Audition Requirements

We invite you to audition to be a part of our music program at the University of Nevada, Reno. Please view the requirements for the type of audition preparation needed. All bachelor’s degree and graduate degree students are required to audition before acceptance into the program. Your audition selections should demonstrate the highest level of preparation and proficiency. You may submit your audition by video.

  • Brass

    Prepare a single work or two contrasting movements, totaling no more than eight minutes, which demonstrate technical proficiency, sound and phrasing. Candidates should also be prepared to perform major scales with common articulations. Piano accompaniment is not required. However, you may bring an accompanist with you if you wish.

  • Composition

    Students seeking a master's degree in composition are required to submit a short portfolio of compositions (three-to-four pieces).

    Undergraduate students wishing to focus a bachelor of arts in music towards composition should submit at least one sample composition. All compositions, unless totally electronic in medium, must be submitted in score form. Recordings or computer-generated representations of scores are appreciated, but not required.

    Portfolios and recordings can be sent to mvmiller@unr.edu or mailed to the department by February 1.

    Mail to:

    UNR Music Scholarships
    Mailstop 226
    Reno, NV 89557-0226

    Once submissions are sent, please reserve an audition time by calling the office at (775) 784-6145.

  • Conducting

    For more information, contact the conducting faculty.

  • Jazz

    For live auditions in Reno and Las Vegas, have two jazz standards prepared to play with the faculty rhythm section. Be prepared to play the melody and take a solo on each selection. Bring sheet music for the faculty rhythm section. Additionally, one original composition or one non-jazz piece of your choice may be performed solo or with the rhythm section.

    For recorded auditions, perform two jazz standards with rhythm section accompaniment or with recorded play-along. Play the melody and take a solo on each selection. Additionally, one original composition or one non-jazz piece of your choice may be submitted. This can be a solo recording or a recording with other musicians.

  • Percussion

    Percussionists should perform a short work on any two of the following instruments: snare drum, mallet percussion, or timpani. These instruments will be available at the audition locations. However, the University of Nevada, Reno music department will not provide sticks or mallets to students.

  • Piano

    Piano students must prepare two pieces that show your best technical and musical proficiency. These must be actual piano literature (i.e. not movie themes or popular song arrangements). Students will have approximately eight minutes to audition, so you may not necessarily play all of both pieces.

  • Strings

    Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass

    Prepare two contrasting pieces/movements, totaling between six and 10 minutes in length, which demonstrate current level of technical proficiency, as well as sound production and musical phrasing (i.e. slow and fast and if possible, from different periods of music). Candidates should also be prepared to perform a major and minor scale with its related arpeggio (at least two octaves). A piano accompaniment is not required, however, you may bring an accompanist with you if you wish.

    Guitar

    Perform three contrasting compositions/single movements, each no more than approximately five minutes long. One of your selections may be an exercise or etude from a method or other pedagogical source of your choice. Each of these selections should demonstrate mastery of appropriate right-hand technique (rest strokes, free strokes, arpeggiation, harmonics, etc.) and proper left-hand position and fingering technique. You will also be asked to play, using position shifting, two or three-octave major and melodic minor scales in key signatures with up to three sharps or two flats. If you audition in person, you may also be asked to sight-read short passages of easy to moderate difficulty.

    Harp

    Prepare two contrasting pieces/movements, totaling between six and 10 minutes in length, which demonstrate the current level of technical proficiency, as well as tone quality and musical phrasing (i.e. slow and fast and if possible, from different periods of music). Candidates should also be prepared to perform a major and minor scale with its related arpeggio (four-octave span). A piano accompaniment is not required, however, you may bring an accompanist with you if you wish.

  • Voice

    Vocalists must prepare two contrasting solo selections, totaling no more than eight minutes, that demonstrate technical development, phrasing and stage deportment. An accompanist will be provided for Reno auditions (bring sheet music for the accompanist), but those auditioning in Las Vegas will need to bring their own accompanist.

  • Woodwinds

    Prepare a single work or two contrasting movements, totaling no more than eight minutes, which demonstrate technical proficiency, sound and phrasing. Candidates should also be prepared to perform major scales with common articulations. Piano accompaniment is not required. However, you may bring an accompanist with you if you wish.