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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 include Friday night.  To truly know the level of music you will be immersed in at Furman, you need to hear us in action.  Friday night's performance is for you. View events. Tickets are complimentary for you and your family.

What is the ideal Furman audition schedule?  

Arrive Friday (earlier in the day if you desire a faculty meeting or campus tour), enjoy a meal at one of the 40+ restaurants downtown, attend Friday night's performance, audition Saturday (we can hear a few on Friday afternoon), attend the Saturday audition lunch.  If flying, aim for a departure time after 4pm Saturday.

    How to Apply

    1. Scroll down and read the Audition Criteria for your instrument and discuss it with your teacher. 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 high-quality composition portfolio is required for consideration.
       
    2. Decide which date is best for you based on your university application type and your personal schedule. Scroll down to see date options.  University application:  Apply for a music audition AFTER your Common Application has been submitted to Furman Admissions.  Your application file does not need to be complete to apply to Music, BUT, we can not speak on your behalf or respond to you about your audition until your university application file is complete.  We want to hear you before Furman issues their acceptance decision, so double check the deadlines above and on the Furman Admissions web siteMusic can not help you with acceptance to the university if you audition for us after the decisions are made!
       
    3. Submit the Music Audition Application at least three weeks in advance of your preferred date.  This is a web form.
       
    4. Ask your teachers to complete the Music Teacher Recommendation PDF Form. You print it and hand to them - you complete the top part.  Be sure they know your audition date so they get the recommendation to us before your audition. The form is helpful to us, but a letter emailed or attached to it is most beneficial for you. Our fax, email and address are on the form.  Suggestion: Send your teacher a thank you note for doing this for you - they take a lot of time and careful consideration when they write these.  They know your future may depend on it. They know you best, so we diligently consider their thoughts.
       
    5. Upload your music resume document to the Furman Admissions Portal at least two weeks prior to the audition date.  This is a 1-2 page listing of your music experience, honors, awards, major performances, major/recent repertoire. 

audition dates 2014-15 for fall entry 2015

  • EARLY DECISION applicants should audition
    • Friday, January 16 or
    • Saturday, January 17 
    • Can't audition live?  Submit the forms and upload your video audition to the Furman Admissions Portal no later than January 10.
    • Notification will mail 2-3 weeks after you audition.
  • EARLY ACTION applicants should audition
    • Friday, January 16  or
    • Saturday, January 17 
    • Can't audition live?  Submit the forms and upload your video audition to the Furman Admissions Portal no later than January 10.  We can hear you in February, but the university decisions will already be made by then so a January audition is best.
    • Notification will mail after February 1
  • REGULAR DECISION applicants should audition
    • Friday, February 13  or
    • Saturday, February 14
    • Can't audition on one of these dates?  You may audition on an earlier date or submit a video recording via the Furman Admissions Portal by February 1.
    • Notification will mail after April 1

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

    University application questions?  Contact Fine Arts Admissions Coordinator Marta Lanier at 864-294-3405 or email marta.lanier@furman.edu.

    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. If you require a play-along recording for your jazz performance, please bring a CD that contains the play-along with you to your audition.

        Request an Audition

        See checklist and audition application link above.  We will send you an e-mail to confirm your audition time approximately two weeks prior to your audition date. Keep in mind that we will not be able to schedule you for an audition until you have completed your application to the university.

        Teacher recommendations can be mailed, faxed, or submitted via email to:
        Music Auditions
        Furman Music Department
        3300 Poinsett Highway
        Greenville, SC 29613
        Fax: 864.294.3035
        furmanmusic@furman.edu

        Contact

        Leslie W. Hicken
        Director of Bands
        Phone: 864.294.3193

        View our faculty section for a listing 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.  We will send you an e-mail to confirm your audition time approximately two weeks prior to your audition date. Keep in mind that we will not be able to schedule you for an audition until you have completed your application to the university.

        Teacher recommendations can be mailed, faxed, or submitted via email to:
        Music Auditions
        Furman Music Department
        3300 Poinsett Highway
        Greenville, SC 29613
        Fax: 864.294.3035
        furmanmusic@furman.edu

        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.  We will send you an e-mail to confirm your audition time approximately two weeks prior to your audition date. Keep in mind that we will not be able to schedule you for an audition until you have completed your application to the university.

