Audition information

Questions and Answers about Music Auditions and Scholarships

Who must audition?
An audition is required of all students wishing to pursue a music major or minor, and for all students seeking a music scholarship.

When are the scholarship auditions?

Audition dates for 2014: Monday, November 10
Deadline for pre-screening video and music application: Monday, October 27, 2014

Audition dates for 2015: Saturday, February 7; Saturday, February 14; Monday, February 16
Deadline for pre-screening video and music application: Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How do I request an audition?
Prospective students to Valparaiso University begin the audition process by submitting materials as part of the online music audition application.  Clicking on this link will take you to a new window, where you will be asked to provide:

1.  Basic information about yourself and your musical education;
2.  Contact information for a music teacher or director (to provide a letter of recommendation); and 
3.  A short 5-minute pre-screening video or audio clip that demonstrates your performing ability in one or two musical selections.  Your selection(s) should be from the standard published classical repertoire.  Your recording need not be of professional quality.  Many phones and digital cameras are capable of taking high quality videos. All pre-screening videos or audios should be uploaded directly to the online application. We will not accept DVD or taped auditions in the pre-screening round.

You will receive a username and password for your online application, so you can save your progress and return to it as often as you would like before submitting it for review. 

Once your application is complete, the music faculty will review your submissions.  Upon acceptance of your Valpo Music online application, the Music Office will contact you to set up your on-campus audition appointment.

What happens on audition day?

On scholarship audition days, your visit will include: check-in at a Welcome Table in the Lobby of the Valparaiso University Center for the Arts, conversation with VU music students and faculty, time to warm up, and a private audition with members of the music faculty. You will take a brief assessment exam in general music knowledge and music fundamentals. We will do our best to get acquainted with you in a short time.  When possible, we can help you to arrange a campus tour as part of your audition visit.

What if I cannot attend the on-campus auditions?
If you are unable to make a campus visit to audition, you may submit a full video audition instead. To be considered for a music scholarship based on an electronic submission alone, you must upload a video file to your online application.  Your video audition should be 10-12 minutes in length, and include the repertoire described in the section below:  What should I perform for my audition?  Music majors and minors auditioning by video alone will take the assessment exam in the first week of classes in the fall, or at FOCUS new student orientation/registration in June.  Please note that to be considered for a Signature Artist Scholarship, you must participate in the November or February on-campus audition days; full video auditions will not be considered for these scholarships.

What should I perform for my audition?
Prepare music to demonstrate your current level of technical ability, musical understanding and expression. Consult with your music teacher or director for guidance on selections. Your selections should be from the standard published classical repertoire.
•    Instrumental auditions should include 2-3 prepared works in contrasting styles.
•    Organ auditions should include 2-3 prepared selections in contrasting styles. Organists should also prepare a hymn.
•    Percussion auditions should perform in at least 2 of the following three areas: mallets, snare, and timpani.
•    Piano auditions should include 2-3 prepared works in contrasting styles; performance majors should play from memory. 
•    Vocal auditions, performance majors, should include 3 memorized selections, at least one in a foreign language.
•    Vocal auditions, other than music performance majors, will include 2 memorized selections. Both may be in English.

May I audition in more than one performance area?
For the scholarship audition, each student will be heard in only one performance area. Scholarships are linked to specific performance areas, and music majors are accepted in terms of their principal performance area. Audition in the area of your greatest strength and interest.

What if I need an accompanist for the campus audition?
Accompanists are available for your audition. The Department must receive requests for an accompanist at least two weeks prior to your audition date. Instrumentalists may choose to present their audition without accompaniment.

May I also audition for ensembles at the time of my campus audition?
No. Ensemble auditions are conducted separately at the beginning of the fall semester.

What kind of music scholarship assistance is available?
•    Signature Artist Scholarships support committed young performing artists in preparing for musical professions.  Students must be pursuing a music major to be elibigle.  These scholarships can go up to full tuition.
•    Forte Scholarships support talented music majors and qualified non-music majors in leadership roles in departmental performing ensembles. They typically range from $2000 to $5000 per year and are renewable.
•    Vivace Scholarships support active student musicians from any major in continuing their private lesson studies and ensemble participation at Valparaiso University. Vivace Scholarships are typically $1000 per year and are renewable.

Can students in any major be considered for music scholarships?
Yes, the Forte and Vivace Scholarships are available to any student, regardless of major.

What are the requirements for maintaining a music scholarship?
Awardees must enroll in studio lessons and perform in ensembles as assigned each semester. They must additionally continue to be a full-time student pursuing a first Bachelor's degree, meeting minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress.

When will I hear about my application and scholarship?
You can expect to receive a letter from the Department Chair within four to six weeks of your campus audition, notifying you whether you have been accepted as a music student and whether you are being offered a music scholarship. Remember: 1) consideration for music awards and entrance into the music major is contingent upon a student’s successful application and admittance to Valparaiso University; and 2) any music scholarship award may be only a part of a larger financial aid package.

What if I have more questions?
For information on financial aid, call the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid at 219.464.5015 or (toll free) 888.GO.VALPO and ask to speak with a Financial Aid Counselor.

For more information on the Department of Music and music scholarships, call 219.464.5454.  Send e-mail inquiries directly to the Music Office at: