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Music

MM, DMA, AD

HOW TO APPLY

Fall Admission Only
Rutgers University Application: December 1
Mason Gross Supplemental Application: December 15

Rutgers University Application

All applicants must complete and submit the Rutgers University Application. The university application requires the following:

  • $70 Rutgers application fee
  • University questionnaire
  • English proficiency test scores (international applicants)
    • All international applicants to Mason Gross School of the Arts are required to submit an English proficiency exam. Applicants who completed an undergraduate degree in the U.S. or another English-speaking country are exempt from this requirement. Applicants who completed a graduate degree(s) in the U.S. or another English-speaking country are not exempt from this requirement.
  • Request for transcripts (completion of a bachelor’s degree at an accredited university is a required prerequisite)
    • Official transcripts must be sent from the Registrar’s office of the undergraduate institution where the bachelor’s degree was awarded.
      Transcripts can be sent:

      Via Mail:

      Administrative Services Building
      ATTN: Graduate & Professional Admissions
      65 Davidson Road
      Piscataway, New Jersey 08854

      Via Email: E-transcripts@gradadm.rutgers.edu

Mason Gross Supplemental Application

Five business days after submitting the Rutgers University application, applicants will be emailed a link to submit a Mason Gross supplemental application.

  • $75 submission fee
  • Music questionnaire
  • Recorded audition – not required for music education applicants
  • Music interview date selection
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement (this should be the same as submitted through the university application)
  • Resume/CV
  • Writing sample
    • Applicants applying to the MM or DMA in Music Education are required to submit scholarly writing samples with the Mason Gross Supplemental Application.

Mason Gross School of the Arts will not be hosting in-person auditions for the 2021 admissions cycle. Instead, applicants will be required to upload audition materials through the Mason Gross supplemental application as outlined below.

Recorded Audition Requirements

Faculty Interviews

On or before January 15, applicants will either be invited to interview with faculty or issued a final decision letter. Interviews will be hosted virtually via Zoom throughout the month of February. The purpose of the interview is for faculty and applicants to meet. Applicants will not be requested to perform during the interview.

Brass: February 8 and 15

Composition: February 6 and 13

Jazz: February 12 and 19

Percussion: February 12

Piano: February 12 and 16

Strings: February 11 and 19

Woodwind: February 9 and 16

Voice and Opera: February 5 and 12

Writing Exam

DMA applicants and MM international applicants are required to complete a writing exam as part of the application process. The exam consists of analyzing a musical excerpt or literary piece in an essay of approximately 500 words. You may use a printed foreign-language dictionary; however, cellphones, smartphones, electronic dictionaries, and translators are not permitted. After submitting the supplemental application, applicants will be emailed instructions on how to complete this requirement.

Audition Requirements

All recorded auditions must be videos without any artificial enhancement, such as echo or reverb. Recordings should be well-lit, recorded in horizontal or landscape mode, and should clearly show the applicant’s posture, instrument, and hands. Please record in a quiet indoor space with windows closed, and background noises silenced. Instrumentalists are not required to have accompaniment. Vocalists are required to use accompaniment; more information can be found within the voice section. 

Brass

Master of Music (MM), Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA), and Artist Diploma (AD)

Euphonium

  • Any slow melody that will demonstrate the quality of your tone and sound. (i.e. lyrical air, operatic aria, etc.)
  • Any fast technical solo that will show off your technical development (i.e. air and variations, concerto movement, brilliant study, etc.)

Contact Aaron VanderWeele with any questions.

