Admissions, Audition Requirements and Audition Dates

student performer 

Admission to the University of South Alabama Department of Music is dependent upon admission to the University and an on-campus audition in your specific instrumental area or performance medium.  Students should be admitted to the University prior to auditioning. Students may apply for admission to the University of South Alabama online. All prospective majors and minors must audition for admission. In order to schedule an audition, you must fill out an Audition Application. Auditions may also be arranged individually or by video (live over internet or recorded) for applicants who live a prohibitive distance from campus. Auditions will be held at the Laidlaw Performing Arts Center, Room 1072. Be sure to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled time. A warm-up room will be available. 

PLEASE NOTE: Requirements on this page are for all undergraduate students wishing to major or minor in music, not for Jaguar Marching Band auditions.  For details on those auditions, please visit this page.

Video Auditions (updated 3/30/2020)

Students wishing to audition for undergraduate admission/scholarship consideration as a music major or minor should submit a video audition in lieu of a live audition.  Video submissions will be screened within one week of submission, and admission/scholarship decisions will be communicated by email shortly thereafter.  For priority scholarship consideration, video auditions should be submitted before April 24, 2020.  

Graduate applicants should follow the graduate audition and application procedures outlined below and should contact Dr. Thomas Rowell, Graduate Coordinator for the Department of Music at for information about how to submit your audition.

The video audition procedures listed for each area are slightly amended from the live audition requirements to make the submission process as accessible as possible. For any questions regarding the audition process please contact our Audition Coordinator, Mr. Matthew Greenwood.

Woodwind, Brass, Guitar

Students will submit a video performing two majors scales of their choice (2 octaves preferred - avoid adjacent keys [A-Ab] ) and a chromatic scale (2 octaves minimum from any starting pitch).  Students will also be asked to submit two separate videos of contrasting material (one technical , one lyrical). Each video should be no longer than two minutes in length and provide sufficient material for the committee to evaluate the application.

Students wishing to be considered for Jaguar Marching Band as well as a music major/minor should check both boxes on the video audition form.


Students auditioning for voice should follow the voice audition guidelines below for selecting their audition material. Students will submit two separate videos of art songs in contrasting style. The video should be submitted with either a  live accompaniment or an accompaniment track. 

If you do not have access to accompaniment or an accompaniment track for one or both of your songs, an accompaniment track(s) will be made for you to use for each song.  Please email Dr. Thomas Rowell, Vocal Area Coordinator, with either a scan of the piano accompaniment, or the names, composers, and keys of each of your selections.


Percussionists will need to submit a total of two videos:

1) A video demonstrating the following rudiments in a slow-fast-slow manner: paradiddle, alternating flams, flam taps, multiple bounce roll (piano - forte - piano)

2) A video of a concert snare drum solo or etude (a solo/etude can be provided if requested). Please introduce yourself and the title of the solo/etude before your performance. The use of a practice pad in substitution of an instrument is acceptable.

After the auditionee has submitted their videos a follow-up phone interview will take place to conclude the audition process. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to email Mr. Matthew Greenwood at


Applicants will also be asked to submit two separate videos of contrasting material (one technical , one lyrical) from the serious keyboard literature. 

While specific technical studies are not required, the performer may wish to demonstrate proficiency in such areas as scales, arpeggios, or chord charts.  For questions about choice of audition material please contact, Dr. Robert Holm, Area Coordinator for Keyboard Studies.

Live Audition Requirements

Voice Auditions     Keyboard Auditions     Woodwind, Brass and String Auditions   Percussion Auditions    Guitar Auditions

Audition Dates     Graduate Student Auditions     Remote Auditions

Woodwind, Brass, and String Auditions

All woodwind, brass, and string players should prepare two selections in contrasting styles: something slow, lyrical, and expressive and something else of a faster, more technical nature. Prepared selections may be chosen by the student and may come from solo repertoire, etudes, ensemble excerpts, or All-State audition material. Students should also be prepared to sight-read a short excerpt and to demonstrate basic technique by playing major scales and arpeggios and a chromatic scale (all scales and arpeggios should be performed in two octaves). Wind players who pass the major/minor audition will have their marching band audition waived.


Voice Auditions

An audition is required for admission to the program as a vocal major or minor. Prospective students will perform two songs, demonstrate range, pitch retention and sight-reading ability. Audition repertoire should be chosen that reflects ability and readiness for private vocal study. Consult the USA Vocal Area Coordinator, Dr. Thomas Rowell, if you have questions as to what would be suitable for an audition at USA. 

Incoming freshmen or non-majors auditioning for vocal ensemble scholarship

Two art songs in contrasting styles should be prepared and presented from memory. Songs may be in English or in a foreign language, and should come from standard classical vocal repertoire. Repertoire that is appropriate for performance at solo/ensemble contest or at NATS auditions is considered acceptable audition repertoire. PLEASE NOTE: While sacred music such as legitimate art song settings of hymns are most welcome, hymns or gospel songs sung a cappella are not regarded as acceptable audition material in order to receive a scholarship or for entry into the music program.

Transferring majors/minors from other institutions

Two contrasting pieces from standard classical vocal repertoire will be presented, one of which may be an aria from opera or oratorio. One of the pieces must be performed in Italian, German or French. Audition repertoire should reflect the singer’s highest level of accomplishment in previous collegiate vocal study and demonstrate readiness to continue private study toward degree completion.

An accompanist is provided for each audition. No pre-recorded accompaniments or self-accompaniment will be accepted. Examples of vocal collections that contain appropriate audition repertoire are:

  • 26 Italian Arias and Songs
  • 24 Italian Arias and Songs
  • The Young Singer Series
  • Joan Frey Boytim Series such as The First Book of Soprano Solos
  • English Reliquary of Song
  • Pathways of Song
  • 56 Songs You Like to Sing Arias for Soprano, et. al. (published by G. Schirmer)

Keyboard Auditions

The student should be prepared to perform two solos in contrasting styles from the serious keyboard literature. A short sight-reading selection may also be requested. While specific technical studies are not required, the performer may wish to demonstrate proficiency in such areas as scales, arpeggios, or chord charts.

Percussion Auditions

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 Mr. Matthew Greenwood with a list of their audition repertoire.

Detailed requirements can be found on the Percussion Auditions page.  

Guitar Auditions

Play a scale (student's choice) in 2 octaves, in both quarter notes and eighth notes, with quarter note = 60 bpm. Play two contrasting pieces - finger picking preferred. Sightread in first position, with rhythms of quarter note and longer.

Audition Dates

February 1, 2020
February 29, 2020
April 11, 2020

March 30, 2020 Update 
Due to the current campus closure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, special auditions are not being arranged at this time. Students should follow the procedure for submitting a video audition. 
Special audition dates may be arranged with the ensemble directors or instructors involved in the student's instrumental or vocal area.  Please see the "Faculty" page for contact information regarding specific faculty and staff.

Graduate Student Auditions

Information about Graduate Admissions and Auditions can be found on the Graduate Degrees page.

Remote Auditions

NOTE: As of March 30th, students who wish to do a remote audition should submit their audition as a video audition. When we are able to resume live, remote auditions, we will update this information.  Thank you!
Students who live a prohibitive distance from campus may schedule a live, remote audition using internet video (Skype, Zoom, Google Chat, iChat, FaceBook, etc.)  To schedule such an audition, call (251) 460-6136.