Music

MM, DMA, AD Application Information

Priority Deadlines

  • Rutgers University Application: January 1
  • Mason Gross Talent Assessment: January 15

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

  • $50 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

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 2023 admission. Live, on-campus audition dates are listed below.

February 4, 2023
February 18, 2023
February 10, 2023 – additional Graduate Piano audition day
February 16, 2023 – additional Graduate Woodwind audition day
February 17, 2023 – additional Graduate Voice & Opera audition day

Audition Requirements

The Music Department is accepting both live, in-person auditions as well as video recorded auditions for fall 2023 admission. These formats have the same repertoire requirements, unless specifically listed in the audition requirements section below.

If you select to submit a recorded audition, 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. If you are recording with your phone, we recommend downloading the free app DolbyOn and record in lossless format. Instrumentalists are not required to have accompaniment. Vocalists are required to use accompaniment; more information can be found within the voice section below.

Brass

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

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

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 at pgardner@mgsa.rutgers.edu.

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 video and audio of performances conducted by the applicant. 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).
  • A high quality video and audio of a rehearsal conducted by the applicant
Choral Conducting Contact
Patrick Gardner
Director of Choral Activities
Music
Email

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
Assistant Professor
Director of University Bands and Athletic Bands
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
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

The jazz audition requirements for live audition differ than those of a recorded audition, outlined below. For any questions regarding jazz auditions, please contact Professor Marc Stasio, Coordinator of Jazz Studies, at marc.stasio@rutgers.edu.

Live On-Campus Auditions

  • Piano/Guitar, Bass and Drum accompanists are provided in audition rooms. Pre-recorded backing tracks are not needed or permissible. Please bring copies of music for the trio.
  • A piano and drum set with cymbals are available in audition rooms. Drummers are asked to bring 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.

Jazz Applicants (except Drums): Please Complete Parts A, B, and C

Part A
  • Prepare two (2) contrasting selections from standard jazz repertoire
    • Performances should include the tune head and one or two choruses of improvisation.
    • Tune forms 16 bars or less should include three (3) chorus of improvisation.
    • All selections are to be memorized
  • For Bass (in addition to the above)
    • Upright or Electric bassists are welcome to apply
    • Also prepare to demonstrate walking jazz bass lines
    • Upright players may be asked to demonstrate some requirements arco
  • For Piano and Guitar (in addition to the above)
    • Also prepare to demonstrate chordal comping behind another soloist
  • For Lead Trumpet Specialists (in addition to the above)
    • Test lead playing skills; read a lead chart
Part B
  • Choose and prepare three (3) options from the following list:
    • Theory: MAJOR modal scales, 2 octaves preferred
    • Theory: MINOR modal scales, 2 octaves preferred
    • Aural skills: Identify chord qualities as played by faculty
    • Perform a prepared work: etude, study, jazz transcription
    • Perform a selection from any non-jazz style/genre that best represents your background, experience, and interests, to date
Part C
  • Sight read a presented lead sheet, exercise, or band arrangement excerpt

Jazz Drum Set Applicants (supersedes above requirements)

  • Prepare two (2) contrasting selections from standard jazz repertoire to perform with the supplied bassist and pianist/guitarist.
  • Perform the following solo time feels: Swing in 4/4, and 3/4 (slow, medium, and up-
  • Recorded auditions are to primarily emphasize ensemble and solo playing technique
  • Please do not include theory components such as scales, modes, or sight-reading which must be tested live during a potential callback meeting
  • A clear view of the head, upper body and parts of body that interface with the instrument (fingers, hands, mouth …) must be seen on video recordings

Recorded Auditions

Jazz Applicants (except Drums): Please Complete 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 (3) chorus of improvisation.
  • For Bass (in addition to the above)
    • Upright or Electric bassists are welcome to apply
    • Add a chorus of walking jazz bass lines within the above performances
    • For Upright: Play the Head-in pizzicato, and the Head-out, arco
  • For Piano and Guitar (in addition to the above)
    • Add a chorus of chordal comping (as if under a soloist) within the above performances
  • For Lead Trumpet specialists (in addition to the above)
    • 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 Drum Set Applicants (supersedes above requirements)

  • Record two (2) 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 4 bars of time and 4 bars of fill, each:
    1. Medium Swing in 4/4
    2. Fast Swing in 4/4
    3. Ballad Jazz 3/4 (with Brushes)
    4. Medium Afro 6/8 feel
    5. Fast Samba feel
  • Choose option Part B or Part C above to record on piano or tuned mallets
  • tempo, with sticks and brushes), Bossa Nova, Samba, and Shuffle.
  • Interchange time feels with solos as requested: four bars time, four bars solo; eight bars time, eight bars solo, etc.
  • Sight read charts and/or lead sheets, outline melodic content and hits while keeping time
  • 26 Standard N.A.R.D. rudiments -OR- perform two (2) options on piano from Part B, above
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 Professor Robert Grohman, Coordinator of Keyboards, at rgrohman@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 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

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