Music major candidates must complete an audition to be accepted into the Department of Music, and to be considered for a talent award. You must complete an application to Otterbein before you may schedule an audition.
We will be hosting an Audition Workshop for high school junior and senior vocalists, pianists, and string players on Saturday, November 21, 2015. Participants will receive useful information about the entire audition process, including a chance to perform a trial audition and to receive helpful critique from seasoned music professionals. Click here for more information and to register.
Audition dates for 2016 are listed below. You will be on campus from approximately 8:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. You will have the opportunity to meet faculty and students.
Register for an Audition for the Department of Music
- Saturday, January 23
- Saturday, February 13 (Participation Awards - Participation info)
- Tuesday, February 23
- Saturday, March 19
If you live too far from campus to audition in person, a video or audio-taped audition will be given careful consideration. By request, students may audition on Campus Visitation Days.
An accompanist will be provided when appropriate, or auditionees may bring their own accompanist.
Strings (Classical): Perform two contrasting selections demonstrating technical aspects (left hand accuracy, shifting and bowing skills) and expressive playing (bow control and vibrato) as well as general musicianship. String players should be prepared to perform major scales up to four sharps and four flats in two or three octaves. There may be sight reading. Additional information regarding the audition will be mailed with the audition confirmation letter.
Jazz Double Bass/Electric Bass: Select a major scale (up to four sharps or four flats) in two or three octaves. Demonstrate your ability to walk a bass line to the 12 bar blues in Bb; improvise over the same. Perform one jazz tune walking to the changes and then perform an improvised solo. Suggested tunes: Autumn Leaves, Blue Bossa, Blue Monk, Nowʼs the Time, Take the A Train, Body and Soul, Anthropology. Accompaniment by combo or CD is recommended but not required.
Guitar: Click here for guitar audition requirements.
Woodwinds and Brass (Classical): Prepare two pieces (either two solos, or a solo and an etude.) in contrasting styles. All major scales and a two-octave chromatic scale, as well as sight-reading, will be part of the audition. Playing from memory is not required. At least one piece with accompaniment is encouraged, but not required. Additional information regarding auditions will be mailed with the audition confirmation letter.
1) Scales: Any two major scales through 4 flats/4 sharps and a chromatic scale. Swing eight notes BPM=80 and two octaves where practical.
2) One etude or transcription from one of the following: Snidero - Jazz Conception, Berger - Contemporary Jazz Studies, or Leisenring/Butler - J.J. Johnson Solos
3) Statement of melody and two choruses of improvised solo on both of the following: Tenor Madness (Sonny Rollins) or equivalent blues in concert Bb. Minimum tempo of BPM = 144. Blue Bossa (Kenny Dorham) at minimum tempo of BPM = 116
1. Any two major scales through 4 flats/4 sharps and a chromatic scale. Swing eight notes at quarter note=80 and two octaves where practical.
2. An etude or transcription from one of the following: Jazz Conception by Jim Snidero (Catalog #14722), Effective Etudes for Jazz by Carubia/Jarvis (Catalog #20695), The Jazz Style of Clifford Brown by David Baker (Catalog #SB104),
3. Statement of the head (melody) and two improvised choruses of any two selections from volume 54 of the Jamey Aebersold play-along series. (Catalog #V54)
These materials may be obtained at any reputable sheet music resource, online or brick and mortar.
1. Chromatic scale demonstrating playable range of the instrument.
2. Two major scales that you can play 2 octaves or for the playable range of the instrument.
3. Any two from the following list:
- Any of these titles; Friends, Two Plus Two, Lunar, Bird Blues, Somewhere, or Passage, from Jim Snidero’s Jazz Conception etude book:
- Any full transcriptions from the Charlie Parker Omnibook.
- Any etudes from Greg Fishman’s Jazz Etudes book.
4. Play the melody and improvise at least two choruses on Blue Bossa by Kenny Dorham. Lead sheets for Blue Bossa can be found in The Real Book published by Hal Leonard. You must have accompaniment to satisfactorily perform Blue Bossa. You may use either a prerecorded play along or a live accompanist.
Percussion: Demonstrate ability in three of five percussion areas, i.e., snare drum, mallet percussion, timpani, drum set, multiple percussion. At least one solo should be from the state music educators association solo contest list, highest class, or equivalent. Memorization is not required.
--If auditioning on snare drum or multiple percussion, please play three rudiments (slow-fast-slow): one roll, one flam, one drag--your choice.
--If auditioning on mallet percussion please play two major scales and associated arpeggio (two octaves up & down): one from a sharp key, one from a flat key--your choice.
--If auditioning on timpani please demonstrate your ability to tune drums: gliss (on one drum) from G up to C (articulating both pitches), and (on a second drum), Eb down to Cb.
--If auditioning on drum set please trade 4's with yourself (4 bars of time, 4 bars of drum break) in jazz, rock and Latin styles. Be prepared to sight read.
Keyboard (Classical): Two pieces, preferably memorized, in contrasting styles (for example, a Bach Prelude and Fugue and a movement of a classical sonata). A third contrasting piece is optional. All major and harmonic minor scales. Sightreading will be included in the audition. Please bring music resume and repertoire list.
Keyboard (Jazz Studies Concentration): Choose 2 Major and 2 harmonic minor scales: four octaves, hands together. Perform two prepared Jazz selections in contrasting styles (swing, Latin, ballad), which demonstrate the ability to play jazz melodies in the right hand and provide a jazz style accompaniment in the left hand (chord voicings, walking or stride bass). These selections must be memorized. Examples would be: Satin Doll, Take The "A" Train, Autumn Leaves, or other compositions from published jazz "fake" books. Additionally, please be prepared to perform a memorized blues composition that demonstrates the ability to improvise and a classical piano composition played form memory.
Musical Theatre: See Theatre and Dance. An audition for musical theatre will also qualify the auditionee for consideration as a music major. However, students interested in being considered for the Bachelor of Music in Performance degree track must complete a separate music audition presenting classical repertory exclusively.
Voice: Prepare two memorized pieces in contrasting styles. One piece should be performed in a foreign language. Selections from the art song and operatic repertoires should be emphasized, although one folk song arrangement or musical theatre piece may be included. Students auditioning for the Bachelor of Music in Performance degree must present classical repertory.
Additional considerations for all auditionees:
- In order to get as complete a musical profile as possible, auditionees also may be asked to sight read during the audition, and will also complete music theory and piano placement tests, as well as a music aptitude test.
- Auditionees are strongly encouraged to provide original music for their accompanists at the audition. If originals are not available, please bring very clear, readable copies in correct page order in a 3-ring binder
- There are special talent awards available for string players and participation awards for non-majors.
To arrange your audition, contact Claire Brock in the Department of Music at cbrock@Otterbein.edu or (614) 823-1504.
The Department will notify students of their acceptance as music majors within two weeks of their audition date.