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Auditions & Interviews

Audition & Interview Dates

Graduate program audition & interview dates are listed here.

Audition/Interview Rescheduling Policy

We understand that sometimes things happen, but whenever possible please let us know at least 24 hours in advance if you cannot attend your audition/interview.

If you ask to reschedule, we will do our best to accommodate you but it may not always be possible.

Pre-screening/Portfolio & Audition/Interview Requirements

MM in Chamber Music

Please follow the application and audition guidelines for your instrument.

MM in Composition, MA in Composition, DMA in Composition, PhD in Composition & Music Theory

Portfolio Requirements

In your Artistic Profile, submit up to seven scores of your musical compositions with recordings of each work. All musical styles are welcome, though it should be noted that the departmental curriculum is geared toward composing for classical instruments and ensembles.

Interview Requirements

After the faculty review each portfolio, a selected number of applicants will be invited for on-campus interviews. Though we strongly recommend attending an in-person interview, applicants living over 300 miles away are eligible to conduct their interviews via Skype/FaceTime.

MM in Conducting, DMA in Conducting

Pre-screening Requirements

Applicants to all conducting programs are required to upload to their Artistic Profile a face-to-the-camera video of themselves conducting in rehearsal and interacting with an ensemble he or she regularly conducts, and a performance. For those applicants who have difficulty meeting this request, it is acceptable to use a smaller ensemble (such as a string quartet and piano, for example, rather than a full orchestra) playing a reduced version of a composition.

The musical portion of the video should be at least ten minutes in length and include literature of the applicant’s choice. The examples may be incomplete and a variety of different styles are welcome.

The video should also include the applicant responding verbally to the following: (1) speak briefly about yourself and your musical background; (2) describe your goals in pursuing graduate studies in conducting.

Questions should be directed to the appropriate program adviser:

Band/Wind Ensemble Conducting:  Professor Michael Haithcock (mlhaith@umich.edu)

Choral Conducting:  Professor Eugene Rogers (ecrogers@umich.edu)

Orchestral Conducting:  Professor Kenneth Kiesler (kiesler@umich.edu)

Audition Requirements

A small number of selected applicants will be contacted with audition dates and specific repertoire information.

Band/Wind Ensemble Conducting

In addition to the admissions documents and video, each applicant must also upload a written analysis of Chester Overture by William Schuman. Applicants invited to Ann Arbor for an audition should be prepared to conduct the second and fifth movements of Grainger’s Lincolnshire Posy.

Choral Conducting

MM Applicants

In addition to the admissions documents and videos, each applicant must also upload a statement that expresses your views about the role and repertoire of a 21st century conductor with a concentration in the area of choral music.

MM & DMA Applicants

Following review of the video and written application materials, a limited number of applicants will be invited to Ann Arbor for an on-campus audition. Invited applicants should be prepared to conduct the Brahms “Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen” from Ein deutsches Requiem (in German, conducting from the full choral/orchestra score), and “Let Nimrod the mighty hunter” from Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb.

Orchestral Conducting

Following review of the video and written application materials, a limited number of applicants will be invited to Ann Arbor for an on-campus audition. The audition period may include a personal interview, examination of aural skills, a written examination (mainly on the audition repertoire but including questions of a more general nature), and one or more conducting auditions. Repertoire for the conducting audition will be sent out via email several weeks before the audition date.

Principal Instruments for MM Applicants

  • Organ
  • Piano
  • Strings: Cello, Double Bass, Harp, Viola, Violin
  • Winds & Percussion: Bassoon, Clarinet, Euphonium, Flute, French Horn, Oboe, Percussion, Saxophone, Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba
  • Voice

Please make each video a separate track when uploading.

MFA in Dance

Applicants must normally have completed an undergraduate degree as a dance major with a minimum GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale from an accredited institution. Applicants with degrees in other disciplines will occasionally be considered for admission, provided there is accompanying evidence of professional dance achievement.

There are two components to complete to apply to the MFA in Dance:

  1. U-M application to the Rackham Graduate School
  2. Artistic Profile for the School of Music, Theatre & Dance

The deadline to submit your application is December 1. Admission is by audition and interview, and careful screening of the admission requirements below. Applications are considered for the Fall Term only; we do not consider students mid-year.

Selected applicants will be invited to a two-day on-site audition and interview, which typically takes place in January. Uploaded recorded auditions may be accepted from applicants who live outside the continental United States. Applicants living outside the continental United States may also qualify for funding to assist in their travel to Ann Arbor for the audition. Please contact the Dance Office at smtd.dance@umich.edu. Applicants invited to audition will receive detailed information about the audition no later than early January.

Questions about appropriate content for the application can be addressed to Professor Amy Chavasse, chavasse@umich.edu.

Questions about the digital upload should be addressed to the SMTD Admissions Office.

Rackham Graduate School Admissions (for review by the Graduate School)
  • Academic Statement of Purpose: a concise, well-written statement about your academic and research goals, and how Michigan’s MFA Dance program will help you meet your career and educational objectives
  • Personal Statement (500 words or fewer): How have your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan? For example, if you grew up in a community where educational, cultural, or other opportunities were especially lacking, you might discuss the impact this had on your development and interests. This should be a discussion of the journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree. NOTE: avoid repeating your Academic Statement of Purpose.
  • Transcripts The Graduate School requires official transcripts (or “academic records” as referred to by some international schools) for each Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional, or Doctoral degree earned or in progress. How to submit your transcript.
  • Curriculum Vitae/Resumé (Up to 4 pages in length): Your cv/resumé should include education; work experience, including choreographic, performance, and teaching experience; professional affiliations, volunteer activity and community engagement; honors and awards; publications (if applicable).
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate adequate English proficiency and are required to provide one of the official score reports from TOEFL, ECPE, IELTS and/or MELAB. Please see International Applicants page.
  • Application to the U-M MFA in Dance program does NOT require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

SMTD Artistic Profile (for review by the Dance faculty)

  • Creative Work Sample: videos of complete creative work (not excerpts) of choreography. If applicable, please also send samples of screendance work. Maximum number of submissions: three complete works.
  • Writing Sample: a 5- to 10-page sample of previously completed research. This sample does not have to be dance-related but should be written in an academic register and conform to scholarly practices in terms of format, in-text and bibliographic references, etc.
  • Academic Statement of Purpose: a concise, well-written statement about your academic and research goals, and how Michigan’s MFA Dance program will help you meet your career and educational objectives.
  • Personal Statement (500 words or fewer): How have your background and life experiences, including cultural, geographical, financial, educational or other opportunities or challenges, motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan? For example, if you grew up in a community where educational, cultural, or other opportunities were especially lacking, you might discuss the impact this had on your development and interests. This should be a discussion of the journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree. NOTE: avoid repeating your Academic Statement of Purpose.
  • Curriculum Vitae/Resumé (Up to 4 pages in length): your cv/resumé should include education; work experience, including choreographic, performance, and teaching experience; professional affiliations, volunteer activity and community engagement; honors and awards; publications (if applicable).
  • Unofficial Transcripts: upload an unofficial or official transcript from each previous college or university attended.
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation from individuals who can attest to your potential for artistic growth in the field-at-large and in a graduate program, submitted via the Artistic Profile.
  • A recent photograph or headshot.

MM in Improvisation

Pre-Screening

This program does not pre-screen at this time. Please be sure to fill out the required portions of the Artistic Profile but you are not required to upload recordings unless you are doing a Recorded Audition.

Audition

Applicants may orient their auditions around their particular musical backgrounds. Eclectic or “open” improvisers will play an unaccompanied solo improvisation which consists of two parts: one will be without pulse and will display dynamics, density and registral variety; a second part will be pulse-based and will demonstrate solid sense of time. Such applicants will also play a collective free improvisation with one other musician who we will provide at the time of the audition. Applicants with jazz backgrounds can play a more jazz-oriented audition by playing 2-3 selections from the standard repertory. All applicants with original compositions are welcome to present these, either through live performance or accompanying DVD or CD.

For further information, contact Professor Andrew Bishop or the SMTD Office of Admissions.

MM in Music Education (Academic Year), MM in Music Education (Summer), PhD in Music Education

The Music Education Department requires that applicants have two years of full-time teaching experience prior to entering the program. Applicants to the MM in Music Education are required to interview with a Music Education faculty member.

Application deadlines for Academic Year and the Summer Programs can be found here.

