Major Auditions

An audition is required of all students—incoming freshmen, transfer students, or continuing students—who want to major in music at UNH. There are two parts to the audition, the theory test and the performance. Auditions are by appointment only - when it is posted, please click the link below to register online. Also make sure to print the Audition Packet 2018-2019 when it becomes available. It contains detailed information about the auditions, finances, and the Music Department.

The application process is in two parts.

  1. Application to the University through the Common Application
  2. Completion of an audition

Your application is not considered complete without both-application and audition. 
The application deadline is February 1, 2019. Your application will be processed after Admissions receives the results of your audition.

Audition Dates for High School Seniors

Dates for 2018-2019

  • Saturday, November 3, 2018 (Please schedule this date if you are applying early action.)
  • Monday, January 21, 2019 (No piano or clarinet on this date)
  • Saturday, February 2, 2019 (No trumpet on this date)

  • Saturday, February 16, 2019  Percussionists should schedule this date

  • Saturday, February 23, 2019

Please note: Jazz guitarists will be scheduled ONLY after submitting a pre-audition recording. Classical guitarists do not need to submit a pre-audition recording. Read guitar section at left.

ONLINE AUDITION REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED. PLEASE CALL THE DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC DIRECTLY AT (603)862-2404 IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN AUDITIONING

UNH Department of Music Audition Packet 2018-2019

Register at least 2 weeks in advance of the day you plan to audition.

A written confirmation of your scheduled audition day will be sent to you approximately 2 weeks before your schedules audition.  It will include the audition time and schedule for the day.

If UNH closes due to extreme weather (called "curtailed operations"), auditions will not be held.  If you are travelling from some distance, it is advisable to monitor the weather forecast.  If auditions seem questionable, you may want to contact Alexis Zaricki and discuss your options.

Audition Requirements to Major in Music

Part 1: Performance Audition

Requirements by Instrument and Program

Click your intrument name in the list below to see your requirements.  Unless specified, music education and performance majors have the same requirements.

Prepare two contrasting pieces (or movements). Demonstrate playing proficiency of major scales and sight reading. 

All cellists: Demonstrate proficiency of all major and melodic minor scales, as well as sight-reading.

Performance majors: Prepare one etude by Popper, Piatti, Kummer, Lee, Duport, Schroeder or Dotzauer; two additional movements from different historical eras that demonstrate contrasting styles.

Music Education majors: Prepare a total of two movements from different historical eras that demonstrate contrasting styles, one of which may be an etude by Popper, Piatti, Kummer, Lee, Duport, Schroeder or Dotzauer.

Prepare two contrasting pieces (or movements). Demonstrate playing proficiency of major scales and sight reading. 

Music education, composition, and music liberal studies candidates, whose principal instrument is Classical Guitar, should prepare 2 pieces of contrasting style, not memorized; demonstrate scale proficiency (at least 2 octaves - one major, one minor); and sight reading.

B.A. performance candidates in Classical Guitar should, at a minimum, prepare 3 pieces of contrasting style, one of which should be from memory; demonstrate scale proficiency (at least 2 octaves - one major, one minor); and sight reading. 

B.M. performance candidates in Classical Guitar should prepare, at a minimum, 4 pieces of contrasting style, three of which should be from memory; demonstrate scale proficiency (at least 2 octaves - one major, one minor); and sight reading.

Demonstrate playing proficiency of all major and melodic minor scales in two octaves, two and four notes per bow. Prepare two bowed pieces – one etude and one solo piece.

Students interested in Jazz Bass should choose a piece from the standard jazz repertoire and be prepared to play the melody, an improvised bass line, and an improvised solo.

Prepare two contrasting pieces (or movements). Proficiency with major scales expected.

Prepare two contrasting pieces (or movements). Demonstrate playing proficiency of major scales and sight reading.

Prepare two contrasting pieces (or movements). Demonstrate playing proficiency of major scales and sight reading.

Guitarists will be scheduled ONLY after submitting a pre-audition recording. The recording is due by February 8, 2019. 

Anyone who wants to major in music on jazz guitar must submit MP3 recordings* by the above date with the following:

  • Solo Guitar Piece (classical, jazz, pop or original arrangement)
    *This track must be recorded live without overdubs, edits, or accompaniment.
  • A jazz standard or blues progression with play-along tracks from the Jamey Aebersold Series (available at http://www.jazzbooks.com/jazz/category/digital). Also available at iTunes Store.  Recording must include at least one chorus each of melody, solo improvisation, and chord voicings.
  • Student's Choice. Any song that best represents the student's instrumental abilities and musicality. Any musical style.
  • You will also need to complete the registration form found here.

A live audition will not be scheduled without the submission of these MP3s. Once the recording is reviewed, the successful audition candidate will be notified by phone or email to schedule the live audition. Please email MP3 submissions to david.newsam@unh.edu

Do not send these materials to the Admissions Office, please send them to:

UNH Department of Music
PCAC 30 Academic Way
Durham, NH 03824
ATTN: Alexis Zaricki

Prepare two contrasting pieces (or movements). Demonstrate playing proficiency of major scales and sight reading.

