Audition Information

Conducting Requirements

(prescreen and audition required)

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

PLEASE NOTE:  Evidence of an acceptable TOEFL score must be submitted together with the application by December 1, 2019. 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, 2019, the application and screening video will not be processed and you will not be scheduled to audition.


Orchestral Conducting

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.

Orchestral Prescreen:

Prescreens must be submitted via JSoM Supplemental Application and include:

  • A recording of a performance or rehearsal that displays their conducting proficiency. 
  • A repertoire list, clearly indicating the following:
    • Works conducted in performance (including date and group)
    • Works prepared (when and for whom)
    • Works assisted (when and for whom)
    • Works studied
    • Resumé/Curriculum-Vita
Orchestral Audition:

Conducting Audition Repertoire:

  • 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"
  • Mozart, Marriage of Figaro, The Count's Aria

*All pieces must be learned in their entirety.

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Wind Conducting

Wind Prescreen:

Applicants must submit a 15-20 minute prescreen video recording via the JSoM Supplemental

Prescreen requirements:

  • 15-20 minute continuous/ unedited video recording of a rehearsal, plus a performance video of the piece rehearsed
    • Camera should be positioned so that comments made to the ensemble are clear and audible, and conducting gestures, body posture and facial expressions are easily seen
  • Introduction: video should begin with your statement of the following:
    • Name
    • Current position
    • Brief overview of education and professional background
    • Detailed information of the works rehearsed/ performed and ensemble being rehearsed
  • Doctoral Students only: In addition to above, 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.
Wind Audition:

Prescreen reviews begin in January 2020 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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Choral Conducting

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

NOTE: Auditions are only held on Thu. February 6th, 2020 and Fri. February 7th, 2020.

Choral Prescreen:

Prescreens must be submitted via JSoM Supplemental Application and include:

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.

Choral Audition:

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, 2020, based on pre-screening applications.

Audition/Interview Dates:

  • Thursday, February 6th, 2020
  • Friday, February 7th, 2020

What to Expect at your Audition:

1)  A Written Diagnostic Exam

  • This exam gives us an idea about your musical and analytical skills and your knowledge of the repertoire. 
  • Includes:
    • A short dictation of a four-part Bach chorale
    • 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).
  • PLUS:
    • 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.
  • You may be asked to warm-up the ensemble (no more than 5 minutes). Please prepare a short warm-up in the event you are asked to do so.
  • Please choose one of the pieces from the repertoire list below and be prepared to rehearse and conduct your selection in the original language.
    • Purpose of this portion is to take a part 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. 
    • The audition choir consists of current conducting graduate students and members of our undergraduate conducting classes. Note: most students will be sight reading your repertoire.
    • We are 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

Interview will include:

  • Sightsinging
  • Playing a brief piano reduction from a well-known choral work, and perhaps singing parts of your audition repertoire.
  • Questions about the repertoire you conducted (composer, context, analysis, translation, and why you chose the piece). 
  • Questions about your background and aspirations
  • Time to answer any questions you have about our program, and if time allows we may discuss our observations from your audition.

Choral Audition Repertoire:

Please call the Choral Office (812) 855-0427 with your choice of audition piece by Wednesday, January 15th.  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)

•    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)

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

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

•    Schütz, Die mit Tränen säen (Bärenreiter has two different editions. Please contact for the correct one)

•    Stravinsky, Mass "Kyrie" or "Agnus Dei" (Boosey & Hawkes)

•    Verdi, 'Va, pensiero' from Nabucco

•    Victoria, O vos omnes (specific public domain edition available on request. Please contact

Additional Audition Weekend Events:

  • Lunch with some of our current grad students to talk about their experience.  
  • Rehearsal Observations
    • On Wednesdays at 2:30pm, MM students rehearse the Conductors Chorus (a paid student recital chorus)
    • On Thursday night you may observe the dress rehearsal of the opera, or on Friday we can provide complimentary tickets to opening night.
  • Attend a performance (and ask us about complimentary tickets)! Events are listed here.
Choral Assistantships:

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 apply for a music theory assistantship with the Office of Music Admissions. Information regarding theory assistantship auditions

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