Auditions and Applying

UNR Students With Instruments
We invite your application and audition to study music at Nevada. To gain entrance to the music department, you must be accepted as an undergraduate or graduate music major by audition.

Please follow these important steps for the audition/application process:

  1. Apply to the University, including the application for University scholarships which is a part of the admission application. You will be assigned a Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) ID. This is a system-wide ID issued to students applying to schools within NSHE. Once you apply, the ID is e-mailed to you.
  2. Contact Mary Miller at for late audition guidelines.

Audition Dates

Audition dates for the 2019-2020 school year TBA.

Audition Preparation

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). For more information please contact: Violin/Viola: Professor Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio; Cello: Dr. Dmitri Atapine; Bass: Professor Hans Halt.

Jazz Students

For live auditions in Reno and Las Vegas, have two jazz standards prepared to play with they 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 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.


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.


Instrumentalists should 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.


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.


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 or mailed to the music department by February 1.


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.