Audition Repertoire Requirements

Admission to Music study is based, in part, on an audition to assess your potential and capacity to succeed in our programs. In addition to a prepared performance, prospective students will be tested in sight-reading, music theory rudiments, keyboard skills, and aural skills.

The audition process assesses technique, potential, and musicality. Prospective students should prepare a 15-minute program of two to three works in contrasting styles, showcasing your best work and demonstrating your range of style, technical skill, and musical understanding. Singers and pianists should have music memorized, and singers should prepare at least one song in a language other than English.  Normally, the prepared repertoire should be at or beyond the level of RCM level 8 (level 9 for piano), and we recommend choosing pieces from different lists.

https://www.rcmusic.com/learning/examinations/academic-resources-and-policies/syllabi-look-for-any-syllabus-below

  • You may also be required to play scales, as per idiom details below.
  • Please bring your music to the audition, and please provide music for your accompanist at least one week in advance of your audition date.
  • All videos should provide a clear view of the student’s face, hands, and instrument as appropriate.

Please contact the Fountain School for further information.

Voice

  • Three selections, in varying styles and languages, at the general level of the Grade 9 (RCM) syllabus.
    • One musical theatre selection is fine.
    • Pieces chosen should illustrate the student's technical development, vocal range, and ability to communicate through singing.
    • All pieces should be performed from memory.

Guitar

  • Three contrasting pieces (of your choice) that display both your technical and musical abilities. 
  • Selections should feature at least one piece from the classical repertoire selected from the Grade 6 (RCM) guitar syllabus.
  • If the other selections are not classical, then a jazz, flamenco or “new-acoustic” arrangement would be appropriate.

Piano

  • Three selections at a minimum Grade 9 (RCM) level, including:      
    • One work from the Baroque Period
    • One (or more) movements from a Classical Sonata
    • One own choice work from the Romantic or Contemporary Period

Organ

  • One piece by J.S. Bach
  • Two contrasting pieces from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century, or 21st Century. Each selection must be from a different period.

Violin and viola

  • Three selections at the RCM Grade 9 level including:
    • One movement from any standard concerto
    • One movement from a Solo Sonata or Partita by J. S. Bach
    • One selection of the applicant's choice

Cello

  • One movement from any standard concerto
  • One movement from a Solo Suite by J. S. Bach
  • One selection of the applicant's choice

String bass

  • two movements from a Baroque sonata
  • one etude – choose from:  Simandl: 30 Etudes; Bille: New Method – book 2; Bille: 18 studies
  • all scales, two octaves

Flute

  • One fast and one slow movement of a Baroque Sonata (Bach, Handel, Telemann, Vivaldi, Blavet, Loeillet, for example)
  • One study of the student's choice
  • One piece of the student's choice — preferably from Grade 8 (RCM) syllabus
  • Selections from Major & minor scales — 2 octaves, and selections from Major & minor arpeggios — 2 octaves

Clarinet

  • Three selections from the Grade 8 (RCM) syllabus including:
    • Two contrasting selections from the standard clarinet repertoire
    • One study of student’s choice
  • Live audition: be prepared to play all major/minor scales and arpeggios, 2 or 3 octaves, in various articulations
  • Video audition: play the following scales/arpeggios, ascending and descending:
    • F major scale, 2 or 3 octaves, all slurred, then all tongued
    • Eb major arpeggio, 2 or 3 octaves, all slurred
    • D minor melodic scale, 2 octaves, 2 slurred 2 tongued
    • E minor harmonic scale, 2 or 3 octaves, all slurred
    • C minor arpeggio, 2 octaves, 2 slurred 1 tongued
    • Chromatic scale starting on low E, for 3 octaves

Oboe

  • Three selections at Grade 8 (RCM) syllabus (or higher) including: 
    • Two contrasting pieces that show technical ability and musicality
    • One study
  • Applicants should prepare all major and minor scales, two octaves when possible, all slurred and all tongued.
    • D flat major – two octaves, slurred
    • E major – two octaves, tongued
    • d minor harmonic – two octaves, slurred
    • b minor melodic – two octaves, tongued

Bassoon

  • any two pieces for bassoon and piano, in contrasting style
  • one study from Weisenborn 50 Advanced Studies , Op. 8 or Milde 50 Concert Studies, Op. 26
  • students should also be prepared to play all major and minor scales - 2 octaves - and all major and minor arpeggios - 2 octaves.

Saxophone

  • Three contrasting pieces including etudes, excerpts and songs that incorporate improvisation.
  • Students will be judged on overall musicality, tone (sound), and instrumental technique. The focus is on total performance, not technique. Sometimes a high level in one area will override weakness in another.
  • Students should also have a rudimentary knowledge of scales, chords and theory and be able to sight read at a reasonable level.

