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MM, DMA, AD Application Information

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RUTGERS UNIVERSITY APPLICATION

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

  • Online application
  • $70 Rutgers application fee
  • One official transcript from each post-secondary institution attended
  • Letters of recommendation, as required by the program
  • A personal statement
  • Current test results, as required by the program
  • Supporting materials, as required by the program

Mason Gross Talent Assessment

Requirements

  • $55 submission fee
  • Music questionnaire
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Resume/CV
  • Music audition date selection OR Recorded Audition – Performance and Jazz Applicants
  • Pre-screening video – Voice and Opera applicants ONLY
  • Music Education-specific requirements, see Music Education section below
  • Conducting-specific requirements, see Conducting section below

International Applicants

For additional information and requirements, please click here.

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 Dates

The Music Department is accepting both live in-person auditions as well as video recorded auditions for fall 2024 admission. Live, on-campus audition dates are listed below.

  • Saturday, February 3rd, 2024

  • Friday, February 9th, 2024

  • Saturday, February 10th, 202

Audition Requirements

The Music Department is accepting both live, in-person auditions, as well as video recorded auditions for fall 2024 admission. These formats have the same repertoire requirements, unless specifically listed in the audition requirements section below.

Live, in-person auditions will take place on campus and be scheduled on the designated audition dates above.

Recorded Auditions

Live auditions on campus are always encouraged. However, if applicants would like to submit a recorded audition, please be sure to read this section and follow these guidelines:

Recorded auditions should be submitted no later than the Artistic Application (Talent Assessment) deadline for priority consideration. Submissions after this date may result in a later decision notification, less scholarship funding available, and/or fewer slots available in the program.

Recorded audition submissions on major instrument/voice via SlideRoom have the same repertoire requirements as in-person, live auditions, unless otherwise specifically noted in the corresponding section below. All submitted recordings must adhere to the following requirements:

  • 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.
  • If recording on a phone, we highly recommend downloading the free app DolbyOn (Google Play and App Store) and record in lossless format.
  • The video does not need to be “professional quality” but should clearly and accurately represent the applicant.
  • Individual pieces/movements may be edited together, but each piece/movement performance should be recorded continuously, not be edited, and not contain any professional effects.
  • Jazz applicants approved to submit a recording may use pre-recorded backing tracks or live accompanists as desired.
  • Instrumentalists: Live accompaniment is not required.
  • Vocalists: a live accompanist is strongly preferred for all submissions. However, if applicants are unable to arrange this, we encourage using the Appcompanist application or another recorded track application.
Brass

For any questions regarding brass auditions, please contact Head of Brass, Professor Kenneth DeCarlo, at kdecarlo@mgsa.rutgers.edu.

Brass Masters and Doctoral Auditions:

  • One complete Concerto or Sonata
  • Five contrasting orchestral excerpts from major works

**For brass applicants interested in jazz performance please refer to the jazz section of this page.

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.)

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.
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

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

  • A CV
  • A personal statement that includes:
    • Background in music
    • Description of piano and vocal training and
    • Goals after finishing the degree.
  • Links to high-quality video (and audio) of one performance (no longer than 10 minutes) and one rehearsal (no longer than 15 minutes) conducted by the applicant. If possible, the view should be from behind the ensemble facing the conductor.
Choral Conducting Contact
Brandon Williams
Director of Choral Activities
Associate Professor, Music Education and Conducting
Music
Emailphone

Wind Band Conducting

Candidates for the graduate program in wind band 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
Wind Band Conducting Contact
Todd Nichols
Director of University Bands and Athletic Bands; Associate Professor, Conducting
Music
Community Arts
Email

Orchestral Conducting

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
Orchestral Conducting Contact
Ching-Chun Lai
Director of Orchestral Activities and Engagement, Associate Professor
Music
Emailphone
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

Questions concerning jazz auditions should be directed to Professor Marc Stasio, Coordinator of Jazz Studies, at marc.stasio@rutgers.edu.

**Jazz applicants are highly encouraged to complete a live on-campus audition. Jazz applicants who wish to submit a recorded audition must request approval by emailing Professor Marc Stasio, Coordinator of Jazz Studies, at marc.stasio@rutgers.edu before submitting their recording.

Audition Requirements All Instruments (except Drum Set):

Prepare two contrasting selections from standard jazz repertoire (see below). Perform the tune head and one or two choruses of improvisation.

