Music Scholarship 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 CD. 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.


I. Admission

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


II. In-Person Auditions on Campus

In-Person Auditions involve three areas: Performance, interview and sight-reading.  Plan for no more than 10 minutes of performance time, 5 minutes for your interview, and 5 minutes for sight-reading. Please plan to arrive one-half hour prior to your scheduled audition 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.

To Schedule Your Audition: After September 8, 2015, call Diane Trevett, music administrative assistant at (503) 370-6687, Monday – Friday, 9am to 3:00pm, or email dtrevett@willamette.edu. You are encouraged to audition early. For priority financial consideration, students must audition on the October or November dates.

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: At least three weeks in advance of your audition date you must submit the following materials in hard copy. Please note: Faxed copies will not be accepted.

  • Music Scholarship Application Form (PDF)
  • Music letter(s) of recommendation, preferably from your applied instrument 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.
  • Printed music scores, if you will be needing an accompanist.

FINAL DATE FOR ANY CONSIDERATION OF A MUSIC SCHOLARSHIP IS JANUARY 30th, 2016.


III.  Audition Sequence

A.  Performance:

Whether auditioning in person or by CD/DVD, keep the following in mind. (Family and friends may observe your audition.)

  • Prepare two or three pieces demonstrating a variety of tempi and showing your ability with both rapid and lyrical music passages.
  • Select literature appropriate for state solo competitions — i.e., do not simply sing or play your line from a band, choral, or orchestral piece.
  • If possible and appropriate, solo repertoire should include representative literature for your instrument or voice from several style periods (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Modern, Contemporary).
  • Instrumentalists may include etudes and studies.
  • If you perform jazz, you may want to bring a recording of a rhythm section over which you improvise a solo.  With adequate notice, we may be able to arrange for live accompaniment.
  • Composers must audition on an instrument (or voice) and submit a portfolio of compositions.

B.  Interview with Music 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. We will be interested in your possible major, but remember, you do not have to major in music to receive a music scholarship award.

C.  Sight-Reading:

  • Instrumentalists will be asked to read a short musical excerpt appropriate for their instrument and ability.
  • Vocalists will be asked to 1) clap or tap a line of rhythmic notation, 2) sight-read both single line notation and your part from a SATB chorale by Bach, and 3) listen and sing back short melodic fragments.

IV.  Recorded Auditions

  • The CD or DVD should be 10 minutes in length.
  • All CD's or DVD's  must be labeled with the title, composer, movements, and performer as appropriate, and include your name and address.
  • For CD and DVD auditions, keep in mind that we will be making our decision based on the sounds we hear from the recording. The recording equipment (microphones, decks, amps) should be the best quality available.
  • Include the same materials as for a live audition (application, letter(s) of recommendation, and resume).
  • If you want your materials to be returned, enclose packaging and a return mail label.

WHAT TO SUBMIT: the following materials should be submitted in hard copy. Please note: Faxed copies will not be accepted.

  • Music Scholarship Application Form (PDF)
  • Music letter(s) of recommendation, preferably from your applied instrument 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.

PLEASE NOTE: All materials for recorded auditions must arrive no later than January 30th, 2016, in order for you to be considered for a music scholarship.


VI. Notifications of Scholarship Award

Once you have been admitted to Willamette University, the Financial Aid Office will send a financial aid information package, including, if granted, the amount of your music scholarship. This notification will be sent around April 1, 2016. Once you have paid your admission deposit, you will receive a letter from the Music Department that will outline the terms for receiving and maintaining your award. Awards are renewed yearly by satisfying the following:

  • Remain a full time student at Willamette University
  • Take a one-hour private lesson per week in your main performance area with a member of the Willamette Music Department
  • Remain satisfactorily enrolled in at least one of our conducted large ensembles (or, if your award is in piano, satisfy accompanying requirements)
  • Maintain grade requirements as stated in your music scholarship letter of agreement

Mail the above application materials to:

Willamette University

Music Department, Attn: Diane Trevett

900 State Street
Salem, OR 97301
503-370-6687 voice

MUSIC SCHOLARSHIP AUDITIONS IN 2015-16

AUDITION DATES: (For students entering the 2016-17 academic year.)

MONDAY, OCT. 12, 2015  (also Cardinal & Gold Preview Day)
MONDAY, NOV. 9, 2015

Students must audition on these two dates for priority financial consideration.
An audition date will be added in January 2016. Please check back.

To schedule an audition call after September 8, 2015.
503-370-6687.

For further information, call the Music Office at 503-370-6687.

Music Scholarship Audition Packet
(available mid-August)

  • Application Guide
  • Application Form
  • Ensemble Information