Apply and Audition

student practicing on a xylophone

Your career as a student of music at The University of Alabama begins here!

Consideration for admission to the University of Alabama School of Music requires:

  1. an application to The University of Alabama
  2. an audition for the School of Music

ALL students must audition for School of Music faculty before being admitted. Please select your area of study to learn about specific requirements for auditions. Following are links to the UA application and the SOM audition request form:

Undergraduate Students

To enroll as a music major or minor in the Bachelor of Music (Performance, Music Therapy, Composition, Theory, & Jazz Studies), Bachelor of Science (Music Education & Musical Audio Engineering), or Bachelor of Arts (General Music & Arts Administration) degree programs in the School of Music, students must be admitted to The University of Alabama and successfully interview/audition for the appropriate music faculty member(s).

Students should plan to spend at least a half-day on campus for an audition. On audition day, students will have the opportunity to meet with various members of the faculty and staff and to tour the facilities. Parents will have the opportunity to meet with members of the faculty and administration.

Students who cannot audition in person because of distance from campus may audition by submitting a recorded audition. Recorded auditions must follow the same format as live auditions and must be approved by the individual’s applied instructor prior to submitting their application.

Music Education Program

Students majoring in music education must apply to the University AND successfully complete an audition. Audition requirements for each instrument can be found below.

Additional information can be found on the Music Education program page.

Music Therapy Audition & Interview Requirements

Students majoring in music therapy must complete additional requirements related to musical and written skills specific to music therapy coursework. Information about the audition materials can be found on the Music Therapy admissions page.

Students who are interested should complete the School of Music online application form. Once that form has been completed, Dr. Cevasco-Trotter will email a link to an individual music therapy Box account for each student so that videos and written materials may be submitted. The deadline for submitting music therapy materials is March 1, 2023.

Theory Fundamentals Exam

At the time of audition, all prospective students will complete a short placement exam. This diagnostic will have no impact on admission decisions, but it will serve to guide our faculty in advising your enrollment in either Music Fundamentals or Theory I for your first semester. It addresses pitch identification in treble and bass clefs, key signatures, scales, intervals, basic rhythms, and basic meters, and simple root-position triads.

To help you prepare, the composition & theory area recommends Elements of Music by Joseph N. Straus. The website musictheory.net is another reliable source of information.  This is a required component of the audition. 

Parent/Student Informational Meetings

Students and parents will have an opportunity to attend informational sessions to address individual questions about student life, finances, curriculum, and career goals with members of staff and faculty. We encourage all auditioning students and parents to make every effort to attend.

Learn more about undergraduate studies on the Undergraduate Programs page.

Graduate Students

To enroll as a graduate student at the University of Alabama School of Music, students must be admitted to The University of Alabama and audition successfully for the appropriate music faculty member(s).

Auditions occur in the studio and performing spaces of the Moody Music Building. Students should plan to spend at least a half-day on campus for an audition. On audition day, students will have the opportunity to meet with various members of the faculty and staff and to tour the facilities.

Students who cannot audition in person because of distance from campus may audition by tape. Taped auditions must follow the same format as live auditions and must be recorded on a compact disc. Tapes must be accompanied by a completed audition application with “Recorded Audition” written at the bottom.

Pre-Screening for Voice, Choral Conducting, & Piano

Pre-screening recordings are recommended for applicants to the MM and DMA degrees in piano and they are required for voice and choral conducting prior to the on-site audition.

For voice applicants, video files are required. Mp3s, Mp4s, YouTube, Vimeo, or other similar formats are preferred and should be submitted by email attachment or links. Please submit three varied selections, with at least one selection in English, to Dr. Paul Houghtaling at phoughtaling@ua.edu.

For choral conducting applicants, you must submit an MM pre-screening application or a DMA pre-screening application by December 1st. Please see above for specific pre-screening requirements.

For piano applicants, video files are preferred, but audio recordings are acceptable. Please submit three contrasting works (single movements of larger works are acceptable) to Dr. Kevin Chance at ktchance@ua.edu.

Music Education Program

Students majoring in music education programs at the graduate level must complete additional application requirements.

Please see the Music Education Graduate programs page for specific application requirements.

Music History Exam

The audition day includes a preliminary exam in music history, which is designed primarily to measure your ability to write English prose.

