Performance Audition Requirements


General Information

All instrumentalists are required to perform, at a minimum: (see specific information below for vocalists)

  • Scales
  • Two contrasting compositions
  • Sight-reading (All prospective music majors must be able to read music.)

It is recommended that students select two solo compositions in contrasting styles that represent their current level.  These should be from the standard repertoire and represent different style periods as listed below:

  • Baroque – 1600-1750; composers such as J.S. Bach, G. F. Handel, Domenico Scarlatti
  • Classical – 1750-1820; composers such as Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven
  • Romantic – 1820-1900; composers such as Chopin, Brahms, Schumann
  • 20th-21st centuries – composers such as Debussy, Bartok, Prokofiev

An accompanist will be provided for auditions.

Evaluation will not rest solely on the difficulty of the composition; much consideration is given to the mastery of the composition in performance.  Specific instructions based on instrument are listed below.



  • Perform two songs from memory
  • Songs should be chosen from the traditional art song repertoire, opera arias, folk song arrangements, and sacred songs in English
  • A song in a foreign language is strongly suggested
  • One song may be a musical theater piece


Woodwind and Brass

  • Scales, including a chromatic scale, two octaves
  • One All-State required etude or etude of comparable difficulty
  • One solo composition of regional solo festival level
  • Sight-reading



Prepare two out of the following three options:  (All-State audition pieces are acceptable)

  • Snare drum etude (any intermediate or advanced studies from Cirone’s Portraits in Rhythm, Peters’ Etudes for Snare Drum, or Goldenberg’s Modern Method for Snare Drum, Pratt’s 14 Modern Contest Solos, or equivalent).  The student will be asked to sight read.
  • Timpani solo (any intermediate or advanced studies or solos by Saul Goodman, Mitchell Peters, Vic Firth, or equivalent). Tuning adjustments within the piece is not required. Drum tuning will be asked apart from the etude/solo
  • Marimba solo (any intermediate or advanced etude or solo for two, three or four mallets) Recommendations: McMillan’s Keyboard Percussion Technique, Peters’s Chant for Marimba, Teardrops, or Yellow After the Rain, Gomez’s Anasazi, or equivalent.  (Major scales and arpeggios will also be assessed.)



  • Auditioning students will perform two contrasting solo compositions from different style periods.
  • Memorization is optional but preferable. 
  • Students will also play major and minor scales and arpeggios, two octaves, hands together. 
  • Sight-reading

Classical Guitar

  • Diatonic major and minor scales – Andrés Segovia edition, Columbia Music

--The student will be asked to play scales in several keys from this edition.

  • One study from one of the following collections:

--Matteo Carcassi, 25 Studies Op. 60

--Fernando Sor, Op. 6 or Op. 29

--Mauro Giuliani, Op. 48 or Op. 51

  • Two solo works in contrasting styles that represent the guitarist’s current level.
  • The student will be asked to sight read a section of guitar music in staff notation.


Violin or Viola

  • Major scales:  one three octaves, and the others, two octaves
  • One etude such as Wohlfahrt, Kayser  Dont, Mazas or Kreutzer
  • A work or movement of student's choice
  • Sight-reading


Cello or String Bass

  • Major scales:  one three octaves, and the others, two octaves
  • One etude such as: Schroeder, Lee, Dotzauer, Popper or Duport
  • Bass Etudes: One etude chosen from Nos. 2—8, Thirty Etudes for the String Bass, F. Simandl
  • A work or movement of student's choice
  • Sight-reading

    FSUNow Stories

    Monday, September 28, 2015

    The Fairmont State University Department of Music is announces its 2015-2016 Music on the Hill concert season, featuring four performances on the Fairmont State campus and at First Presbyterian Church in Fairmont.

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    Monday, September 28, 2015

    The Fairmont State University Academy for the Arts announces the cast of its second Youth Company production, “Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr.” 

    “Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr.” will run Nov. 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 8 at 2 p.m. in the Wallman Hall Theatre on the main campus.

    Cast members for the show are as follows: Paige Krcek, Billy Tobin, Jocelyn Maxwell, Sophia Flower, Trenda Ridgeway, Jasper Brown, Rileigh Fortney, Sidney Apanowicz, Sara Campbell, Miranda Koch, Sydney King, Caroline Maxwell, Marianna Jones, Bella Smith, Franchesca Aloi. 

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    Tuesday, September 22, 2015

    Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced on Sept. 16 the awarding of $763,044 in grant funds to support and build the arts in community and statewide programs across West Virginia.

    Fairmont State University was awarded a $6,206 grant in support of bringing the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra to the Fairmont campus for two performances. Dr. Christina Lavorata, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Robert Mild, Interim Dean of the School of Fine Arts, attended the event in Charleston to officially receive the grant award.

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