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Graduate Audition Requirements

Master of Arts in Performance

*** Graduate Jazz Auditions will be held Friday, April 17. ***


The candidate will perform one selection from each of the four following categories:

1. Bebop
  • Select and perform a bebop head from memory in a medium-fast to fast tempo. Examples of bebop heads are "Donna Lee," "Scrapple from the Apple," or "Anthropology."
  • All candidates will play a minimum of two improvised choruses on the chord progression.
  • Pianists and guitarists will accompany a soloist, or "comp," for two choruses.
  • Bassists will demonstrate a "foundational" walking bass line outlining the chord progression.
  • Drummers will "trade 8s" or "4s" in addition to improvising complete choruses.

2. Ballad
  • Select and perform a ballad from memory. Examples of ballads are "Body and Soul," "Darn that Dream," or "'Round Midnight."
  • The melody should not be played literally, but rather should be interpreted and embellished.
  • Guitarists will play a chord melody arrangement of the head.
  • Drummers will play with brushes.

3. Nonfunctional Harmony
  • Select and perform, from memory, a jazz composition that employs nonfunctional harmonic idioms. Examples of nonfunctional harmonic compositions are "Very Early" (Bill Evans), "Windows" (Chick Corea), "Dolphin Dance" (Herbie Hancock), and "Yes or No" (Wayne Shorter).
  • All candidates will play a minimum of two improvised choruses on the chord progression.
  • Pianists, guitarists, bassists, and drummers will accompany a soloist, or "comp," for two choruses.

4. Transcription
  • Perform a reading of a transcribed solo (memorization not required) as played by one of the recognized masters of the candidate's instrument. For example, a candidate for trumpet might play a transcription of a Clifford Brown solo, or a candidate for guitar might play a transcription of a Wes Montgomery solo.


Applicants should prepare three contrasting pieces from three different periods of music that best demonstrate their level of technical and interpretive achievement.



Voice Performance students holding a BM, BFA or BA with a concentration in voice may audition for the MA program.  Students should prepare 20-25 minutes of music consisting of songs in four languages (English, Italian or Latin, German and French) being sure to include all of  the following periods of music; Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary.  Their selections should include one aria and recitative from an opera or oratorio, and the songs must be of varying tempi.