Horn

  • Two contrasting solos. (Examples: Bach, “Cello Suite No. 1 Courante” [Wendell Hoss edition], Mozart concerti, Schumann “Adagio and Allegro,” Strauss concerti, Buyanovsky Espana, Dukas Villanelle, etc.)
  • Choose four orchestral excerpts from the following:
    • Beethoven, Symphony #3 – 3rd movement, 2nd Horn, Trio Section
    • Beethoven, Symphony #7
    • Beethoven, Symphony #9 – 4th Horn solo
    • Brahms, Symphony #2
    • Ravel Pavane
    • Shostakovich, Symphony #5 – 1st movement tutti low excerpt
    • Strauss, “Ein Heldenleben” – opening call
    • Wagner, “Gotterdammerung” – short call

Tenor Trombone

  • Two etudes in contrasting styles by Kopprasch, Blazhevich, Bordogni/Rochut, or similar methods
  • A prepared solo of your choice
    (Examples: Hindemith sonata, Tomasi concerto, Creston “Fantasy,” Casterede “Sonatine” or equal difficulty •
  • Two to three excerpts from the standard orchestral repertoire that reflects the applicant’s proficiency (Examples: “Bolero,” “Tuba Mirum,” “Ride of the Valkyries,” “William Tell Overture”)

Bass Trombone

  • A technical etude (such as Blazhevich, Grigoriev, or Kopprasch) and a lyrical etude (such as Bordogni/Rochut or Concone)
  • A prepared bass trombone solo or transcription of a tuba solo
  • Two to three excerpts from the standard orchestral repertoire that reflects the applicant’s proficiency (Examples: “Ride of the Valkyries,” “Hungarian March,” “Fountains of Rome,” and “The Creation”)

Trumpet

  • A prepared performance from advanced concerto/solo literature for trumpet
    • Examples: Bozza, Haydn, Hummel, Tomasi, Enescu’s Legend, Honegger’s Intrada
  • In addition, graduate applicants must perform on piccolo trumpet
    • Examples: Fasch, Hertel, Leopold Mozart, Telemann, Telemann
  • Mandatory Orchestral Excerpts:
    • Mahler, Symphony No. 5, Movement 1 in its entirety
    • Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition, Promenade and “Samuel” Goldenberg and “Schmuÿle”
    • Respighi, Pines of Rome, Movement 1 in its entirety and Movement 2 offstage solo
    • Richard Strauss, Don Juan in its entirety
    • Stravinsky: Petrushka, 1 bar before [13] – [14], 2 bars before [141] – [143], and [149] – [151]

Tuba

  • Two etudes from the studies of Kopprasch, Blazhevich, Rochut or equivalent.
  •  A prepared solo of your choice:
    • Solos should include slow and fast movements equal to Vaughan Williams “Concerto for Bass Tuba,” Hindemith “Sonata for Bass Tuba,” Persichetti “Serenade for Solo Tuba,” John Williams “Concerto for Tuba,” Woodward “Concerto for Tuba,” Kraft “Encounters II” for solo tuba, or equal difficulty. No transcriptions, please.
  • Three to four excerpts from the standard orchestral repertoire that reflects the applicant’s proficiency (Examples: major passages from works by Mahler, Wagner, Prokofiev, Berlioz, Strauss and Verdi. Contact Allen Baer if you have any questions.
  •  
Conducting

Master of Music (MM) and Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Applicants to the conducting program must contact the listed faculty member to make special arrangements for their auditions.

Choral Conducting

Prior to submitting an application to Rutgers University graduate admissions, all students wishing to apply to the graduate choral conducting program must complete a prescreening by contacting the Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Patrick Gardner.

In the prescreening email applicants must include:

  • A CV and list of major repertory conducted and sung.
  • A written description of piano and vocal skills.

