Students seeking admission into Cairn University’s School of Music are required to complete an audition for members of the School of Music faculty.

Students must first apply to Cairn University (via the online application or Common App) before registering for an audition. Applicants may then choose from three different audition methods: in-person, video recording, or live Zoom audition.

Further audition specifications per instrument and for specialized programs are indicated below. 

Music Scholarships up to $6,000 per year may be awarded to students who successfully pass the audition and exhibit outstanding performance ability and potential. The scholarship award will be applied annually toward Cairn tuition. Funds will be awarded up to 9 semesters based on a minimum 2.5 GPA per semester, enrollment as a full-time music major and active ensemble participation. To qualify, applicants must meet Cairn’s entrance requirements and audition before May 1. If scholarship funds remain available after May 1, additional scholarships may be awarded.

How would you like to audition?

In-Person Audition

Schedule an in-person audition during one of the upcoming Audition Days, or coordinate a personal visit. During the in-person audition, you will receive immediate feedback and confirmation of your music scholarship eligibility.

  • September 18, 2020
  • October 16, 2020
  • November 20, 2020
  • January 29, 2021
  •  February 26, 2021
  • March 26, 2021
  • April 23, 2021

Recorded Audition

Submit a video recording of your audition to be reviewed by School of Music faculty. We recommend that you check out the following resources for tips on capturing high-quality audio and video for your submission:

Upload your video to YouTube, Google Drive, Dropbox, or other preferred platform, and share the URL through the Audition registration form below. Your submission will be reviewed and feedback on your admission and scholarship eligibility will be provided within 5-7 business days.

Live Zoom Audition

If you are unable to visit campus, but would still like the live audition experience, you can opt for our new Live Zoom Audition offering. Complete the Audition registration form and our team will coordinate a date and time that works best for you to virtually meet with our School of Music faculty and perform your audition. Receive immediate feedback and a decision on your scholarship eligibility. You can also participate in a personalized virtual campus tour with one of our Admissions representatives!

Audition Requirements for Music (BA), Performance, and Music Education (PK-12) Candidates

Keyboard
  • Perform two contrasting works from the classical repertoire (memorization required).
  • Demonstrate your ability to play one major and minor scale.
  • Be able to demonstrate your ability to sight-read.
  • Suggested repertoire:
    • a two- or three-part invention or a prelude and fugue from the Well-Tempered Clavier by J.S. Bach
    • an allegro movement from a sonata by Mozart, Haydn, or Beethoven
    • a larger work from the Romantic period (Debussy, Schumann, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, etc.)
Voice
  • Perform two contrasting works from the classical repertoire (memorization required).
  • Suggested repertoire: Copland, Quilter, Britten, Caldara, Schubert, Fauré, Brahms, Handel, etc.
  • Be able to demonstrate your ability to sight-read.
Strings
  • Perform the first movement of a standard concerto or solo piece of choice
  • Perform a contrasting movement from a standard concerto or solo piece by a different composer of choice
  • Demonstrate your ability to play one major and minor scale.
  • Be able to demonstrate your ability to sight-read.
Woodwinds and Brass
  • Perform the first movement of a standard concerto or solo piece of choice
  • Perform a contrasting movement from a standard concerto or solo piece by a different composer of choice
  • Demonstrate your ability to play one major and minor scale.
  • Be able to demonstrate your ability to sight-read.
Percussion
  • Perform two prepared snare drum solos
    • from the N.A.R.D. Rudiment Solo Book or equivalent
    • from Cirone’s, Portraits in Rhythm or equivalent
  • Perform a snare drum concert roll: pp<ff>pp over 16 beats.
  • Perform a prepared mallet solo from the book Masterpieces for Marimba by MacMillan, or Intermediate Mallets by Whaley, or equivalent.
  • Drum Set Auditions: Play examples from the following list of grooves/techniques:
    • 4/4 Swing
    • 3/4 Swing
    • Rock
    • Funk
    • Shuffle
    • Bossa Nova
    • Samba
    • Trading fours and eights in 4/4 Swing, Shuffle, and Rock grooves
    • Brush technique
Guitar

Perform two contrasting works from the classical repertoire

Audition Requirements for Composition Candidates

Composition

In addition to passing an audition in one of the areas above (keyboard, strings, woodwinds, percussion, guitar), application for entrance into the composition program is made in one of two ways:

  1. Submission of a portfolio of original compositions prior to the audition
  2. Demonstration, during the first two semesters of study, of a working knowledge of music theory and a strong interest in the creative process

Audition Requirements for Worship & Music Candidates

All Instruments (except Percussion)
  • Prepare two pieces of contrasting types from the list below that you are comfortable with that displays your instrumental or vocal proficiency and your overall musicianship. It can be in any style and should be approximately 3–5 minutes in length.
    • A tune from a well-known artist or band; this can be a worship song
    • A standard or jazz tune (which may include blues and rhythm changes) with your own improvisation
    • A composition from the classical instrumental/voice repertoire; this could be a movement of a sonata, concerto, or étude
    • A transcription of a well-known artist’s solo
  • Demonstrate your ability to play one major and minor scale.
  • Be able to demonstrate your ability to sight-read.
Percussion

Drum Set Auditions: Play examples from the following list of grooves/techniques:

  • 4/4 Swing
  • 3/4 Swing
  • Rock
  • Funk
  • Shuffle
  • Bossa Nova
  • Samba
  • Trading fours and eights in 4/4 Swing, Shuffle, and Rock grooves
  • Brush technique

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