Trumpet

  • Any lyrical piece
  • Any piece emphasizing articulation and technical ability

Horn

Three contrasting solo works (or movements), etudes and/or orchestral excerpts.  Piano accompaniment recommended for solo works, but not required.  Applicants should demonstrate (or show good potential for) the following qualities:

  1. a full, healthy tone
  2. a minimum range of two and a half octaves from C one octave below middle C up to A on the first ledger line at the topi of the treble staff
  3. a good sense of rhythm
  4. a good sense of intonation
  5. clear articulation
  6. a keen sense of musical style
  7. a grasp of all major scales

Suggested solo works including but not limited to:

  • Beethoven: Sonata op. 17
  • Glazounov: Reveries
  • Gliere: Intermezzo
  • Gounod: Six pieces melodiques
  • Haydn: any Horn Concerto
  • Mason Jones (Ed): any solo from Solos for the Horn Player
  • Mozart: any Horn Concerto
  • Saint-Saens: Romance, op. 36, Morceau du Concert
  • F. Strauss: Nocturno
  • R. Strauss: Andante, or any Horn Concerto

Suggested Etude Books including but not limited to:

  • Kopprasch: Sixty Selected Studies for French Horn (Book I or II)
  • Concone: Lyrical Studies for Trumpet or Horn
  • Maxine-Alphonse: Deux cents Etudes Nouvelles (Books I to VI)

Suggested Excerpts from the standard orchestral repertoire including but not limited to:

  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, Scherzo (1st Horn solo); Symphony No. 7, 1st mv't (1st or 2nd horn); Symphony No. 8, Trio (1st or 2nd Horn); Symphony No. 9, Adagio (4th Horn solo)
  • Brahms: Symphony No 1, 2nd mv't (1st Horn solo); Symphony No. 2, end of 1st mv't (1st Horn solo)
  • Mendelssohn: Nocturne from A Midsummer Night's Dream (1st Horn solo)
  • Ravel: Pavane for a Dead Princess (1st Horn solo)
  • Shostakovitch: Symphony No. 5, 1st mv't (low tutti)
  • Stauss: Till Eulenspiegel (opening 1st Horn solos)
  • Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5, 2nd mv't (1st Horn solo)

Trombone

Prospective trombone students should prepare an audition that clearly demonstrates contrasting styles and the full range of his or her abilities on the instrument.  Excitement for music and the trombone, a strong work ethic, and a desire to constantly learn and improve are all necessary qualities for any trombonist.

Successful applicants will demonstrate a strong foundation in the following areas:

  • Tone: clear and beautiful in all registers

  • Technique: clean articulations; good intonation; good time and rhythm; good coordination of wind, tongue and slide

  • Style and Musicianship: ability to communicate a musical message; creative shaping of phrases; ability to play in the style of the composer being performed

Required audition material:

1. All major, minor and chromatic scales, at a moderate tempo (consistent tone, intonation and articulation should be prioritized before tempo)

2. One vocalise from either Marco Bordogni or Giuseppe Concone to demonstrate lyrical playing

3. One etude that demonstrates technical abilities, such as:

  • Bordner: Second Book of Practical Studies
  • Bona: Rhythmical Articulations, Parts II and III
  • Voxman: Selected Studies
  • Slama/Brown: 66 Etudes in all keys

4. One solo of your own choosing (with piano accompaniment) that you feel best represents your overall abilities. Grade 8 RCM or equivalent is desirable.

Tuba and Euphonium

While not all students who audition for low brass will have had prior private instruction, we expect all auditioning students to be excited about music and their instrument, exhibit a desire to be excellent performers regardless of their major, and have an excellent work ethic.  Audition material should include at least one piece with piano accompaniment from the traditional repertoire for the candidate's instrument.

Qualities looked for in auditions:

  • Sound: open and beautiful in all registers, clean attacks, good intonation
  • Style:  ability to communicate musical content, correct pitches, dynamics, rhythms, and articulations
  • Technique:  demonstrate a solid foundation in technical development

A. Euphonium Audition Repertoire:

  1. A solo or etude that demonstrates your lyrical, "bel canto" style playing.  The vocalises of Marco Bordogni or Guiseppe Concone are suitable.
  2. An etude or accompanied solo that demonstrates your technical abilities.  (Etudes from a standard source such as Kopprasch, Arban, Tyrrell, or any equivalent material are suitable.)
  3. A solo from the traditional repertoire of your own choosing that you feel best represents your abilities.

B. Tuba Audition Repertoire:

  1. An accompanied solo or etude that demonstrates your lyrical, "bel canto" style playing.  The vocalises of Marco Bordogni or Guiseppe Concone are suitable.
  2. An etude or accompanied solo that demonstrates your technical abilities.  (Etudes from a standard source such as Kopprasch, Arban, Tyrrell, Blazevich, Vasiliev, or any equivalent material are suitable.)
  3. A solo from the traditional repertoire of your own choosing that you feel best represents your abilities.

Percussion

Candidates should show facility on the following concert percussion instruments:

  • Snare drum (reading, rolls, articulation)
  • Marimba, xylophone, and/or glockenspiel (reading), 2 mallets, 4 mallets if desired (not required)
  • Timpani (tuning, reading)

Prepared pieces are required on all three categories of instruments. In addition to the above, a candidate may choose to demonstrate ability on drum set.  

Harp

Audition requirements for Harp candidates

Solos:  Two contrasting pieces at the late intermediate to advanced level. These may be individual movements from a sonata or suite. Solos must be played from memory and scores must be provided to the audition committee.

As an option, one of the solos may be your original arrangement of a piece from the jazz standard or Broadway repertoire. The arrangement must include a modulation. The arrangement must be your own, not taken from a publication or recording. This piece would not have to be memorized - you may use a chart for the audition. A copy of your score or chart must be provided to the audition committee.

Orchestral excerpts:
Benjamin Britten “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” Variation I
Rimsky Korsakoff “Fandango Asturiano” from “Capriccio Espagnol” starting at letter S and ending at 10 bars after letter T.