Pre-screening Requirements

All applicants are required to create an Artistic Profile and complete an application with the following required materials:

  • Official academic transcripts
  • Resumé
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose – the statement should be 1-2 typed pages in length. The statement should describe your reasons for pursuing an MM in Music Education at the University of Michigan and your professional goals.
  • 15-minute teaching video with a brief description of the video contents

Academic Year Program applicants: If you are interested in applied lessons you must audition for the appropriate instrumental/voice faculty. Lessons are not available in the summer program.

Indicate on the application the manner in which you will complete the interview (on campus or Skype/FaceTime), and the audition if applicable.

All materials are due by the deadlines listed here. Applicants will then be reviewed and candidates may be invited for campus interviews.

Video Submission Guidelines
  1. Video should be of a class rehearsal, not a performance.
  2. Teacher should be in frame during the entire video. If possible, position camera so students are also in the frame (e.g., in the back of the room, zoomed in so teacher is centered in the frame and backs of students are visible).
  3. Provide a brief description of the contents for the viewer–what type of class, age of learners, focus of lesson, goals for the lesson–this can can done with an opening title screen, or an opening clip with a verbal explanation from the teacher.
  4. Long segments unrelated to lesson (e.g., students entering room, morning announcements, teacher needing to leave frame to fix a student instrument, etc.) should be edited out of video.
  5. The committee is interested in the breadth of an applicant’s teaching expertise. If possible, edit together 2 or 3 excerpts from different types of classes (e.g., different ages, different ensembles or classes). Video examples involving active student music-making through singing or playing instruments are preferable to lectures about music.
  6. Please put your strongest, most representative teaching first. Total video length should be no longer than 15 minutes.

PhD in Music Theory, PhD in Composition & Music Theory

Application Requirements

In addition to the application, all relevant transcripts, and at least three letters of recommendation, each applicant who is not a graduate of the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance must submit his or her scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Be certain to take the tests early enough that the scores will reach the University by January 1. Although no minimum cut-off scores have been established, no admission decision will be made until these scores have been received.

Students whose first language is not English should also take either the MELAB or TOEFL, and have the score results sent by the deadline. No action can be taken on your application until all materials are received.

All applicants to the PhD in Music Theory program must also create an Artistic Profile to upload:

  • A sampling of recent research papers, term papers, or publications you have written that relate to music theory.
  • A sampling of voice leading, model composition, or counterpoint exercises.
  • A recording of a recent performance (optional).
  • A copy of the score and, if possible, a recording of a recent composition (optional).

Finally, the faculty of Music Theory request that you submit a resumé in which you:

  • Summarize your professional training (appropriate areas of study include music theory, musicology, composition, performance, and keyboard facility, as well as any other subject in which you have undertaken extensive study).
  • List the foreign languages you read or speak. In each case, describe your training and level of competence.
  • List each of your teaching experiences, indicating the subject matter, level, dates of employment, and name of supervisor.
  • Describe any relevant research or other professional experience which was not part of your academic course work.
  • Write a statement of not more than three hundred words describing your professional goals and explaining your reasons for seeking to pursue graduate work in music theory. This will also serve as the statement requested on the official application form.

All these materials should be uploaded through the Artistic Profile. An applicant may be asked to come to Ann Arbor for an interview with members of the Graduate Committee in Music Theory.

Admission to the Rackham degree program in Music Theory does not guarantee that the student will ultimately complete the course requirements, become a candidate, or receive the degree. Admission implies only that the applicant has the requisite background and should be given the opportunity to demonstrate his or her ability.

PhD in Musicology with Historical Emphasis, PhD in Musicology with Ethnomusicological Emphasis

Application Requirements

Each applicant must submit his or her scores on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Be certain to take the tests early enough that the scores will reach the School of Music, Theatre & Dance by the deadline for applications. Although no minimum cut-off scores have been established, no admission decision will be made until these scores have been received.

All applicants must also create an Artistic Profile and upload a sample of his or her writing consisting of a paper or papers on a music-related topic.

Auditions

If you wish to elect performance instruction, you will be asked to audition when you arrive on campus. Otherwise, no audition is required. For audition requirements, see the requirements for your instrument listed elsewhere on this website. All performance elections are subject to faculty availability. Applications are accepted only for the Fall term.

MM in Carillon, MM in Harpsichord, MM in Organ Performance, DMA in Harpsichord, DMA in Organ, DMA in Sacred Music

Application Requirements

To be considered for the MM in Performance programs in Carillon, Harpsichord, and Organ, complete the SMTD Graduate application as well as an Artistic Profile by December 1.

Once your application materials have been reviewed, those who are approved to audition will be notified of their audition date via email.

Carillon (MM)

Audition Requirements

Applicants should prepare three pieces:

  • Two significant compositions for carillon, at least one of which is contemporary
  • An arrangement or transcription of any music from any genre for carillon

In addition, applicants should be prepared to demonstrate (where applicable) ability in improvisation and arranging.

Early Keyboard Instruments (MM)

Audition Requirements

Applicants may audition on harpsichord, fortepiano, or organ. If you audition on one instrument, prepare 30 minutes of music. You are encouraged to audition on two instruments, allocating the time between them as you wish. Memorization is not required.

  • If auditioning on harpsichord, prepare a thirty-minute program consisting of 17th-century music, music of Bach, and music of Scarlatti or another 18th-century composer.
  • If auditioning on fortepiano, prepare a sonata of Haydn or Mozart and a work of Beethoven or Schubert.
  • If auditioning on organ, prepare a 17th-century French or German work, a major prelude and fugue of Bach, and another work of your choice.

Harpsichord (MM)

Audition Requirements

Prepare a thirty-minute program that includes 17th and 18th-century repertoire, works in French and Italian styles, and a piece of J.S. Bach. Memorization is not required.

Organ & Sacred Music (MM)

Audition Requirements

Prepare at least fifteen to twenty minutes of music including:

  • A major work of J. S. Bach (e.g., a prelude and fugue, trio sonata, large chorale prelude, or equivalent)
  • A composition of the Romantic period
  • A contemporary composition

Memorization is recommended if you are applying for admission to the MM in Organ Performance program, but is optional if you are applying to the Church Music program.

Harpsichord (DMA)

Audition Requirements

Prepare a program that includes a 16th-century work, a 17th-century French suite with a prélude non mesuré, a toccata and contrapuntal work of Frescobaldi, a larger work of J.S. Bach, an ordre of François Couperin, and two sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti. Memorization is not required.

Organ (DMA Performance & Sacred Music)

Audition Requirements

Prepare a minimum of twenty minutes of music including:

  • A major work of J.S. Bach (e.g., a prelude and fugue, trio sonata, large chorale prelude, or equivalent)
  • A composition of the Romantic period
  • A contemporary composition

Memorization is recommended if you are applying for admission to the DMA Organ Performance program, but is optional if you are applying in Sacred Music.

MA in Media Arts

Application Requirements
  • Official transcripts from each college or university attended must be submitted. An earned degree transcript demonstrating a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.6 from an accredited baccalaureate institution is required.
  • A written statement of purpose, of what the student intends to accomplish through graduate study in the media arts.
  • Recommendations from at least three persons able to evaluate your potential for graduate study in media arts.
  • All international applicants whose native language is not English must submit a score from an English proficiency examination. The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the IELTS, or the Michigan English Language Battery (MELAB) score must be submitted with their application and admission materials. SMTD requires a minimum qualifying score of 6 on the IELTS exam, 88 on the TOEFL exam, or 82 on the MELAB exam.
Artistic Profile Requirements

Upload a portfolio of your best work in any medium (often 3-5 works). This is pivotal in establishing artistic and academic potential. Examples of portfolio pieces include original electro-acoustic compositions, slides of paintings, interactive art, video, a website, or software.

Interview Requirements

Upon evaluation of all these admissions materials, applicants may be invited to an interview with members of the program faculty.

Interviews consist of 15 minutes of setup time, a 15-minute presentation on your past creative and/or research work, and a 15 minute Q&A with the faculty.

MM in Piano Performance, MM in Piano Chamber Music, & SM in Piano Performance

Pre-screening Requirements

Applicants to Master of Music in Chamber Music (Piano), the Master of Music in Piano Performance, or the Specialist in Music in Piano Performance must upload by December 1 an unedited recording of at least three contrasting pieces for preliminary examination before an audition will be scheduled. Movements of larger works are acceptable. Upon an affirmative evaluation, an audition may be scheduled.

The pre-screening recording requirement is waived for current SMTD undergraduate piano majors applying to the MM program.

Audition Repertoire
  1. A major work of J. S. Bach, such as a prelude and fugue from the Well-Tempered Clavier, a suite, or a partita
  2. A complete Classical sonata, for example, one of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, or Schubert
  3. A work of your choice from the 19th or 20th century
  4. An etude of virtuosity

Memorization is required.

