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Scholarship and Degree Auditions

Whether you are seeking a music scholarship, a position in one of our ensembles or a degree in one of our programs, you'll need to audition. Our scholarship and degree track auditions are open to high school seniors and college transfers, and will include a faculty interview, a performance audition and music theory testing. Though the majority of our scholarship recipients are intended music majors, a few non-major participation scholarships are awarded annually.

When you plan your audition visit, we encourage you to arrive in time to attend the Friday night performance. View events. Tickets are complimentary for you and your family.  Students auditioning on Saturday are invited to attend a luncheon with the faculty: reserved seating, RSVP required.

audition dates

  • Fall 2015: 
    • Scholarship auditions for Fall 2015 are complete.  EA music notifications go out the first week of March.  RD music notifications go out the first week of April.
    • Intended music majors who have yet to audition for permission to enter the music program, should do so ASAP.  See recorded submission details below.
  • Fall 2016:
    • Friday, January 15, 2016      1-5:30pm     
    • Saturday, January 16, 2016      8:30am-3:00pm
    • Friday, February 12, 2016      1-5:30pm
    • Saturday, February 13, 2016      8:30am-3:00pm

What is the ideal audition schedule?

Arrive Friday, enjoy a meal at one of the 40+ restaurants downtown, attend Friday night's department performance, audition Saturday, attend the Saturday audition lunch.  If flying, seek a departure time after 4pm Saturday.

How to Apply

    1. CRITERIA
      R
      ead our Audition Criteria for your instrument and discuss it with your teacher. (Scroll down this page.) You may audition in more than one area if you plan to study both areas while at Furman and can perform at a collegiate level on both. One composition scholarship is awarded each year, but a composition portfolio is required for consideration.
       
    2. DATE
      Select an audition date
      based on your university application type and your personal schedule. Apply for a music audition AFTER your Common Application has been submitted to Furman Admissions. We would like to hear you before Furman decides your acceptance. If you are denied admission to the university prior to your audition date, your audition will be cancelled.
       
    3. APPLICATION
      Submit the
      Music Audition Application by the appropriate deadline. At the end of the form you will be asked to upload your music resume.
      This should be a 1-2 page document listing your music experience, honors, awards, major performances, major/recent repertoire, ensemble memberships. Include the names and titles of recent music teachers (last 3-5 years.)
       
    4. RECOMMENDATION
      Request a recommendation
      from your music teacher(s). They may use the Common Application web form. (Include their email on the list you submit with the Common Application.) It is also helpful if they upload a letter with more details about their musical interaction with you.
      Be sure they know your audition date so they complete the recommendation in time. Teachers may also email, fax or postal mail a recommendation letter to:
      Music Auditions
      Furman Music Department
      3300 Poinsett Highway
      Greenville, SC 29613
      Fax: 864.294.3035

Recorded Auditions

We strongly encourage you to audition in person since preference is given to live performers. However, if distance or an unavoidable conflict prevents you from joining us for an audition, complete the audition application and then upload, email or postal mail your video media. All selections should meet our audition criteria. If you audition by recording and desire to major in music, you must still take the theory placement tests in the fall.

Audition application questions? Contact Music Programs/Admissions Coordinator Marcella Frese at 864-294-2118 or email her at furmanmusic@furman.edu.

University application questions?  Contact your Furman Admissions Counselor.

    AUDITION CRITERIA

    • Brass and Woodwinds
        Woodwinds and Brass Music Furman UniversityFor brass and woodwinds auditions, please prepare and perform two contrasting works from the standard solo or etude literature. Total time limit of eight minutes. Excerpts, like those used in all-state auditions, are acceptable. The use of an accompanist is optional and not supplied by the university. The faculty prefer a cappella performances at the auditions. If you bring your own accompanist, please prepare and practice interlude cuts. Additional criteria:
        • You will be asked to sight-read a brief selection
        • The faculty will check your ear training and pitch-matching skills with brief aural aptitude exercises
        • Memorization is optional
        • Jazz player? If you are interested in also playing jazz on your audition, please prepare a jazz etude, solo transcription, or plan to play and improvise on a standard tune of your choice.

        Request an Audition

        See checklist and audition application link above.  Two to three weeks out we will send you and your parent an e-mail to confirm audition time and other specifics. Keep in mind that we will not be able to schedule you for an audition until your Common Application is received by the university.