After the prescreening material is reviewed, applicants may be contacted for a phone interview. Those invited to continue to the second stage of the audition will be asked to provide:

  • A high quality CD of performances conducted by the applicant.
  • A video of the applicant in rehearsal and performance. If possible, the video should show a major segment of the performance with the camera facing the applicant from the point of view of the choristers (and orchestra if applicable).
Choral Conducting Contact
Patrick Gardner
Head of Conducting/Head of Choral Activities
Music
Emailphone

Instrumental/Wind Conducting

Candidates for the graduate program in instrumental/wind conducting must submit these additional items:

  • A video of no more than 15 minutes in length that includes both rehearsal and performance conducting. The view should be from behind the ensemble viewing the conductor.
  • A repertoire list of compositions conducted since attaining your undergraduate degree
  • A repertoire list of the 25 most artistically significant pieces for wind band from your perspective
Instrumental/Wind Conducting Contact
Todd Nichols
Director of University Bands and Athletic Bands
Music
Email

Orchestral Conducting

Note: The orchestral conducting program is not currently accepting applicants.

Candidates for the graduate program in Orchestral Conducting must submit the following:

  • A video of no more than 15 minutes in length that includes both rehearsal and performance conducting. The view should be from behind the ensemble viewing the conductor
  • A video of the applicant playing their instrument or a composition
  • An updated CV
  • A repertoire list of works conducted publicly, with relative ensembles
  • An essay detailing why you want to study conducting and what you feel you have to offer the profession
Harp

Master of Music (MM), Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA), and Artist Diploma (AD)

  • Bach/Grandjany etude
  • Two contrasting solos
  • Two movements from one of the following:
    • Major concerto
    • Debussy “Danses”
    • Ravel “Introduction and Allegro”
  • Two major orchestral excerpts and one cadenza that reflects the applicants proficiency
Jazz

Note: Recorded auditions are to emphasize ensemble and solo playing technique. Please do not include theory components such as scales or modes. Ensure that the video recording has a clear view of the head, upper body, and parts of body that interface with the instrument should be seen on video recordings (i.e., fingers, hands, mouth).

Jazz Applicants (except Drums)

Please submit parts A, B, and C.

Part A

Record two (2) contrasting selections from standard jazz repertoire

  • Performances may be solo or with professional backing tracks
  • Performances should include the tune head and one or two choruses of improvisation.
  • Tune forms 16 bars or less should include three chorus of improvisation.
Jazz Bass
  • Upright or Electric bassists are welcome to apply
  • Add a chorus of walking jazz bass lines within Part A
  • For Upright: Play the Head-in pizzicato, and the Head-out, arco
Jazz Piano and Guitar
  • Add a chorus of chordal comping (as if under a soloist) within Part A
Jazz Lead Trumpet Specialists
  • Add a separate recording that demonstrates lead playing ability, such as an excerpt from a suitable jazz lead chart

Part B

Record a prepared work: etude (classical or jazz), study, or jazz transcription

Part C

Record an alternate selection from any non-jazz style/genre that best represents your background, experience, and interests, to date

Jazz Drums Set Applicants

  • Record two contrasting selections from standard jazz repertoire
    • Performances are to be solo, or with professional backing tracks not containing drums
    • Outline the tune-melody when playing the head
    • Performances should include the tune head and one or two choruses of improvisation.
  • Record 16 bars of the following solo time feels alternating four bars of time and four bars of fill, each:
    • Medium Swing in 4/4
    • Fast Swing in 4/4
    • Ballad Jazz 3/4 (with Brushes)
    • Medium Afro 6/8 feel
    • Fast Samba feel
  • Choose option Part B or Part C above to record on piano or tuned mallets
Music Education

Master of Music (MM)

Applications for the master of music in music education program must submit the following materials:

  • School of Graduate Studies application and application fee
  • Bachelor’s degree in music education (or equivalent) with minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Evidence of at least one year of successful K-12 music teaching experience
  • Undergraduate transcripts (two official copies per school)
  • Three current letters of recommendation, which should address academic potential, teaching skills, musicianship, and character
  • Professional resume (1-2 pages)
  • Academic writing sample.
  • An Interview with music education faculty may be requested.

Other requirements (e.g., audition for performance or ensembles, etc.) will depend on the choice of elective or performance area, which does not have to be made at the time of admission.

