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Percussion Auditions

Visiting the School of Music, Theatre & Dance

Prospective students interested in learning more about the School may schedule a visit online. A campus visit is a good way to get a sense of everyday life at Michigan, sit in on a rehearsal or an academic class, and get to know current students and faculty prior to your audition day visit. Please contact Prof. Joseph Gramley or Prof. Jonathan Ovalle in advance of your arrival to make an appointment.

    Undergraduate Admissions Info            Graduate Admissions Info           Application FAQs 

If you can't visit now, students interested in applying and auditioning should complete the prospective student information form. This will allow us to be in touch and for questions to be answered about the percussion program or auditions. It will also allow us to have better communication with you throughout the application and audition process.

Percussion Audition Dates

 

Undergraduate Audition Dates

Graduate MM and SM Audition Dates

Graduate DMA Audition Dates

 

Undergraduate -Bachelor of Music (BM) or Bachelor of Musical Arts (BMA)

To receive an invitation to an in-person audition, BM and BMA applicants must apply and pass a musical and academic pre-screening. All materials are due by December 1.

  • Complete the Common Application.
  • Create an Artistic Profile through which you will demonstrate your musical artistry. Upload a resumé, a comprehensive repertoire list, one recommendation from a music teacher, and this set of five unedited video recordings.
PRE-SCREENING VIDEO REQUIREMENTS - Deadline December 1

For applicants to the BM in Performance, Music Education, and the Bachelor of Musical Arts in Performance

1. Spoken Introduction - Please introduce yourself, tell us where you are from, and what repertoire you will be performing for your pre-screening video. Next, tell us what degree program you are interested in (music education, performance, etc.), and why you are interested in the percussion program at U-M. (total length between 2 and 3 minutes)

2. Snare Drum Solo or Etude (concert or rudimental - no orchestral excerpts)

3. Two-Mallet Solo or Etude (no orchestral excerpts)

4. Four-Mallet Solo or Etude

5. Timpani Solo or Etude (No solos from Elliot Carter's Eight Pieces for Four Timpani)

Please include video of yourself tuning the timpani prior to you beginning to play

Both musical ability/achievement and academic merit will be evaluated as part of the pre-screening process. A select number of highly-qualified candidates will then be invited to audition in Ann Arbor.

VIDEO PREPARATION GUIDELINES

Please upload 5 separate tracks. Label each one with a specific title. It is important to submit high-quality videos free of audio clipping or distortion. Test camera/ mic placement so your playing and most importantly, your sound, is fully and accurately represented. Make sure the video shot/angle is in a position where your hands can be clearly seen. Before you upload your videos, view the playback to make sure both the audio and video are clean and clear.

 

UNDERGRADUATE IN-PERSON AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

If invited to perform a live audition in Ann Arbor, please select and prepare repertoire which best represents your musical abilities in the following areas:

1. Concert Snare Drum Solo or Etude

(Delecluse, Cirone, Goldenberg, Peters, or equivalent)

2. Rudimental Snare Drum Solo or Etude

(Pratt, Wilcoxon, Tompkins, Markovitch, or equivalent)

3. Two-Mallet Keyboard Solo, Transcription, or Etude

(J.S. Bach - Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, Suite for Solo Cello, Hatch - Furioso and Valse, Abe - Prism,

G.H. Green/Breuer - xylophone rags, Goldenberg Etudes, or equivalent)

4. Four-Mallet Keyboard Solo, Transcription, or Etude

(Smadbeck - Rhythm Song, Abe - Frogs, Dream of the Cherry Blossoms, Michi, Stout - Two Mexican Dances, Sammut - Rotations, Libertango, or equivalent)

5. Timpani Solo or Etude (No solos from Elliot Carter's - 8 pieces for solo timpani)

(Firth, Hochrainer, Peters, Carroll, Delecluse. or equivalent)

Orchestral excerpts may be included in your live audition, but are not required.

Sight-reading and timpani tuning will also be evaluated.

Memorization of repertoire is neither required nor discouraged.

ADVICE ON CHOOSING AUDITION REPERTOIRE

When selecting music for an audition, make sure the repertoire you select fully represents your technical facility and your musical abilities as a percussionist. We are looking for students who can demonstrate a clear musical direction, excellent quality and depth of tone, commitment to your interpretation, and a clear command over the given material. If you choose a piece that may be considered an "advanced" level solo/etude, but you do not demonstrate clear control of technique, tone and musical direction as well as on a piece which may be considered "easier" you are risking not fully representing your musical abilities. When selecting your audition repertoire, it is best to discuss appropriate audition repertoire with the individual instructor(s) who know you best and select pieces which will best represent your musical abilities.

 

UNDERGRADUATE RECORDED AUDITIONS

A recorded audition will only be considered in unusual circumstances for which an in-person audition in Ann Arbor is extremely difficult or not possible– international travel, for example. If you cannot make the trip to Ann Arbor, please email Professor Gramley (jgramley@umich.edu) and Professor Ovalle (ovalle@umich.edu) for permission to audition with a set of recordings. If your application and pre-screening videos have passed their initial evaluation, the faculty will consider your request.

 

Graduate -Master of Music (MM) or Specialist in Music (SM)

To receive an invitation to an in-person audition, MM and SM applicants must apply and pass a musical and academic pre-screening. All materials are due by December 1.

  1. Complete an online graduate application.
  2. Create an Artistic Profile to upload materials required specifically for the program to which you're applying (resumé, repertoire list, pre-screening recordings, three letters of recommendation).

Pre-screening and in-person Audition Requirements

VIDEO PREPARATION GUIDELINES

Please upload separate, labeled tracks. It is important to submit high-quality videos free of audio clipping or distortion. Make sure your playing and, most importantly, your sound is fully and accurately represented. Make sure the video shot/angle is in a position where we can clearly see your hands. Lastly, view the playback of any videos you record to make sure both the audio and video are clean and clear before you upload them.

 

Graduate -Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

To receive an invitation to an in-person audition, DMA applicants must apply and pass a musical and academic pre-screening. All materials are due by December 1.

  1. Apply to the Rackham Graduate School online. Upload your statement of purpose/personal statement, resumé, and current transcripts with the application.
  2. Create an Artistic Profile to upload materials required specifically for percussion. (resumé, repertoire list, pre-screening recordings, three letters of recommendation)

Pre-screening and in-person Audition Requirements

VIDEO PREPARATION GUIDELINES

Please upload separate, labeled tracks. It is important to submit high-quality videos free of audio clipping or distortion. Make sure your playing and, most importantly, your sound is fully and accurately represented. Make sure the video shot/angle is in a position where we can clearly see your hands. Lastly, view the playback of any videos you record to make sure both the audio and video are clean and clear before you upload them.

 

WE HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR AUDITION EXPERIENCE AT

THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN!

 

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

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