A Christian College of the Liberal Arts & Sciences

Undergraduate Music Auditions

All applicants to the School of Music are required to prepare and present an entrance audition. These auditions are designed to give studio faculty opportunity to meet each applicant and to assess strengths and potential for success in collegiate music studies. 

The completed music application and two teacher recommendation forms must be submitted prior to scheduling an audition. We strongly recommend, for fullest consideration regarding admission & scholarship, that auditions be completed on or before March 4, 2014.

Audition Dates

Audition dates are available by appointment. To schedule your audition, please email kevin.dibble@houghton.edu or call 585.567.9402. After you have scheduled your audition, submit your audition information by filling out the form linked below.

Submit your audition information

Audition Requirements

Instrumental Majors

Perform two solo pieces or movements demonstrating both a slow, tonal and a faster, technical style.

  • Perform one etude, solo piece or movement demonstrating slow, lyrical style (approx. 3-5 min.)
  • Perform one etude, solo piece or movement demonstrating fast, more technical demands. (approx. 3-5 min.)
  • Be prepared to play any major scale, if requested.
  • Sight-read one or two short excerpts provided by the instrumental faculty in the audition, if requested.

Organ Majors

Students interested in organ may audition on either organ or piano, depending on which will best demonstrate the student's abilities.  If auditioning on piano, requirements for Piano Auditions above should be followed.

  • Perform two or three selections from contrasting style periods, with at least one from the Baroque.
  • Play a hymn of the student's choice in a manner suitable for leading a congregation..
  • Scales & arpeggios may be requested.
  • Sight-read one or two short chorale preludes selected by faculty in the audition.

Piano Majors

  • Perform two or three pieces or movements from contrasting style periods (Baroque, Classic, Romantic, 20th Century). Please limit any fold, hymn, or contemporary arrangements to one.
  • Perform from memory, if possible.
  • Sight-read one or two short excerpts selected by the faculty in the audition.

Theory/Composition Majors

In addition to an audition on the major instrument or voice, applicants will have an interview with the Theory/Composition faculty.

  • If possible, scores and/or tapes of original compositions should be brought to this interview. Prior development of keyboard skills is strongly encouraged.

Voice Majors

  • Sing two selections in contrasting styles, demonstrating both a slow, lyric style and a faster, more technical style.
  • If prior voice study has included foreign languages, sing in the foreign language, if possible.
  • When possible, select literature from the standard repertoire of easy English and Italian Art Songs.
  • Learn and be prepared to sing an arrangement of "The Ash Grove" (mailed to you with your application materials , or download here). Two different keys will provided; select the one which best fits your voice range.
  • Applicants with prior choral experience, but no formal voice study, are encouraged to audition with solos selected and prepared with the guidance of their choral director.

Percussion Majors

  • Prepare an audition demonstrating development levels on each of these three areas: Snare drum, mallets (marimba or xylophone), and timpani.
  • Applicants typically choose to demonstrate their playing level on their primary instrument first by playing a solo chosen from their state solo listings (ex: NYSSMA Manual)
  • The typical audition generally consists of the performance of a snare drum solo, etude or exercise, then a mallet solo or exercise, and then an exercise for 2, 3 or 4 timpani demonstrating your tuning and technical skills. You may also perform on drum set, preferably with a CD accompaniment.