        Teacher recommendations can be mailed, faxed, or submitted via email to:
        Music Auditions
        Furman Music Department
        3300 Poinsett Highway
        Greenville, SC 29613
        Fax: 864.294.3035
        furmanmusic@furman.edu

        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.  We will send you an e-mail to confirm your audition time approximately two weeks prior to your audition date. Keep in mind that we will not be able to schedule you for an audition until you have completed your application to the university.

        Teacher recommendations can be mailed, faxed, or submitted via email to:
        Music Auditions
        Furman Music Department
        3300 Poinsett Highway
        Greenville, SC 29613
        Fax: 864.294.3035
        furmanmusic@furman.edu

        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.  We will send you an e-mail to confirm your audition time approximately two weeks prior to your audition date. Keep in mind that we will not be able to schedule you for an audition until you have completed your application to the university.

        Teacher recommendations can be mailed, faxed, or submitted via email to:
        Music Auditions
        Furman Music Department
        3300 Poinsett Highway
        Greenville, SC 29613
        Fax: 864.294.3035
        furmanmusic@furman.edu

        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.  We will send you an e-mail to confirm your audition time approximately two weeks prior to your audition date. Keep in mind that we will not be able to schedule you for an audition until you have completed your application to the university.

        Teacher recommendations can be mailed, faxed, or submitted via email to:
        Music Auditions
        Furman Music Department
        3300 Poinsett Highway
        Greenville, SC 29613
        Fax: 864.294.3035
        furmanmusic@furman.edu

        Contact

        Charles Tompkins
        Organ, Church Music, Keyboard Area Coordinator
        Phone: 864.294.2969

    • 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.  We will send you an e-mail to confirm your audition time approximately two weeks prior to your audition date. Keep in mind that we will not be able to schedule you for an audition until you have completed your application to the university.

        Teacher recommendations can be mailed, faxed, or submitted via email to:
        Music Auditions
        Furman Music Department
        3300 Poinsett Highway
        Greenville, SC 29613
        Fax: 864.294.3035
        furmanmusic@furman.edu

        Contact

        Omar 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.  We will send you an e-mail to confirm your audition time approximately two weeks prior to your audition date. Keep in mind that we will not be able to schedule you for an audition until you have completed your application to the university.

        Teacher recommendations can be mailed, faxed, or submitted via email to:
        Music Auditions
        Furman Music Department
        3300 Poinsett Highway
        Greenville, SC 29613
        Fax: 864.294.3035
        furmanmusic@furman.edu

        Contact

        Derek Parsons
        Piano
        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. If you require a play-along recording for your jazz performance, please bring a CD that contains the music with you to your audition.

        Request an Audition

        See checklist and audition application link above.  We will send you an e-mail to confirm your audition time approximately two weeks prior to your audition date. Keep in mind that we will not be able to schedule you for an audition until you have completed your application to the university.

        Teacher recommendations can be mailed, faxed, or submitted via email to:
        Music Auditions
        Furman Music Department
        3300 Poinsett Highway
        Greenville, SC 29613
        Fax: 864.294.3035
        furmanmusic@furman.edu

        Contact

        Thomas Joiner
        Violin, Area Coordinator
        Phone: 864.294.2219

        Anna Joiner
        Viola
        Phone: 864.294.3199

        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.  We will send you an e-mail to confirm your audition time approximately two weeks prior to your audition date. Keep in mind that we will not be able to schedule you for an audition until you have completed your application to the university.

        Teacher recommendations can be mailed, faxed, or submitted via email to:
        Music Auditions
        Furman Music Department
        3300 Poinsett Highway
        Greenville, SC 29613
        Fax: 864.294.3035
        furmanmusic@furman.edu

        Contact

        Bruce Schoonmaker
        Vocal Studies Coordinator
        Phone: 864.294.2023

    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, you may upload, email or postal mail a good quality video/audio recording. Try to avoid using YouTube since the quality is poor.  All recordings should meet the audition criteria.

    If you audition by recording and desire to major in music, you must still take the theory placement tests in the fall in order to be given permission to begin music study your first term.

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