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Be prepared for your audition at Shepherd University by reading the requirements below.

Acceptance into the Shepherd University School of Music is a dual application process. You must apply and be accepted into the university, and you must audition for acceptance into the music program. You do not have to be admitted to Shepherd University before scheduling your audition. Although the university has a rolling admission policy, the School of Music audition dates are fixed and you cannot matriculate as a music major without an audition.

To apply for Audition and Scholarship consideration for the School of Music, click here.

To apply to Shepherd University, click here.

Audition for admission and scholarship consideration:

For entrance Fall 2021 audition by video.*

For entrance Fall 2022:
Saturday, January 29, 2022 

Saturday, February 26, 2022

*With the current restrictions on travel and in-person contact due to the COVID-19, we are currently only accepting video auditions. 

The recording should be submitted in DVD format or video file link emailed to, and must be an unedited, live recording (not studio-produced or edited). It should contain the following:

• An introduction – State your name and tell about your musical background, training and experience. Explain why you wish to major in music and in particular why you wish to come to Shepherd University.

• The music audition should last no more than ten minutes. You should prepare 2-3 selections from your current repertoire that best represents your ability. We suggest that you choose works that are contrasting in period and style. Additional information and specific audition requirements are attached.

• Email video file link to or mail your recording to: Auditions, Shepherd University School of Music, P.O Box 5000, Shepherdstown, WV 25443.  For scholarship consideration, your recorded audition must be received by February 28, 2021.

Audition Day

Campus tours: To make an appointment for a campus tour for a different day, contact the Office of Admissions at Shepherd University at 304/876-5212 or 800/344-5231, extension 5212, or e-mail your visit request to

Are you coming from a long distance? Overnight accommodations can be arranged at one of the following:
Clarion Inn and Conference Center 304-870-7000
Quality Inn 304-876-3160
Bavarian Inn & Lodge 304-876-2551
Inn at Antietam Bed and Breakfast 877-835-6011
Thomas Shepherd Inn Bed and Breakfast 304-876-3715

Audition Requirements

Students planning to major in any of the Music Degree Programs-the Bachelor of Music in Instrumental, Piano or Vocal Performance, the Bachelor of Arts with concentration in performance, composition, piano pedagogy, or the Bachelor in Music Education leading to teacher certification must be admitted to Shepherd University. Admission has become increasingly competitive and early application is advised. The application is available online here, or call the admissions office at 304-876-5212 or email for information.

Scholarships and other forms of assistance awarded by the School of Music are granted on the basis of talent as demonstrated by the student during the audition. Need-based financial aid packages and academic scholarships should be sought through the Office of Financial Aid, phone 304-876-5470 or email

Music Theory Placement Exam
All undergraduate applicants will complete a brief written theory exam. This consists of note identification in both treble and bass clefs, major and minor scale construction, basic interval and chord identification and construction, notation of rhythms and meters, and vocal pitch-matching and interval replication. The test is used for diagnostic purposes only and will have no bearing on whether or not a student is admitted to the program.

Piano Placement Exam
After the theory placement exam there will be a brief piano proficiency exam for all applicants whose major instrument is not piano. The test is used for diagnostic purposes only and will have no bearing on whether or not a student is admitted to the program.

General Audition Information
Please make sure you review and satisfy the audition requirements for your specific instrument. Students are welcome and encouraged to contact our faculty for guidance or questions about their specific area of study and the audition requirements.

For the audition, the applicant should perform two works in contrasting styles. The repertoire should demonstrate the applicant’s technical ability and overall musicianship. Memorization is required for all piano and vocal students, and is optional for guitar. In addition, the student may be asked to play an etude as well as various scales and arpeggios on an instrument. Students with a jazz emphasis may be asked to demonstrate different styles and to improvise over a blues pattern.

Download a printable version of the Audition Information here.

Specific Requirements for each instrument




Instrumentalists are not expected to be accompanied for their audition.

Note: for the current academic year, Shepherd University is not admitting classical violin, viola, violoncello, or bass string students into the BM in Performance or BME (Music Education) programs. Students who play these instruments may pursue the BA in Music (general and concentration in composition). Students playing these instruments may continue to take applied lessons and participate in symphonic band, jazz, and other ensembles.












French Horn

Tenor Trombone

Bass Trombone




Percussionists should demonstrate abilities on more than one instrument [snare, set, marimba].

Specific Requirements for the Jazz Emphasis

Incoming freshman and transfer students will need to prepare the following to audition for acceptance into the BM in Music – Jazz Emphasis:

  1. One (1) piece from the concert repertoire of the primary instrument (concerto, sonata, etude, etc.);
  2. One (1) jazz transcription from a published transcription book preferably on the student’s primary instrument;
  3. Melody and improvisation on three (3) jazz standards including a blues, medium or up-tempo swing/bebop, and straight eighth-note/Latin.