In addition to requesting an audition date on the online application, submit a complete alphabetized repertoire list that includes specific pieces from larger works and a list of all undergraduate and graduate theory courses that you have completed.

Applicants must meet all repertoire requirements listed above. Failure to prepare the full audition program will eliminate you from consideration.

Teacher Request & Contact Policies

At the audition, you will be asked to fill out a Teacher Request Form, which will indicate to the piano department which teacher(s) you are interested in studying with if you are admitted to the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. This is an important form, but it is not given to the piano faculty until after your audition, to avoid preferential adjudication. It has no bearing at all on your acceptance to the school, and is used only for contact and administrative purposes after your audition.

Before auditioning, the Piano Department encourages each prospective student to feel free to contact anyone on the faculty for answers to questions about auditions, study at Michigan, or anything else that may be related to your interest in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. After your audition, primary contact from the Piano Department will be with the teacher listed as first choice on your form, unless that teacher has given permission to second or third choices to contact you. This is simply for clarity and efficiency of communication. You may continue to initiate contact with any member of the faculty you wish, and may change your first choice designation after your audition, but the department will ask you to be very clear about your preferences so we can determine studio assignments as soon as possible, according to which professor has space for which students in the coming year.

Admission/Scholarship Decisions

Admission to the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance is based upon evaluation of your application as a whole, and also your audition evaluations. Admission decisions are made by the Office of Admissions and are generally decided within five to seven weeks after your audition. All auditionees are considered for merit scholarships (provided they audition before the final date of consideration; please see Scholarships/Financial Aid for updated information) with decisions being made and sent to applicants by early April. Admitted students may receive several letters from different offices at the University of Michigan concerning scholarships and need-based grants and loans; be sure to be in contact with the School of Music, Theatre & Dance Admissions Office concerning your total award package.

DMA in Piano Performance

Admission to the doctoral program does not guarantee that the student will ultimately complete the course requirements, become a candidate, or receive the degree. Admission implies only that the applicant has the requisite background and should be given the opportunity to demonstrate his or her ability.

General Requirements

To apply for admission, submit your official application, transcripts, recommendations, and other materials as instructed below. The deadline for applications is December 1 for the fall term. No applications are considered for the winter term in any DMA program offered by the Department of Piano.

International applicants whose language is not English must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 100 or higher on the Internet based test (250 on the computer based test or 600 on the paper test) or the Michigan English Language Battery (MELAB) score of 83 or higher before the audition may be scheduled.

Pre-screening Requirements

Applicants to the doctoral program in Piano Performance are required to upload an unedited recording for preliminary review before a live audition may be scheduled. The recording submitted should be approximately 30 minutes in length, consisting of contrasting repertoire from at least two stylistic periods. The specific repertoire for the screening recording is left up to the applicant. Individual movements of a larger work are acceptable. In addition, please upload a comprehensive list of your repertoire, including chamber music studied, with your recording.

All recordings must be submitted below by December 1. Your audition cannot be scheduled until your pre-screening materials have been received and approved.

The pre-screening recording requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate piano majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition/Interview

For admission to the DMA program, prepare the following complete works from memory:

  • A major Baroque composition
  • A major Classical composition (e.g., a sonata by Mozart, Beethoven, etc.)
  • A major Romantic piece (for example, Chopin, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, Liszt)
  • A selection of the applicant’s choice

Your audition may also include a brief interview with the faculty.

Teacher Request and Contact Policies, and Admission/Scholarship Decisions

At the audition, you will be asked to fill out a Teacher Request Form, which will indicate to the piano department which teacher(s) you are interested in studying with if you are admitted to the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. This is an important form, but it is not given to the piano faculty until after your audition, to avoid preferential adjudication. It has no bearing at all on your acceptance to the school, and is used only for contact and administrative purposes after your audition.

Before auditioning, the Piano Department encourages each prospective student to feel free to contact anyone on the faculty for answers to questions about auditions, study at Michigan, or anything else that may be related to your interest in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. After your audition, primary contact from the Piano Department will be with the teacher listed as first choice on your form, unless that teacher has given permission for second or third choices to contact you. This is simply for clarity and efficiency of communication. You may continue to initiate contact with any member of the faculty you wish, and may change your first choice designation after your audition, but the department will ask you to be very clear about your preferences so we can determine studio assignments as soon as possible, according to which professor has space for which students in the coming year.

MM in Piano Pedagogy & Performance

Pre-screening Requirements

Applicants to Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy & Performance must upload by December 1 an unedited recording of at least three contrasting pieces for preliminary examination before an audition will be scheduled. Movements of larger works are acceptable. Upon an affirmative evaluation, an audition may be scheduled.

The pre-screening recording requirement is waived for current University of Michigan undergraduate piano majors applying to the MM program.

Audition Repertoire
  1. A major work of J. S. Bach, such as a prelude and fugue from the Well-Tempered Clavier, a suite, or a partita
  2. A complete Classical sonata, for example, one of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, or Schubert
  3. A work of your choice from the 19th or 20th century
  4. An etude of virtuosity

Memorization is required.

In addition to requesting an audition date on the online application, submit a complete alphabetized repertoire list that includes specific pieces from larger works and a list of all undergraduate and graduate theory courses that you have completed.

Applicants must meet all repertoire requirements listed above. Failure to prepare the full audition program will eliminate you from consideration.

Interview: Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy & Performance

Applicants to the Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy & Performance degree will have a pedagogy interview at the time of the audition in Ann Arbor in addition to the performance audition detailed above.

Teacher Request & Contact Policies

At the audition, you will be asked to fill out a Teacher Request Form, which will indicate to the piano department which teacher(s) you are interested in studying with if you are admitted to the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. This is an important form, but it is not given to the piano faculty until after your audition, to avoid preferential adjudication. It has no bearing at all on your acceptance to the school, and is used only for contact and administrative purposes after your audition.

Before auditioning, the Piano Department encourages each prospective student to feel free to contact anyone on the faculty for answers to questions about auditions, study at Michigan, or anything else that may be related to your interest in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. After your audition, primary contact from the Piano Department will be with the teacher listed as first choice on your form, unless that teacher has given permission to second or third choices to contact you. This is simply for clarity and efficiency of communication. You may continue to initiate contact with any member of the faculty you wish, and may change your first choice designation after your audition, but the department will ask you to be very clear about your preferences so we can determine studio assignments as soon as possible, according to which professor has space for which students in the coming year.

Admission/Scholarship Decisions

Admission to the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance is based upon evaluation of your application as a whole, and also your audition evaluations. Admission decisions are made by the Office of Admissions and are generally decided within five to seven weeks after your audition. All auditionees are considered for merit scholarships (provided they audition before the final date of consideration; please see Scholarships/Financial Aid for updated information) with decisions being made and sent to applicants by early April. Admitted students may receive several letters from different offices at the University of Michigan concerning scholarships and need-based grants and loans; be sure to be in contact with the School of Music, Theatre & Dance Admissions Office concerning your total award package.

DMA in Piano Pedagogy & Performance Requirements

Pre-screening Requirement

Applicants to the doctoral program in Piano Pedagogy & Performance are required to upload an unedited recording for preliminary review before a live audition may be scheduled. The recordings submitted should be approximately 30 minutes in length, consisting of contrasting repertoire from at least two stylistic periods. The specific repertoire for the screening recording is left up to the applicant. Individual movements of a larger work are acceptable. Please upload a comprehensive list of your repertoire, including chamber music studied, with your recording.

Additionally, applicants are required to submit a video recording of sample teaching. The video should be at least 30 minutes in length and should include both private and group teaching, if possible.

All pre-screening materials must be uploaded below by December 1. Your audition cannot be scheduled until your pre-screening materials have been received and approved.

Audition & Interview

For admission to the DMA program, prepare the following complete works from memory:

  • A major Baroque composition
  • A major Classical composition (e.g., a sonata by Mozart, Beethoven, etc.)
  • A major Romantic piece (for example, Chopin, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann, Liszt)
  • A selection of the applicant’s choice

In total, the process will include a performance audition, a teaching demonstration, and an interview with the Piano Pedagogy faculty.

Teacher Request and Contact Policies, and Admission/Scholarship Decisions

At the audition, you will be asked to fill out a Teacher Request Form, which will indicate to the piano department which teacher(s) you are interested in studying with if you are admitted to the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. This is an important form, but it is not given to the piano faculty until after your audition, to avoid preferential adjudication. It has no bearing at all on your acceptance to the school, and is used only for contact and administrative purposes after your audition.

