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Music

Auditions and Scholarships

Each year, Carthage offers more than $300,000 in renewable music scholarships to incoming freshmen and transfer students who demonstrate outstanding music potential. Individual scholarships range from $500 to $13,000 and may be offered to music majors, minors, and non-majors. 

2022 Scholarship Auditions will take place on Feb. 12, 19, and 26. Virtual options available (see application form).

Applications forms are now available.

Join our mailing list to receive more information about Carthage’s competitive scholarships. 

How to Apply 

An audition is required for admittance into the music major or minor, and for scholarship consideration. All students are asked to first submit an application to the Office of Admissions before scheduling an audition. In-person auditions are held on scheduled audition dates before a panel of two or more music faculty members. Students unable to attend the scheduled audition dates may email finearts@carthage.edu to discuss the possibility of an alternate audition date. Auditions take place every February. 

How to Schedule Your Audition

To apply for a scholarship, students will sign up for an audition. A confirmation email with details about the audition will be sent once the application form is received and processed. Students should add finearts@carthage.edu to their contacts to ensure they receive all of the information.

Audition Overview

Prospective music majors, minors, and non-majors must complete an audition in a primary performance area. In-person, on-campus auditions are encouraged for the best scholarship consideration. An accompanist will be provided for all vocal auditions and is available upon request for instrumental auditions if needed.

All resumes, copies of music, and recommendation letters must be emailed to finearts@carthage.edu. Please do not bring hard copies on the audition day. See the audition requirements below for specifics.

Auditions for admittance into the major or minor, and for scholarship consideration, are competitive. Therefore, students should prepare music from the standard repertoire that clearly demonstrates their highest level of musical and technical ability, as well as the potential for excellence in music. See a list of suggested repertoire arranged by performance area

If you cannot meet on the listed days or times, please explain your situation at the bottom of the application form in the “How Did You Find Out About Us” section. We will work on an alternate appointment over email.

In the event of a COVID-19 resurgence, masks and social distancing measures will be implemented at the in-person auditions. Details will be communicated via email in either the application confirmation or in a separate message.

In-Person Audition Requirements by Performance Area

Bass, Strings, and Woodwinds Requirements for majors, minors, and non-majors

See a list of suggested repertoire arranged by performance area

  • Two selections in a contrasting style from the standard solo repertoire. Two contrasting movements of a sonata or concerto or an advanced etude may be performed in place of one of the contrasting solos.
  • Major scales commensurate with the range of your instrument (four scales will be selected at the audition).
  • There will be a sight-reading exercise at the audition.
  • Email your resume to finearts@carthage.edu at least one week prior to your audition date.
  • Email clear, full-size (8.5 x 11) .pdfs of your music to finearts@carthage.edu at least two weeks prior to your audition date.
  • Email two letters of recommendation to finearts@carthage.edu at least one week prior to your audition date. Letters may be emailed directly from your teacher, mentor, coach, etc. We prefer to receive the letters before your audition, but we will accept them until February 26.

Keyboard Requirements

All keyboard pieces are to be performed from memory. All applicants will be asked to sight-read a portion from the standard repertoire. The sight-reading excerpts will be selected according to the applicant’s skill level.

  • Email your resume to finearts@carthage.edu at least one week prior to your audition date.
  • Email clear, full-size (8.5x11) .pdf’s of your music to finearts@carthage.edu at least two weeks prior to your audition date.
  • Email your proficiency level information (questions in your confirmation email) and a repertoire list to finearts@carthage.edu at least two weeks prior to your audition date.
  • Email two letters of recommendation to finearts@carthage.edu at least one week prior to your audition date. Letters may be emailed directly from your teacher, mentor, coach, etc. We prefer to receive the letters before your audition, but we will accept them until February 26.

Keyboard students interested in a Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance and Collaborative Piano, and piano pedagogy emphases must prepare:

  • A work by J. S. Bach (at a three-part invention difficulty level) or a prelude and fugue from “The Well-Tempered Clavier.”
  • The first movement of a sonata by Clement, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, or Schubert.
  • A work by a Romantic or 20th-century composer; this can be a virtuoso etude.

Keyboard students interested in music education or being a music core major, choose two from three following categories:

  • A two-part invention or another more difficult work by J. S. Bach.
  • A first or last (Allegro) movement of Mozart, Haydn, or early Beethoven sonata (through Opus 28).
  • A shorter piece by a Romantic composer or a composer of the Impressionist school.

Keyboard students interested in being a keyboard minor, choose two from three of the following categories:

  • A two-part invention or another more difficult work by J. S. Bach
  • A first or last (Allegro) movement of Mozart, Haydn, or early Beethoven sonata (though Opus 28)
  • A shorter piece by a Romantic composer or a composer of the impressionist school.

Keyboard students who will be non-majors should prepare:

  • Non-majors should be prepared to play at least one work (three to five minutes) from the standard, classical repertoire (Baroque, Classical or Romantic eras). Applicants are welcome to play additional pieces from the standard classical repertoire, as well as scales and arpeggios as part of their audition if they so choose. Keyboard non-majors may play with a score for the audition, but playing from memory is preferred for best scholarship consideration.