        Contact

        Leslie W. Hicken
        Director of Bands
        Phone: 864.294.3193

        View our faculty roster for a list of all brass and woodwind teachers.

    • Composition
        Composition Music Furman UniversityFurman awards funds each year to an intended composition major. A composition portfolio is required to be considered for this potential four-year scholarship. On the day of your audition, you will be scheduled for a Composition interview in addition to your performance audition and theory placement testing. The faculty will review your information and discuss with you your composition experience to this point, your future goals and opportunities for composition majors.

        How to Apply

        Prepare and submit your composition portfolio at least two weeks prior to the audition date. Portfolio Requirements:
        • A brief cover-letter introducing yourself. Include a brief composition-related resume describing your composition experience to date, music theory knowledge and performing experience.
        • Include print-outs of two or three of your original composition scores, preferably computerized (1 copy each)
        • Include a CD or DVD recording (or sound/video files if emailing) of live performances of the above selections 

        Request an Audition

        See checklist and audition application link above.  Two to three weeks out we will send you and your parent an e-mail to confirm audition time and other specifics. Keep in mind that we will not be able to schedule you for an audition until your Common Application is received by the university.

        Contact

        Mark Kilstofte
        Composition Area Coordinator
        Phone: 864.294.2229

    • Guitar: Classical
        Classical Guitar Music Furman UniversityFor classical guitar auditions, please prepare two full or excerpted contrasting works from the standard solo or etude literature. The faculty will check your ear training and pitch-matching skills with brief aural aptitude exercises. Additional criteria:
        • Performance time limit: 10 minutes
        • You will be asked to sight-read a brief section
        • Memorization is optional

        Request an Audition

        See checklist and audition application link above.  Two to three weeks out we will send you and your parent an e-mail to confirm audition time and other specifics. Keep in mind that we will not be able to schedule you for an audition until your Common Application is received by the university.

        Contact

        Steven Walter
        Classical Guitar
        Phone: 864.294.2275

    • Guitar: Jazz
        Guitar: Jazz Music Furman UniversityFor jazz guitar auditions, we require you to prepare three brief jazz standards of varying styles. The styles may include blues, ballad, Latin, fusion, or funk, among others. Be prepared to play chords for these tunes as well as improvise a solo within them. Additional criteria:
        • Jazz chart sight-reading and comping will be included
        • The faculty will check your ear training and pitch-matching skills with brief aural aptitude exercises

        Request an Audition

        See checklist and audition application link above.  Two to three weeks out we will send you and your parent an e-mail to confirm audition time and other specifics. Keep in mind that we will not be able to schedule you for an audition until your Common Application is received by the university.

        Contact

        Matt Olson
        Coordinator of Jazz Studies
        Phone: 864.294.3284
        -or-
        Steve Watson
        Instructor of Jazz Guitar

    • Harp
        Harp Music Furman UniversityFor harp, please prepare and perform two full or excerpted contrasting works from the standard solo or etude literature. The faculty will check your ear training and pitch-matching skills with brief aural aptitude exercises. Be sure to arrive for climate acclamation and tuning. If needed, a university harp is available. Harp auditions are heard by the orchestral string faculty. Additional criteria:
        • Performance time limit: 10 minutes
        • You will be asked to sight-read a brief section
        • Memorization is optional

        Request an Audition

        See checklist and audition application link above.  Two to three weeks out we will send you and your parent an e-mail to confirm audition time and other specifics. Keep in mind that we will not be able to schedule you for an audition until your Common Application is received by the university.

        Contact

        Anita Burroughs-Price
        Harp
        Phone: 864.294.2086

    • Organ
        Organ Music Furman UniversityFor organ auditions, please prepare and perform two contrasting organ solo works with a time limit of 10 minutes total. Auditioning organists will also prepare and perform a single work on the piano (this may be from any historical period). Auditions will include brief pitch matching and aural aptitude exercises. Time for practicing, registration set-up, and warm-up on the audition organ will be scheduled on the day prior to the audition, with a short amount of time available the day of the audition. Dr. Tompkins can be available to assist you with registrations. Auditionees may choose to perform on the 42-stop C.B. Fisk tracker organ in Daniel Chapel or the 29-stop Holtkamp electropneumatic organ in McAlister Auditorium. Please indicate on the music scholarship application form which instrument you wish to perform on. 
        • The faculty will check your ear training and pitch-matching skills with brief aural aptitude exercises
        • Memorization is optional but preferred.

