Audition INformation

Students pursuing degrees in music, musical theatre, or dance must audition for admission to the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Those seeking a degree in Music Business: Commercial Music or Songwriting are not required to audition but must submit an application to the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance to schedule an interview and music theory placement test. Prospective theatre majors do not need to audition, but must interview and prepare a monologue.

For admission into the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, students must first be admitted by Anderson University.

Application Process

Step 1: Submit an AU admission application online at anderson.edu/apply

Step 2: Submit an audition application below. Once your Audition Application is submitted, your place on your selected audition date will be reserved. A staff member will send an audition schedule to you approximately one week prior to your audition date.

Questions? Contact Michelle Holmes: (765) 641-4543 or msholmes@anderson.edu.

Common Questions

How long will the audition take?

This varies. Here are items to consider:

For Music auditions:

  • Plan to arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled audition time to warm up.
  • Vocalists will also have 5 minutes to warm up with an accompanist.
  • Your audition will take approximately 15 minutes and will include playing your selected pieces, sight-reading, and scales.
  • If you are auditioning on more than one instrument, you will have 30 minutes of rest and 30 minutes to warm up between auditions.
  • The Music Theory Placement Exam will take approximately 50 minutes to complete.

For Musical Theatre auditions:

  • Plan to arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled auditon time to warm up.
  • You will also have 5 minutes to warm up with an accompanist.
  • The acting and singing portions of your audition will take approximately 20 minutes and will include singing your selected pieces, performing your monologue, and sight-reading.
  • The dance portion of your audition will take approximately 45 minutes and will be taught as a class with ballet, jazz, and a musical theatre combination.
  • The Music Theory Placement Exam will take approximately 50 minutes to complete.

For Dance Auditions:

  • A typical audition schedule includes:
    • 8:45AM Check-in
    • 9-10:30AM Ballet Technique Class
    • 10:30-11:15AM Modern Technique Class
    • 11:15-12:00PM Interviews, Q&A with current majors

Additional information, including a schedule, will be sent via email prior to the audition date.

Are there scholarships available to School of Music, Theatre, and Dance incoming students?

Yes. If you audition on campus by March 6, you may be eligible for additional music scholarships.

What is the Music Theory Placement Exam and who needs to take it?

This exam covers music fundamentals and is designed to evaluate your preparedness for Music Theory I at Anderson University. It is scored by the music theorist on faculty at AU. Students may be required or recommended to attend Music Theory Camp the week before freshman move-in and may also be asked to take an online music fundamentals course as a requirement for admission.

All incoming Music, Musical Theatre, and Music Business students are required to take the exam.

What is appropriate audition attire for musical theatre and dance auditions?

For Musical Theatre Auditions: Choose clothing and shoes that are simple and comfortable. Be sure clothes fit well and are not too baggy or too tight. Clothes should be clean, ironed, and allow us to concentrate on your work rather than your outfit. Avoid large jewelry, uncomfortable or hard-to-stand-in high heels, and revealing necklines. Both men and women should make sure hair is out of their face at all times.

For the dance portion of Musical Theatre Auditions:
Please dress in dance attire that allows for total freedom of movement as outlined below:

  • Men: Any solid color fitted T-shirt or tank, with black leggings, jazz pants, or other close-fitting pants.
  • Women: Any solid color leotard with tights (worn under the leotard), leggings, or fitted jazz capris or pants
  • Shoes – Ballet slippers, character shoes, and jazz shoes (no sneakers). (If you are seeking advanced placement or wish to demonstrate skill in tap, please bring tap shoes as well).
  • All – All should have hair neat and pulled away from the face. Please note that there should be no jewelry of any kind worn during the dance audition. Also, please note that no baggy clothing or street clothing of any kind may be worn – this includes, but is not limited to, sweatshirts, t-shirts, sweatpants, or shorts.

For Dance Auditions:

  • For Ballet: Men should wear a tight-fitting white t-shirt, black tights, and soft ballet shoes. Women should wear a solid-colored black leotard, pink tights, and soft ballet shoes. For both men and women, hair should be neat, securely confined, and off the nape of the neck in a bun.
  • For Modern: Men and women may remain in ballet attire or change into black leggings, capris, or dance pants and must switch to bare feet.

Are there scholarships available?

Yes. If you audition by March 6, you may be eligible for a School of Music, Theatre, and Dance scholarship.

Can Music Business and Theatre students audition for scholarships?

Yes. Simply submit a music or theatre audition application and audition by March 6, and you can also be considered for a School of Music, Theatre, and Dance scholarship.

Are video auditions acceptable?

