Auditionees must present a memorized performance of three art songs, at least one in a foreign language and one in English, in contrasting styles, from different historical periods, and from the standard vocal literature. These works should reflect the student’s level of technical and interpretive skill. If previous study has included significant repertoire in musical theater, one of the three pieces performed in the audition may be representative of the singer’s competence in that genre.

Vocal applicants requiring a Bucknell accompanist for their audition must provide copies of their audition music about two or three weeks in advance of the audition date to the music department. This audition music is to be computer scanned and sent as an email attachment to: bross@bucknell.edu


String applicants for a degree in music should prepare two works in contrasting style and a three-octave scale (two-octave for double bass) of the applicant’s choice. The following repertoire is offered as a guide to applicants in choosing materials for the audition but is not prescriptive.

Violin: One movement of an unaccompanied sonata or partita of J.S. Bach, or a movement from the Telemann unaccompanied Fantasias for violin, or a movement of a Baroque sonata by a composer such as Bach, Handel or Corelli; a movement of a concerto from the standard repertory by a composer such as Mozart, Mendelssohn, or Bruch, or a short character piece such as the Beethoven Romance in F or the Saint-Säens Havanaise; a three-octave scale of the applicant’s choice.

Viola: A movement from one of the unaccompanied works by Bach for cello or violin; two contrasting movements from the Telemann concerto, or one movement from a standard concerto of greater difficulty, such as concertos by J. C. Bach, Handel, Hoffmeister, Stamitz, Hindemith, Walton, or Bartók, or a short character piece such as the Hindemith Trauermusik or the Weber Andante and Rondo Ongarese; a three-octave scale of the applicant’s choice.

Cello: One movement of a standard concerto such as those by Boccherini, Haydn, Lalo or Saint-Saëns, or two contrasting movements of a sonata by composers such as Eccles, Vivaldi, or Marcello; one movement from a Bach suite; a three-octave scale of the applicant’s choice.

Bass: One movement from a major concerto such as Capuzzi, Koussevitsky, or Bottesini, or one movement from a Baroque sonata by a composer such as Eccles, Marcello or Vivaldi; one standard etude (Simandl, J. Hrabe, or Storch-Hrabe); one standard orchestral excerpt (Beethoven, Brahms or Mozart); a two-octave scale of the applicant’s choice.


Applicants for Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in Piano Performance are required to audition in order to be accepted into the program. At the audition, candidates will be expected to perform from memory three works from different historical periods, in addition to sight-reading.

Applicants for the Bachelor of Music Education or Bachelor of Arts in Music degrees with piano as a primary instrument are also required to audition. The candidate should present two or three works from different historical periods. Memory of performed works is desirable, but not required. Applicants will also be asked to sight-read.

Wind Instruments

Applicants auditioning on a wind instrument should prepare at least two contrasting compositions (or movements from larger works) from the standard repertoire. Significant etudes from standard etude books that demonstrate a student’s performance proficiency are also suitable. Applicants should also be prepared to play chromatic scales demonstrating tone and technique throughout the range of the instrument. Proficiency in major and minor scales is also recommended; however, the performance of the works and/or etudes noted above constitutes the primary focus of the audition.

Percussion Instruments

Percussionists are encouraged to audition on a variety of instruments including mallet instruments (marimba or xylophone preferred), snare drum, and timpani. Audition materials should include contrasting compositions. Works from any of the major etude books written for the respective instruments are also suitable. Applicants auditioning on mallet instruments will be asked to play scales. Applicants auditioning on snare drum should be prepared to play rudiments.

Composition Majors

In addition to satisfying the audition requirement in the primary performance medium, applicants for Bachelor of Arts in Music with concentration in Contemporary Composition must also submit at least two or three samples of creative compositional work — scores and/or recordings of compositions. These scores and/or recordings are to be submitted via SlideRoom. A SlideRoom account can only be created after the completion of the common application to the University.