Before auditioning, the Piano Department encourages each prospective student to feel free to contact anyone on the faculty for answers to questions about auditions, study at Michigan, or anything else that may be related to your interest in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance. After your audition, primary contact from the Piano Department will be with the teacher listed as first choice on your form, unless that teacher has given permission for second or third choices to contact you. This is simply for clarity and efficiency of communication. You may continue to initiate contact with any member of the faculty you wish, and may change your first choice designation after your audition, but the department will ask you to be very clear about your preferences so we can determine studio assignments as soon as possible, according to which professor has space for which students in the coming year.

MM in Collaborative Piano

Pre-screening Requirements

Must be met by December 1st to be considered for an audition

  1. Applicants should upload an unedited video recording of two contrasting artsongs for voice and piano, and one movement (or shorter work) for instrument and piano.
  2. Applicants should upload a comprehensive list of repertoire. This should include works for solo piano, voice and piano, instrument(s) and piano and operatic material.
  3. International applicants whose first language is not English must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 88 or higher on the Internet based test, a 6 or higher on th eIELTS, or a score of 82 or higher on the Michigan English Language Battery (MELAB).
Audition Requirements

The first portion of your audition will be played for a committee of the piano faculty. You should prepare and memorize a major composition (e.g. a sonata) for piano solo, demonstrating technical and musical command of the keyboard.

For the second portion of your audition you will be requested to perform the following for the collaborative faculty:

  1. Choose one of the following
    • Brahms: Clarinet Sonata in F minor, first movement
    • Franck:  Violin Sonata in A, second movement
    • Schumann: Fantasy Pieces For Clarinet and Piano
  2. All of the following (in the specific key indicated)
    • Schumann: Wehmut, op 39 (E)
    • Schubert: Liebesbotschaft (G)
    • Debussy: Green (A-flat)
    • Barber: The Daisies (F)
    • Strauss: Nichts! (A)

This repertoire does not need to be memorized. Sight-reading and foreign language diction may also be examined as part of your audition.

If it is not possible to bring the necessary soloists with you for your audition, the school will do its best to provide you with partners and rehearsal time. If this is requested, your application should specify for which works you require soloists.

In special circumstances, an unedited video recording will be considered in lieu of a live audition for applicants living outside of North America. If you wish to upload an audition recording, contact Prof. Martin Katz (partner@umich.edu) for permission and instructions before proceeding.

SM in Instrumental Collaboration & Piano Chamber Music

Pre-screening Requirements

Must be met by December 1st to be considered for an audition

  1. Please upload an unedited video recording of one movement each from two contrasting works for instrument(s) and piano.
  2. Please upload a comprehensive list of repertoire for instrument(s) and piano. Include works for instrument(s) and orchestra.
  3. International applicants whose first language is not English must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 88 or higher on the Internet based test, a 6 or higher on th eIELTS, or a score of 82 or higher on the Michigan English Language Battery (MELAB).

The pre-screening recording requirement is waived for current U-M graduate collaborative piano majors applying to the Specialist program. Contact the Auditions Coordinator (music.auditions@umich.edu) to obtain a pre-screening waiver.

Audition Requirements

Prepare thirty minutes of music, including one movement of a Beethoven chamber work, one movement of a chamber work from the Romantic period, and one piece not originally scored for piano accompaniment. The proposed audition program must be approved by Prof. Martin Katz (partner@umich.edu) before you will be given an audition date.

If it is not possible to bring the necessary soloists with you for your audition, the school will do its best to provide you with partners and rehearsal time. If this is requested, your application should specify for which works you require soloists.

In special circumstances, an unedited video recording will be considered in lieu of a live audition for applicants living outside of North America. If you wish to upload a recorded audition, please contact Prof. Martin Katz for permission and instructions before proceeding.

SM in Vocal Collaboration & Coaching

Pre-screening Requirements

Must be met by December 1st to be considered for an audition

  1. Please submit an unedited video recording of two contrasting songs for voice and piano, plus one aria originally for voice and orchestra.
  2. Please submit a comprehensive list of repertoire for voice and piano. Also include repertoire for voice and orchestra.
  3. International applicants whose first language is not English must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 92 or higher on the Internet based test (237 on the computer based test or 588 on the paper test) or the Michigan English Language Battery (MELAB) score of 82 or higher.

The pre-screening recording requirement is waived for current U-M graduate collaborative piano majors applying to the Specialist program. Contact the Auditions Coordinator (music.auditions@umich.edu) to obtain a pre-screening waiver.

Audition Requirements

Prepare thirty minutes of music, including repertoire from three diverse periods and in three languages. Include a work not originally scored for piano accompaniment. The proposed audition program must be approved by Prof. Martin Katz (partner@umich.edu) before you will be given an audition date.

If it is not possible to bring the necessary soloists with you for your audition, the school will do its best to provide you with partners and rehearsal time. If this is requested, your application should specify for which works you require soloists.

In special circumstances, an unedited video recording will be considered in lieu of a live audition for applicants living outside of North America. If you wish to upload a recorded audition, please contact Prof. Martin Katz for permission and instructions before proceeding.

DMA in Collaborative Piano Requirements

Prerequisites

Master’s degree in piano, collaborative piano, or an equivalent.

Demonstrated pronunciation and comprehension ability from two European languages into English. Repertoire including approximately one-third of the repertoire requirement for achieving the degree (see repertoire requirement). Significant performance experience to suggest successful completion of the degree.

Pre-screening Requirements

Applicants to the DMA in Collaborative Piano program are required to upload an unedited video recording of two contrasting vocal pieces and one movement of a larger instrumental work. These should all consist of repertoire with a significant role for the piano.

Additionally, applicants will be required to upload a comprehensive list of collaborative repertoire, both vocal and instrumental.

The pre-screening recording requirement is waived for current U-M graduate collaborative piano majors applying to the DMA program. Contact the Auditions Coordinator (music.auditions@umich.edu) to obtain a pre-screening waiver.

All recordings must be uploaded below by December 1. Your audition cannot be scheduled until all of your materials have been received and approved. If any of the above materials are missing, no audition date will be given.

Audition/Interview

Prepare a sixty-minute program, including at least three diverse styles or periods of music. A minimum of twenty minutes each of vocal and instrumental repertoire must be included. A maximum of fifteen minutes of solo piano repertoire may be included. Your proposed audition program will be approved or amended in advance by Professor Martin Katz.

Sight-reading and language proficiency will be examined during the audition.

If it is not possible to bring the necessary soloists with you for your audition, the school will do its best to provide you with partners and rehearsal time. If this is requested, your application should specify for which works you require soloists.

In special circumstances, an unedited video recording will be considered in lieu of a live audition for applicants living outside of North America. If you wish to upload a recorded audition, please contact Professor Katz (partner@umich.edu) for permission and instructions before proceeding.

MM in Fortepiano Performance

Fortepiano

Prepare a sonata of Haydn or Mozart, a work of Beethoven or Schubert, and a work of your choice appropriate to the instrument.

Faculty Contact Policies

Before auditioning, the Piano Department encourages each prospective student to feel free to contact anyone on the faculty for answers to questions about auditions, study at Michigan, or anything else that may be related to your interest in SMTD. After your audition, primary contact from the Piano Department will be with the teacher listed as first choice on your form, unless that teacher has given permission to second or third choices to contact you. This is simply for clarity and efficiency of communication. You may continue to initiate contact with any member of the faculty you wish, and may change your first choice designation after your audition, but the department will ask you to be very clear about your preferences so we can determine studio assignments as soon as possible, according to which professor has space for which students in the coming year.

Master of Music & Specialist in Music Programs

Pre-screening Requirements

Applicants to MM or SM programs must upload by December 1 an unedited video recording of at least three contrasting pieces for preliminary examination before an audition will be scheduled. Movements of larger works are acceptable. Upload separate tracks for each piece.

Upon a favorable evaluation of this video recording, your resume, repertoire list, and collegiate transcripts, an audition may be scheduled.

Current U-M students applying to the MM/SM programs are exempt from pre-screening and should contact the Auditions Coordinator (music.auditions@umich.edu) to obtain a pre-screening waiver. The Artistic Profile is still required.

Audition Requirements: MM & SM in Performance Programs

Accompanists are neither required nor provided for string auditions.

Cello

Prepare an étude representing your current level of technical development, two contrasting movements from one of the Bach unaccompanied suites, and an allegro movement from the standard cello concerto literature.

