Main Menu

Audition Information

Questions To Ask A School | Schedule An Audition | Request Further Information | Audition Information | Success Stories And Testimonials

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

Acceptance into the Shepherd University Department 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 Music Department audition dates are fixed and you cannot matriculate as a music major without an audition.

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

To apply to Shepherd University click here.

Audition for admission and scholarship consideration:

Monday, October 8, 2018 (during Fall 2018 Visitation Day)
Saturday, January 26, 2019

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Audition Day

Please arrive at the Music Department in the Frank Arts Center to check in no less than 30 minutes before your assigned audition session. Audition days include a “Question and Answer” session with the Music Department faculty for parents and students, and opportunities to talk with representatives from the Office of Admissions and the Office of Financial Aid. You will receive a complete schedule once you request an audition, so that you can plan your visit accordingly. At a minimum, expect to spend 2-3 hours on campus.

Campus tours: Student-led campus tours can be arranged on audition days. 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 Music Department 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.