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Music at MSU Denver Online Auditions

The MSU Denver Music Department online audition process is simple and easy!

Online auditions take the place of live, in-person auditions, and applications are accepted on a continuous basis. Before filling out the online application, please review the audition repertoire requirement for your instrument (below). Then, make video recordings of the required repertoire and upload them as unlisted videos on a YouTube channel. 

Step 1: Video record audition repertoire for your instrument.

Step 2: Upload your recordings as unlisted videos on a YouTube channel.

Step 3: Complete and submit the Audition Application (below), including links to the unlisted YouTube videos. 


Deadlines

Applicants planning to enter a music degree program in Spring 2021 must submit online materials by midnight on Thursday, January 14, 2021.

Be sure to also check the deadlines for the MSU Denver general application


Step 1: Record Audition Repertoire

All applicants are asked to submit three videos. Select the dropdown menu for your instrument to view the repertoire requirements for each of your three videos and specific instructions for your recordings.

Follow these general guidelines as you make your recordings:

  • Choose a quiet location.
  • Any video recording device is acceptable, but make sure the audio is clear and free of static or noise. 
  • Submit your best work! 

Repertoire

Each jazz applicant must submit three videos of themselves performing the following:

  • Video 1: One two-octave major scale of your choosing.
  • Video 2: Four choruses on the provided 12-bar blues (see Audition Materials below). Individual instruments should prepare the following:
    • Horn players/Vocalists: 1 chorus melody, 2 choruses improvisation, 1 chorus melody.
    • Pianists/Guitarists: 1 chorus melody, 2 choruses comping, 1 chorus improvisation.
    • Bassists: 1 chorus melody, 2 choruses walking bassline, 1 chorus improvisation.
    • Drummers: 2 choruses of swing feel (for the head in and 1 chorus of imagined improvisation), 1 chorus improvisation, 1 chorus of swing feel (for the head out).
  • Video 3: A second, contrasting piece of your choice with a different tempo and feel. Applicants are encouraged to get as creative as possible. The piece can be recorded solo, with a backing track of applicant’s choice, recorded as layered excerpts of applicant playing along with themselves, recorded along with a recording of applicant’s tune choice, etc.

Recording Process

The camera should be placed to capture the majority of your torso, face, and hands so that fingering, keys, strings, cymbals, and voice are clearly visible. Please look into the camera to introduce yourself (name, and the pieces you are to perform) so that jury members can see your face before the performance begins.

Audition Materials

Bb, Eb, Concert, and Bass Clef parts are included for Blues By Five which is a 12 bar blues in Bb. There are four backing tracks also included, one minus horns/voice, one minus piano/guitar, one minus bass, and one minus drums. Please play to the track that does not include your instrument. Vocalists have the option of performing Centerpiece instead of Blues By Five.

Reference Recording: Blues By Five (YouTube)Centerpiece (YouTube)

Charts:
Blues By Five - Concert (PDF)
Blues By Five - Bb (PDF)
Blues By Five - Eb (PDF)
Blues By Five - Bass Clef (PDF)
Centerpiece - Bb with Lyrics (PDF) - (option for vocalists)

Backing Tracks:
Horn Players/Vocalists: Bb Blues - minus horn/voice (Dropbox MP3) 
Pianists/Guitarists: Bb Blues - minus piano/guitar (Dropbox MP3)
BassistsBb Blues - minus bass (Dropbox MP3) 
Drummers: Bb Blues - minus drums (Dropbox MP3) 

Transfer Students

Transfer students wishing to audition for advanced placement with transfer credit from previous collegiate private lessons must contact the Director of Jazz Studies, Dawn Clement (dcleme15@msudenver.edu) for additional requirements prior to submitting an audition.

Repertoire

Each brass applicant must submit three videos of themselves performing the following:

  • Video 1: One major scale up to four sharps and flats.  Play two octaves where able.
  • Video 2: A piece, movement, excerpt, or etude from the standard repertoire of your instrument.
  • Video 3: A second, contrasting piece. The contrasting piece should differ in tempo, time period, composer, etc.

Recording Process

While recording your video, do not point your bell directly at the microphone.