  • Bass (in addition to the above)
    • Upright or Electric bassists are welcome to apply.
    • Prepare to demonstrate walking jazz bass lines.
  • Piano and Guitar (in addition to the above)
    • Prepare to demonstrate chordal comping behind another soloist.
  • Lead Trumpet Specialists (in addition to the above)
    • Test lead playing skills; read a lead chart.

In addition to the above also prepare to be evaluated on the following:

  • THEORY: Major/Minor modal scales, two octaves preferred
  • AURAL SKILLS: Identify piano chord qualities as played by faculty.
  • SIGHT READING: Lead sheet, exercise, or band arrangement excerpt as supplied

Drum Set (supersedes above requirements)

  • Prepare two contrasting selections from standard jazz repertoire (see below) to perform with the live bassist and pianist/guitarist. Outline melodic contours while keeping time.
  • Perform the following solo time feels: Swing in 4/4, and 3/4 (slow, medium, and up-tempo, with sticks and brushes), Bossa Nova, Samba, and Shuffle.
  • Interchange time feels with solos as requested, such as: 4 bars time/4 bars solo, 8 bars time/8 bars solo, etc.
  • Prepare to sight-read charts and/or lead sheets.

Standard Jazz Repertoire Suggestions

Blues for Alice Airegin
Ceora Along Came Betty
I Hear a Rhapsody Bird Like
I’ll Remember April Countdown
Jordu Monk’s Dream
Speak No Evil Recorda Me
Up Jumped Spring Stablemates

 

Accompaniment requirements and equipment provided:

  • Piano/Guitar, Bass and Drum accompanists are provided in audition rooms.
  • Pre-recorded backing tracks are not permitted for on campus live auditions.
  • Please bring copies of music for the live accompanists.
  • A piano and drum set with cymbals will be available in audition rooms.
  • Drummers are asked to bring their own sticks/brushes.
  • Guitar and bass amplifiers are supplied in audition rooms. Please bring your own patch cable. We cannot supply instruments, audio patch cables, or replacement strings.
  • Approved recorded audition submissions may use pre-recorded backing tracks or live accompanists as desired.
Music Education

Master of Music (MM)

Applicants to the Master of Music in Music Education program should have the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in music education (or equivalent) with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • At least one full year of full-time K-12 music teaching experience (3+ years of part-time experience may be considered)
  • Certification/teaching license in music education

In addition to the Rutgers University application as outlined above, MM Music Education applicants should submit the following through the Mason Gross Talent Assessment:

  • PDF of current music education teaching certification/license from any state or country
  • Three current letters of recommendation, which should address academic potential, teaching skills, musicianship, and character
  • A 5-minute uninterrupted video (with clear audio) of you teaching one of your current classes (no private/studio lessons). The camera should focus on you, but it is fine if students are also in the footage. Your video should be recorded within the last six months.
  • Professional resume (1-2 pages)
  • One-to-two-page Statement of Purpose, which demonstrates your best writing and articulates your reasons for applying to the Rutgers MM in Music Education

Finalists may be requested to interview with music education faculty. 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 should have the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education or equivalent (minimum undergraduate GPA, 3.0; minimum graduate GPA, 3.25)
  • At least three years of full-time K-12 music teaching experience

In addition to the Rutgers University application as outlined above, DMA Music Education applicants should submit the following through the Mason Gross Talent Assessment:

  • Three current letters of recommendation, which should address academic potential, teaching skills, musicianship, and character, One letter must be from a graduate faculty member who can address your skills or potential as a scholarly writer.
  • Professional resume (1-2 pages)
  • Evidence of scholarly writing proficiency (for example, a master’s-level course paper or thesis)
  • One-to-three-page Statement of Purpose, which demonstrates your best writing and articulates your scholarly, professional, personal goals in pursuing your doctorate

Finalists will be required to 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

For all questions concerning the percussion auditions and/or repertoire, please contact Head of Percussion, Professor Joseph Tompkins, at jtompkins@mgsa.rutgers.edu.

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

For all questions concerning the piano auditions and/or repertoire, please contact Min Kwon, Professor and Head of Piano at mkkwon@mgsa.rutgers.edu.

For applicants auditioning by recording, all 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 professional effects.

Master of Music applicants must offer a program of at least 45 minutes, satisfying all four of the categories below. Memorization is required except for works composed after 1945.

Doctor of Musical Arts and Artist Diploma applicants must offer a program of at least 60 minutes, satisfying all four of the categories below.  Memorization is required except for works composed after 1945.