Please note that this test is separate from the diagnostic tests in theory and history, which are administered at the start of the semester should a candidate be accepted and enroll in the School of Music.

Learn more about graduate studies on the Graduate Programs page.

Program & Audition Requirements

In lieu of auditioning on an instrument, a student applying for the composition or the theory major will meet with the composition & theory faculty for an interview and will submit a portfolio for review. An interview date should be selected on the audition request form, and questions about the portfolio submission should be sent to Dr. Amir Zaheri at amir.zaheri@ua.edu

In lieu of a performed audition, applicants to the Composition, Theory, and Musicology programs will meet with faculty for an interview and will submit a portfolio of work. Interviews may be scheduled by selecting one of the available “audition dates” found in the applicant form. Questions about the portfolio submission may be sent to the faculty members below.

Composition and Theory: Dr. Amir Zaheri amir.zaheri@ua.edu
Musicology: Dr. Don Fader djfader@ua.edu

Music Education/Therapy:

  • All major scales with arpeggios, and chromatic (full range).
  • Choose two of the following:
    • one movement from a major bassoon concerto or sonata (ex: Mozart, Weber, Saint-Saens, etc),
    • a Milde Concert Study etude, or
    • a Weissenborn etude (#20 or later).

Whatever is chosen must be of contrasting style (technical vs. lyrical).

Performance:

  • All major scales with arpeggios, and chromatic (full range).
  • Choose two of the following:
    • one movement from a major bassoon concerto or sonata (ex: Mozart, Weber, Saint-Saens, etc),
    • a Milde Concert Study etude, or
    • a Weissenborn etude (#20 or later)

Whatever is chosen must be of contrasting style (technical vs. lyrical).

  •  1-2 standard orchestral bassoon excerpts

Minors:

  • All major scales with arpeggios, and chromatic (full range).
  • Choose one of the following:
    • one movement from a major bassoon concerto or sonata (ex: Mozart, Weber, Saint-Saens, etc),
    • a Milde Concert Study etude, or
    • a Weissenborn etude (#20 or later).

MM/DMA:

  •  All major, chromatic, and all forms of minor scales.
  • 4-5 standard orchestral bassoon excerpts
  • 2-3 movements from any standard solo bassoon literature
  • 1-2 movements from solo bassoon literature that is no more than 20 years old.

Music Education:

  • One movement from a J.S. Bach unaccompanied cello suite
  • One movement of a standard concerto or sonata

(It is highly recommended that at least one selection be performed from memory)

Performance:

  • One movement from a J.S. Bach unaccompanied cello suite
  • One movement of a standard concerto
  • One additional contrasting piece. An etude is also accepted in this category.

(It is highly recommended that at least one selection be performed from memory)

All Other Undergraduate Majors and Minors:

  • Two contrasting movements from the standard cello literature

Please direct all questions to Dr. Moisés Molina, Assistant Professor of Cello, at (205) 348-1466 or mmolina1@ua.edu.

MM:

  • Two contrasting movements from any J.S. Bach suite for unaccompanied cello.

Memorization for these selections is highly recommended

  • One movement of a standard concerto.

It is highly recommended chosen movement be memorized.

  • An Etude or Caprice (Popper, Piatti, Servais, etc)

 DMA:

  • The Prelude and a movement of the applicant’s choice from any J.S. Bach suite for unaccompanied cello.

It is highly recommended these selections be memorized.

  • One movement of a standard concerto.

It is highly recommended this selection be memorized.

  • An Etude or Caprice
  • One movement of a cello sonata

Audition selections must include at least one work from the 20th or 21st Century

Please direct all questions to Dr. Moisés Molina, Assistant Professor of Cello, at (205) 348-1466 or mmolina1@ua.edu.

MM:

All potential graduate students in choral conducting must apply to the UA Graduate School  and submit a pre-screening application by December 1.

All materials must be submitted by this date for pre-screening materials to be reviewed.

Pre-screening Supplemental Materials

  • Vita/Resume
    • Include education, background, experience, honors and awards, performances, publications, names of former teachers, and any other important information.
  • Conducting Recordings
    • Two video recordings are required and consist of: (1) a performance of a group you conduct (at least ten minutes in length) and (2) a rehearsal (at least twenty minutes in length). Applicants should submit a hyperlink to media sharing websites (ex: YouTube, Vimeo) for each recording. Please take care to assure that audio quality from the video is sufficiently high.

