The School of Music will be offering tours throughout the fall / spring semesters and summer. In registering for a tour, you are also automatically registered for the campus tour. Please park by Swope Music Building and meet for the campus tour at the Office of Admissions on Rosedale Avenue. You will receive a confirmation and parking pass two business days before your tour.
Register Now For a Department Tour
High school juniors and seniors are invited to experience the arts at WCU by spending the day with a current student. Your visit will include the opportunity to tour our facilities, sit in on a class, have lunch on campus, and meet with faculty.
Please contact Gabrielle Buzgo at firstname.lastname@example.org to register for a shadow day. Don't forget to visit our events calendar to see what performances are happening on the day of your visit!
Applying to the School of Music
Students interested in the School of Music at West Chester University must complete the university’s application online as well as the audition process by registering for an Audition Day. See below for more information on each step.
APPLY for Admission to WCU
You must still apply for admission to WCU and meet all academic requirements in order to be accepted to the University. The final admissions decision will be sent by the Office of Admissions. Passing the School of Music audition does not guarantee admission to West Chester University.
REGISTER for an Audition Day
ATTEND an Audition Day
Notification of Acceptance
Instead of a quota system, students are required to earn a minimum audition score for acceptance into their chosen major program within the School of Music. We will notify you of your audition results by email. We feel that it is important to return a students' results quickly so that they have time to take sample lessons or shadow students before making commitments enroll at a particular university. Passing the School of Music audition does not guarantee admission to West Chester University. You must still submit all materials to complete your application and meet all academic requirements in order to be accepted to the University. The final admissions decision will be sent by the Office of Admissions.
The audition has two main parts (intonation & sight-signing, and major level proficiency on an instrument, piano/organ, or voice) that all prospective music majors must complete. Students interested in pursuing a major in theory & composition or jazz performance have additional audition requirements to complete. As all School of Music degree programs require piano classes as a part of the curriculum, we also offer a piano placement exam during the audition for those students who have piano experience and would like to place into a higher level piano class.
Intonation and Sight-Singing
You will be asked to sing intervals which are first played on the piano and to sing simple melodies from a printed page with melodic and rhythmic accuracy. You may sing on neutral syllables or use solmization. You should prepare for this part of the test by practicing singing major and minor scales, major and minor triads and simple melodies. Please ask your music teacher to help you prepare for these tests using examples so that you will feel confident and comfortable when you arrive on campus, especially if you have limited singing experience.
Piano Placement (optional)
All incoming freshmen will be placed in Piano Class I (PIA191). If you have piano experience, you may opt to take the piano placement exam as a part of your audition. You should come with a short piano piece prepared in advance, and to demonstrate proficiency in the following areas covered in the first semester:
- Major scales hands separately with traditional fingering; cadence patterns (I - IV - V7)
- Sight-reading both clefs (Piano Placement Criteria )
Major Instrument Proficiency
Students may audition on the following instruments: Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass (not electric bass), Classical guitar (not steel strings), Percussion (including mallets), Trumpet, Trombone, Baritone, Tuba, French Horn, Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon, Harp. Transfer students must bring to the audition a list of repertoire performed in recital or at end of semester "juries".
- Wind & String Instruments (except guitar & double bass): Two pieces/movements of your choice, in contrasting styles, which best show your proficiency. Be prepared to play all major scales & complete a sight-reading example.
- Guitarists: Two classical guitar solos (melody and supporting parts are all played simultaneously on one guitar). Guitar solos by any of the following composers are acceptable: Sor, Giuliani, Carcassi, Aguado, Carulli, Tárrega, Sagreras, Villa-Lobos, Barrios, Brouwer, Dowland, Milan, Visée, Weiss, and Bach. Guitarists must also play major and minor scales in open position meaning the first four frets.
- Percussionists: Applicants should be prepared to demonstrate proficiency on snare drum, marimba (xylophone and vibraphone are also acceptable), and timpani. The audition will also include sight reading (snare drum and 2-mallet marimba), major scales, and snare drum rudiments.
Snare drum: Students should prepare a concert snare drum etude/solo (e.g. Cirone, Delecluse, Firth, etc.). Students can elect to prepare a rudimental snare drum etude/solo (e.g. Pratt, Wilcoxon, etc.) in addition to the concert snare drum etude/solo.
