Admissions & Audition Information

About the Admissions and Audition Process

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.

The Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts welcomes all applicants interested in Music to audition. During the process, you will have the opportunity to showcase your talents and to experience firsthand our performance and art facilities.

Please note that you must apply to Jacksonville University before attending an audition or portfolio review, and that you must be accepted to the university before you can be accepted into the Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts.

Audition Dates

Click the dates above to schedule a preferred audition date. Check-in for each audition will be at Terry Concert Hall.

Audition Procedures

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.

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.

Read below for specifics about each area of discipline, if appropriate.


Please prepare music according to degree concentration:

BM or BA, Classical Guitar

  • Two contrasting works from different stylistic periods. These may include repertoire from the Renaissance lute and vihuela literature, the Baroque lute and guitar literature and the Classical, Romantic, 20th and 21st century guitar literature. A minimum of one major and one minor, three octave scale using either the Segovia or Carlevaro diatonic scales. The scales should demonstrate both tirando (free stroke) and apoyando (rest stroke) techniques.

    Basic sight reading will also be included.

    If you have an interest in studying classical guitar but feel unable to meet audition requirements at this time, please contact Dr. Brian Luckett ( for possible options. If you have have an interest in the study of Flamenco guitar, please contact Dr. Luckett for audition information.

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.


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.


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.


Degree Desired: BM, BME, BA in Vocal Performance

Please prepare two art songs, one in Italian and one in English.

Degree Desired: BFA in Music Theatre, BA in Music Theatre

Please prepare two contrasting Broadway songs, either one up-tempo and one ballad, or one pre-1965 and one contemporary. Please prepare two contrasting monologues not to exceed two minutes in length. A dance audition is required and will be arranged for you by the Music Theatre faculty.

Degree Desired: BS in Music Business

Please prepare two selections in two contrasting styles, i.e. one pop/rock or jazz selection and one music theatre or classical.

All students will be required to sight read and demonstrate other musicianship skills as part of the audition.

An accompanist is provided for all vocal auditions.

Woodwind and Brass

  • Two selections in contrasting styles from the standard recital literature for your instrument (or one longer work) that best displays musical accomplishments.
  • The chromatic scale and major scales and arpeggios will 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 degree program.

Video Audition

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Enclose copies of your music with the submission.
  4. 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.
    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.
    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.

Transfer Students

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)


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 at 904-256-7370 for more details.

Theory Placement Exam

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.