Yes. High quality video auditions may be submitted electronically via Google Drive to Michelle Holmes (msholmes@anderson.edu) for students that reside outside of Indiana; however, every effort should be made to audition in person. The deadline to submit a video audition is February 15th for scholarship consideration.

Audition Applications

* Schedule a Visit Day at anderson.edu/visit to combine with an audition date.
  • Monday, Jan. 20, 2020
  • Friday, Feb. 14, 2020
  • Monday, Feb. 17, 2020
  • Friday, March 6, 2020
  • Monday, Jan. 20, 2020
  • Friday, Feb. 14, 2020
  • Monday, Feb. 17, 2020
  • Friday, March 6, 2020
  • Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019
  • Monday, Jan. 20, 2020
  • Monday, Feb. 17, 2020
  • Friday, March 6, 2020

Information for Music Auditions

For singers

Singers auditioning for acceptance into the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance will be expected to perform from memory two selections of contrasting style and to sight-read a simple melody. The most appropriate pieces would be those selected from upper-level state contest literature. Students may select from any of the following categories and collections:

Foreign Language Art Songs:

  1. Early Italian art song or aria
    Suggested collections: 26 Italian Songs & Arias, Alfred; Italian Arias of the Baroque & Classical Eras, Alfred
  2. Other foreign language art songs
    Suggested collections: Anthology of Spanish Song, Hal Leonard; Gateway to German Lieder, Alfred; Favorite German Art Songs, Hal Leonard; The French Song Anthology, Hal Leonard

Art Songs in English:

  1. English language art song from the 19th-21st Century
    Suggested collections: 20th Century Art Songs, G. Schirmer; Songs by 22 Americans, G. Schirmer; Quilter, 55 Songs, Hal Leonard; Any of the “First Book” series, G. Schirmer
  2. Early English art song or aria
    Suggested collections: English Songs, Renaissance to Baroque, Hal Leonard; Purcell, 40 Songs, International Music; Handel, 45 Arias, in 3 Vols, International Music

Songs from Musical Theatre:

  • The Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology is an extensive collection  of four volumes for each voice range. Each volume contains authentic editions of 30-40 songs in their original keys. The series is published by Hal Leonard.

A professional accompanist will be provided, although an auditioning student may bring their own accompanist. Recorded accompaniments, although allowed, are discouraged. Regardless of particular style or genre, the selections presented should demonstrate the singer’s full range and vocal potential.

For pianists

Pianists auditioning for acceptance into the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance are expected to prepare the following:

  • Major and harmonic minor scales, hands together, at least 2 octaves
  • Two pieces in contrasting styles chosen from the standard classical piano repertoire. Memorization is preferred.
  • Level of difficulty at or above J. S. Bach Little Preludes, Clementi Sonatinas, and Schumann Album for the Young
  • Sight-reading at the level of minuets in the J. S. Bach Notebook for Anna Magdelena

Students intending to complete the Bachelor of Music degree with a performance major in piano should prepare pieces at the level of J. S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, a Beethoven sonata movement, and/or the Chopin nocturnes.

The audition should present one’s musicianship at its best. If this means non-classical material, then it may be played. Students should be aware, however, that piano study involves reading and memorization of standard classical piano repertoire, and the audition needs to show ability in these areas.

Required Materials
Pianists who are accepted into the program are expected to own a metronome and will need to purchase published copies of assigned music in a timely manner.

For wind instruments

Wind players auditioning for acceptance into the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance are expected to audition on their primary instrument and it is recommended that they prepare the following:

  • Major scales in all keys (two octaves when possible, other scales optional)
  • One technical study from an accepted method book.
  • One concert solo chosen by the student. This piece should be selected from upper-level state contest literature
  • Sight-reading

Equipment Requirements
Wind players who are accepted into the program are expected to bring the following equipment with them when they come to campus in the fall:

  • Instrument and case; unless arrangements have been made to borrow a university-owned instrument
  • Mouthpiece(s), reeds, oils, cleaning supplies, mutes (straight and cup)
  • Tuner and metronome
  • Music to be used in your private lessons will be specified by your instructor and is expected to be purchased in a timely manner
For string instruments

String players (violin, viola, cello, and upright bass) auditioning for acceptance into the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance are expected to audition on their primary instrument and prepare the following:

  • Major scales in all keys (two octaves when possible, other scales optional)
  • Two contrasting concert solos or studies chosen by the student. The pieces should be selected from upper-level state contest literature or the equivalent
  • Sight-reading

Equipment Requirements
String players who are accepted into the program are expected to bring the following equipment with them when they come to campus in the fall:

  • Instrument, bow, and case (arrangements may be made to borrow or rent an upright bass on a limited basis)
  • Mute, rosin, extra strings, etc.
  • Tuner and metronome
  • Music to be used in your private lessons will be specified by your instructor and is expected to be purchased in a timely manner
For percussionists

Auditions for acceptance into the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance should demonstrate the student’s training and experience in snare drum, timpani and mallet instruments. The following are repertoire recommendations for each category.

