Audition Dates and Guidelines - Music Composition, B.M.

Contact us at music@biola.edu to schedule an audition. Remember: The Conservatory of Music office must have a completed music application file (1 music application, 2 music references) in order to schedule an audition.


Composition Interview


Composition Interview Requirements:

  • Present a composition portfolio including three original scores and their respective recordings. Live recordings are preferable, but Midi recordings are acceptable. Scores must be double-sided and bound.
  • Performance on primary instrument with area faculty.
  • See primary instrument audition requirements below.

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 may 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 3 pieces of average length (3-5 minutes), or 2 longer pieces (5 or more minutes). One piece may be an arrangement. While the applicant may submit fewer than 3 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.

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.

Interview: this time will be spent discussing these scores and recordings with a panel made up of Conservatory Composition faculty.

Audition: Every composition major is required to audition on a primary instrument. See below for audition repertoire requirements.

IMPORTANT: In addition to presenting composition portfolios to the Composition faculty, all Composition candidates are required to audition on a primary instrument (includes voice).

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.

2016/2017 Audition Dates
  • Monday, November 7 (Music Visit Day)
  • Friday, November 11
  • Friday, November 18
  • Friday, February 17
  • Friday, February 24
  • Monday, February 27 (Music Visit Day)
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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 2 of these pieces may be played on the piano.)

  • Baroque Composition
  • Romantic Composition
  • Contemporary Composition

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

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

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, partita, or suite.
  • One movement from a concerto of your choice
  • Sight-reading, scales and arpeggios may be requested
  • If sending a DVD, 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 DVD 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 requested
  • If sending a DVD, include three octave D Major scale (ascending & descending) and a three-octave D Major arpeggio. (Additionally, see DVD 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 sending a DVD, include three octave Eb and A minor scale and arpeggio. (Additionally, see DVD 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 sending a DVD, 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 DVD submission guidelines below.)


Voice:

  • Two contrasting art songs, arias and/or golden age music theatre pieces from any opera, oratorio, or golden age musical.(Acceptable selections may be found in the 26 Italian Art Songs and Arias published by G. Schirmer, any art song, aria, or oratorio collection published by Hal Leonard or G. Schirmer, and selections from musicals by golden age composers such as Lerner and Lowe, Rodgers and Hammerstein, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Leonard Bernstein, etc. Selections from Phantom of the Opera will also be accepted.)

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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.