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
Strings

For all questions concerning the strings auditions and/or repertoire, please contact Head of Strings, Professor Jonathan Spitz, at jspitz@mgsa.rutgers.edu.

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 Chaconne 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

For all questions concerning the voice auditions and/or repertoire, please contact Head of Voice, Professor Eduardo Chama, at echama@mgsa.rutgers.edu.

All graduate applicants will be required to submit pre-recorded pre-screening videos. Please refer to your degree for the repertoire requirements below.

If invited to a live audition we will be offering two audition choices for all the applicants: a live audition on campus or a video pre-recorded audition

All video 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. The video should be filmed in landscape mode (horizontal aspect ratio) and should show the full body of the singer and the accompanist if possible. The use of headphones is permitted. The use of all sound enhancement effects is prohibited. This includes reverberation effect, pitch correction, or any kind of post editing cut-and-paste. Lighting and balance fixing is permitted.

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.

All Voice Graduate Applicants

Application Timeline

Rutgers University Graduate School Application: December 1
Mason Gross Supplemental Application & Pre-screening Video: December 15

Finalists will be notified by January 15. Finalists auditioning in person will be scheduled for February 4 or February 18. Finalists auditioning via recording will be sent instructions on how to submit by no later than February 15.

MM, AD with concentration in Opera degree

For both the prescreening AND final auditions one aria must be from the 20th or 21st century. Repertoire should represent different style periods, moods, and tempi. Musical theater selections are not acceptable. All selections must be memorized.

Prescreening: submitted with the supplemental application by December 15
Three opera arias required:

  • One opera aria in Italian
  • One opera aria in English
  • One opera aria in any other language

Final Audition: for finalists invited to second round either live on campus or recorded
Five opera arias required:

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

MM, AD and DMA in Voice Performance degree

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

Prescreening: submitted with the supplemental application by December 15
Five selections required:

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

Master of Music Voice Performance degree

Final Audition: for finalists invited to second round either live on campus or recorded
Five selections required:

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

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

Final Audition: for finalists invited to second round either live on campus or recorded
Seven selections required:

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

For all questions concerning the woodwind auditions and/or repertoire, please contact Head of Woodwinds, Professor Maureen Hurd, at mlhurd@mgsa.rutgers.edu.

Applicants are encouraged to select a work by a composer from an under-represented group. Online resources to aid students in selecting this repertoire follow:

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

Bassoon

  • A Milde concert study or an etude from Weissenborn’s 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
  • Two orchestral excerpts selected from the following list:
    • Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring: Opening solo through figure 4.
    • Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 4, Movement 2: Solo at the end through last bar
    • Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherazade, Movement 2: Solo m. 5 through Figure A and cadenzas Figure L-Figure M
    • Mozart, Marriage of Figaro, Overture: Measures 139 to152
    • Berlioz, Symphonie fantastique, Movement 4: Figure 52-Figure 53
    • Berlioz, Symphonie fantastique, Movement 5: Figure 63 to 5 measures after 64

Clarinet

  • Two contrasting works or selected movements from the standard concerto, sonata, or similar repertoire
  • One additional work or selected movement(s) composed after 1970. Applicants are encouraged to select a work by a composer from an under-represented group.
  • Three contrasting orchestral excerpts

Flute

  • Expositions of either Mozart concerto, movements 1 and 2
  • A movement of a work by Bach OR an etude at the level of the Karg-Elert’s 30 Caprices
  • An additional piece, at the level of the Dutilleux Sonatine; or one movement of a larger work, at the level of the Prokofiev Sonata or the Ibert Concerto
  • Two orchestral excerpts: one lyrical and one technical

Oboe

  • 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

Alto Saxophone (Classical)

Applicants may contact Paul Cohen directly to discuss repertoire if different from the choices below.

  • One prepared etude from either Karg-Elert’s 25 Caprices or Voxman’s Selected Studies
  • Two complete works (all movements) chosen from among the following:
    • Creston Sonata
    • Heiden Sonata
    • Bozza Improvisation et Caprice
    • Glazunov Concerto
    • Ibert Concertino
    • Dahl Concerto

Tenor Saxophone (Classical)

Applicants may contact Paul Cohen directly to discuss repertoire if different from the choices below.

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

Soprano Saxophone (Classical)

Applicants may contact Paul Cohen directly to discuss repertoire if different from the choices below.

  • 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