  • Snare drum: a solo from upper-level state contest literature OR select one etude from numbers 8 through 14 in Audition Etudes by Garwood Whaley (Meredith Music Publications)
  • Timpani: a solo from upper-level state contest literature OR select one etude from numbers 10 through 14 in Audition Etudes by Garwood Whaley (Meredith Music Publications)
  • Mallet Percussion: a solo from upper-level state contest literature OR select one etude from numbers 3, 4, 5, 8, or 9 through 14 in Audition Etudes by Garwood Whaley (Meredith Music Publications)

Percussionists are expected to bring their own sticks and mallets to the audition. Anderson University will provide all instruments on which you will perform your audition. Percussionists may audition on drum set in addition to the above instruments.

Equipment Requirements
Percussionists who are accepted into the program are expected to bring the following equipment with them when they come to campus in the fall:

  • 4 medium yarn mallets for marimba
  • 1 pair of hard rubber mallets for xylophone
  • 1 pair of concert snare drum sticks
  • 1 pair of drum set sticks
  • 1 stick bag to house sticks and mallets
  • Metronome
  • Music to be used in your private lessons will be specified by your instructor and is expected to be purchased in a timely manner

The equipment listed above is the minimum that percussionists are expected to bring to campus. Students may bring other sticks and mallets in addition to those listed above. Percussionists who wish to bring a drum set or other instruments with them to campus must make their own arrangements for storage.

For guitarists

Guitarists auditioning for acceptance into the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance are expected to audition on classical guitar and prepare the following:

  • Major scales in first position (other scales are optional)
  • One solo demonstrating ability to read staff-based music notation
  • If currently studying classical guitar, one technical study from a book of etudes by Carcassi or Sor or comparable repertoire
  • Sight-reading of standard staff-based music notation

Guitarists are encouraged to audition on a nylon string classical guitar. However, guitarists may audition on a steel string acoustic guitar if a classical guitar is unavailable.

Equipment Requirements
Guitarists who are accepted into the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance are expected to bring the following equipment with them when they come to campus in the fall:

  • Non-cutaway classical guitar with nylon strings
  • Footstool
  • Tuner and metronome
  • Repertoire as assigned by private guitar instructor
For harpists

Harpists auditioning for acceptance into the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance are expected to audition on a pedal harp and prepare the following:

  • Major and harmonic minor scales, hands together, at least 3 octaves
  • Two solo pieces in contrasting styles chosen from the classical, romantic, or 20th-century period. Memorization is required.  Level of difficulty should be at or above Chanson dans la Nuit by Carlos Salzedo, Theme and Variations by G. F. Handel, and Au Matin by Marcel Tournier.
  • A standard orchestral cadenza such as Waltz of the Flowers (with opening arpeggios) or Swan Lake by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Capriccio Espagnol by Rimsky-Korsakov (including the “Fandango asturiano” movement), or The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra by Benjamin Britten.
  • Sight-reading.

Equipment Requirements
Anderson University owns a Lyon Healy Chicago Concertino pedal harp.  All auditioning students may use the AU harp to practice and audition.  However, harpists who are accepted into the program are encouraged to bring the following equipment with them when they come to campus in the fall:

  • Pedal harp (will be stored in a locked practice room)
  • Harp bench
  • Harp dolly
  • A spare set of strings
  • Harp tuning key
  • Tuner and metronome
  • Music to be used in your private lessons will be specified by your instructor and is expected to be purchased in a timely manner.
For electric bass

Bassists auditioning for acceptance into the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance on electric bass are expected to prepare the following:

  • Major scales in all keys (two octaves, other scales optional)
  • One technical study from a standard method book for electric bass
  • One solo chosen by the student that is representative of the player’s experience and ability level
  • These selections must demonstrate the student’s ability to read music notation.
  • Sight-reading of standard staff-based music notation

Bass players are expected to bring their own electric bass at the time of their audition. Please note electric bass auditions are for music business majors only.

Equipment Requirements
Electric bassists who are accepted into the program are expected to bring the following equipment with them when they come to campus in the fall:

  • Instrument and case
  • Amplifier
  • Tuner and metronome
  • Music to be used in your private lessons will be specified by your instructor and is expected to be purchased in a timely manner
For musical theatre

The audition for Musical Theatre consists of three parts – acting, singing, and dancing. The purpose of the audition is to help the faculty identify your strengths and potential in each of the three areas. For admittance to the program, you must demonstrate the potential to develop your skills in all three areas.

