Music Scholarship Auditions Application Guide

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

The information provided below is designed to help you prepare for your audition either on campus or by digital video.  It is also our past year's information that will be updated in late August, however you may read it to get an idea of our application process. Please note that your music audition is conducted separately from your application for admission to the College of Liberal Arts at Willamette.


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

Music Scholarship Application Guide-*Sample*

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:

Deadlines will be posted here by the end of August, 2019.


Whether auditioning in person or auditioning by a digital video submission, please note the following guidelines:

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 may be posted to a variety of online platforms (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo).  Use high quality, minimally or uncompressed file formats. Students wishing to send their files on physical media (e.g. data discs, thumb drives), should contact Diane Trevett for instructions.
  • Digital video auditions should be 10-15 minutes in length.
  • Files and online posts must be labeled with your name 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. And posted materials should be full fidelity.
  • If your files are on an online platform (YouTube, Vimeo) they must be unlocked and available to faculty reviewers.
  • Submit the online and emailed materials listed below.

What to complete online

  • Music Scholarship Audition Application Part I and Part II

What to email

Send the following to include your "Last Name_Scholarship" in the subject line (e.g. Smith_Scholarship)

  • 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

  • Auditions must be completed by February 2nd in order to be considered for a music scholarship

In-person auditions involve three areas

  • Performance
  • Interview
  • Sight-reading

Plan for

  • 10 minutes of performance time
  • 5 minutes for your interview. This is a friendly conversation to help the faculty briefly get to know you and your musical goals.
  • 5 minutes for 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.


  • 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, unless you provide your own accompanist.

Schedule an in-person audition

  • Indicate “in person” at the top of the online application form (Part II), and we will email you to make arrangements. 
  • Before making any final travel plans to come for an audition, it is recommended that you 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. Your director or instructor may also email their letters directly to us. They should put "Your Name_Recommendations" in the subject line..
  • 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.


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

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