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Music Admissions Auditions


Music Admissions Auditions

The music program requires a short personal essay, two letters of recommendation, and an audition as part of the music admission process. The essay and letters of recommendation required for the music program are separate from the university admission process.

All students interested in auditioning for entry in the 2021-2022 academic year may submit online audition video recordings (via YouTube) for consideration, following the area requirements linked below. We suggest that before submitting your videos, prospective students contact faculty members in their area of study to learn more about the program.

In addition to the option of submitting a video recording, students may choose to audition via live synchronous online auditions. These auditions will be offered on Friday, October 9th, and Friday, November 6th. When contacting Music Admissions, please clearly state your preference for either a YouTube submission or a live synchronous audition, indicating your first choice of date.

Please be aware of the following University deadlines, and choose your audition method accordingly:
           Early Decision applications: due November 1, 2020
           Early Action applications: due December 1, 2020*

*The university strongly suggests that all students apply for either early decision or early action consideration. 

Spring semester auditions may be held in person, but that will be determined at a later date. Audition videos will also be accepted for consideration.   

All audition videos must be submitted by February 1, 2021.
            Later submissions will be accepted, but will not be evaluated for scholarships.

Please contact Music Admissions in order to submit your audition videos, essay, and letters of recommendation. All videos must be fully labeled (Name of Performer, Degree Program, Repertoire Performed) either on the video itself or in an accompanying description. Audio-only recordings will not be accepted. 

All candidates: please choose your audition repertoire carefully, following the guidelines listed below.  Each audition will take 12-15 minutes. Faculty may request scales and/or sight-reading as part of the audition.

  • Woodwind and Brass players should prepare movements of sonatas, concertos, or other solo concert pieces, and may include an etude as part of their audition program. 
  • Pianists should prepare at least two works chosen from each of the following options below:
    1. Baroque OR Classical
    2. Romantic OR later
    If more than two works are offered, they may be chosen from the remaining two options. 
  • Vocalists are required to prepare three pieces. One selection should be an arrangement of a folk song or hymn; the remaining two selections will be from the classical art-song and aria repertory. At least one of these pieces shall be in Italian, French, or German. If so desired, students may prepare a fourth selection from the standard Broadway musical theater canon which the faculty may or may not decide to hear. Students will also be asked to sight-read a brief 8 bar phrase in their preferred vocal range. 
    PLEASE NOTE: Students are encouraged to bring their own accompanists if possible, but the Music Program will be able to arrange for an accompanist at no charge for singers only if the candidate notifies us and sends his/her music to us at least ten (10) days ahead of the desired audition date. 
  • Percussionists should include musical selections from each of the three primary percussion instruments: snare drum (rudiments, a concert etude, and a rudimental etude), mallet instruments (scales, arpeggios, a 2-mallet etude or solo, and a 4-mallet solo), and timpani. Though not required, the applicant may also choose to audition additionally on the drum set. Please see the Recommended Percussion Repertoire for repertoire suggestions in each of these areas. 
  •  String players should prepare at least two contrasting works, one of which should be a movement from a solo suite of Johann Sebastian Bach.  The bassist can substitute another Baroque work for the Bach.  In addition, an etude may be added if the applicant feels it will help their audition.  
  • Composers applying for the MCOM degree option submit three to five original compositions or arrangements of contrasting styles and genres that demonstrate the ability to write for instruments or voice.  Applicants also interview with the faculty and audition on an instrument or voice.
  • Composers applying for the CTLA degree option submit three to five original compositions or arrangements of contrasting styles and genres that demonstrate the ability to use creative technologies.  Applicants also interview with the faculty.

If you have any questions or would like to request a printed informational packet be mailed to you, please contact Music Admissions.

All prospective freshmen and transfer music major students must complete the following steps:

  • ​Complete an application to Virginia Tech by:  
    • Early Decision-November 1
    • Early Action-December 1
    • Regular Decision-January 15
    • ​Transfers-March 1
  • Complete and submit the Music Admissions form.
  • Two letters of recommendation should be mailed at least two weeks prior to your requested audition date via email to Music Admissions.
  • Additionally, please submit a brief essay describing your involvement in music as well as your objectives and professional aspirations via email to Music Admissions. There is no required length for the essay.
  • Composition Majors: If you are choosing composition as your option, please send a portfolio of your most recent compositions to Music Admissions.

You may also mail the forms to:

Music Admissions
School of Performing Arts (0141)
195 Alumni Mall
Henderson Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061


Once your audition request is processed, you will receive an email with your time and instructions 1-2 weeks prior to your audition date.

We recommend that you also search the Virginia Tech Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid for additional scholarship and financial aid information.