Music Scholarship Auditions Application Guide

We are delighted that you are interested in auditioning for a music performance scholarship at Willamette.

Please note: The online application for music scholarship auditions will be available soon.

The information provided below is designed to help you prepare for your audition either on campus or by digital video. Please note that your music audition is conducted separately from your application for admission to the College of Liberal Arts at Willamette. The Admission Committee will select students based upon their academic match with Willamette, and from those students the Music faculty will recommend scholarship recipients. Students should check on their application status prior to scheduling an audition on campus.


Before scheduling an audition you must apply for admission to Willamette University, or have started the process.

Music Scholarship Application Guide

Below you will find all the information you will need about our audition process and application materials to submit. All applications, whether for an in-person audition or a digital video audition, are to be submitted online and via email.

Application Materials Deadline:

January 9th in order to be considered for a Music Scholarship.


Whether auditioning in person or auditioning by a digital video submission, keep in mind the following:

Classical Musicians:
Instrumental and Vocal

  1. Prepare two or three pieces that have contrasting styles and tempos, and which demonstrate your ability to perform both rapid and lyrical passages.
  2. Select literature from the solo, not ensemble repertoire. If the music you choose includes a separate piano part, and you wish to audition in person, please make arrangements with Diane Trevett, to work with one of our staff pianists.
  3. Instrumentalists may include etudes and studies.
  4. Vocalists, whether in person or digital video, must sing at least one piece in a foreign language. You may also choose a piece from the musical theater genre or a jazz standard.

Jazz Musicians

  1. Prepare two or three pieces showing a variety of styles and tempos for which you can both perform written material and improvise.
  2. If you choose to audition in person, you may choose to bring a recording of a rhythm section over which you improvise a solo or you may arrange for a collaborative pianist by contacting Diane Trevett
  3. If you audition by digital video, the recorded performance should have a rhythm section be it “live” or prerecorded.


  1. Composers must audition on an instrument (or voice) and submit a portfolio of compositions.

Digital Video Auditions

  • Digital video auditions should be 10-15 minutes in length.
    • Files must be labeled with your name and address and include a written program with the titles, composers, movements, and performer as appropriate.
    • For all digital auditions, keep in mind that we will be making our decision based on the sounds we hear from the recording. The recording equipment should be the best quality available to you.
  • Include the materials listed below.

What to submit online

  • Music Scholarship Audition Application Part I and Part II (coming soon)

What to email

Send the following to

  • Letter(s) Of Recommendation, including from your applied instructor and/or ensemble director.
  • Letters from academic teachers and/or advisors may also be submitted.
  • Resume of your high school/college activities, both music and non-music.
  • Written program with the titles, composers, movements, and performer as appropriate.
  • The digital video or link.

In-Person Auditions at the Willamette University Campus

  • Must be completed by January 26th in order to be considered for a music scholarship 
  • Apply online (coming soon)

In-person auditions involve three areas

  • Performance
  • Interview
  • Sight-reading

Plan for

  • 10 minutes of performance time
  • 5 minutes for your interview, and
  • 5 minutes for sight-reading


  • Please arrive one-half hour prior to your scheduled audition time to allow for registration and time to warm up with your accompanist if you have requested one.
  • The music you have listed on the application cannot be changed once you have sent in your music scores.

Schedule an in-person audition

  • Indicate “YES” at the top of the online application form (Part II), and we will email you to make arrangements.
  • You are encouraged to audition early.  
  • In addition, before making any final travel plans to come for an audition, check with the Office of Admissions to find out the status of your application to the University.

What to submit

Three weeks in advance of your in-person audition date you must apply online, and then email the following to

  • Letter(s) of Recommendation, including from your applied instructor and/or ensemble director.
  • Letters from academic teachers and/or advisors may also be submitted.
  • Resume of your high school/college activities, including music, GPA, music honors and awards, and non-music details.
  • Musical scores, if you will be needing an accompanist.

Interview with Music faculty

If you audition in person we ask you to interview with Music Department faculty. The faculty will want to get to know you (parents or friends will be excused from your interview). We will look at all letter(s) of recommendation as well as your resume. We will ask how you want to be involved with music at Willamette University and how music fits in with your goals. You do not have to major in music to receive a music scholarship award. We also want you to get to know us, so please feel encouraged to provide any questions that you may have. The in-person interview is intended to be a non- stressful conversation, so just relax and help us get to know what music means to you.

Do a sight-reading:

This process is meant to be non-threatening. We simply want to understand the breadth and depth of your skills.

  • Instrumentalists may be asked to
    • Read a short musical excerpt appropriate for their instrument and ability.
    • For Jazz players this can mean improvising as well as reading composed melodies.
  • Vocalists will be asked to
    • Clap or tap a line of rhythmic notation,
    • Sight-read both single line notation and your part from a SATB chorale by Bach, and
    • Listen and sing back short melodic fragments.

Final date for submission of a Music Scholarship Application is January 9th


Diane Trevett, Music Administrative Assistant
503-370-6687 or

Willamette University
Music Department, Attn: Diane Trevett
900 State Street
Salem, OR 97301