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Admission and Auditions

Every music major or minor program requires a live audition for the School of Music in addition to the standard undergraduate admissions process for the university. To be fully admitted into the School of Music, prospective students must:

  • Be admitted to Western Carolina University. Note: admission to the University does not guarantee admission to the School of Music.
  • Apply to the School of Music through our Online Application.
  • Complete a satisfactory live audition for the music faculty. Audition requirements are listed below.
  • Submit a letter of reference concerning your prospect for professional study.
  • Complete the Music Theory Placement Test on the audition day or during the first week of classes.

Audition Dates for the 2020 Academic Year

  • Saturday, January 25, 2020
  • Saturday, February 1, 2020

Prospective students should make every effort to audition on one of these days. Many of the studios will be filled after the February audition date, so later auditions may be considered only for entry in subsequent semesters.

Audition Guidelines for Students


1. Play a prepared solo (accompaniment not required)
2. Play scales (as many as possible)
3. Sight read


1. Audition on snare, tympani, and marimba (Bring your own mallets and a drum pad for your warm-up)
2. Demonstrate rudiments
3. Sight read
4. Download the Audition Requirements for Percussionists (PDF)


1. Play two prepared solos, contrasting in style
2. Play scales
3. Sight read


1. You are to perform two memorized songs in contrasting style with piano accompaniment. Foreign language selections are optional. An accompanist will be provided, but you can bring your own too. We generally hear classical repertory or folk songs with piano accompaniment. We do not accept acapella songs, hymns, songs with track accompaniment, or part singing from a choral piece as appropriate audition repertory. If you have a question about your audition repertory, please confer with someone in the vocal area in advance to your audition.
2. You will be asked to sight read.
3. We will conduct a brief interview.
4. Anyone wishing to audition for the commerical voice studio should refer to these audiiton guidelines.


1. Play prepared solo
2. Play scales, chords, demonstrate improvisational skills, and sight read
3. Download the Audition Requirements for Jazz Guitar (PDF)

Commercial Music and Audio Production

Music Theory Placement Test

The Music Theory Placement Test is designed to assess your knowledge of the basic language of music. It will be used to place you into music theory courses appropriate to your skill level, but will have no effect on your acceptance into the School of Music. If you have transfer credit or advanced placement in music theory, you may be placed into more advanced theory courses upon demonstration of advanced competence. Topics assessed in the Music Theory Placement Test include:

  • Clef reading
  • Key Signatures
  • Interval and Triad Qualities
  • Scales and Modes
  • Non-Chord Tones
  • Meters and Rhythmic Notation
  • Simple 4-part writing
  • Harmonic Analysis
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