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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.

Audition Dates
Until further notice all fall auditions will be remote – contact the office to arrange. Remote auditions will include YouTube recorded performances and Zoom interviews.
Friday, February 5, 2021
Friday - Saturday, February 19-20, 2021 (Music Visit Weekend - Must Register to Audition)

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:

  • Piano placement auditions for composition will take place at the beginning of the student’s first semester.

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 strongly encourage students to audition in person, we also recognize that not everyone will be able to do so. Because of this, 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.

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