By Lee Cioppa, Associate Dean for Admissions
By now, you are really honing in on a couple of different things – where you will apply, and your audition repertoire (solo, monologue).
In both cases, your life will be made infinitely simpler if you can start out this fall figuring out what the application and audition requirements have in common – I think you will find more similarities than differences, and that is what is going to reduce your workload and also allow you to focus and prepare a reasonable amount of repertoire.
Let’s start with repertoire.
Last year, I asked a Juilliard voice student to research the audition repertoire at 12 different undergraduate vocal programs. Then she did an Excel spreadsheet (I LOVE these – a great way to get all of the information in one place, easy to read and compare). By filling in “an additional work of your choice” requirements with pieces that were required at other schools, she found that a voice applicant applying to music programs needed to prepare only 4 audition pieces.
By lining up all of the audition requirements for your schools of choice in one place, you can start with the school with the most requirements, and see where those fit in with other schools. For example – in Classical piano, Juilliard requires a Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart or Schubert sonata for one category, but has a relatively short list of acceptable sonatas for each composer. Another school (or schools) may require any Mozart sonata. Another may require any Classical sonata. Choosing one of the Juilliard options of eight Mozart sonatas will fulfill all of these requirements!
This holds true for dance and drama as well – most programs have a solo requirement (dance) and monologue requirement (drama) – who has the most? Who is the most specific? Can those specific requirements also apply to schools with more general requirements?
It will be to your benefit to be preparing the least amount of repertoire possible – it will give you more time to polish, to get every piece to 150% – so that even taking into account nerves, stress, and the numerous other audition variables such as bad weather, strange locations, exhausting travel – you’ll be able to audition at 100%.