Keyboard percussion: Students should prepare at least one keyboard percussion solo/etude (2 mallets or 4 mallets; marimba, xylophone, or vibraphone).
Timpani: Students should prepare a timpani etude/solo (e.g. Goodman, Peters, Carroll, Beck, etc.).
- Double Bassists: One movement from a Baroque Sonata (example: Bach, Marcello, Vivaldi, Corelli, Eccles, etc.) and one movement from a Classical, Romantic or Contemporary piece (example: Dragonetti, Dittersdorf, Vanhal, Koussevitzky, Proto, Rabbath, etc.
Major Keyboard Proficiency
For all degrees candidates (except Keyboard Performance):
- Scales, major and minor (harmonic and melodic), four octaves
- Arpeggios, major and minor, hands together, four octaves, at a fluent tempo
- Repertoire: All works are to be performed from memory. In certain cases, literature substitutions may be made upon request. Transfer students must bring to the audition a list of repertoire performed in recital or at end of semester "juries".
- A two or three-part Invention of J.S. Bach, or Scarlatti Sonata
- The first movement of a sonata by Haydn, Mozart, Schubert or Beethoven (excluding Op. 49 and Op. 79)
- Any piece from the 19th, 20th, or 21st century, equivalent in difficulty to the sonata movement above
- Sight Reading: A solo piano example
Major Keyboard Performance Proficiency
- Scales, major and minor (harmonic and melodic), four octaves, hands together. Suggested minimum tempo, quarter note M.M. = 132 (4 notes/click)
- Arpeggios, major and minor, four octaves, hands together. Suggested minimum tempo, M.M. = 112 (3 notes/ click)
- Repertoire: All works are to be performed from memory. In certain cases, literature substitutions may be made upon request.
- A Prelude and Fugue, Toccata, or several movements from a Suite or Partita by J.S. Bach
- A complete sonata by Haydn, Mozart, Schubert or Beethoven (excluding Op. 49 and 79)
- A solo work of substantial length and difficulty from the 19th, 20th or 21st century
- Sight Reading: A solo piano example
Major Vocal Proficiency
While it is not necessary to bring an accompanist, please choose your repertoire with the understanding that a voice faculty member will serve as your accompanist and no prior rehearsal is provided.
All degree candidates (except in Vocal Performance) must have prepared:
- Repertoire: Two art-songs, in contrasting styles, memorized. The pieces should show a variety of styles. No choral music excerpts or Musical Theatre, please.
All Vocal Performance candidates must have prepared:
- Repertoire: Three solo songs, memorized. English and a foreign language must be represented. The pieces should show a variety of styles. No choral music excerpts or Musical Theatre, please.
It is the audition committee's discretion to hear all or portions of the repertoire prepared at the audition.
Major Jazz Performance Proficiency
This major is ONLY offered for saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, bass (double bass only), piano, and percussion.
ALL potential jazz majors must pass the three main audition parts listed above (including auditioning on the "classical" aspect of your instrument), PLUS the following additional requirements:
- Tunes: Perform three tunes in contrasting style with Jamey Aebersold (or other CD accompaniment). Original tunes accepted. Specifically the student must:
- Interpret a melody in an effective and creative way.
- Improvise on chord changes in a confident manner to perform an original solo that is creative and musically effective.
- Scales (except percussion)
- Knowledge, application and the ability to play all of the modes of the:
- Major Scale
- Harmonic Minor
- Melodic Minor (modes from the ascending melodic minor only
- Knowledge, application and ability to play the following scales:
- Diminished (half/whole & whole/half)
- Whole Tone
Theory and Composition (majors only)
In addition to the completing the 3 main audition parts listed above, prospective theory and composition majors will:
- Demonstrate keyboard proficiency through the performance of any keyboard literature.
- Aural skills will be evaluated, including: intervals, chord qualities and inversions, and harmonic progression.
- Sight singing will be evaluated.
- Composers: Please bring three scores (and recordings, if available) of original compositions (no arrangements).
- Theorists: Please bring roman numeral analysis and written analysis in the form of short essays of three compositions from different eras (baroque, classical, romantic, etc...)
History (majors only)
Prospective Bachelor of Music, History Concentration majors must complete the 3 main parts of the Undergrad Audition Requirements (dictation, intonation and sight-singing, and major-level proficiency on an instrument, piano/organ, or voice), and may opt to take the piano placement exam.
