Music, Theatre, and Dance: New Students / Auditions

Virtual Auditions

Departmental auditions for spring 2021 will utilize a live virtual format. During these auditions, there will be opportunities to perform for our faculty audition committee and meet with members of our applied faculty. Additional arrangements may be made to meet with academic advisors and current Marywood music and theatre students. 

All Undergraduate & Transfer Students

Acceptance by the University is required before an audition can be scheduled. See below for procedures, scholarship deadlines, and 2020-2021 audition dates.

  • Apply to University. (click “Admissions” for further information).
  • FAFSA Deadlines for financial aid: February 15 (fall entry) and November 1 (spring entry).
  • For talent scholarship consideration, auditions must be completed by March 1.
  • Transfer students must complete a minimum 30 credits in music courses at Marywood. Transfer students in education must have GPA 3.0 minimum for acceptance.
  • Freshmen education majors must have SAT 970 minimum score (Math/Reading combined)

Marywood University Scholarships and Talent Awards


2020-2021 Auditions

Live virtual departmental acceptance auditions for the Fall 2021 freshman class and transfer students are being scheduled throughout spring 2021. To schedule an audition, please contact via email the Departmental Co-Chair that manages your area of performance:
Dr. Rick Hoffenberg (keyboards, vocal,
Dr. David Romines (orchestral strings, guitar, winds, and
If you have questions about our programs, please contact one of our program directors via email:  
Dr. Rick Hoffenberg - Vocal and Keyboard Studies  (
Dr. David Romines - Winds, Strings, and Percussion Studies  (  
Dr. Eun Sil Suh - Music Therapy Program  (
Dr. Joan McCusker - Music Education Program  (
Dr. Timothy Pyles – Theatre Program (
Instrumental applicants should perform unaccompanied.
Vocal applicants should perform with accompaniment if at all possible. Since a live accompanist might be difficult or impossible to arrange during these unprecedented times, we recommend using a pre-recorded accompaniment.
Reach out to your teacher or local pianist and ask them to make a recording of your accompaniment.
The app Appcompanist has a large library of piano accompaniments to well-known classical and musical theater songs.
Sheet Music Scanner or digitalScore allow you to upload a PDF of a score in order to get a recording of the accompaniment.
YouTube and Spotify karaoke tracks provide another option for accompaniment.
Tempo: Make sure you communicate your desired tempo to a pianist who is recording an accompaniment for you. Give the pianist your preferred metronome marking and communicate any tempo changes (rit. or accel.), fermatas, and dynamics in advance.
Key: Ensure that the accompaniment is in the same key as you wish to sing in (especially for pre-recorded tracks).

General Guidelines for All Auditions

For Musical Arts

  • BM music education; music therapy; music performance

Perform two contrasting works demonstrating technical skills and musicianship (see below for suggested repertoire by instrument). Memorization of vocal audition pieces is strongly recommended.

For Theatre Arts 

Musical theatre majors must audition in voice, acting, and dance.

Prospective theatre majors should contact Dr. Timothy Pyles ( to arrange an acting audition or interview.

Voice (for Musical Theatre Majors)

Musical theatre applicants should perform two contrasting musical theatre selections, or one classical piece and one musical theatre selection.

Dance (for Musical Theatre Majors)

Please prepare a short dance excerpt that shows your proficiency with dance/movement.

 Acting (for Musical Theatre Majors and Theatre Majors whose focus is performing)

Please prepare a 2-4 minute memorized monologue from a published play. Select a piece that is appropriate for your age and ability. The theatre evaluator will be looking for a truthful and believable representation of the character. Show through your voice and body that you understand the character’s thoughts, feelings, and actions.

 Non-performance (for Theatre Majors whose strength is in production work)

If you have exhibited a talent for non-performing aspects of theatre such as stage management, design, technical production, be prepared to show a portfolio of your work (pictures, designs, production books, DVDs) or to discuss your theatre experiences. If your focus is performing, and you have accrued experience in technical production, please show material to demonstrate your versatility.

Do I Need to Audition?

BM music education, music therapy, music performance; BA arts admin/music; and BA music (musical theatre) must audition. Musical theatre audition includes acting and dance components (bring comfortable clothes and shoes). Theatre students will audition/interview with the program director. 

Skills Assessment

Sight-Singing and Sight-Reading

Sight-singing is a part of all auditions.

Piano skills assessment for non piano majors and the Written Theory placement test for students accepted into the department will occur at the beginning of the fall semester. 
Interview (during virtual live audition)
During the audition, applicants will have the opportunity to meet with their respective degree program director.

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Scholarship Opportunities

Marywood University scholarship funds are available to students majoring in music and in theatre. Presidential and Endowed Scholarships from the University, as well as Talent Scholarships, are awarded to select applicants. Please note the scholarship eligibility cut-off dates when scheduling an audition.

Scholarship Information

Suggested audition repertoire (by instrument)


  1. Art song (in Italian, French, or German)
  2. Contemporary classical or folk selection in English


  • Piano

              Two contrasting works from different compositional periods (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary)

  • Organ
  1. Classical work from standard organ repertoire
  2. Two verses of a traditional hymn: (1) include appropriate introduction; (2) first verse played as written; second verse may be a re-harmonization or improvisation based on first verse
  3. Technique exercises (facility on manuals and pedals)

Woodwinds & Brass

  • Flute; Clarinet; Saxophone; Oboe; Bassoon
  • Trumpet; Horn in F; Trombone; Euphonium ; Tuba
  1. Two contrasting audition excerpts (technical v. lyrical skills) from standard winds repertoire Audition selections 3-5 minutes length. Excerpts may be major concerto, sonata, or solo work
  2. Major scales ascending and descending (2-octaves when possible) with articulations as determined by audition committee


Applicants should bring drum sticks and mallets and demonstrate proficiency on multiple instruments.

  • Snare Drum: Concert-style snare drum solo demonstrating concert rolls, flams, ruffs
  • Drum Set (Optional): drum set proficiency in swing, rock, & Latin styles
  • Keyboard Percussion/Mallets: Two-mallet solo from standard repertoire required (Optional: four-mallet solo demonstrating skill level)
  • Timpani: Timpani solo on at least two timpani, including rolls. Demonstrate ability to tune timpani from a given piano reference pitch


  • Violin; Viola; Cello; Harp; Double Bass
  1. Two stylistically contrasting movements (technical v. lyrical) from standard classical repertoire demonstrating performance skills as soloist
  2. Major/minor scales (2-octaves)
  • Acoustic Guitar
  1. Two stylistically contrasting solo pieces from standard classical repertoire
  2. Major/minor scales (melodic minor form, 2- or 3-octaves)
  • Electric Bass Guitar
  1. Two contrasting jazz pieces, melody
  2. An improvised bass line and bass solo
  3. Major/minor scales, arpeggios (2-octaves)

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