DMA:

All potential graduate students in choral conducting must apply to the UA Graduate School and submit a DMA pre-screening application by December 1.

All materials must be submitted by this date for pre-screening materials to be reviewed.

Pre-screening Supplemental Materials

  • Vita/Resume
    • Include education, background, experience, honors and awards, performances, publications, names of former teachers, and any other important information.
  • Performance-Scholar Portfolio
    • To include any of the following that may apply: Concert Programs, Conference Session Outlines, Scholarly Writing Samples, etc.
    • Please upload this portfolio as a single document (PDF preferred).
  • Conducting Recordings
    • Two video recordings are required and consist of: (1) a performance of a group you conduct (at least ten minutes in length) and (2) a rehearsal (at least twenty minutes in length). Applicants should submit a hyperlink to media sharing websites (ex: YouTube, Vimeo) for each recording. Please take care to assure that audio quality from the video is sufficiently high.

Music Education/Therapy/Performance:

  • Three (3) movements or etudes of contrasting speed and character.
    • Brahms, Mozart, Rose, Schumann, Baermann, and other original music for clarinet is welcome.

Please, NO band music or All-State excerpts from any state.

MM/DMA:

 Prepare a 25 to 30-minute program of complete works from the standard repertoire.

    • Music performed on a senior recital representative of a performance major are acceptable (Brahms, Mozart, Debussy, Poulenc, Francaix, Copland, Muczynski).
  • Three standard orchestral excerpts of the applicant’s choice.

Music Education/Therapy/Performance:

  • A/B♭scales and arpeggios in two octaves.
  • Two contrasting solo works or comparable études from the standard literature.
  • Two contrasting orchestral excerpts of your choice.

MM:

  • 1st and 2nd movements of a standard double bass concerto.
  • One movement from any of the six cello suites by J.S. Bach.
  • Three contrasting excerpts from the standard orchestral literature.

 DMA:

  • 1st and 2nd movements of a standard double bass concerto or comparable sonata work.
  • One movement from any of the six cello suites by J.S. Bach
  • A solo work written after 1945.
  • Three contrasting excerpts from the standard orchestral literature.

Contact Dr. Schultz at dbschultz@ua.edu for audition requirements

Contact Dr. Schultz at dbschultz@ua.edu for audition requirements

Music Education:

  • Two major solo works of contrasting style.
    • (Single movements of Concertos are acceptable)

 Music Therapy:

  • One major solo work

Performance:

  • Two major solo works of contrasting style.
    • (Single movements of Concertos are acceptable)
  • At least three major orchestral excerpts representing different styles.

MM:

  • Three major solo works of contrasting style.
  • Five major orchestral excerpts representing contrasting styles.

 DMA:

  • A fully prepared recital (1 hour in length) demonstrating contrasting styles.
    • Different style periods should be represented and the inclusion of at least one unaccompanied piece is encouraged.
  • At least five major orchestral excerpts demonstrating abilities in both the high horn and low horn ranges.

Music Education/Therapy/Performance:

  • Two contrasting works from the standard oboe repertoire.
    • One longer work will suffice if both lyrical and technical sections exist.
  • A Barret or Ferling etude of your choice.
  • Sight Reading
  • Pitch Matching

MM/DMA:

  • A Barret or Ferling etude of your choice.
  • One complete sonata or concerto.
  • One complete work from the Baroque era.
  • One contemporary work.
  • Four orchestral excerpts of the applicant’s choosing.

Below are the audition requirements and suggested pieces/books for each percussion instrument. Original copies and/or books must be used at the audition. Please bring all necessary sticks and mallets and an A=440 tuning fork.

Snare Drum

The applicant should prepare one snare drum solo or etude in the concert and rudimental styles.

Concert

  • Mitchell Peters, Intermediate Snare Drum Studies, Advanced Snare Drum Studies
  • Anthony Cirone, Portraits in Rhythm
  • Jacques Delecluse, Twelve Etudes for Snare Drum

 Rudimental

  • Charley Wilcoxon, Modern Rudimental Swing Solos
  • John S. Pratt, 14 Modern Contest Solos

The applicant should prepare and memorize all 40 PAS Snare Drum Rudiments. Rudiments will be selected at random and are to be played in open-closed-open style.