Transfer Students

Transfer students wishing to audition for advanced placement with transfer credit from previous collegiate private lessons must contact the Director of Brass and Percussion Studies, Michael Hengst (mhengst@msudenver.edu) for additional requirements prior to submitting an audition.

Repertoire

Classical guitar applicants must perform their audition on a classical guitar. Jazz and rock fingerings are not acceptable for this audition (see Jazz audition requirements instead). Applicants are expected to have a reasonable ability to read music notation (not just tablature). 

Each classical guitar applicant must submit three videos of themselves performing the following:

  • Video 1: Any major or minor scale using right hand finger alternation.
  • Video 2: A piece of your choosing, or one of the suggested audition pieces below.
  • Video 3: A second piece of your choosing, or another one of the suggested audition pieces below.

Suggested Audition Pieces

Applicants are encouraged to submit two of the following pieces as their audition videos. These pieces are detailed in Professor Alex Komodore's Audition Preparation video.

Professor Komodore's Audition Preparation Video (YouTube)
Moorish Dance (PDF)
Exercise 13 (PDF)
Lesson 46 (PDF)
Lesson 61 (PDF)
Torito (PDF)

Applicants who have any questions or hesitations about their guitar auditions are encouraged to reach out to Director of Guitar Studies, Alex Komodore (komodore@msudenver.edu, 303-521-4371 call/text) for guidance or a free lesson. 

Recording Process

Place the camera so that both arms and the full guitar are visible.

Transfer Students

Transfer students wishing to audition for advanced placement with transfer credit from previous collegiate private lessons must contact the Director of Guitar Studies, Alex Komodore (komodore@msudenver.edu) for additional requirements prior to submitting an audition.

Repertoire

Each percussion applicant must submit three videos of themselves performing the following:

  • Video 1: Two major and two minor scales of your choosing and/or a demonstration of a couple of snare drum rudiments (long roll, 5-stroke roll, flams, drags, etc.)
  • Video 2 & 3: Upload two videos selected from the following choices:
    1. Snare drum solo or etude (rudimental or concert style)
    2. Mallet solo or etude or excerpt (2 or 4 mallet) on an instrument of your choosing (Marimba, Vibraphone, etc.) depending upon what you have access to
    3. Timpani solo or etude
    4. Multi-percussion solo or etude

Recording Process

Place the camera so that both hands are visible. We understand that access to instruments may pose a problem. Do the best with what you can, and feel free to reach out to the Director of Brass and Percussion Studies, Michael Hengst (mhengst@msudenver.edu) with any questions.

Transfer Students

Transfer students wishing to audition for advanced placement with transfer credit from previous collegiate private lessons must contact the Director of Brass and Percussion Studies, Michael Hengst (mhengst@msudenver.edu) for additional requirements prior to submitting an audition.

 

Repertoire

Each piano or organ applicant must submit three videos of themselves performing the following:

  • Video 1: One four-octave major scale and one four-octave minor scale played with proper fingerings, hands together, ascending and descending.
  • Video 2: One piece of Western art music (Baroque period [1600-1750] through present day).
  • Video 3: A second, stylistically contrasting piece of Western art music (Baroque period [1600-1750] through present day). Please choose a piece by a composer from a contrasting time period to your first piece.

Recording Process

The camera should be placed to capture both hands over the full keyboard and foot over pedals. Please look into the camera to introduce yourself (name, and the pieces you are to perform) so that jury members can see your face before the performance begins. 

Transfer Students

Transfer students wishing to audition for advanced placement with transfer credit from previous collegiate private lessons must contact the Director of Piano Studies, Jooeun Pak (jpak14@msudenver.edu) for additional requirements prior to submitting an audition.

Repertoire

Each string applicant must submit three videos of themselves performing the following:

  • Video 1: One two- or three-octave scale of your choosing. Please specify the chosen scale on the video. 
  • Video 2: A piece or movement from the standard repertoire of your instrument, such as a movement from a concerto or sonata, unaccompanied solo, show piece, etc.
  • Video 3: A second, contrasting piece. A contrasting piece must differ in tempo, time period, composer, etc. 

Recording Process

Place the camera in a position so that your entire upper body can be seen (violin/viola) or your entire body and instrument (cell/double bass).

