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Vocal Performance Auditions: Sight-Reading/Music Theory

Elegie17Elegie17 22 replies5 threads Junior Member
Hi everyone!!! Here we are...it's audition season! I'm so excited but very nervous and any advice about the audition process would be greatly appreciated. I'm 17F, from Southern NY and seeking a BM in Classical Vocal Performance (Soprano). So far, I've gotten live auditions from five schools.
1/17 NYU Steinhardt
1/24 University of Michigan SMTD
2/7 or 2/21 Eastman School of Music
3/1-3/5 Mannes School of Music
3/6 Indiana University
My main concern is sight-reading and music theory. My parents would also be grateful for any advice regarding travel arrangements. Really, just any clue about what to expect would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much everyone, I'll be sure to keep you updated on what happens and where I end up! (Still waiting to hear back from Northwestern, UMiami (Frost), and SUNY Purchase.)

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Replies to: Vocal Performance Auditions: Sight-Reading/Music Theory

  • songbirdmamasongbirdmama 478 replies23 threads Member
    While most schools will test sight reading/aural skills and music theory, don't stress about it at this point. Admissions decisions will largely be based on the strength of your audition itself, and most schools will have entry level classes as part of your core curriculum once admitted. If you feel inclined, review some of the AP theory, and know key signatures, time signatures/note values.... I posted a little blurb in the audition tips thread as well. Good luck!
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  • Elegie17Elegie17 22 replies5 threads Junior Member
    Wow, thank you so much!! This was so encouraging and helpful. I read it aloud to my mom and saved it on my phone so I can read it whenever I get nervous. I'm the oldest child and my parents have no experience in music so I'm extremely grateful to everyone on here that is willing to share their advice.
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  • thisismynameOHthisismynameOH 55 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @Elegie17 it is definitely an exciting time!!
    D is a freshman in classical vocal program at SUNY Purchase. She auditioned at NYU, Indiana and Ball State. Every audition we had snow or ice so plan to get there a day early just in case.
    We obviously were not there for the actual audition but her what she would say happened.
    Most people have not had experience sight reading so try your best but don't stress it.
    During one of her auditions the accompanist played the wrong music. She just kept going and I think that professionalism was a big plus in getting an offer at that school.
    Be prepared to be interrupted and asked to try something different or move onto another song. SUNY Purchase videotaped the audition for later review in decisions.
    Dress is important for vocal majors. We saw a variety of outfits. She wore a classly black jump suit (yes it had pants!). Overall accepted well in that outfit but we also saw alot of formal black dresses. She had on heels that were open toed. She had basic earrings and a simple necklace. I do have to say she has a very short shaved head but that did not seem to be an issue at any school she auditioned for. Other schools may not be a accepting so if you have a fad hairstyle just be aware. D decided if that was the deciding factor she didn't want to go to that school anyhow.
    We brought a humidifier (as mentioned above) - important to be hydrated well.
    Arrive early for your audition as one of the schools someone didn't show up and they just called people in early. Also at NYU the room got moved and we had to find it on another floor. Arriving early helped relieve the stress of that.
    All the schools had a warm up room were she could get her vocal cords ready right before the audition.
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  • akapiratequeenakapiratequeen 1274 replies37 threads Senior Member
    Good luck!! Review the audition thread here and maybe the “journey” threads to see what others have gone through. You’ve got an awesome list of schools there and will have a great experience. One suggestion, for Eastman — we stay in (and love) the Hilton Strathallan. Convenient free parking, great neighborhood, and they let my S practice in a conference room the night before his audition.

    Also — NYU is short, 20 minutes in and out. Eastman can take most of the day, but it will be a fun day. Not sure about the others.

    Sending lots of positive audition vibes to you AND your mom! Go
    Get ‘Em!
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