The Bach and the concerto should be played from memory.

Double Bass

Prepare an étude representing your current level of technical development, two solo pieces or movements in contrasting styles and tempi, and a few minutes of excerpts from the standard orchestral repertoire.

One of the works or movements should be played from memory.

Harp

Prepare four octaves of ascending and descending arpeggios in two keys, alternating hands; and four octaves of a scale, hands together (one key); one etude; one orchestral excerpt from standard audition repertoire; and two advanced works of contrasting style/time period.

All solos are to be performed from memory.

Viola

Prepare a movement of a standard sonata (Brahms, Schubert, Clarke); two contrasting movements of a Bach sonata, partita, or unaccompanied suite; and a movement from a 20th century viola concerto.

The concerto movement and the Bach movements should be performed from memory.

Violin

Prepare two contrasting movements of a concerto, two contrasting movements of a Bach sonata or partita, a Paganini caprice of choice, and an additional piece of choice from the 20th century. Sight reading may be required.

All solo repertoire should be performed from memory.

Doctor of Musical Arts Programs

Pre-screening (Due December 1)

Applicants to the doctoral program in violin, viola, cello, double bass, and harp must create an Artistic Profile to upload required materials (resumé, repertoire list, pre-screening recordings, etc.).

Upload unedited video recordings of at least three contrasting pieces for preliminary examination. Complete movements of larger works are acceptable.

The pre-screening video recording requirement is waived for current U-M graduate string majors applying to the DMA program. Please contact our Auditions Coordinator (music.auditions@umich.edu) to obtain a waiver.

Upon a favorable evaluation of this video recording, your resume, repertoire list, and collegiate transcripts, an in-person audition may be scheduled. Doctoral applicants in string performance must audition live in Ann Arbor. 

In-person Audition: DMA Program

Prepare three complete works of contrasting nature demonstrating your highest level of artistry. An accompanist is required for all auditions. You may bring your own or an accompanist may be supplied by the school if requested in advance and confirmed.

MM & SM in Performance

All graduate voice applicants must audition in Ann Arbor to receive merit award consideration.

Pre-screening Requirements

Applicants to the Master of Music in Voice Performance or the Specialist in Music in Voice Performance must upload by December 1 an unedited audio recording of four vocal selections for preliminary examination before an audition will be scheduled. Please include one (and only one) operatic aria, one 20th century work, one (and only one) oratorio aria, and one additional song of the applicant’s choosing.

Please do not speak on the recording. No introduction is necessary. Create a separate track for each vocal selection. The Department recommends using an iPhone, smartphone, or similar recording device to create pre-screening recordings, with a recommended microphone placement of 4’–8′ from the singer.

Upon a favorable evaluation of this recording, your resumé, repertoire list, and undergraduate transcripts, an audition may be scheduled.

The pre-screening recording requirement is waived for current U-M undergraduate voice majors applying to the MM program, or current U-M graduate voice majors applying to the Specialist in Music program. Please contact the Auditions Coordinator (music.auditions@umich.edu) to obtain a pre-screening waiver. The Artistic Profile is still required.

Audition Requirements

Prepare four selections in differing styles including a work in English, French, German, and Italian. Of the four selections, only one operatic or one oratorio aria will be permitted. One selection must have been written after 1940.

Additionally, prepare eight measures of secco recitative (i.e., simple, with minimal accompaniment) from an 18th century opera or oratorio in one of the four languages above.

Memorization of all works, including the aria, is required. 

You are encouraged to provide your own accompanist, though an SMTD accompanist will be provided in Ann Arbor.

DMA Program

All graduate voice applicants must audition in Ann Arbor to receive merit award consideration.

Pre-screening Requirements

Please upload your resumé, comprehensive repertoire list, and pre-screening recordings by creating an Artistic Profile. Applicants to the DMA in Voice Performance must upload by December 1 an unedited audio recording of six vocal selections for preliminary examination before an audition will be scheduled. Please include one (and only one) operatic aria, one twentieth-century work, one (and only one) oratorio aria, and three additional songs of the applicant’s choosing.

Please do not speak on the recording. No introduction is necessary. Create a separate track for each vocal selection.

Upon a favorable evaluation of this recording, your resumé, repertoire list, and collegiate transcripts, an audition may be scheduled.

The pre-screening recording requirement is waived for current U-M graduate voice majors applying to the DMA program. Please contact our Auditions Coordinator (music.auditions@umich.edu) to obtain a waiver.

In-person Audition Requirements
  • Prepare six selections, including one operatic aria (only one), one oratorio aria (only one), and a twentieth-century work. The twentieth-century work should not be an arrangement by a twentieth-century composer (e.g., Copland’s Old American Songs) but an actual composition by a twentieth-century composer. The six selections should demonstrate facility in French, German, Italian, and English.
  • Additionally, prepare eight measures of secco recitative (i.e., simple, with minimal accompaniment) from an 18th century opera or oratorio in one of the four languages above.   
  • Memorization of all works is required. 

Bring your own accompanist if possible. The school will provide an accompanist for persons auditioning in Ann Arbor. All auditions must be done in person.

Required Materials

To apply for admission, all applicants to the DMA must submit an Artistic Profile and an official application, transcripts, and recommendations. The deadline for applications is December 1.

International applicants whose language is not English must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score or the Michigan English Language Battery (MELAB) score before the audition may be scheduled.

No action will be taken on your application until your application file is complete.

Admission to the doctoral program does not guarantee that the student will ultimately complete the course requirements, become a candidate, or receive the degree. Admission implies only that the applicant has the requisite background and should be given the opportunity to demonstrate his or her ability. A master’s degree in the applicant’s proposed field of specialization, or its equivalent, is a prerequisite for admission.

MM and SM in Performance Programs: Winds & Percussion

Pre-screening Policy

Pre-screening is required for all applicants to the MM/SM Performance programs in Bassoon, Clarinet, Euphonium, Flute, French Horn, Percussion, Saxophone, Trombone, Trumpet, and Tuba. Upon a favorable evaluation of your materials, an audition may be scheduled.

All pre-screening materials should be uploaded through the Artistic Profile by the December 1 deadline. Hard copies of pre-screening materials will not be considered.

Current SMTD students applying to the MM/SM programs are exempt from pre-screening and should contact the Auditions Coordinator (music.auditions@umich.edu) to obtain a pre-screening waiver. An Artistic Profile is still required.

Recorded Audition Policy

Though it is strongly preferred that all applicants audition in-person in Ann Arbor, those residing over 300 miles away may be eligible to submit a recorded audition.

To submit a recorded audition, select ‘Recorded Audition’ as your submission type when completing your Artistic Profile and upload video recordings of the required audition repertoire.

Hard copies of audition materials will not be considered. An accompanist is recommended for recorded auditions.

In-Person Audition Policy

Upon a favorable evaluation of your materials, an audition may be scheduled. The required audition repertoire can be found below listed by instrument.

An accompanist is neither required nor provided for in-person auditions.

Audition Requirements by Instrument

Bassoon

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload unedited recordings of the following as separate tracks:

  • Mozart: Concerto in B-flat Major KV 191: Movement 1
    (complete, with cadenza; piano accompaniment optional but recommended)
  • Three contrasting orchestral excerpts of your choice
  • A movement of a solo work or étude of your choice

Audition Requirements

Prepare two contrasting solo works from the standard repertory, two contrasting etudes and four orchestral excerpts. The solo works should demonstrate facility in different styles and/or time periods, and the excerpts should be chosen to highlight your skills in lyrical playing, high register playing, fast staccato, complicated technique, etc.

Clarinet

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload unedited recordings of at least three contrasting pieces. Movements of larger works are acceptable.

Audition Requirements

Prepare a minimum of three compositions representing different styles from the basic clarinet repertoire and four orchestral excerpts of contrasting character.

Euphonium

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload unedited recordings of at least two contrasting pieces. Movements of larger works are acceptable.

Audition Requirements

Prepare fifteen minutes of solo literature and/or band excerpts representative of your repertoire and highest proficiency. You are encouraged to demonstrate your knowledge of different stylistic periods.

If auditioning in person, you may be asked to sight-read and to play two-octave major and minor scales and scales in thirds. Memorization is required for the scales but not for the solo repertoire. Skills are assumed in the reading of both bass and treble clefs and in performance techniques appropriate to the graduate level.

Flute

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload unedited recordings of at least three contrasting pieces. Movements of larger works are acceptable.