Percussion Requirements for majors, minors, and non-majors

  • Two selections in a contrasting style from the standard solo repertoire.
  • Choose TWO of the following areas for your audition: Snare Drum, Keyboard Percussion, or Timpani. (Students with experience in drum set may choose this as a third area in addition to the two required areas).
  • Marimba: Major scales in two octaves (four scales will be selected at the audition).
  • There will be a sight-reading exercise at the audition appropriate to your selected areas.
  • Email your resume to finearts@carthage.edu at least one week prior to your audition date.
  • Email clear, full-size (8.5x11) .pdf’s of your music to finearts@carthage.edu at least two weeks prior to your audition date.
  • Email two letters of recommendation to finearts@carthage.edu at least one week prior to your audition date. Letters may be emailed directly from your teacher, mentor, coach, etc. We prefer to receive the letters before your audition, but we will accept them until February 26.

Voice Requirements for majors, minors, and non-majors

All pieces are to be performed by memory.

  • Two memorized selections in a contrasting style from the standard solo repertoire are required.
  • A sight-reading exercise will be part of the audition.
  • Email your resume to finearts@carthage.edu at least one week prior to your audition date.
  • Email clear, full-size (8.5x11) .pdf’s of your music to finearts@carthage.edu at least two weeks prior to your audition date.
  • Email two letters of recommendation to finearts@carthage.edu at least one week prior to your audition date. Letters may be emailed directly from your teacher, mentor, coach, etc. We prefer to receive the letters before your audition, but we will accept them until February 26.

Music theatre Requirements

Music Theatre is a program within the Music Department. There is a separate application form and list of audition requirements on the music theatre website.

Secondary Audition

Students may audition in a secondary performance area if desired. If auditioning in two areas, please prepare one selection for your secondary instrument/voice in addition to the two selections for your primary instrument/voice. Students are eligible to receive a music scholarship in one area. A limited number of scholarships are available to students who excel in more than one area.

Assessment and Placement Exams

All prospective music majors, minors, and music theatre students must complete assessments in music theory and keyboard skills (non-majors need not complete these exams). The primary audition is the principal determinant for admittance into the music major or minor and for scholarship consideration. However, these exams provide useful information to the music faculty regarding the student’s musical knowledge, skills, and experience. They also assist in placement within music courses at the time of acceptance and may influence the level of scholarship awarded.

  • Music Theory: The Music Theory Assessment measures knowledge of Music Theory fundamentals which one normally encounters in the process of studying harmony and voice leading. Participation in a high school level music theory course is not required to complete the assessment, though such experience is helpful and recommended.
  • Keyboard Skills: Keyboard Skills Placement Exam is used by the music faculty to determine placement within Keyboard Skills classes. Students with some piano training may be exempt from some or all of the keyboard skills sequence. Students with no prior training in piano who are accepted into the music major or minor are encouraged to seek piano instruction prior to entering in the fall as the piano serves as a useful tool and foundation for study in music.

Where To Go For Your In-Person Music Audition

Auditions are held in the H. F. Johnson Fine Arts Center (JAC). This building is located south of A. F. Siebert Chapel. The South Upper parking lot is directly south of the JAC. There are two sets of doors on the south side of the building that face the parking lot. Please enter through the southwest set of doors and head straight down the hallway to our check-in desk. Our staff will check you in and direct you to a practice room. View a campus map

If you need to cancel or change your music audition, please email finearts@carthage.edu as soon as possible. This is especially important for cancellations as there may be students on the waiting list who could benefit.

Virtual Audition Requirements

In-person auditions are encouraged for best scholarship consideration, but we understand that in-person auditions are not always possible.

The requirements for the virtual auditions are the same as for the in-person auditions, with the exception that recorded accompaniment is permitted for the virtual auditions. (Due to a technology-related lag, it is not possible for an accompanist to play for you remotely.) Please refer to the requirements listed above for your performance area. A digital copy of your music is still required, even though recorded accompaniment may be used.

Please have an additional device ready for the sight-reading portion of the audition.

It is recommended that you use your laptop — not your smartphone — for the virtual audition Zoom meeting. For the sight-reading portion of the audition, we will share our screen with you, so please make sure that your device has a screen large enough for you to discern music notation. Having an external microphone for your audio is recommended but not required.

Details regarding the Zoom invitation for your virtual audition as well as the placement exams will be in your confirmation email. Please add finearts@carthage.edu to your contacts to ensure that you receive all the pertinent information about your audition.

Please note your choice of a virtual audition on the application form. If the virtual audition date does not work with your schedule, please explain your situation at the bottom of the application form in the “How Did You Hear About Us” section. We will work out an alternate date or time via email.

Questions?

Contact Fine Arts at Carthage by emailing finearts@carthage.edu or call 262-551-5859.