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Applicants for the doctor of musical arts in music education program must submit the following materials:

  • School of Graduate Studies application and application fee
  • Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education or equivalent (minimum undergraduate GPA, 3.0; minimum graduate GPA, 3.25)
  • Evidence of at least three years successful K-12 music teaching experience
  • Undergraduate and graduate transcripts (two official copies per school)
  • Four current letters of reference, which should address academic potential, teaching skills, musicianship, and character
  • Minimum of one letter from a graduate professor in an academic area
  • Professional resume (1-2 pages)
  • Evidence of writing proficiency (for example, a master’s-level course paper or thesis)

On-campus interview with music education faculty

Other requirements (e.g., audition for performance cognate, ensembles, etc.) will depend on the choice of elective or cognate area, which does not have to be made at the time of admission.

Percussion

Master of Music (MM), Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA), and Artist Diploma (AD)

Snare Drum

  • Three orchestral excerpts
  • One Delecluse etude

Timpani

  • Three orchestral excerpts
  • Hochrainer etude or comparable

Xylophone

  • Three orchestral excerpts
  • One solo piece

Glockenspiel

  • Three orchestral pieces

Marimba

  • Perform two pieces in contrasting styles (Examples: one piece could be by J.S. Bach, and the other could be a contemporary piece; or two contemporary pieces but in two different composition styles)

 

Piano

Master of Music (MM), Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA), and Artist Diploma (AD)

All applicants’ videos must show a clear view of the applicant’s hands.  The video does not need to be “professional quality” but should clearly and accurately represent the applicant. While pieces or movements may be included from different settings/performances, each individual piece or movement should be unedited and should not contain any processed effects.

The repertoire presented must include:

  •  A Prelude and Fugue by J.S. Bach or another work by Bach containing a fugue
  • A complete sonata by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, or Schubert
  • A substantial work from a significant Romantic Era composer
  • A work by a 20th or 21st century composer that illustrates post-romantic compositional techniques and is not shorter than five minutes in duration

Memorization is required except for works composed after 1945.

Master of Music applicants must offer a program of at least 45 minutes, satisfying all four of the categories above.

Doctor of Musical Arts and Artist Diploma applicants must offer a program of at least 60 minutes, satisfying all four of the categories above.

Strings

Note: String applicants are not required to perform with accompaniment, but are requested not to perform with pre-recorded accompaniment.

Master of Music (MM), Artist Diploma (AD), and Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Violin
  • Approximately 8-10 minutes from a standard concerto, displaying more than one movement and a cadenza, if applicable.
    • Examples: Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Shostakovich or Prokofiev
  • Two movements of an unaccompanied sonata or partita by J.S. Bach, or only the Ciaconna from Partita No. 2
  • A caprice by Paganini or a movement from the solo sonatas by Ysäye
Viola
  • Approximately 8-10 minutes from a standard concerto,
  • Two movements from the unaccompanied works of Bach (originally for cello or violin)
  • A short work or excerpt of the applicant’s choice: either a contemporary work or a piece to display the applicant’s technical virtuosity
Cello
  • Approximately 8-10 minutes from a standard concerto, displaying more than one movement and a cadenza, if applicable.
    • Examples: Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 2 in D major, Dvorak, Schumann, Elgar, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations, or Bloch’s Schelomo
  • Two movements, including a prelude, from an unaccompanied suite by J.S. Bach
  • A short work or excerpt of the applicant’s choice: either a contemporary work, or a piece to display the applicant’s technical virtuosity (such as those by Popper, Piatti, Davidoff or Servais)
Double Bass
  • Approximately 8-10 minutes of a concerto or comparable work from the standard double bass repertoire displaying more than one movement and a cadenza, if applicable
  • Two orchestral excerpts from the standard orchestral repertoire
  • Two movements of a suite by J.S.Bach, originally for cello, in any key
Voice & Opera

All recordings should be performed by memory and should include the full body of the singer. Piano or orchestral accompaniment is required, except in the rare instance, where the selection is designed as an a cappella piece. There should be no selection offered as a cappella that has a designed accompaniment. If live accompaniment is not possible, applicants may use Appcompanist or another remote accompanist application.

