Audition Process

Audition Basics

  • Please access the online Audition Request Form to view available dates and sign up for all auditions, or contact the professor of your instrument/voice type directly to arrange a time for your audition.
  • In special circumstances, we can accept a recording of your performance when an in-person audition is impossible.
  • Auditions for university ensembles are conducted separately, generally during the first week of regular classes.
  • If you are a transfer student, you must also take placement exams in theory and music literature.

Music Major Auditions

Any student declaring a music major must audition; this audition can also serve as your scholarship audition. However, you do not have to be a music major to audition for music scholarships.

Please visit and audition on a weekday when classes are in session so that you can sit-in on a music theory class, rehearse with an ensemble, take a private lesson, and tour the campus.  Classes are not in session and faculty will not be available to meet March 12-16, 2018 and April 2, 2018. Prospective students can also audition during a preset audition date.

Ensemble Auditions

The following ensembles require an audition for participation:

Please visit the individual descriptions for each ensemble’s audition details.

Percussion Auditions

Percussion instrument auditions include snare drum, xylophone or marimba, or multiple percussion sets. In addition, other percussion instruments may be used during the same auditions, including drum set, quads or quints. The candidate should demonstrate good stick action and hand to hand activity, good rhythmic accuracy, and musical intent.

At the audition you will:

  • Perform a solo, movements from a sonata or concerto, or etudes, demonstrating lyrical phrasing and technical proficiency.
  • Play major scales through the range of the instrument.
  • Sight-read a short musical passage demonstrating reading skill and accuracy in rhythm, pitch, dynamics and articulation.

For more information, please contact Dr. Michael Bump (mbump@truman.edu) or Dr. Curran Prendergast (cprend@truman.edu) or call the Music Department at (660) 785-4417.

Piano Auditions 

Students who audition as piano majors will:

  • Perform one or two solo pieces (preferably, by memory)
  • Sight-read accompanying excerpts

All pianists at Truman (music majors and non-music majors) can audition to be added to the freelance accompanying list. At this audition, students will:

  • Perform one solo piece (memorization is optional)
  • Sight-read accompanying excerpts

Each February, Truman State University hosts its annual Piano Festival. Application deadline is January 15. Two scholarships are awarded on that day: one provides full tuition, room, and board; and the other provides $1000 per year. Each of these scholarships is renewable for eight semesters.

For more information, contact Dr. David McKamie (dmckamie@truman.edu) or call (660) 785-4405.

String Instrument Auditions

String instrument auditions include violin, viola, cello and bass.

At the audition you will:

  • Perform two contrasting selections (a solo, movements from a sonata or concerto, or etudes), demonstrating lyrical phrasing and technical proficiency.
  • Play three-octave major and minor scales and arpeggios.

Orchestra scholarships of up to $1000 per academic year are available to qualified string players, regardless of major or minor status. No sight reading or accompanist is required.

One formal orchestra scholarship audition date is scheduled in spring 2018. If you are unable to attend that date, individual times can be arranged.

For more information, contact Dr. Sam McClure (smcclure@truman.edu) or call the Music Department at (660) 785-4417.

Vocal Auditions

The vocal scholarship audition determines your acceptance as a music major (if interested) and which scholarship you will receive. High school students with significant choral/vocal experience can compete for these awards. You do not need to be a music major to receive a scholarship.

At the audition, you will:

  • Sing one or two songs by memory, preferably one in English and one in a foreign language. Truman State will provide an accompanist. Please bring original copies of music.
  • Sight-read simple melodies.
  • Sing tonal memory patterns
  • Sing major and minor scales—including the natural, melodic, and harmonic minor scales—given a starting note on the piano.

For more information, contact Dr. Mark Jennings (mdj@truman.edu).

Wind and Brass Instrument Auditions

Wind and Brass instrument auditions include flute, oboe, clarinet, low clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, horn, euphonium, and tuba. The candidate should demonstrate good embouchure, good tone, and accuracy.

At the audition you will:

  • Perform a solo, movements from a sonata or concerto, or etudes, demonstrating lyrical phrasing and technical proficiency.
  • Play major scales and the chromatic scale through the range of the instrument.
  • Sight-read a short musical passage demonstrating reading skill and accuracy in rhythm, pitch, dynamics and articulation.

For more information, contact Dr. Curran Prendergast (cprend@truman.edu) or call the Music Department at (660) 785-4417.