Audition Information

Conducting Requirements

Choral Conducting
Orchestral Conducting
Wind Conducting

Choral Conducting (Please note: Auditions will only take place during the February audition weekend on Thursday, February 2nd and Friday, February 3rd)

Master of Music (M.M.)
Doctor of Music (D.M.)

 Pre-screening - submitted via Decision Desk:

1)     Resumé/Curriculum-Vita, which should include:

      1. Musical training/education
      2. Jobs (include non-musical positions if they have been significant)

2)     Repertoire List, clearly indicating:

      1. Works conducted in performance (including date and group)
      2. Works prepared (when and for whom)
      3. Works assisted (when and for whom)
      4. Works studied

3)      Video

      1. Rehearsal: Approx. 10’, camera positioned from the choir’s perspective
      2. Performance: 15' maximum, of at least two contrasting works

4)     Short Essay/Statement of Purpose  

Describe your entry into the field of choral conducting, significant milestone or motivation, and your aspirations in the field. No longer than one page preferred.

5)     Prospective DM Students only: A writing sample, either a course paper or program notes, which demonstrates fluency and aptitude in written English.

*Please Note: Applicants who are required to submit pre-screening will submit their letters of recommendation to Decision Desk.


Audition/Interview Dates For Fall 2017 Matriculation

Thursday, February 2, and Friday, February 3

All auditions are held on the Bloomington campus. We do not admit students based on video or audio recordings.  Audition invitations will be sent before January 1, 2017, based on pre-screening applications.


1)  A Written Diagnostic Exam

This exam gives us an idea about your musical and analytical skills and your knowledge of the repertoire.  It will include a short dictation of a four-part Bach chorale and identification of the composer/era of a variety of choral scores. (NOTE: This examination is not in lieu of the graduate entrance examinations.)

2)  A Conducting Technique Demonstration

In this individual session with the choral faculty you’ll be asked to conduct "Let Nimrod, the mighty hunter" from Benjamin Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb (Rehearsal 2 to Rehearsal 9).


MM applicants: Handel: "Thus saith the Lord, the Lord of Hosts" from Messiah

DM applicants:  Haydn: "Gleich öffnet sich die Erde Schoss" from Die Schöpfung (The Creation) The soloist will sing in German.

A soloist & a pianist will be provided. 

3)  A Conducting Audition With Chorus

Your audition with an SATB chorus will last 10-12 minutes. Please choose one of the pieces from the repertoire list below and be prepared to rehearse and conduct your selection in the original language. We’ll be looking for advanced musicianship, effective conducting technique, knowledge of the voice, and solid rehearsal techniques. Vocal scores will be provided for the chorus; please bring your own full score. The chorus will be seated SATB from left to right.

4)  An Interview With The Choral Conducting Faculty

The interview is designed to help us get to know you better as a musician.  We’ll ask you to sight sing, play a brief piano reduction from a well-known choral work, and perhaps sing parts of your audition repertoire.  We may also ask questions about the repertoire you conducted (composer, context, analysis, translation, and why you chose the piece).  Most importantly, we’ll want to hear about your background and aspirations, and we’ll answer any questions you have about our program. If time allows we may discuss our observations from your audition.

Also included in your audition day will be a chance to talk over lunch with some of our current grad students.  Of course you’ll be welcome to observe any rehearsals or performances that are happening while you’re on campus.  If you arrive by 2:30 on Wednesday you’ll be able to observe our MM students rehearse the Conductors Chorus (a paid student recital chorus) for their upcoming recital.  Thursday night you may observe the dress rehearsal of Rodelinde, or on Friday we can provide complimentary tickets to opening night.


Please call the Choral Office [(812) 855-0427 with your choice of audition piece by Wednesday, January 18th.  If you are using an edition different from the one listed, please inquire about its compatibility when you call. 