Please contact any member of our voice faculty with any questions about the audition or repertoire choices.

Due to our efforts to promote inclusivity in the vocal area, we encourage you to consider selecting a piece written by an underrepresented composer (composer of color, female composer, or other underrepresented group). This piece should also be in a classical style, inclusive of spirituals. You will not be penalized if this is not possible for your audition.

Master of Music (MM) and Artist Diploma (AD) with a concentration in Opera

Five total opera arias are required:

  • One aria in Italian
  • One aria in German
  • One aria in French
  • One aria in English
  • One aria in any language

Note: One aria must be from the 20th or 21st centuries. Repertoire should represent different style periods, moods, and tempi. Musical theater selections are not acceptable. All selections must be memorized.

Master of Music (MM) Voice Performance

Five total selections are required:

  • One opera aria
  • One oratorio aria
  • One German lied
  • One French melody
  • One English language art song

Note: Italian, French, German and English languages must be represented. One selection must be from the 20th or 21st centuries, preferably composed after 1950. Repertoire should represent different style periods, moods, and tempi. Musical theater selections are not acceptable. All selections must be memorized.

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) and Artist Diploma (AD) Voice Performance

Seven total selections are required:

  • One opera aria 
  • One oratorio aria
  • Two German lieder
  • Two French melodies
  • One English language art song

Note: Italian, French, German and English languages must be represented. One selection must be from the 20th or 21st centuries, preferably composed after 1950. Repertoire should represent different style periods, moods, and tempi. Musical theater selections are not acceptable. All selections must be memorized.

Woodwinds

Master of Music (MM), Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA), and Artist Diploma (AD)

Bassoon

  • Major and minor scales
  • An etude from Weissenborn “Fifty Advanced Studies”
  • At least two movements (one slow, one fast) from a sonata, concerto, or similar work, preferably from the Baroque or Classical period

Clarinet

  • An etude at the level of Rose, Jean-Jean or similar demonstrating the applicant’s technical and musical ability
  • Two contrasting selections from the standard concerto, sonata, or similar repertoire
  • One work composed since 1970
  • Three contrasting orchestral excerpts

Flute

  • Two contrasting orchestral excerpts
  • An etude at the level of Anderson “Opus 60”
  • Two contrasting selections from the concerto, sonata or solo literature. (Examples: concerti by Mozart, CPE Bach, Nielsen, Ibert orsonatas by Poulenc, Prokofiev, and Liebermann)

Oboe

  • Major and minor scales
  • Two contrasting etudes from Barret or Ferling
  • Two contrasting movements of a sonata or concerto (one must be from the Baroque or Classical era)
  • Three contrasting orchestral excerpts
  • Possible sight-reading

Alto Saxophone (Classical)

  • Major and minor scales.
  • Two prepared etudes (one slow, one fast) from either Karg-Elert 25 Caprices or Voxman Selected Studies
  • Two complete works (all movements) from among the following:
    • Creston Sonata
    • Heiden Sonata
    • Bozza Improvisation et Caprice
    • Glazunov Concerto
    • Ibert Concertino
    • Dahl Concerto

Tenor Saxophone (Classical)

  • Two complete works (all movements) from among the following:
    • Tuthill Concerto
    • Villa-Lobos Fantasia
    • Ward Concerto
    • Ewazen Sonata
    • Gould Concerto

Soprano Saxophone (Classical)

  • Two complete works (all movements) from among the following:
    • Lunde Sonata
    • Lamb Sonata
    • Villa-Lobos Fantasia
    • Steve Cohen Sonata
    • Sibbing Sonata
    • Gates Incantation and Ritual

Learn about the MM, DMA, and AD Programs