“Now the time has come…the music’s between us…”*

By: Mónia C. Estima, Senior Assistant Director for Music Admissions

OK, folks, I’m taking a break from January audition scheduling madness to talk about live audition repertoire for Music applicants. (Wheeeee!) I decided to write this blog in the style of an FAQ–most of it is pretty general and can apply to all music applicants, though I do toss in a couple of instrument-specific matters here and there.

Q: Can I substitute “X work” for “the work specified on the application?”

A: Usually, no. Often, faculty leave things open so applicants can fulfill a requirement with works that best represent them (for example, “gimme a sonata by this guy,” or “play me a concerto from that era”). However, when they get particular enough to name a composer, or even a specific work, that means they’re looking to hear a certain something which another work will not provide.

Q: The requirements for my instrument say I’ve got to have “major and minor scales.” Is that all minor scales?

A: Unless otherwise specified, applicants should be prepared to play the heck out of all minor scales (natural, harmonic, and melodic). (And, in fact, all major scales as well!)

Q: Can I present something for the live audition that’s different from what I listed on the application?

A: Sure, so long as it meets the published audition requirements. Sometimes you’re not sure whether a particular piece will be “audition ready” when you submit your application. But, come audition week, it’s ready, Freddy! We like to leave room for applicants to update their repertoire but, again, any changes must conform to the published requirements. Click here for instructions and a link to the Audition Repertoire Change Form.

Q: If I change my live audition repertoire, do I have to get it approved?

A: You do if you’re applying to Classical Piano or Collaborative Piano. Otherwise, you just fill out the form, as noted above. If you want to check with us to see if the new work fits the requirement, send an e-mail detailing:

1. Your instrument/major

2. The degree level to which you’re applying

3. The repertoire requirement to which you’re referring, and

4. The new piece/composer you’d like to use to fulfill that requirement

To: repertoire (at) juilliard.edu

It may take anywhere from 7 to 10 business days to get back to you with an answer, so please be patient and don’t wait until the week before your scheduled audition to ask (‘cause we may not be able to get back to you in time!).

Q: What if I change something for my live audition repertoire, thinking it meets the requirements, but then at my audition the faculty tell me it doesn’t?

A: Wow. My stomach just churned at the very thought. You don’t want to go there, guys–trust me. Admissions doesn’t check folks’ repertoire lists in advance of the auditions to make sure they match the requirements–it’s the applicant’s responsibility to insure that s/he brings the correct repertoire. SO, if you’re making a change, and you have any questions whatsoever about whether the change fits the requirement, check with us first (see the question/answer just before this one that tells you how).

Q: I’m using “insert name of extremely lengthy work” to fulfill “X” requirement; do I have to prepare the whole thing?

A: For whichever work you select to fulfill a requirement you must prepare the complete work, unless otherwise noted on the application. Sure, you may rock the second movement of a particular work, but how are you with that tricky section in the fourth? I can think of several cases where applicants failed to prepare the complete work and then were put on the spot when faculty asked to hear something they hadn’t prepared. Please believe that “I don’t have that” will totally kill the buzz from your stellar execution of what you did have. Totally.

Here’s a question some of our lovely work-study students thought of (thanks Hannah, Jennifer, and Jonathan!):

Q: Will I be asked to perform everything I list for my live audition?

A: Probably not. An applicant is usually invited to start off with her/his preferred work from the live audition repertoire list (or, if your department requires it, you may be asked to start with some scales). Then you may be asked to present another work and, possibly, a third from your list. You may be stopped in the middle of a measure but don’t take offense–it’s just a time-limitation thing. HOWEVERmake sure you’re ready to play everything from your rep list, because you never know what the faculty’s going to ask for!

That’s all I can think of right now. If you’re burning up with any repertoire questions, first you should stop, drop, and roll. THEN you should e-mail us your questions, as noted above. And, in case I don’t blog again any time soon, Happy Holidays to you all and see you in the New Year!

The title for this blog was purloined from Duran Duran’s “(Reach Up for the) Sunrise.”