Acting: Prepare one (1) monologue that is one minute in length from a modern 20th-century play that showcases your ability. Please observe the following guidelines:

  • Choose a monologue that is well-written from a published play. Avoid monologues from movies, monologue books, musicals, and the internet. Never attempt an audition monologue without reading the entire play and understanding your character in the context of the play.
  • Monologues should have a beginning/middle/end with a journey/discovery/change.
  • Choose a character that is within 5-10 years of your playable age range and material with which you connect. Those for whom you are auditioning are looking for you to create honest relationships with clear circumstances outlined by the playwright.
  • Do not choose monologues that require accents, eccentric characterizations, props or costumes. Portray one character per monologue. Choose material that is life-affirming and avoid cynical or negative subject matter. Avoid climactic material that requires great depth or intensity of emotions. There is not enough time to achieve these emotional peaks effectively and honestly.
  • A chair will be provided for your use, if you choose to use it.
  • Monologues must be memorized!

Singing: Prepare two (2) songs of contrasting styles that demonstrate your range and versatility:

  • Select songs from musicals, operettas, or American or English art song repertoire.
  • Select a song sung by a character within 5-10 years of your playable age range.
  • Every attempt should be made for selections to have as much contrast in style and character as possible to provide adjudicators a sense of your abilities.
  • Songs must be memorized!
  • For all songs, bring clean, well-marked sheet music in a binder. No page protectors. An Anderson University staff accompanist will be provided, if requested.
  • Songs from the following musicals/composers are considered either iconic and/or utilized too often and are no longer effective in the audition process. Please DO NOT select music from the following: LES MISERABLES, WICKED, RENT, AIDA, JEKYLL AND HYDE, All musicals by Andrew Lloyd Webber

Dance: The dance audition will run in the following order and be taught as a class:
You will be taught several ballet barre exercises and/or combinations.
You will be taught a jazz progression, sequences, and a musical theatre center combination.
Students who wish to be considered for advanced placement in tap may also complete a tap combination, but please note that this portion of the audition is optional and for placement purposes only.

Audition Flow:

  • The audition will begin with an introduction of yourself and your pieces.
  • This is the faculty’s first impression of you. Practice so you feel confident. Find out how to pronounce correctly the play/playwright and composer/lyricist/musical.
  • Faculty will be writing down your name and monologue and song titles so speak clearly and confidently.
  • State your name
  • State your song, musical, and composer/lyricist selection
  • Perform song
  • State 2nd song, musical, and composer/lyricist selection
  • Perform song
  • State your monologue’s play and playwright
  • Perform monologue
  • You may do your monologue before your songs, if that’s more comfortable for you.
  • Also, be prepared to be asked to make an adjustment and try a piece again.
For theatre

For admission into the Theatre program, students will interview with theatre faculty and should prepare one monologue, one minute in length that showcases his/her ability. If a student would like to be considered for a theatre scholarship, he or she should prepare two monologues of contrasting styles.

Monologue Selection: Please observe the following guidelines:

  • Choose a monologue that is well-written from a published play. Avoid monologues from movies, monologue books, musicals, and the internet. Never attempt an audition monologue without reading the entire play and understanding your character in the context of the play.
  • Monologues should have a beginning/middle/end with a journey/discovery/change.
  • Choose a character that is within 5-10 years of your playable age range and material with which you connect. Those for whom you are auditioning are looking for you to create honest relationships with clear circumstances outlined by the playwright.
  • Do not choose monologues that require accents, eccentric characterizations, props, or costumes. Portray one character per monologue. Choose material that is life-affirming and avoid cynical or negative subject matter. Avoid climactic material that requires great depth or intensity of emotions. There is not enough time to achieve these emotional peaks effectively and honestly.
  • A chair will be provided for your use, if you choose to use it.
  • Monologues must be memorized!
For dance

The dance audition consists of dancers participating in a ballet technique class and a modern technique class. Dancers will also interview with dance faculty.

The following items must be received prior to the audition: completed dance audition application, letter of recommendation from a dance instructor (email to msholmes@anderson.edu), and two current photos: a headshot (portrait) and posing in tendu a la seconde (full body).

For music business and songwriting interviews

Students interested in Music Business: Commercial Music or Songwriting will interview with music business faculty and take the Music Theory Placement Test. Interviews may be on campus or conducted via video chat or phone. The Music Theory Placement Test can be taken on campus or electronically.

Music Business and Songwriting students interested in scholarship opportunities are required to audition no later than March 6th and should submit both a Music Business/Songwriting Application and a Music Audition Application.