Keyboard Percussion

The applicant should prepare one two-mallet and one four-mallet keyboard solo or etude.

Two-Mallet

  • George Hamilton Green Rags, eg. Valse Brilliante, Ragtime Robin
  • S. Bach, Cello Suites
  • Morris Goldenburg, Modern School for Xylophone, Marimba and Vibraphone

Four-Mallet

  • Paul Smadbeck, Rhythm Song
  • Alice Gomez, Rain Dance
  • Mitchell Peters, Yellow After the Rain
  • Keiko Abe, Michi, Dream of the Cherry Blossoms

The applicant should prepare and memorize all twelve major scales. Scales will be selected at random and are to be played in two octaves.

Timpani

The applicant should prepare one solo or etude for timpani utilizing four drums. The applicant will be required to tune the timpani using an A=440 tuning fork.

  • Mitchell Peters, Fundamental Solo’s for Timpani
  • Vic Firth, The Solo Timpanist
  • Elliot Carter, Saeta, or March from Eight Pieces for Four Timpani

Drumset

Potential jazz majors, as well as concert percussion majors, should prepare 3-5 styles on the drumset. Be prepared to solo within these styles.

MM/DMA:

Below are the audition requirements and suggested pieces/books for each percussion instrument. Original copies and/or books must be used at the audition. Please bring all necessary sticks and mallets and an A=440 tuning fork.

Snare Drum

Applicants should prepare one snare drum solo or etude in concert style and one snare drum solo or etude in rudimental style.

Concert

  • Jacques Delecluse, Twelve Etudes for Snare Drum, Keiskleriana, vol. 1
  • Askell Masson, Prim, Kim

 Rudimental

  • Joe Tompkins, Nine French-American Rudimental Solos
  • John S. Pratt, 14 Modern Contest Solos

The applicant should also prepare 3-5 contrasting orchestral excerpts for snare drum (eg. Scheherazade, Lt. Kije, Shostakovich 10, Capriccio Espagnol, etc.).

Keyboard Percussion

The applicant should prepare one substantial keyboard solo. Suggestions for repertoire include:

  • Sueyoshi, Mirage
  • Schwanter, Velocities
  • Reynolds, Autumn Island
  • Vinao, Khan Variations, Burritt Variations
  • Klatzow, Dances of Earth and Fire
  • Thomas, Merlin
  • Mackey, See Ya Thursday

The applicant should prepare one J. S. Bach two-mallet work from Violin Sonatas and Partitas or Suites for Solo Cello.

The applicant should also prepare at least two excerpts each for glockenspiel and xylophone (e.g., Porgy and Bess, Colas Breugnon, Hary Janos Suite, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Pines of Rome, Magic Flute, etc.).

Timpani

The applicant should prepare one substantial solo or several short etudes for timpani.

Suggestions include:

  • Hochrainer, Etudes for Timpani, book 1
  • Carter, Saeta, Improvisation, Canaries, March from Eight Pieces for Four Timpani

The applicant should also prepare three contrasting excerpts illustrating the range of historical repertoire for timpani (eg. Mozart 39, Beethoven 1, 5, or 9, Brahms 1, Tchaikovsky 4, Symphonic Metamorphosis, etc.)

Multiple Percussion

Though it is not required, the applicant is STRONGLY encouraged to prepare a multiple-percussion solo from the following list.

  • Xenakis, Rebonds, Psappha
  • Volans, She Who Sleeps with a Small Blanket, Asanga

Drumset

Potential jazz majors and others with experience are encouraged to demonstrate different grooves (eg. jazz, rock, Latin), but drumset is not required for concert-style performers.

The applicant may be asked to sight-read on any instrument. Students must bring music, mallets, and an A=440 tuning fork.

  • Three memorized works for contrasting style.
    • Repertoire should be at least at the level of Bach Inventions and Kuhlau Sonatinas.
  • During the audition, applicants will be asked to sightread a short work.

