Updates on Spring, 2021 auditions:
What prospective students need to know in this time of COVID-19
In response to the ongoing pandemic all 2021 auditions will be held online. Once an applicant has uploaded his or her audition, the department chair will schedule a Zoom meeting during which the faculty will administer a brief keyboard skills test and have time for an informal conversation with each applicant. For information regarding the application and audition, please consult the Office of Music Admissions and Financial Aid. Additionally, students are encouraged to contact a member of the organ faculty directly to find out more about the organ department and study with an individual professor.
Audition information for organ applicants: What’s new this year? What’s the same?
Important 2021 change to uploaded auditions: Covid has made all of our lives so much more difficult and the organ faculty recognize that recording an audition can bring many complications. In order to make the process easier, we are allowing all auditionees to record repertoire in separate takes, but without editing within a given piece. (e.g. One may record a Bach work in its entirety as one track and the Romantic and Contemporary works as separate tracks, but each work within a given category is to be recorded as a unit, without editing.) The recordings should be from within the last year, but do not need to be recorded at the same time or on the same instrument. Live recital performances are acceptable.
Repertoire for all degrees: No changes here – we still require three works from contrasting historical periods (pre-Classical, preferably a work by Johann Sebastian Bach, Romantic, and Contemporary) and style (balancing virtuosic works with at least one expressive piece).
Time limits: We have eliminated time limits but suggest the following as guidelines:
- Undergraduate: 15-25 minutes
- Graduate: 20-30 minutes
Memorization: As in the past, this is encouraged, but not required, for auditions into any of the degree programs.
Diagnostic testing of other keyboard skills:
- BM applicants: Sight-reading in both homophonic and contrapuntal textures, with pedal.
- Graduate degree applicants: in addition to the sight-reading outlined above, realization of a brief passage of figured bass, transposition of a brief passage of music, improvisation of a brief modulatory bridge between two excerpts. (See below for information regarding this exam for those auditioning by recording.)
Assistants: As always, auditioning students may have an assistant for page turns, and while our preference is that registration is achieved by the performer, we recognize that in some instances some assistance may be necessary.
Scores: It is not necessary to provide scores for the faculty.
A Day in the Life of the JSoM Organ Department – the Movie: Covid deprives us of the opportunity to socialize during audition weekends, so we have put together an informal film that introduces you to some of our current students.