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Undergraduate Classical Auditions

The audition requirements on this page are for the following degree programs:

B.M. in Classical Performance
B.M. in Music Education, Classical Performance Track
B.M. in Music & Entertainment Industries, Classical Performance Track
B.M. in Sound Engineering Arts, Classical Performance Track

Music Department Applications: Applications for the Music Department are created through the application status page. Those applying in the Classical area may choose to audition either virtually or in person. (The choice does not affect admissions decisions.)

baritone sax player

Online Audition Requirements

We recommend that applicants who choose to apply online record videos of themselves and submit them via an unlisted YouTube link (see instructions below). URLs (web links) for your videos should be emailed to the Music Admissions office:

We recommend creating separate videos for each piece you play for your audition and for your ear training placement video (see below). Here is a step-by-step process on how to create an unlisted YouTube video.

  1. Sign into your YouTube Account
  2. Go to your My Videos page
  3. Select the video which you'd like to make an unlisted video. Click the Edit button to access the video's settings.
  4. Go to the Privacy section of the page. There you'll see the option to mark you video as "unlisted", "public", or "private". Select unlisted. Click the Save Changes button.
  5. Copy and paste URL to create a link to the video.

Ear Training Placement Video

All candidates should submit a separate video on which you:

  1. Sing a one-octave major scale.
  2. Sing "Happy Birthday."
  3. Play a "C" on a keyboard or other instrument and sing the pitch. Do the same with "Eb" and "A".
  4. Play a "D" and an "F#" one at a time on a keyboard or other instrument then sing them one right after the other.

*If you don't have access to an instrument, please use a virtual keyboard, which you can find online.

Please see the additional requirements below for your instrument or voice:

Woodwinds & Brass

Three scales (major or minor, 2 octaves preferred). If you know minor scales, please make one of the three a minor scale. In addition, please perform the chromatic scale from the bottom of your range to the top and back again.

Two solo pieces that demonstrate different time periods (e.g., Baroque and Modern) or contrasting styles and tempos. A substantial etude or a single movement of a piece such as a sonata or concerto may be used.

For saxophonists, you have the option of playing everything on one instrument (any size, soprano, alto, tenor or baritone), or on two instruments of different sizes (alto & tenor, etc.).


At William Paterson we are interested in hearing your potential rather than specific repertoire requirements. The audition information listed below is merely what's suggested. If you don’t have a piece in a foreign language, then don’t stress. We will hear whatever you sing.

Audition information
Prospective Music Education, Music and Entertainment Industries, and Sound Engineering majors:


  • 2 songs in any language


  • An art song and/or aria from the classical literature.
  • A musical theater song
  • A popular music song or original composition
  • A choral excerpt (minimum 3 pages)
Prospective Classical Performance majors:
  • 3 songs


  • art songs and/or arias from the classical literature in a variety of languages
  • A musical theater song
  • A choral excerpt (minimum 3 pages)

Suggestions for repertoire include:

  • English art songs or arias by composers such as Barber, Britten, Copland, Quilter, Rorem, or Purcell
  • Early Italian songs and arias (available in many printed collections)
  • Arias by composers such as Handel or Mozart.
  • Musical theater pieces from Rodgers & Hammerstein, Jason Robert Brown, Stephen Sondheim, or Lin-Manuel Miranda


Students auditioning for the Bachelor in Music programs should prepare as best they can for an online audition. We recognize that most students do not have mallet instruments at home, so some snare drum and/or drum set repertoire is acceptable. If you have any questions about repertoire please contact Dr. Payton MacDonald directly:

  • Snare drum: demonstrate three standard rudiments of your choice; one rudimental solo (e.g. Wilcoxen or Pratt) and/or one concert solo (e.g. Cirone or Goldenburg)
  • Mallets (if you have the instrument): two major scales of your choice, two octaves; a two-mallet or four-mallet solo of your choice
  • Drum set: Please demonstrate a medium jazz swing and a mid-tempo rock groove.


All Degree Tracks:

Scales - Hands together, four octaves, ascending and descending: A Major, E-Flat Major, B Major, F Major, F Natural Minor, C Harmonic Minor and F-Sharp Melodic Minor.

Arpeggios - Hands together, four octaves, ascending and descending: G Major, D-Flat Major, E Major, B-Flat Major, C Sharp Minor.

Classical Performance:

All pieces must be memorized.

  • a Three-Part Invention, a Prelude and Fugue or equivalent by J. S. Bach
  • a complete sonata or set of variations by Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven
  • a work by a Romantic or Contemporary composer.

Music Education, Music and Entertainment Industries, and Sound Engineering Arts:

Two of the three pieces must be memorized.

  • a Two-Part Invention by J. S. Bach or equivalent
  • a first movement of a sonata by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven (except Op. 27, No. 2 in C# minor)
  • a work by a Romantic or Contemporary composer.


  • E, F, G and D major scales using the Segovia fingerings.
  • One etude by either Sor, Carcassi, Aguado, or equivalent at the technical level of Mateo Carcassi 25 Etudes Opus 60
  • Two concert pieces of the student's own choosing from contrasting styles such as Baroque and Modern, Classical and Romantic, Renaissance and Modern. Technical level must be equal to or greater than Suzuki Guitar School Volume 6. (e. g. Bach Bourree in E minor, Villa Lobos Prelude 1 or 4, Lagrima by Tarrega)
  • The scales and at least two of the three selections must be played from memory.


  • Two major scales and one minor scale; three octaves preferred, but two octaves accepted
  • Two contrasting movements from a solo piece, a sonata, or a concerto of the student's own choosing. The two selections should be of contrasting style and tempo

Please direct any questions about auditions or audition repertoire or requirements to