MM:

  • Applicants are required to offer at least three memorized works of contrasting style.
    • Applicants are encouraged to offer a complete sonata and a polyphonic work of Bach as part of their program.
  • Applicants will be asked to sightread a short work.

Priority consideration for assistantships will be given to applicants who audition live.

DMA:

  • Applicants are required to offer a 60-minute program of music.
    • The program should include a complete sonata and a major Romantic work.
    • Applicants are encouraged to include an etude and a polyphonic work of Bach.
  • Applicants will be asked to sightread a short work.

Priority consideration for assistantships will be given to applicants who audition live.

Contact Dr. Noffsigner at jnoffsin@ua.edu for audition requirements

Contact Dr. Noffsigner at jnoffsin@ua.edu for audition requirements

Contact Dr. Yates at eyates@music.ua.edu for audition requirements

Contact Dr. Yates at eyates@music.ua.edu for audition requirements

Music Education/Therapy/Performance:

  • The audition must include three works of contrasting style that exhibit musical and technical difficulty appropriate to college music study.
    • Audition repertoire may include solos, études and/or orchestral excerpts.

MM/DMA:

  • The audition must include three works of contrasting style that exhibit musical and technical difficulty appropriate to college music study.
    • Audition repertoire may include solos, études and/or orchestral excerpts.

Contact Dr. Crawford at jeremy.s.crawford@ua.edu for audition requirements

Contact Dr. Crawford at jeremy.s.crawford@ua.edu for audition requirements

Performance:

  • One movement from any of the Six Cello Suites by J.S. Bach
  • One movement of a standard concerto
  • One additional piece of the applicant’s choice
    • Options include another contrasting movement of a Bach Cello Suite, another concerto movement, or a different piece entirely. An etude is also accepted in this category.

It is strongly encouraged that at least one selection be performed from memory.

 Music Education:

  • One movement from any of the Six Cello Suites by J.S. Bach
  • One movement of a standard concerto or sonata

It is strongly encouraged that at least one selection be performed from memory.

 Music Therapy/Minors:

Two contrasting movements from the standard viola literature

MM:

  • Two contrasting movements from any of the Six Cello Suites of JS Bach (at least one movement memorized)
  • One movement from the standard viola concerto literature, i.e. Bartok, Walton, Hindemith, Schnittke, Penderecki, Rosza, Stamitz, or Hoffmeister. (Memorization highly encouraged but not required)
  • One movement from a sonata or concert work from the 19th, 20th, or 21st century

 DMA:

  • Two contrasting movements from any of the Six Cello Suites of JS Bach (Memorized)
  • One movement from the standard viola concerto literature, i.e. Bartok, Walton, Hindemith, Schnittke, Penderecki, Rosza, Stamitz, or Hoffmeister. (Memorized)
  • One movement from a standard sonata or concert work from the 19th-20th century
  • Two standard orchestral excerpts (at least one must be a fast tempo excerpt)
  • One work of any length or style written in the 21st century

Music Education:

  • One movement from a J.S. Bach solo sonata or partita
  • One movement of a standard concerto or sonata
  • It is highly recommended that at least one selection be performed from memory

Music Therapy:

  • Two contrasting movements from the standard violin literature

Performance:

  • One movement from a J.S. Bach solo sonata or partita
  • One movement of a standard concerto
  • One additional contrasting piece. An etude is also accepted in this category

It is highly recommended that at least one selection be performed from memory.

Please direct all questions to Jenny Gregoire, assistant professor of violin, at (205) 348-7790 or jgregoire@ua.edu.

MM:

  • Two contrasting movements from any J.S. Bach solo sonata or partita
  • One movement of a standard concerto
  • One movement of a standard sonata Unaccompanied movements by Bach must be performed from memory

It is highly recommended that the concerto also be memorized.

 DMA:

  • Two contrasting movements from any J.S. Bach solo sonata or partita
  • One movement of a standard concerto
  • One movement of a standard sonata
  • A 20th-century work of the applicant’s choice. Unaccompanied movements by Bach and the concerto must be performed from memory.

Please direct all questions to Jenny Gregoire, assistant professor of violin, at (205) 348-7790 or jgregoire@ua.edu.

Music Education/Performance:

Potential undergraduate students in voice should prepare three solo selections which must be performed for memory at the audition.

