Percussion Auditions

Undergraduate Audition Requirements

More general information about auditioning for the undergraduate program at USA can be found here.

Percussionists should demonstrate proficiency in the following areas of performance. For entry into the USA Percussion Studio, you must demonstrate proficiency in the areas of snare drum, keyboard (2 mallet required) and timpani. Drumset is optional but desired. 4 mallet solo or etude is highly recommended for students seeking top scholarship consideration. All percussionists interested in auditioning should contact Dr. Rivera at lcrivera-carrero@southalabama.edu with a list of their audition repertoire.


Representative pieces from all areas listed below are recommended.

  • Snare Drum
    • Sample from PAS 40 International Drum Rudiments
    • Etudes / Solos by composers including, but not limited to, Anthony Cirone, Mitchell Peters, Jacques Delecluse, or equivalent
    • Demonstrate sight-reading
  • Keyboard
    • Major and/or Minor scales
    • Etude / Solos by composers including, but not limited to, Morris Goldenberg, Gordon Stout, Mark Ford, Mitchell Peters, Keiko Abe, Paul Smadbeck, or equivalent. A fundamental understanding of at least one multiple mallet grip is highly valued.
    • Demonstrate sight-reading (2 mallets only)
  • Timpani
    • A basic knowledge of the mechanical and pitched characteristics of the timpani
    • Etudes / Solos by composers including, but not limited to, Saul Goodman, Garwood Whaley, Vic Firth, John Beck, Elliott Carter, or equivalent
  • Drum Set (optional)
    • Demonstrate proficiency in various styles (jazz, Latin, rock) through performance of playing time and improvising fills and solos; a basic understanding of reading drum set charts displayed by performance with recorded music.


Graduate Audition Requirements

General information about the graduate music programs offered at USA can be found here.

Percussionists should demonstrate proficiency in the following areas for graduate performance. For entry into the graduate program, students must demonstrate proficiency in the areas of snare drum, keyboard (4-mallet required) and timpani, including orchestral excerpts. Drum set or multi-percussion though desired, is optional. All percussionists interested in auditioning for the graduate program must contact Dr. Rivera at lcrivera-carrero@southalabama.edu with a list of their audition repertoire.


Representative works/composers from all areas listed below are recommendations. Other works from composers not listed below are highly encouraged, so long as ALL proposed repertoire receives approval from Dr. Rivera prior to auditioning.

  • Snare Drum
    • Advanced Etude / Solo by composers including, but not limited to, Jacques Delecluse, Joseph Tompkins, Fred Albright, or equivalent
    • One representative orchestral excerpt for snare drum
  • Keyboard
    • Advanced Etude / Solo by composers including, but not limited to, Michael Burritt, Leigh Howard Stevens, Eric Sammut, Joseph Schwantner, Gordon Stout, Kevin Bobo, or equivalent
    • One representative orchestral excerpt for xylophone OR glockenspiel
  • Timpani
    • Advanced Etude / Solo utilizing 4 or 5 drums by composers including, but not limited to, Elliott Carter, Vic Firth, Saul Goodman, John Beck, Jacques Delecluse, Fred Hinger, or equivalent
    • One representative orchestral excerpt for timpani
  • Drum Set or Multi-Percussion (Optional)
    • Advanced Chart / Solo by composers/arrangers in the jazz, fusion, or rock genres that showcase technical independence, time-keeping patterns, fills, solos, and improvisatory passages. If a student does not have a solo prepared, demonstration of multiple styles such as swing, rock, bossa nova, reggae, samba, mambo, fusion, or other styles will be appropriate.
      OR
    • Advanced Etude / Solo by composers including, but not limited to, Dave Hollinden, Michael Udow, Brett Dietz, Warren Benson, Karlheinz Stockhausen, or equivalent