Audition Requirements

Prepare four compositions from the standard solo flute repertoire and four orchestral excerpts representing your highest level of proficiency. One of the compositions must be memorized. Please include a movement of a concerto as one of your selections. You may perform only two movements from a composition with multiple movements. Choose from the contrasting styles of the Baroque, Classical, French, or Contemporary literature. Skills are assumed in performance techniques appropriate to the graduate level. Be prepared to sight-read.

French Horn

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload unedited recordings of at least two contrasting pieces. Movements of larger works are acceptable.

Audition Requirements

Prepare two complete compositions of your choice representing different styles. In addition, be prepared to play the first movement of Strauss’ Second Horn Concerto and five contrasting orchestral excerpts. You may be asked to play two-octave major and minor scales. Memorization is required for scales only. Proficiency is assumed in performance techniques appropriate to the graduate level.

Oboe

Pre-Screening Requirements

This program does not pre-screen at this time. Please be sure to fill out the required portions of the Artistic Profile but you do not need to upload recordings unless you are doing a Recorded Audition.

Audition Requirements

Prepare three complete works from the major solo repertoire, including music from the Baroque, Classical, and 20th-Century periods. Also prepare four orchestral excerpts of your choice. Familiarity with all major and minor scales and thirds is assumed. If you audition in person, you may be tested in sight-reading skills.

Percussion

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload unedited recordings of the following items:

  1. SPOKEN INTRODUCTION
    Please introduce yourself, tell us where you are from originally, where you are currently studying and what your current degree program is. Please tell us why you are interested in the percussion program at the University of Michigan, what your career goals are (post-masters) and why you think Michigan would be the best institution to serve those goals. (3 minute max)
  2. MALLET KEYBOARDS
    Two mallets: one movement from J. S. Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin or Suites for Solo Cello – no repeats.
    Four mallets: an advanced level marimba solo of your choice. (Vinao: Kahn Variations, Schwantner: Velocities, Thomas: Merlin, Lansky: Three Moves, Tanaka: Two Movements for Marimba, Miyake: Chain, or equivalent)
    Excerpts:
    Xylophone: Gershwin – Porgy and Bess (opening passage)
    Glockenspiel: Mozart – Magic Flute
  3. SNARE DRUM
    Concert Buzz Roll: (pp-ff-pp approx. 45 seconds)
    Rudimental: 32 bars of a rudimental snare drum solo/etude of your choice (Tompkins, Wilcoxon, Pratt, Markovitch, etc. or equivalent)
    Concert: A concert-style snare drum solo/etude of your choice (Delecluse, Cirone, Peters, etc. or equivalent)
    Excerpts:
    Prokofiev: Lt. Kije – Birth of Kije (Rehearsals 1–2)
    One additional contrasting excerpt of your choice
  4. TIMPANI
    (please include video of you tuning the drums before you play each selection)
    Solo work: an advanced-level timpani solo/etude of your choice which demonstrates basic stroke/tone production and rolls at various dynamics (Lepak, Hochrainer, Goodman, Rabbio, etc. or equivalent)
    Excerpts:
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 – Movement I (2 before T to 3 before U)
    One additional excerpt of your choice
  5. CHOOSE ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING:
    Multi-Percussion: a full-length recording of a solo work of your choice (Lang: Anvil Chorus, Unchained Melody, Xenakis: Rebonds A or B, Kitazume: Side by Side, Hollinden: Cold Pressed, Kopetski: Canned Heat, or equivalent.)
    Drumset: a sample of your time playing/ soloing in at least 3 contrasting styles. This may be done with a play-along recording, a live band, or unaccompanied solo. Examples may include: medium swing, uptempo swing, rock, funk, samba, bossa nova, songo, mambo, 12/8 Afro-Cuban, ballad-brushes, odd-time signatures, etc.
    Global Music: a demonstration of your understanding of basic tones, sense of groove/feel and clear communication of style. May include, but not limited to: Afro-Cuban hand drums and percussion; Samba (all styles); pan-African hand drums and percussion; steel pan; middle-eastern frame drums/percussion; Asian festival drumming; other, etc.
    Tonal Improvisation: demonstrate your abilities in this area through a solo work or an example with a supporting group. May include, but not limited to: Straight-Ahead Jazz/Bebop, Latin jazz, or jazz-fusion on Vibes/Marimba, Steel Pan, etc.

Questions regarding pre-screening submissions should be sent to:

Professor Joseph Gramley (jgramley@umich.edu)

Professor Jonathan Ovalle (ovalle@umich.edu)

Audition Requirements

Please select music from the solo, concerto, and orchestral literature which demonstrates your highest musical and technical abilities in snare drum, mallet-keyboard instruments, and timpani. Examples of your playing on two and four mallet keyboard is required. Two orchestral excerpts each on snare drum, xylophone, glockenspiel and timpani is required. Sight-reading and timpani tuning will be evaluated. Applicants are required to demonstrate skills in all of the above instrumental areas. Memorization is neither required nor discouraged.

If you have a performance DVD of a solo or chamber music multiple percussion work, or if you have percussion skills in the areas of drum set, pan, and/or hand drumming, please bring a non-returnable copy of the DVD of your playing which demonstrates your highest musical and technical abilities in those areas.

(Studio page for more details)

Saxophone

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload unedited recordings of at least two contrasting pieces. Movements of larger works are acceptable.

Audition Requirements

Prepare two major works for saxophone that will demonstrate your highest level of musical and technical development. It is recommended that at least one of the selections include one of the following works: Albright, Sonata; Bolcom, Lillith; Dahl, Concerto; Harbison, Sonata; Berio, Sequenze IXB; Denisov, Sonata; J.A. Lennon, Symphonic Rhapsody.

Jazz improvisation skills are welcomed and you are encouraged to request a separate audition with our Jazz & Contemporary Improvisation faculty. If you wish to take advantage of this, please contact the Auditions Coordinator to arrange your audition.

If you have played a recital, please bring with you a CD, if available, to supplement your audition.

Trombone

Pre-Screening Requirements

Please upload the appropriate material for the instrument on which you will audition:

  • Tenor Trombone
    • Upload video recordings of at least two contrasting pieces. Movements of larger works are acceptable. Additionally, upload the following excerpts:
      • Berlioz: Hungarian March (Trombone 2)
      • Mahler: Symphony No. 3 — Movement I: first solo
      • Mozart: RequiemTuba Mirum
      • Ravel: Bolero
      • Wagner: Ride of the Valkyries — B Major section
  • Bass Trombone
    • Upload a video recording of the Sarabande from the Fifth Suite for Solo Cello by Bach as well as at least one additional piece of your choice and the following excerpts:
      • Berlioz: Hungarian March
      • Haydn: The Creation
      • Schumann: Symphony No. 3 (4th movement)
      • Wagner: Ride of the Valkyries — B Major section
      • Wagner: Das RheingoldEntry of the Gods

Audition Requirements

Prepare the same repertoire as listed above for pre-screening, PLUS the Rossini Overture to William Tell.

Trumpet

Pre-Screening Requirements

Please upload unedited recordings of the following as separate tracks:

  • Honegger: Intrada (complete)
  • Bach: Magnificat (opening to measure 35)
  • Stravinsky: Petrouchka (ballerina dance)

Audition Requirements

Prepare twenty minutes of the standard solo recital literature for trumpet and standard excerpts from the orchestral repertoire representing your highest level of proficiency. You are encouraged to demonstrate your knowledge of different stylistic periods and ability to perform on the piccolo. You will be asked to transpose while sight-reading. Skills are assumed in performance techniques appropriate to the graduate level.

Tuba

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload unedited recordings of at least two contrasting pieces. Movements of larger works are acceptable.

Audition Requirements

Prepare fifteen minutes of solo literature and/or orchestral excerpts representative of your repertoire and of your highest proficiency. You are encouraged to demonstrate your knowledge of different stylistic periods. If auditioning in Ann Arbor, you may be asked to sight-read and play two-octave major, minor, and chromatic scales. Memorization is required for the scales but not for the solo literature. Skills are assumed in performance techniques appropriate to the graduate level.

Wind Instruments Major

Pre-Screening Requirements

Upload the appropriate pre-screening material as determined by your primary instrument.

Audition Requirements

Prepare an audition on your primary instrument following the audition requirements listed above.

DMA in Performance: Winds & Percussion

Pre-screening Requirements

Each DMA applicant must first pass a pre-screening prior to the live audition. Follow the instrument sections below for specific pre-screening repertoire requirements. Please upload your resumé, comprehensive repertoire list, and recordings by creating an Artistic Profile here by December 1.

Indicate in your Artistic Profile the works you intend to perform for your audition. Be prepared to perform a varied program of at least 30 to 45 minutes duration selected from the repertoire specified below.