•    Bach, Cantata Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4 (Carus Verlag)

•    Beethoven, Mass in C Major, Op. 86,  “Kyrie” or “Gloria” (Breitkopf)

•    Brahms, Ein deutsches Requiem, Movt. I or IV (Peters)

•    Handel, Messiah, "And the glory of the Lord" or "Surely He hath borne our griefs" (Novello)

•    Haydn, Mass in D Minor "Lord Nelson," “Kyrie” or “Gloria” (Schott, ed. Robbins Landon)

•    Hindemith, Six chansons, "Un cygne" (Schott)

•    Mozart, Requiem, K. 626, Süssmayr completion, “Introit,” “Kyrie,” “Lacrymosa,” or “Hostias” (Bärenreiter)

•    Schütz, Die mit Tränen säen (Bärenreiter)

•    Stravinsky, Mass (Boosey & Hawkes)

•    Verdi, 'Va, pensiero' from Nabucco

The audition choir will consist of current conducting graduate students and members of our undergraduate conducting classes, many of whom will be sight reading your repertoire.  We would like to see you to take a portion of your selection and bring it closer to concert readiness, as opposed to putting on a conducting performance.  Rehearse pitches only where necessary; spend time on ensemble, interpretive choices, articulation, performance practice, etc. 

You may be asked to warm-up the ensemble (no more than 5 minutes) on audition day. Please prepare a short warm-up in the event that you are asked to do so.


Your audition for our graduate program is also your audition for a choral assistantship.

Choral conducting applicants with strong music theory skills are encouraged to schedule an interview for a music theory assistantship with the Office of Music Admissions. Information regarding theory assistantship auditions can be found on the Theory Department webpage.

PLEASE NOTE: Evidence of an acceptable TOEFL score must be submitted together with the application by December 1, 2016. If an admissible TOEFL score of (560 PBT, 223 CBT, 84 IBT) for MM admission consideration or (600 PBT, 250 CBT, 100 IBT) for DM admission consideration has not been received by the Office of Admissions by the application deadline of December 1, 2016, the application will not be processed and you will not be scheduled to audition.

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Orchestral Conducting

Master of Music (M.M.)
Doctor of Music (D.M.)

The orchestral conducting audition and interview will not occur during any of the regularly scheduled audition weekends. Invited applicants will be informed of a date in writing.

Applicants must submit a prescreening recording of a performance or rehearsal that displays their conducting proficiency. Please click here for detailed instructions for submitting your recording online. A limited number of persons will then be invited to a personal audition and will conduct one of the Jacobs School of Music orchestras. Tapes must be submitted by December 1, 2016.

*Please Note: Applicants who are required to submit pre-screening will submit their letters of recommendation to Decision Desk.

Invited applicants should prepare the following pieces for the personal conducting audition:

  • Beethoven, Symphony No. 2, Mvt 1
  • Tchaikovsky, Romeo and Juliet (complete)
  • Copland, Appalachian Spring, #6-16 and #35-51.
  • Puccini, La Bohème, Act I, Rodolfo's aria "Che gelida manina"

All pieces are to be learned in their entirety.

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Wind Conducting

Master of Music (M.M.)
Doctor of Music (D.M.)

Students interested in applying for graduate degrees in Wind Conducting must complete the online graduate application process.  In addition to this application, all candidates must submit a video recording of a rehearsal. The camera should be positioned so that comments made to the ensemble are very clear and audible and conducting gestures, body posture and facial expression easily seen. The recording should be approximately 20-30 minutes long. In addition, please include the following information in either your video recording or on a separate sheet: Name, Current Position, Brief Overview of Educational and Professional Background, and Detailed Information on the Works Rehearsed and Ensemble Being Rehearsed. The video recording must be submitted online. For detailed instructions click here.

Doctoral Students only: Submit a writing sample, either an analysis of a major wind band piece or an equivalent article based on some area of research applicable to wind band repertoire.

The deadline for the submission of a video is December 1, 2016. We will review all of the submitted videos in January and decide how many people we might want to invite to campus. This will depend on the number of openings we have from year to year. Admission to the program is highly competitive.

*Please Note: Applicants who are required to submit pre-screening will submit their letters of recommendation to Decision Desk.

Review of materials will begin in January 2017 and finalists will be invited to campus in February or March for a live audition with one of the Jacobs School of Music concert wind bands. For questions regarding graduate degrees in Wind Conducting, please call 812.855.1372 or e-mail

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