School of Music Auditions

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 two different audition methods: in-person, or video recording.

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

  • 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.

  • Recorded Audition

    Submit a video recording of your audition to be reviewed by School of Music faculty.
    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.

Upcoming Audition Days
  •  September 16, 2022
  • October 14, 2022
  • November 18, 2022
  • January 27, 2023
  • February 24, 2023
  • March 31, 2023
  • April 17, 2023
Audition Requirements for Music (BA), Performance, and Music Education (PK-12) Candidates
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
Perform two contrasting works from the classical repertoire.
Audition Requirements for Composition Candidates

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 (BMus and MA)
  • 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.

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

Register for Your Audition

School of Music Audition Registration - Formstack
Name*
Address*
Choose your Music Program:*
Preferred audition method:*
Which audition would you like to attend?*
Will you require an accompanist?*
All accompanied pieces must be performed with an accompanist (no accompaniment tracks permitted). All applicants should provide their own accompanist, unless other arrangements are made with the School of Music.
If your schedule allows, would you be interested in any of the following campus visit activities?
Are you interested in an overnight stay?
I would prefer to stay on campus...
Please upload a video recording of your audition piece to YouTube, Dropbox, Google Drive, or other file-sharing method.

Additional Information

I am a...*
Are you currently taking lessons?*