Admissions & Audition Information - Music

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.

The Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts & Humanities 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 & Humanities.

Audition Dates

Auditions for entry in the 2023-24 academic year will be conducted for review in four cycles. During the process, you will have the opportunity to showcase your talents and to experience firsthand our performance and art facilities. To ensure full consideration, be sure your materials are submitted on or before the deadline for your chosen admission cycle:

All audition dates have passed. Please reach out to James Demps at to submit an audition or portfolio.


If you are still interested in submitting a virtual portfolio or audition please contact:

  • James Demps, Admissions Counselor
    Email address  |  Telephone number  (904) 256-7639

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

  • 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.

For studies in Music Technology, students may demonstrate performance proficiency through a vocal or instrumental audition and/or a finished song or songs you have produced along with the multitrack session you recorded it on from a professional DAW platform such as Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Cuebase, Abelton Live, Reason (not Garage Band).  Please provide this submission either electronically via Dropbox or another similar platform or on a USB flash drive at your in-person audition. The recording should incorporate digital instrument tracks as well as analog tracks, mixed with proper levels and exported as an MP3. Also include a detailed production essay including the song structure, lyrics, key and BPM (beats per minute), instrumentation list, all microphones used, digital plugins and/or outboard gear used to record/mix/master their composition.  You may contact either or for additional information.


Applicants for enrollment in the Music Therapy program will audition for the Department of Music with a musical selection of their choice on their primary instrument.  Music Therapy applicants will also demonstrate their ability to sing and play the piano and guitar if not their primary instrument.  Finally, they will complete an interview with the Music Therapy program director.  


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

Please prepare music according to degree concentration:

BM, Composition

  • Submit a composition portfolio (2-3 original compositions) that best represents your work and interests. Submitting audio recordings of your submitted compositions is encouraged but not required. It is expected that applicants demonstrate facility in a performance medium via instrumental or vocal audition.   
  • 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.

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.

Requirements By Degree

Degree Desired: BM, BME, BA

Please prepare two art songs or arias, one in a foreign language.


Please prepare two contrasting Broadway songs. Please prepare two contrasting monologues, one minute or less each.

Degree Desired: BM or BA IN MUSIC Technology

Please prepare two selections in contrasting styles that showcase your range, style, and ability. Original compositions are acceptable.  Tracks may be used, although a pianist is provided.

  • 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.

Electronic Submission

Live auditions are preferred, but electronic submission is accepted. For electronic submissions, please submit a video of the required repertoire per your degree track uploaded via a YouTube link, cloud-based storage link, or as an attachment to an email to

If you are a singer auditioning electronically for any degree program (BM, BFA, BME, BA, or BS), please also include the following as part of your unedited video:

  • A cappella triads: Major, minor, augmented, and diminished
  • 2 scales: one major and one harmonic minor. 1 octave each up and down, on solfege or numbers.

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 up to full-tuition in all areas. Contact the Music Department at 904-256-7370 for more details.

Jacksonville Children's Chorus Kinne Scholarship 

The Kinne Scholarship, named in honor of Dr. Frances Bartlett Kinne, supports up to two (2) academically and musically gifted alumni of the Jacksonville Children's Chorus with a four-year, full tuition scholarship to Jacksonville University.  More Information

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 the first week of the fall semester. The exam will evaluate note reading, scales, keys, intervals and chords.