Required Materials

To apply for DMA admission, submit an official application, transcripts, recommendations, and other materials as instructed on the application. The deadline for applications is December 1 for the Fall term. A master’s degree in the applicant’s proposed field of specialization, or its equivalent, is a prerequisite for admission.

International applicants whose language is not English must submit a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score or the Michigan English Language Battery (MELAB) score before the audition may be scheduled.

Admission to the doctoral program does not guarantee that the student will ultimately complete the course requirements, become a candidate, or receive the degree. Admission implies only that the applicant has the requisite background and should be given the opportunity to demonstrate his or her ability.

Bassoon

Pre-Screening

For consideration for admission to the DMA program, each applicant must first pass a pre-screening that will be evaluated prior to the live audition.  Prepare a video recording of at least 30 minutes of music of your choice, including at least one standard work for bassoon and piano, at least one unaccompanied work for solo bassoon and 3-4 orchestral excerpts of your choice.

The pre-screening requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate bassoon majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition

For the in-person audition, each applicant must be prepared to play the following:

  1. One complete Vivaldi bassoon concerto
  2. The first and second movements of the Mozart Concerto, KV 191
  3. One unaccompanied work from the 20th or 21st century
  4. A work of the candidate’s choice from any musical period, preferably for bassoon and piano, or another unaccompanied work
  5. Six contrasting orchestral excerpts, taken from the standard orchestral repertory

Piano accompaniment is strongly encouraged, but not required if it would cause undue financial hardship.  Audition candidates can arrange to hire a pianist from the SMTD Collaborative Piano pool.  Please contact Dr. Lyman for more information.

Clarinet

Pre-Screening

For consideration for admission to the DMA program, each applicant must first pass a pre-screening to be uploaded prior to the live audition. Select thirty minutes of repertoire from the audition repertoire listed below.

The pre-screening requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate clarinet majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition

For the in-person audition, each applicant must be prepared to play six selections drawn from an extensive range of clarinet repertoire. One work or movement should be performed from each of the following six categories (approval of any substitutions must be approved in advance):

  • Concertos
    • Eighteenth or nineteenth centuries: Mozart, Molter, J. Stamitz, K. Stamitz, Weber, or Spohr
    • Twentieth century: Copland, Francaix, Hindemith, Nielsen, or Seiber
  • Sonatas
    • Eighteenth or nineteenth centuries: Devienne, Brahms, Danzi, or Weber
    • Twentieth century: Arnold, Bax, Hindemith, Martinu, or Poulenc
  • Other Solos
    • Unaccompanied: Bassett, Messiaen, W. O. Smith, Stravinsky, or Tomasi
    • With piano: Dautremer, Debussy, Francaix, Jeanjean, Lutoslawski, P. Pierne, Rossini, or Schumann
Euphonium

Pre-Screening

For consideration for admission to the DMA program, each applicant must first pass a pre-screening to be uploaded prior to the live audition. Select thirty minutes of repertoire from the audition repertoire listed below.

The pre-screening requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate euphonium majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition

For the in-person audition, each applicant must be prepared to play the following (approval of any substitutions must be given in advance):

  1. The Joseph Horowitz Concerto or a concerto of similar difficulty
  2. The Jan Bach Concert Variations, or other solo/sonata of similar difficulty
  3. The David Gillingham Blue Lake Fantasies or other unaccompanied piece of top difficulty
  4. Band excerpts
  5. A transcription of a composition written prior to 1800
  6. All major and minor scales
  7. Sight reading is possible
Flute

Pre-Screening

For consideration for admission to the DMA program, each applicant must first pass a pre-screening to be uploaded prior to the live audition. Select thirty minutes of repertoire from the audition repertoire listed below.  Perform with piano accompaniment when applicable.

The pre-screening requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate flute majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition

For the in-person audition, each applicant must be prepared to play the following:

  1. A complete J. S. Bach sonata, partita, or suite
  2. At least one of the following, performed from memory in its entirety:
    • A complete Mozart concerto
    • A complete 20th- or 21st-century concerto (EXAMPLE: Jolivet, Nielsen, Ibert, Foss, Rouse, Bolcom, Tower, Rivier, Liebermann or other)
    • Two additional complete works of contrasting styles and periods that showcase contemporary extended techniques and/or detailed performance practice (e.g., music by a living composer, a commissioned work, French conservatoire pieces, French, Italian or German Baroque pieces)
  3. Six standard orchestral excerpts displaying a balance of technical and lyrical playing.
French Horn

Pre-Screening

For consideration for admission to the DMA program, each applicant must first pass a pre-screening to be uploaded prior to the live audition. Select thirty minutes of repertoire from the audition repertoire listed below.

The pre-screening requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate horn majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition

For the in-person audition, each applicant must be prepared to play the following:

  1. Mozart Concerto #2 or #4 (complete)
  2. One complete Romantic recital piece or Concerto
  3. One complete Modern/Contemporary recital piece or Concerto
  4. Six contrasting orchestral excerpts
Oboe

Pre-Screening

For consideration for admission to the DMA program, each applicant must first pass a pre-screening to be uploaded prior to the live audition. Select thirty minutes of repertoire from the audition repertoire listed below.

The pre-screening requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate oboe majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition

For the in-person audition, each applicant must be prepared to play two major works of the oboe literature from the Baroque period, two major works from the Classical or Romantic period, and two major contemporary works, to equal six (6) complete works which demonstrate technical facility, rhythmic complexity, and musical expression.

Percussion

Pre-Screening

Applicants to the DMA should create an Artistic Profile to upload their resumé, repertoire list, audition date preferences, and pre-screening videos representing the following areas:

1. MALLET KEYBOARDS
Four-Mallet Marimba: A major concerto or a solo work for marimba demonstrating advanced four-mallet marimba technique
Two-Mallet Marimba: A movement from J.S Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin or Suites for Solo Cello (no repeats)
Vibraphone Solo: A solo work of your choice
Xylophone Solo: A solo work from the ragtime era (may be performed with or without accompaniment)
Excerpts (Xylophone):
a) Messaien – Oiseaux Exotiques (6 to 7 &​ 26 ​to​ 29 – stop on the last beat of the bar before 29)
b) Gershwin – Porgy and Bess (opening passage)
c) One (1) additional excerpt of your choice.
Excerpts (Glockenspiel):
a) Mozart – Magic Flute
b) Respighi – Pines of Rome
c) Tchaikovsky – Sleeping Beauty

2. SNARE DRUM
Concert Snare Drum Solo/Etude: A work demonstrating concert orchestral snare drum artistry, including rolls at varying dynamics, orchestral ornaments, rapidly shifting rhythms, etc.
Rudimental Snare Drum Solo/Etude: 32 bars of a rudimental solo of your choice.
Excerpts:
a) Prokofiev – Lieutenant Kije: Birth of Kije
b) Rimsky-Korsakov – Sheherazade (Mvt. 4)
c) One (1) additional excerpt of your choice

3. TIMPANI
Solo or Etude: A work which demonstrates tuning changes within the body of the composition as well as the quality of your stroke, tone, and rolls at various dynamics.
Excerpts:
a) Hindemith – Symphonic Metamorphosis
b) Tchaikovsky – Symphony no. 4
c) One (1) additional excerpt of your choice.

4. MULTIPLE PERCUSSION
Solo: a full-length recording of an advanced-level solo work of your choice

5. ADDITIONAL AREAS – PLEASE CHOOSE TWO (2) OF THE FOLLOWING
Drum Set: A sample of your time playing/ soloing in at least 4 contrasting styles. This may be done with a play-along recording, a live band, or unaccompanied solo. Examples may include: medium swing, uptempo swing, rock, funk, samba, bossa nova, songo, mambo, 12/8 Afro-Cuban, ballad – brushes, odd-time signatures, etc.
Global Music: A demonstration of your understanding of basic tones, sense of groove/feel and clear communication of style. May include, but not limited to: Afro-Cuban hand drums and percussion; Samba (all styles); pan-African hand drums and percussion; steel pan; middle-eastern frame drums/percussion; Asian festival drumming; other, etc.
Tonal Improvisation: Demonstrate your abilities in this area through a solo work or an example with a supporting group. May include, but not limited to: Jazz/Bebop, Latin-jazz, jazz fusion on Vibes/Marimba or Steel Pan.
Coaching/Conducting: A video of you coaching or conducting an ensemble either in rehearsal or performance. (no marching band/drumline videos, please)

Current University of Michigan graduate percussion majors applying to the DMA program should create an Artistic Profile to provide their resume´, repertoire list, and audition date preferences; the pre-screening recording requirement is waived.