        Request an Audition

        See checklist and audition application link above.  Two to three weeks out we will send you and your parent an e-mail to confirm audition time and other specifics. Keep in mind that we will not be able to schedule you for an audition until your Common Application is received by the university.

        Contact

        Dr. Tompkins
        Organ, Church Music
        Phone: 864.294.2099

    • Percussion
        Percussion Music Furman UniversityFor percussion auditions, please prepare and perform one solo selection in each performance area: keyboard, snare, and timpani. Drum set is optional. Be sure to bring your own sticks or mallets. We will have a snare drum available at the audition, along with four symphonic timpani, a marimba, a vibe and a xylophone. You are welcome to bring your own snare drum. An accompanist is not necessary. Additional criteria:
        • You will be asked to sight-read
        • The faculty will check your ear training and pitch-matching skills with brief aural aptitude exercises
        • Memorization is optional
        • Interested in Jazz? Prepare a 2 minute solo containing four varying styles (moderate swing + shuffle, Latin, fusion, funk, etc.). We will supply a 3-tom 2-cymbal jazz kit.

        Request an Audition

        See checklist and audition application link above.  Two to three weeks out we will send you and your parent an e-mail to confirm audition time and other specifics. Keep in mind that we will not be able to schedule you for an audition until your Common Application is received by the university.

        Contact

        Dr. Carmenates
        Percussion
        Phone: 864.294.2406

    • Piano
        Piano Music Furman UniversityFor piano auditions, please prepare and perform one Sonata movement by Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven, and one full or excerpted composition from the Romantic or Contemporary period. An additional Baroque composition would be appreciated, but is not required. Additional criteria:
        • Performance total time limit: 15 minutes
        • Memorization expected
        • You will be asked to sight-read a brief selection
        • The faculty will check your ear training and pitch-matching skills with brief aural aptitude exercises

        Request an Audition

        See checklist and audition application link above.  Two to three weeks out we will send you and your parent an e-mail to confirm audition time and other specifics. Keep in mind that we will not be able to schedule you for an audition until your Common Application is received by the university.

        Contact

        Dr. Parsons
        Piano, Keyboard Area Coordinator
        Phone: 864.294.2099

    • Strings: Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass
        Strings: Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass Music Furman UniversityCandidates for the BM and BME programs should prepare:


        1. One movement from a standard concerto or comparable composition
        2. One movement from an unaccompanied Bach sonata, partita or suite
        3. An etude or caprice
        4. At least one of these pieces should be memorized.

        Candidates for the BA and non-major programs should prepare two contrasting works from the standard solo literature. Memorization is optional.

        Performance time limit:
        BM/BME: 15 minutes
        BA/Non-Major: 10 minutes

        Jazz player? If you are interested in also playing jazz on your audition, please prepare a jazz etude, solo transcription, or plan to play and improvise on a standard tune of your choice.

        Request an Audition

        See checklist and audition application link above.  Two to three weeks out we will send you and your parent an e-mail to confirm audition time and other specifics. Keep in mind that we will not be able to schedule you for an audition until your Common Application is received by the university.

        Contact

        Dr. Thomas Joiner
        Violin, Area Coordinator
        Phone: 864.294.2219

        Dr. Anna Joiner
        Viola
        Phone: 864.294.3199

        Dr. Christopher Hutton
        Cello, Bass
        Phone: 864.294.2019

    • Voice
        Voice Music Furman UniversityFor voice auditions, please prepare and perform two contrasting songs from the art song, oratorio or operatic repertoire. We require vocalists to perform with a piano accompanist. Musical theater songs are not appropriate for this audition. If your accompanist is unable to travel with you, be sure to request our staff accompanist on the audition application. Our staff accompanist will rehearse with you for 15 minutes and then walk with you to the vocal audition room. There is no charge for the services of our staff accompanist. A recorded accompaniment is not appropriate. Additional criteria:
        • Performance time limit: Six minutes.
        • Memorization expected.
        • You will be asked to sight-read a brief selection
        • The faculty will check your ear training and pitch-matching skills with brief aural aptitude exercises.

        Request an Audition

        See checklist and audition application link above.  Two to three weeks out we will send you and your parent an e-mail to confirm audition time and other specifics. Keep in mind that we will not be able to schedule you for an audition until your Common Application is received by the university.

        Contact

        Dr. Thomas
        Vocal Studies Coordinator
        Phone: 864.294.2088

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