Undergraduate Audition Days
Note that all auditions occur on Tuesdays and you may need to plan accordingly to miss school or work. We are unable to schedule personal auditions or to audition students via audio or video file. All dates are open to prospective freshmen, transfer students, and internal transfers.
Audition Day Schedule
Students should arrive to check-in for their audition between 8:30am-9:00am. Students are given individualized audition schedules based on their desired degree program and placement exams. No time will be scheduled for warm-up or rehearsal; students may warm-up between auditions or may elect to arrive at the beginning of the check-in period to have time to rehearse before the Welcome Address at 9:15am. As students' schedules are customized, they can expect to be finished with their audition anytime between 10:30am-12:00Noon.
- 9:15am - Welcome Address
- 9:30am - Piano Placement Exam
- 9:45am - Sight Singing
- 10:00am - Major Instrument Audition
Parents and Guests
Parents and Guests attending the Audition Day will be presented with several sessions, including an Information Session with School of Music staff, Financial Aid Information Session, Q&A Session with School of Music Ambassadors, and a Swope Music Building Tour.
Students auditioning with pieces that require accompaniment do not need to bring their own accompanist. Please bring a copy of your music with you and our faculty will accompany you.
References, Resumes, and Repertoires
You do not need to bring any references or resume with you. When a student registers to audition on voice or piano they will fill out a repertoire list/info sheet along with their registration.
Scholarships and Awards
Scholarships are available for students enrolled in School of Music degree programs with varying criteria for application, faculty nomination, and/or competition. We thank our loyal donors for their continued support of our programs and students.
Scholarship Consideration for Incoming Freshmen
Students who attend all auditions in the fall semester will be given first consideration for School of Music scholarships. Scholarships from the School of Music are based off of your performance at your audition; no application necessary.
- Sandra Alesia Atkins Memorial Scholarship
- George And Susan Boyer Organ Scholarship
- Robert L. Carl Memorial Keyboard Scholarship
- Paul E. Carson Band Scholarship
- Vincent D. Celentano Memorial Scholarship
- John T. Coates Horn Scholarship
- Samuel Russell Cosby, Jr. Endowed Scholarship Voice
- Charles S. And Margherita Gangemi Memorial Scholarship
- Miriam S. Gottlieb Piano Scholarship
- Fritz K. Krueger Memorial Voice Scholarship
- Theodora Pandel Memorial Piano Scholarship
- Roz Patton Vocal/Choral Scholarship
- The Blanche Stretch Peterson Piano/Organ Scholarship
- String Scholarships
- Cavalcade Of Bands Scholarships
- Frank T. Cheesman Memorial Vocal/Choral Scholarship
- Michael Falcone Memorial Jazz Scholarship
- Raymond and May Grayson Friday Memorial Scholarship
- Arthur E. Jones Scholarship
- Virginia Keshel MacArthur Annual Scholarship
- S. Powell Middleton Memorial Scholarship
- Lloyd C. Mitchell Piano Scholarship
- Michael Morochko Memorial Piano Scholarship
- Constance W. Murray Memorial Scholarship For Piano Pedagogy
- Hillary H. Parry Memorial Scholarship Fund
- Roz Patton Most Improved Voice Major Scholarship
- Jane Elizabeth Sheppard Vocal/Choral Scholarship
- Rob Simon Memorial Award
- Lois Williams Concert Choir Scholarship
- Class Of '45 Memorial Music Scholarship
- John Gutscher Scholarship In Music Education
- Sophomore Music Scholarships
Music Theory and Composition
- Charles S. And Margherita Gangemi Memorial Scholarship
- Harry Wilkinson Music Theory Scholarship
School Of Music
- Lenore Alt Excellence And Leadership Award
- Laury Samuel Brokenshire Scholarship
- Jacobs Music Steinway Award
- Leonard Laubach Music Scholarships
- Theodore Presser Foundation Scholarship
- Everett E. Shaefer Memorial Scholarship
- Charles A. Sprenkle Scholarship
- Joy Vandever Scholarship
- Benjamin Whitten Prize
Independent Scholarships and Grants
- David Leibig Memorial Grant Fund
- Dr. Charles S. Swope Memorial Scholarship Foundation
- West Chester University Foundation Grant
- Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia S. Powell Middleton Award
- Pi Kappa Lambda
- Sigma Alpha Iota College Honor Award
- Sigma Alpha Iota Scholastic Certificate