In-person Audition

For the live audition in Ann Arbor, each applicant must be prepared to play the following:

  1. A major concerto or a solo or chamber work for marimba demonstrating advanced four-mallet marimba technique
  2. A representative work for xylophone from the ragtime era and symphonic excerpts
  3. Works for snare drum: A work demonstrating concert orchestral snare drum artistry, including rolls at varying dynamics, ornaments, rapidly changing rhythms, shifting meters, and metric modulations, orchestral excerpts, a rudimental snare drum solo along the lines of a Wilcoxin or Pratt solo.
  4. Works demonstrating timpani artistry: A tuning etude or work with significant pedal tuning, orchestral excerpts (Beethoven, Brahms, Hindemith, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Strauss, etc.)
  5. (Optional) Selected orchestral excerpts for the following instruments: tambourine, triangle, cymbals, bass drum–submitted on DVD at the time of your live audition
  6. (Optional) World Drumming which clearly demonstrates artistry, technique, and knowledge of percussion music from one or more of the following areas: Africa, India, Spain, Caribbean, Asia.
  7. (Optional) Applicants are encouraged to prepare work(s) which clearly demonstrate skills in tonal improvisation. Tonal improvisation submissions can include standard Jazz tunes, original compositions, world music, or other works which demonstrate the applicant’s highest level of tonal improvisation. Please feel free to contact Professor Gramley if you have any questions.
  8. (Optional) Please bring representative recorded (DVD/CD) samples of the applicant’s highest artistic representation of works in a chamber music context. Works can be on any of the above instrumental groups and should show a deep understanding of and a high level of performance in chamber music with percussion.
Saxophone

Pre-Screening

For consideration for admission to the DMA program, each applicant must first pass a pre-screening to be uploaded prior to the live audition. Select thirty minutes of repertoire from the repertoire listed below.

The pre-screening requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate saxophone majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition

For the in-person audition, each applicant must be prepared to play the following (approval of any substitutions must be requested in writing before the audition):

  1. ONE CONCERTO: One from the following:
    • Concerto of your choice
    • Ingolf Dahl – Concerto (preferred)
    • Alexander Glazounov – Concerto
    • Jacques Ibert – Concertino
    • John Anthony Lennon – Symphonic Rhapsodie (preferred)
  2. SONATA: One from the following:
    • William Albright – Sonata (preferred)
    • Paul Creston – Sonata
    • Edison Denisov – Sonata (preferred)
    • John Harbison – San Antonio (preferred)
  3. BAROQUE:
    • Soprano Saxophone: Repertory of your choice
    • Alto Saxophone: One from the following:
      • J.S. Bach – A Minor Sonata BWV 1013 (flute) 2 mvts. (preferred)
      • J.S. Bach – Suite No. 1 (cello) 1st mvt.
  4. GENERAL: Two from the following:
    • Paul Bonneau – Caprice en forme de Valse (preferred)
    • Luciano Berio – Sequenza IXB
    • Alfred Descenclos – Prelude, Cadence et Finale (preferred)
    • Claude Debussy – Rhapsodie
    • Jules Demerssenman – Fantaisie (preferred)
    • Michael Djupstrom – Walimai (preferred)
    • John Anthony Lennon – Distances Within Me (preferred)
    • Robert Schumann – Romance from Three Romances

The applicant may request in writing specific substitutions for any of the above.

Trombone

Pre-Screening

For consideration for admission to the DMA program, each applicant must first pass a pre-screening to be uploaded prior to the live audition. Select thirty minutes of repertoire from the repertoire listed below.

The pre-screening requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate trombone majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition – Tenor Trombone

  1. One trombone concerto by Albrechtsberger, Grondahl, Jacob, Larsson, Rota, Tomasi or other concerti of similar level.
  2. Select one sonata by Marcello or Telemann
  3. One piece from the major sonata literature by Casterede, Ewazen, Hindemith or other work of similar level for trombone and piano.
  4. Select one of the following unaccompanied works:
    • Bassett: Suite
    • Crespo: Imiprovisation No. 1
    • Hidas: Fantasia
    • Persichetti: Parable, op. 133
  5. 8 Orchestral Excerpts
  6. All major and minor scales

Audition – Bass Trombone

  1. Bach Sarabande from Cello Suite No. 5
  2. One major concerto by Ewazen, George, Lebedev, Spillman, Vaughn-Williams or other concerti of similar level.
  3. One major work for bass trombone and piano by Bozza, Gillingham, Koetsier, Lassen, Semler-Collery, Wilder or other works of similar level.
  4. Select one of the following unaccompanied works:
    • Fetter: Spain
    • Hartley: Sonata Breve
    • Hidas: Meditation
  5. 8 Orchestral Excerpts
  6. All major and minor scales
Trumpet

Pre-Screening

For consideration for admission to the DMA program, each applicant must first pass a pre-screening to be uploaded prior to the live audition. Select thirty minutes of repertoire from the repertoire listed below.

The pre-screening requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate trumpet majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition

For the in-person audition, each applicant must be prepared to play one selection in categories 1 through 5, six or more selections from category 6, and sight reading at the discretion of the committee. An equivalent work substituted for one of the following should be of similar musical stature and difficulty.

  1. Fasch, Concerto; Telemann, Concerto in D; L. Mozart, Concerto or equivalent baroque concerto originally written for the trumpet
  2. Haydn: Concerto or Hummel: Concerto (in E or Eb)
  3. Tomasi, Concerto; Jolivet, Concertino; Chaynes, Concerto or other similar twentieth-century concerto for trumpet and orchestra
  4. H. Stevens, Sonata; K. Kennan, Sonata; Hindemith, Sonata; Ewazen, Sonata or equivalent sonata for trumpet and piano
  5. A work of the candidate’s choice that would not appropriately fit in one of the above categories
  6. Standard orchestral excerpts from Bruckner, Mahler, Respighi, Prokofiev, Ravel, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, and/or Wagner
  7. Sight reading
Tuba

Pre-Screening

For consideration for admission to the DMA program, each applicant must first pass a pre-screening to be uploaded prior to the live audition. Select thirty minutes of repertoire from the repertoire listed below.

The pre-screening requirement is waived for current University of Michigan graduate tuba majors applying to the DMA program.

Audition

For the in-person audition, each applicant must be prepared to play the following:

  1. The Ralph Vaughan Williams Concerto for Bass Tuba, or another concerto of like difficulty
  2. The Hindemith Sonata or another sonata of like or greater difficulty
  3. An unaccompanied work of top difficulty, like the Kraft Encounters II or Penderecki Capriccio
  4. Orchestral excerpts
  5. A transcription of a composition written prior to 1800
  6. All major and minor scales
  7. Sight reading is possible

Additional Important Information

An audition, interview, or portfolio review is required for every Graduate program. An email confirmation of your audition/interview date will be sent after receipt and processing of all your application materials. Admission decisions will be made in March after the audition/interview, when your complete file has been reviewed.

All portfolios and pre-screening recordings must be submitted by December 1 and will only be forwarded to the faculty for review when the application and all transcripts and test scores (if applicable) have been received. Pre-screening and audition recordings must be uploaded using your Artistic Profile. A select number of applicants will be scheduled for an audition/interview following the portfolio/pre-screening review.

Live auditions/interviews are highly preferred, especially for merit-based award consideration. We understand, though, that this is not always possible. Most MM and SM applicants to instrumental or voice performance programs living 300 miles or more from Ann Arbor may instead upload a recorded audition, which must be uploaded by January 15th for merit-based scholarship consideration. Repertoire requirements for recorded auditions are the same as for live auditions. DMA applicants are required to audition live.

Be aware that applicants who audition/interview in Ann Arbor are given priority for financial awards. SMTD merit-based scholarship decision letters are e-mailed near the beginning of April.

Send audition repertoire changes via email to our Auditions Coordinator (music.auditions@umich.edu) before the week of your audition date so that these changes will be reflected in the materials that the faculty review at your audition. Otherwise you may simply announce your repertoire changes at your audition.

Placement tests are only administered to specific applicant groups. Orchestral conductors will take a written and aural theory exam as part of their audition. Otherwise, all placement tests are taken at fall orientation prior to the first week of class.

Application & Audition Feedback Policy

The staff of the Admissions Office and the faculty are not able to provide individual application or audition/interview feedback. We ask your understanding and thank you in advance.