Skip to main content

Audition Information

Composition Interview and Audition Requirements

Interview:

  • This time will be spent discussing these scores and recordings with a panel made up of conservatory composition faculty.
    • Scores allow the committee to assess the applicant's creative capacity, as well as his/her skills in notation. Handwritten scores are acceptable, or scores created using notation software (Finale, Sibelius, etc.). However, these should not be printouts from a sequencing program (Garage Band, Logic, Digital Performer, etc.). Lead sheets (single melodies with pop chords) will not be considered. The written music demonstrates the applicant's personal command of notation. The applicant may submit three pieces of average length (three to five minutes), or two longer pieces (five or more minutes). One piece may be an arrangement. While the applicant may submit fewer than three pieces, this is not normally recommended; a complete portfolio allows the applicant to display his/her ability to write in various styles and for various ensembles. Scores must be double-sided and bound.
    • Recordings demonstrate that the applicant understands how to write idiomatically, especially in the case of a live recording and that the applicant is able to write music for any given instrument comfortably, efficiently and effectively. Live recordings are preferable, but Midi recordings are acceptable.
  • Note: For New Media Concentration applicants, it is likely that some or all of these scores will represent music for scenes from films, video games, or some other media.
  • Every composition major is required to audition on a primary instrument. See primary instrument requirements for audition repertoire requirements.
  • IMPORTANT: In addition to presenting composition portfolios to the composition faculty, all composition candidates are required to audition for performance faculty on a primary instrument (includes voice; this audition is separate from the composition interview).

Note: Auditions and Interviews may also be requested on any of the Biola University event dates. Please visit www.biola.edu/undergrad/events for event registration.

University event registration does not automatically include the audition time. Contact us at music@biola.edu after registration to schedule the audition.

Fall 2022 Audition Dates Spring 2023 Audition Dates
November 4, 2022
November 11, 2022
November 18, 2022

November 21, 2022 (Music Visit Day)

February 3, 2023
February 10, 2023
February 17, 2023
February 18, 2023 (Music Visit Day)
February 24, 2023

Primary Instrument Requirements

Guitar:

  • One transcription of a work written before 1750
  • One classical or romantic selection written for guitar

Harp:

  • Handel: B-Flat Concerto - first movement
  • Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker ‘Waltz of the Flowers’ cadenza
  • Two contrasting solo pieces of your choice

Brass and Wind:

  • Two contrasting pieces from the standard solo literature of your instrument (One lyrical; One technical).

Organ:

  • One of each of the following pieces. Up to two of these pieces may be played on the piano.
    • Baroque Composition
    • Romantic Composition
    • Contemporary Composition

Note: Please be prepared for sight-reading and ear tests.

Percussion:

  • One snare drum piece
  • One mallet piece using two or four mallets
  • One timpani piece using two or four drums

Note: All three areas are desired, but consideration will still be given to those who are weak in one of the aforementioned instruments.

If you are interested in playing in Jazz Ensemble, please be prepared to audition on drum set as well, demonstrating various styles and grooves (Swing, rock and latin).

Piano:

  • All students must play two of the three pieces or movements representing three different stylistic periods; the pieces performed must be memorized:
    • Bach’s Two- part Invention or a movement from any of Bach’s Suite that contains counterpoint
    • A Romantic piece of an appropriate difficulty level, such as Chopin Nocturne or Mazurkas
    • Classical Sonata/Sonatina Allegro movement, such as Beethoven’s Sonatas Op. 49 or many of Kuhlau or Clementi Sonatinas

  • Note: This audition does not affect your acceptance to the Conservatory as your composition submissions are the determining factor; this audition will be used to determine private lesson and/or course placement for your secondary area (the instrument you will study at Biola).

    This repertoire is the minimum standard. More advanced selections are allowed; please contact at music@biola.edu for repertoire consideration.

    If you wish to opt out of this piano audition, you will be automatically placed in the Keyboard Skills courses. To test out of the Keyboard Skills courses, you will need to take the Keyboard Placement Survey.

Strings:

  • Violin
    • One movement from a Bach unaccompanied sonata or partita.
    • One movement from a concerto of your choice
    • Sight-reading, scales and arpeggios may be requeste
    • If submitting an online audition, include one major and one minor scale of your choice (can be the same or different keys); both scales should be three-octaves. (Additionally, see online submission guidelines below.)
  • Viola
    • One movement from a Bach unaccompanied sonata, partita, or suite.
    • One movement from a concerto of your choice
    • Sight-reading, scales and arpeggios may be requeste
    • If submitting an online audition, include three octave D Major scale (ascending & descending) and a three-octave D Major arpeggio (additionally, see online submission guidelines below).
  • Cello
    • One movement from a Bach unaccompanied suite
    • One etude by Popper or Duport (or equivalent)
    • One movement from the concerto of your choice
    • Sight-reading, scales and arpeggios may be requested
    • If submitting an online audition, include three octave Eb and A minor scale and arpeggio (additionally, see online submission guidelines below).
  • Double Bass
    • Major and Minor scales or an etude of your choice
    • One movement from baroque or classical sonata or concerto, or a one-movement piece
    • If submitting an online audition, include one major and one minor scale of their choice (can be the same or different keys); both scales should be three-octaves. (Additionally, see online submission guidelines below.)

Voice:

  • Two contrasting classical art songs (one can be an aria from any opera or oratorio) in any language. 
  • Both pieces must be memorized.
  • Acceptable selections may be found in the 24 or 26 Italian Art Songs and Arias published by G. Schirmer, and any art song, aria, or oratorio anthology or collection published by Hal Leonard or G. Schirmer

Note: An accompanist will be provided.

Online Submission Guidelines

While we prefer students to audition in person, we also recognize that not everyone will be able to do so, specifically with regards to students who live across the country or internationally. In cases like these, we accept recorded auditions via YouTube, due March 1. Simply upload a video recording (meeting the following requirements) and email the link to music@biola.edu. Those planning to audition via recording must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Performance of each piece should be continuous with no editing.
  • Include the date of the performance, which should be no more than 6 months old.
  • Include a typed copy of the entire performance program. There should be no talking or explanation on the recording itself. Any additional comments should be typed and submitted with the recording.
  • All recorded audition submissions must be of highest quality sound and visual recordings.

You may also be interested in

B.A. in Music

School of Fine Arts and Communication

B.M. in Music Education

School of Fine Arts and Communication

B.M. in Music Performance

School of Fine Arts and Communication

B.M. in Worship Arts

School of Fine Arts and Communication

Minor in Applied Music

School of Fine Arts and Communication

Minor in Contemporary Worship Music

School of Fine Arts and Communication

Minor in Music

School of Fine Arts and Communication