  • Bring your own sticks
  • Prepare a snare drum solo
    Suggested studies:
       Cirone - Portraits in Rhythm
       Whaley - Recital Solos for Snare Drum
       Goldenberg - School for Snare Drum (5/8 Etude)
       OR a solo of your choice of equivalent difficulty
  • Prepare a timpani solo
    Suggested studies:
       Goodman - Modern Method for Timpani (Pages 48-68) Selected Studies
       Firth - Solo Timpanist, Etude No. 1
       Beck - Sonatina for Timpani
       OR solo of equivalent difficulty
  • Mallets
       Basic knowledge of major scales
       Prepared solo
    Suggested studies:
       McMillian - Masterpieces for Marimba

Optional Requirements

  • Drumset
    Demonstrate styles:
       Swing (slow, med, fast)
       Latin (Samba, Bossa Nova)
       Funk
       Rock

Music education, composition, and music liberal studies candidates whose principal instrument is piano should prepare 2 pieces (or movements) of contrasting style, one of which must be a work by J.S. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven—memorization optional; demonstrate scale proficiency (all major scales, 2 octaves, hands together; and demonstrate sight reading.

B.A. performance candidates in piano should prepare 3 pieces (or movements) of contrasting styles (at least one of which needs to be memorized) chosen from three of the following:

  1. A work or movement by J.S. Bach
  2. A work or movement by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven
  3. A work by Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms, Scriabin, or Rachmaninoff
  4. A work by Debussy, Ravel, Bartok, Prokofiev, or a composer born after 1900

Candidates should demonstrate scale proficiency (all major and harmonic minor scales, 2 octaves, hands together) and sight reading.

B.M. performance candidates in piano should prepare 4 pieces (or movements) of contrasting styles, three of which should be memorized, to be chosen from each of the following:

  1. A work or a group of works by J.S. Bach: any two Inventions, any one Sinfonia, any substantial movement from a suite, or any complete Prelude and Fugue from the Well-tempered Clavier
  2. A fast first movement from any sonata by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven
  3. A work or a group of works by Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms, Scriabin, or Rachmaninoff
  4. A work or a group of works by Debussy, Ravel, Bartok, Prokofiev, or a composer born after 1900

Candidates should demonstrate scale proficiency (all major and harmonic minor scales, 3 octaves, hands together) and sight reading.

For saxophone auditions, students are asked to perform two contrasting movements or etudes.  Students should choose pieces of music that display a high level of performance ability and at the same time demonstrate a high degree of musicality. Students may choose a piece of standard saxophone solo repertoire or refer to Selected Studies by H. Voxman (published by Hal Leonard) or Ferling 48 Famous Studies (published by Southern).

In addition to performing movements or etudes, students will be asked to play major scales and to sight read a short excerpt. Students are invited to play jazz in the audition in addition to playing standard repertoire.  Contrasting pieces can be chosen from one of the many Jamey Aebersold books.  Students should be prepared to perform the melody and improvisation. The audition can be played on any saxophone, but alto is preferred.

Prepare two contrasting pieces (or movements). Proficiency with major scales expected.

Prepare two pieces of contrasting style, one should be lyrical (ex. 2nd movement of Haydn trumpet concerto) and the other should demonstrate the more technical side. Contrasting sections of an extended piece is acceptable. In addition to demonstrating proficiency with major scales, be prepared to play a chromatic scale.

Prepare two contrasting pieces (or movements). Proficiency with major scales expected.

Prepare two major scales with corresponding tonic arpeggio in three octaves; one of the following melodic minor scales in three octaves – A, B, or G; one standard etude; two contrasting movements of standard repertoire; sight-reading.

Prepare two major scales with corresponding tonic arpeggio in three octaves; one of the following melodic minor scales in three octaves – D, B, or E; one standard etude; two contrasting movements of standard repertoire; sight-reading.

1 Italian aria, preferably from the 24 Italian Songs & Arias of the 17th & 18th Century anthology, and 1 English Art Song. Both selections should be memorized. Be prepared to sight read, sing scales (major keys only), and sing back 3 and 4 note patterns.

Additional Information for those pursuing:

Students are required to submit a writing sample and interview with one of the music liberal studies program faculty members. The writing sample should be non-fiction, preferably an assignment for a course in English, History, or a similar subject, 500 words of more in length in addition to an audition on their major instrument.

Students wanting to declare composition as their option must submit a music portfolio in addition to an audition on their major instrument.

Part 2: Written Theory Test

The written theory test is used for placement and includes intervals, triads, and major and minor scales in treble and bass clefs, and notation of simple melodies. No theory training is expected beyond that normally acquired through performing experiences.

Learn about Ensemble Auditions