AUDITION INFORMATION (Click on the area for more information): ​​​











To schedule an audition, contact JU Admissions at (904) 256-7000.​


The music audition serves two purposes: entrance for music majors into any degree program, and scholarships for any qualified student, regardless of major. This includes the music business and commercial music degrees.

PLEASE READ: Generally, all instrumentalists and vocalists auditioning for all degrees will need to prepare:

  • Two selections in contrasting styles from the standard, collegiate-level, audition appropriate literature (or one longer work) that best display musical accomplishments.
  • Major scales, chromatic scales, and arpeggios will most likely be requested, as well as sight-reading. Instrumentalists are not required to perform with accompaniment.
  • IMPORTANT: self-composed selections are not appropriate for college auditions, unless you are submitting them for review for collegiate-level entrance into the BM in Composition and Theory degree program.
  • Read below for specifics about each area of discipline, if appropriate

Candidates audition before a music faculty committee that will evaluate technique, musicianship, tone quality, and sight-reading ability. Prepare carefully for your audition in order to perform as well as possible. An accompanist will be provided at no charge for on-site vocal auditions for scheduled audition days.

Audition Dates:

  • Friday, January 24, 2014
  • Friday, February 14, 2014
  • Saturday, March 8, 2014
  • Friday, April 11, 2014​

Auditions take place in the Phillips Fine Arts Building, after an initial meeting in Swisher Theater at 10am each morning.

Click Here to Schedule an Audition​


Please prepare pieces on Snare Drum both rudimental and concert styles. All auditions include sight reading.

For rudimental solos refer to the following books:

  • The All-American Drummer – Charlie Wilcoxon. Prepare one solo in 2/4 and 6/8 respectively.
  • 14 Rudimental Solos – John Pratt. Prepare any one solo from this text.

Concert Solos can be from any of the standard texts:

  • Portraits in Rhythm – Anthony Cirone
  • Intermediate Snare Drum Solos – Mitchell Peters
  • The Concert Snare Drum – Vic Firth
  • Modern School for Snare Drum – Morris Goldenberg (any selection from any of the Etudes beginning on page 44.)
  • Douze Etudes – Jacques Delecluese (1,2,3,6,7)

Please do not play on a high-tension corps style snare drum. A GMS Concert Snare Drum is available for your audition.

Mallet Percussion Audition:

  • Major Scales and Arpeggios, two-mallet solo of your choice, four-mallet solo optional.

Timpani Audition:

Prepare a two-drum solo. Recommended texts:

  • Modern Method for Timpani – Saul Goodman
  • Concepts for Timpani – John Beck, any state contest list solo

Drum Set Audition: play the following styles listed below:

  • Traditional Rock (Chuck Berry, Little Richard) 4/4.
  • Progressive Rock (Late period Beatles, Yes, Pink Floyd)
  • Hard Rock (Van Halen, etc…)
  • Jazz (Swing, Jazz Waltz, Be-Bop) Differentiate the styles if you need to play the grooves with an iPod that is acceptable.
  • Funk (James Brown Funk and Simple Funk)
  • Latin (Bossa Nova- Carlos Jobim is a good reference for this style, Samba- play a basic samba, Advanced Samba – play a Maracatu, Baiao or Maxixe)

Your drum set solo should demonstrate your ability to play in time and create ideas based on rhythmic development and not just “flashy licks”. Think of this as a composition based on the technical vocabulary you have developed over your years of playing the drums. If you wish to use an accompaniment track it is acceptable.

Sight reading on drum set will consist of a page from the book of a Broadway show.

If you wish to audition from a distance please use the following media:

DVD standard format, we need to see your hands moving. Please feel free to prepare an introduction to your audition. If you send a CD please have a list of the prepared pieces in the jewel box. If you have a page that has video of you performing and you wish to submit that as part of your audition, please be certain the quality of the performance is at a standard you would be proud to present in any environment.

If you have any further questions please contact Professor Steve at (904)256-7360 or


  • One work by J. S. Bach (a Prelude and Fugue, a Sinfonia (or Three-Part Invention), two Two-Part Inventions, one movement of a Suite or Partita).
  • One movement of a Sonata by Haydn, Clementi, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert ... OR ... one work from the Romantic Period (Chopin, Brahms, Schumann, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff, etc.)
  • One work from the 20th or 21st century (Debussy, Bartok, Ravel, Schoenberg, Berg, Webern, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Messian, Ginastera, etc.)

ALL works MUST be performed from memory (except a work from the 21st century - bring extra copies of the score). Sight-reading WILL be required. For clarification of the above, or for any other questions, please call Prof. Scott Watkins at 904-256-7388.


Please be prepared to play the following for both live and remote (recorded) auditions:

Major scales and melodic minor scales (three octaves) and arpeggios, and two contrasting selections representing different style periods.

One may be an étude such as:

  • Violin/viola: Kreutzer, Rode, Gaviniès, Dont (opus 35), Fiorillo
  • Viola: Campagnoli
  • Cello: Schroeder, Dotzauer, Popper
  • Bass: Simandl, Sturm
  • Concerto movements and/or solo Bach movements preferred. Memorization encouraged. Sight reading possible. Accompanist available ONLY at local (on campus) auditions.


Please preare music according to degree concentration.