Transfer Students

Transfer students wishing to audition for advanced placement with transfer credit from previous collegiate private lessons must contact the Director of Strings Studies, Emily Ondracek-Peterson (eondrace@msudenver.edu) for additional requirements prior to submitting an audition.

 

Repertoire

Auditioners in the voice area are encouraged to select pieces which are melodic and show the auditioner’s ability to sing. The songs need not be excessively difficult and may be sung in their original language or in English translation. Students auditioning into the BFA Music Theatre degree program must contact the Department of Theatre prior to submitting an audition.

Each classical voice applicant must submit three videos of themselves performing the following:

  • Video 1: A major scale (“do” to “do”) followed by a major arpeggio (do – mi – sol - ^do^ - sol – mi – do) which should be sung on a neutral syllable such as “da” rather than solfege syllables.
  • Video 2: A piece which best displays your vocal quality. This may be an art song, folk song, musical theater, sacred song, or opera aria. 
  • Video 3: A second piece, preferably in contrasting style, which best displays your vocal quality. This may be an art song, folk song, musical theatre, sacred song, or opera area.

Each BFA in Music Theatre voice applicant, after contacting the Department of Theatre, must submit three videos of themselves performing the following:

  • Video 1: A major scale (“do” to “do”) followed by a major arpeggio (do – mi – sol - ^do^ - sol – mi – do) which should be sung on a neutral syllable such as “da” rather than solfege syllables.
  • Video 2: A musical theatre piece which best displays your vocal quality. 
  • Video 3: A second musical theatre piece, preferably in contrasting style, which best displays your vocal quality.

Recording Process

Ideally, the camera should be placed to show the auditioner in full length, head-to-toe. Recordings from the waist up are acceptable.

Singers should not accompany themselves instrumentally or submit an a capella. Live piano accompaniment is preferred, but auditioners may also be accompanied by a recorded track.  Please make sure that the audio balance allows for both singer and accompaniment to be heard clearly.  

Transfer Students

Transfer students wishing to audition for advanced placement with transfer credit from previous collegiate private lessons must contact the Director of Voice Studies, Bradley Thompson (bthomp40@msudenver.edu) for additional requirements prior to submitting an audition.

Repertoire

Each flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon applicant must submit three videos of themselves performing the following:

  • Video 1: One scale of your choosing.
  • Video 2: One 3-5 minute piece demonstrating your lyrical playing.
  • Video 3: One 3-5 minute piece demonstrating your technical playing.

Each saxophone applicant must submit three videos of themselves performing the following:

  • Video 1: A two-octave Bb Major scale (saxophone key, not concert) and a two-octave E Major scale (saxophone key, not concert).
  • Video 2: One 2-3 minute piece.
  • Video 3: A second, contrasting 2-3 minute piece.

Recording Process

Face the camera and be sure that your fingers and the whole instrument are clearly visible. Please make sure that you are front lit (no backlight). Before uploading, review your videos to be sure they are what you want and that the audio quality is good.

Transfer Students

Transfer students wishing to audition for advanced placement with transfer credit from previous collegiate private lessons must contact the Director of Woodwinds Studies, Patricia Surman (psurman@msudenver.edu) for additional requirements prior to submitting an audition.


Step 2: Upload Your Videos

Once your three videos are recorded, upload them as unlisted videos to a YouTube channel. Unlisted videos can only be viewed by those you share a link with. If you are new to uploading videos on YouTube, follow these easy instructions:

Instructions to Upload a Video from a Mobile Device (PDF)
Instructions to Upload a Video from a Computer (PDF)

After uploading your videos, be sure to watch through them to make sure the audio quality and camera placement are good, and that this is your best work.

Step 3: Submit Your Audition Application

Your last step is to fill out the online application, where you will provide the three links to your unlisted YouTube videos.


Post-Submission

After an application is submitted, you will receive a message within two business days stating that the application was received and that the video links are accessible. 

Notification of audition decisions are sent according to the following timeline:

  • Applications submitted by December 15 will receive notification by January 6, 2021.
  • Applications submitted December 16 - January 14, 2021 will receive notification by January 18, 2021.

If accepted, you will be sent a form to fill out and confirm your enrollment in private lessons. 

 

Questions?

Contact the Music Department Coordinator, Christine Devine (collinch@msudenver.edu). 


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