One of the three must be in a foreign language for all degree programs.

Your third selection may be a musical theater selection as long as the other two selections are classical. Folk song arrangements are acceptable as the second and/or third selection.

Choral selections (i.e., singing your individual lines of one of your choir pieces) are not acceptable as solo audition repertoire.

Sample acceptable audition programs for Vocal Performance and Music Education are shown below.

  1. Caro mio ben, or any of the 26 Italian Songs and Arias, or a song in any foreign language – Italian, French, German, Spanish
  2. Shenandoah, or The Water is Wide, or a Spiritual, or any other folk song or selection in the classical genre, including an English language art song
  3. An appropriate musical theater selection

— or —

  1. A piece in a foreign language
  2. A second piece in another foreign language or an English language art song
  3. A folk song arrangement or musical theater selection

Music Therapy:

Potential Music Therapy students do not need to audition for the voice faculty.  Please be in contact with the Music Therapy area for audition and interview instructions by contacting Dr. Andrea Cevasco-Trotter at amtrotter@ua.edu.

BA/Minors:

Potential undergraduate students in voice should prepare three solo selections which must be performed for memory at the audition.

One of the three must be in a foreign language for all degree programs.

Potential BA students and minors may audition with two contrasting musical theatre selections, as long as the third audition selection is a classical solo piece in a foreign language.

Secondary Students:

Potential secondary students (already majoring in music, but on another instrument) or non-majors interested in MUA 134 or MUA 234 should contact Dr. Susan Williams to schedule a brief phone interview and audition (singing “Happy Birthday”) at sewilliams7@ua.edu.

NOTE:  In the event of non-acceptance of a potential voice major in any degree program, or a music minor, the candidate may choose to re-audition a second time only at the conclusion of the following academic semester. Immediate re-auditions will not be granted.

Please email Dr. Susan Williams, Voice Area Co-Coordinator, at sewilliams7@ua.edu with any questions on the undergraduate audition or application process.

Test Scores – Please note that no GRE scores or any other standardized test results are required for admission into the UA School of Music.

Please email Dr. Paul Houghtaling, Voice Area Co-Coordinator, at phoughtaling@ua.edu with any questions on the graduate audition or application process.

MM/DMA:

Pre-screening recordings are required in order to obtain an audition for the graduate programs in voice. Three (3) selections are required in a video format. PLEASE NOTE:  Do not upload your video recordings to the Portfolio portion of the UA Graduate School application as that cannot be shared with other faculty.  Please send videos as email attachments or shareable links directly to Dr. Houghtaling, Co-Coordinator of Voice at phoughtaling@ua.edu.  Students interested in being considered for assistantships in opera should include at least one opera aria among their pre-screening selections.

All potential graduate students must apply to the UA Graduate School and submit an audition request to the School of Music before recordings can be screened. Application to the university should be made well in advance of the Zoom or live audition date of preference and recordings received at least two (2) weeks prior to the preferred Zoom audition date, or four (4) weeks prior to the preferred live audition date in order to leave sufficient time for travel arrangements.

In addition to admission to the University’s Graduate School, the School of Music Voice Area requires either a Live (in person, in Tuscaloosa) or Zoom audition (upon acceptance from the pre-screening round) for entry into the MM and DMA programs. The audition program in voice (combining the pre-screening recordings and additional in-person performances or live on Zoom) should include five or six varied selections for the MM audition and a 20-25 minute recital program for the DMA audition.

All graduate auditions should demonstrate an understanding of a variety of vocal styles such as lieder, mélodie, 20th- and 21st-century techniques and styles, as well as opera and/or oratorio arias. Students should also be able to show facility in diction and basic comprehension of the foreign languages commonly found in classical singing.

Potential graduate students interested in being considered for assistantships in opera should include at least two contrasting opera arias in their audition repertoire (one in the pre-screening round, and at least two in total).

Please email Dr. Paul Houghtaling, Voice Area Co-Coordinator, at phoughtaling@ua.edu with any questions on the graduate audition or application process.

Questions?

If you have questions about the audition application or information on admissions, please contact:

Davie Higginbotham, Admissions & Curricula Coordinator
School of Music
Box 870366
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0366
(205) 348-7112
dghigginbotham@ua.edu