: Concerto in B-flat, Mozart: Concerto for Flute and Harp, Debussy: Dances, Ravel: Introduction & Allegro
    - 2) A movement from a sonata by Hindemith, Houdy, Hovhaness, another major 20th century work, or major work by Grandjandy or Salzedo

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Percussion

  • Technique and Repertoire: Demonstration of ability on snare drum, timpani, and marimba.
  • Examples:
    - Snare: One etude; One orchestral excerpt from the 20th century
    - Timpani: One movement from a major solo work or concerto (e.g. Carter's Eight Pieces for Four Timpani, Millhaud's Concerto for Percussion); Excerpts from two orchestral works (e.g. a Tchaikovsky Symphony, Strauss's Electra, Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, Britten's Phaedra)
    - Marimba: Major, minor, and chromatic scales; One movement from a major work
    - Battery (optional): One movement or excerpt for percussion battery (e.g. Stravinsky's L'histoire du Soldat, Bartók's Concerto for Two Pianos and Percussion, Carter's Double Concerto)

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CHORAL CONDUCTING

  • PLEASE NOTE:  SF STATE IS NOT ACCEPTING CHORAL CONDUCTING APPLICATIONS AT THIS TIME.

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