BM or BA, classical guitar

  • Sor: Any of the 20 studies (Segovia)
  • de Visee: Suite in D minor

BA, jazz guitar

  • Blues based song in either Bb, or A, with global improvisation. Example piece: All Blues
  • Jazz standard, with chord focused improvisation. Example piece: 500 Miles High BA, commercial music or BS music business

Two pieces from either the classical or jazz requirements above.


Classical Vocalists

Please prepare a minimum of two art songs or arias. It is recommended that one of these is in Italian and one in English. If the vocalist cannot bring an accompanist, one will be provided. Accompanist fee of $30 is charged for summer auditions only.

Music Theatre Vocalists

  • Music theatre auditionees must prepare one Broadway show tune and one art song. A selection from the Twenty-four Italian Songs and Arias would be appropriate, or an art song in English.
  • Two contrasting monologues, each not to exceed two minutes in length.
  • Be prepared to discuss your previous dance experience for dance placement. If you desire to be considered for a 200 level or higher dance class, you should let us know before the audition so arrangements can be made for an evaluation during your visit.

BA, commercial music or BS music business

  • Two pieces from either the classical or music theater requirements above.


For all instrumental areas with the exception of drummers and singers:

  1. Two jazz standard prepared pieces out of a fake book or Jamey Aebersold booklet: One blues and one long form standard. Acceptable examples can be (but are not limited to) Billie’s Bounce and Oleo.
  2. Instrumental Improvisation on at least one jazz standard is REQUIRED for advanced placement ensemble consideration. Accompaniment will be provided.
  3. Demonstrated knowledge of ALL Major scales. Demonstrate knowledge of Harmonic and Melodic Minor scales. Relative to the progress of your audition, you may be asked to play additional scale types/modes in the keys of our choice.

Sight-reading will be given in the audition process. Chord players and bass players will be expected to sight -read a chord chart as well as melodic notation.

Drummers will perform in as many different time feels they know:

As a minimum, drummers must have prepared: Medium and Up Tempo Swing in 4/4. Swing in 3/4, 4/4 Latin Bossa, Latin Samba, Shuffle and Funk. Advanced drummer placement will require demonstration of familiarity with form by way of shaping a form solo around the melody of a standard

  • For additional clarification, please also see “Drum Set Audition” under Percussion audition requirements*
  • Pianists and Guitarists will be expected to demonstrate chordal accompaniment on at least one of the prepared audition pieces.
  • Guitarists may also be asked to demonstrate a chord melody over at least one prepared piece (depending on your background and demonstrated ability).
  • Bassists are expected to play a walking bass line, just after demonstrating the melody on the prepared pieces, with an accompanying chord player. Accompaniment will be provided. If auditioning on upright, you will be asked to bow the melody on one of your prepared pieces.
  • Singers must perform two standards of their choice (please bring music, accompaniment will be provided). Singers must also perform three Major Scales and one Harmonic Minor scale.


The Music Faculty Auditions Committee (Vocal, Instrumental or Keyboard) will evaluate at the time of audition:

  1. Number of hours of applied music completed at an accredited institution,
  2. Repertoire covered and level based on the Assessment Handbook of the Music Division,
  3. Students ability to sight read (and remember pitch for singers)
  4. Other technical proficiencies and make recommendations on the audition form as to suggested major and level of enrollment in the lower or upper division. If the faculty recommends enrollment in the lower division, the student will be required to take MU 200 before enrolling in the upper division.

Transfer students should bring to the audition:

  1. A list of repertoire studied on the college level
  2. A list of technical studies
  3. Musical performance résumé
  4. A transcript (if possible)


All prospective music majors are required to take a theory placement exam that will be given either on the day of your audition or prior to the start of the fall semester. The exam will evaluate note reading, scales, keys, intervals and chords.

Click here to download helpful Music Theory review information.


When auditioning by video, you should try to provide as comprehensive a profile of your abilities as possible, especially if you are being considered for scholarships.

  1. Submit audition videos in DVD format. Singers should show a 3/4 body shot and should be accompanied by an accompanist (no a cappella songs). Instrumentalists should show a 1/2 or 3/4 body shot that allows us to see your fingering on the instrument. Instrumentalists are not required to perform with accompaniment.
  2. Enclose copies of your music with the submission.
  3. Scales and arpeggios:
    INSTRUMENTALISTS - play two major and two minor scales (each with at least 2 flats and 2 sharps - four scales total). Play arpeggios for those scales as well, and tell us what scales you are playing before each one.
    SINGERS - sing the following without accompaniment: major scale; natural, harmonic, and melodic minor scales; and major, minor, diminished, and augmented triads.
  4. Play or sing two selections in contrasting styles from the standard, collegiate-level, audition appropriate literature (or one longer work) that best display musical accomplishments.
  5. Include a letter of introduction and resume from yourself, and two letters of recommendation from people that are familiar with your musical skills (i.e. choir and/or band director, piano teacher, voice teacher).

IMPORTANT: self-composed selections are not appropriate for college auditions, unless you are submitting them for review for collegiate-level entrance into the BM in Composition and Theory degree program.


Jacksonville University offers competitive talent scholarships in all areas. Full-tuition music scholarships are available for positions in our Honors Brass and Woodwind Quintets, and Honors String Quartet and Honors Jazz and Percussion ensembles (subject to position vacancy).​ Contact the Division of Music for more details.