Brass Applicants must be prepared to play two contrasting pieces from the standard brass repertoire. Sight-reading may be required. Applicants may also be asked to play major and minor scales.
Composition Applicants will be required to show evidence of a strong creative ability, demonstrated through completed works. Applicants should bring to the audition, scores, and, if possible CDs of at least two recent compositions. Applicants may also submit mp3 files of live recordings or software graphics scores, and .pdf files of scores, to Dr. Albert Glinsky, Professor of Composition, at: firstname.lastname@example.org, in the case of a long distance audition. These may also be submitted prior to an in-person audition, provided the applicant brings hard copies of scores to the audition, and either a CD recording or mp3s ready to play on the applicant's computer or other device. Contrast in style and media is preferred. Electronic works and pieces that by their nature cannot be represented through standard notation, may be submitted in recorded form, without accompanying scores. All applicants should possess a well-developed ear and should have an intermediate technique on at least one instrument.
Guitar Applicants will be expected to play major and minor scales and two pieces of contrasting style. Sight-reading may be required.
Percussion Applicants are required to audition on snare drum and mallet percussion. Timpani is recommended, but not required. The applicant will play one solo or etude on each instrument. Sight-reading may be required.
Piano Applicants in all degrees, except BM Performance, will perform two solo works in contrasting styles, with at least one of these being memorized. They can be chosen from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic, or Twentieth/Twenty-First Century periods. Those auditioning for the BM Performance degree will perform three memorized solos in contrasting styles. All applicants may be asked to sight-read and demonstrate proficiency in representative major and minor scales and arpeggios.
Strings Applicants should prepare two contrasting pieces from the standard string repertoire, preferably from memory. Applicants may be asked to sight-read and demonstrate proficiency in both major and minor scales and arpeggios.
Voice Applicants should prepare three songs of contrasting style, to be performed by memory. Songs should be selected from the standard classical vocal literature. One song should be in a foreign language. All Vocalists must provide copies of the music you will perform. The music must be sent 2 weeks prior to your audition and it must be legible and copied in a back to back, book format so it is ready for the accompanist to play.
Woodwinds Applicants may be required to play at least two octave major and minor scales and arpeggios. They must be prepared to play two contrasting pieces from the standard woodwind repertoire. Sight-reading may be required.
*Items 2-8 will be conducted immediately after primary instrument audition
** Items 2-6 may be administered by Music Therapy faculty and one other faculty member (depending on students’ primary instrument)
***Items 7-8 will be administered only by Music Therapy faculty
Vocal students will be provided an accompanist.
Instrumental students will audition unaccompanied.
A Theory Placement Test will be administered, which does not influence acceptance.
The audition day will include—in addition to the theory placement test—a morning welcome session, lunch with the faculty, a student recital, and a tour of the college. You will receive notification of your audition times one week prior to your chosen date.
Talent-based scholarships are awarded at the discretion of the faculty and the Director of the Department of Music through the audition process. Any prospective student is eligible to compete for scholarship assistance, regardless of financial status. Students wishing to apply for financial assistance must submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid and include Mercyhurst (school code 003297) on their FAFSA.