Walnut Hill School for the Arts

Music Audition Requirements

Music Department Audition Repertoire Guidelines

Please expand the appropriate section below to read the audition repertoire guidelines for your music emphasis of choice.


Two or three original compositions in neat manuscript form submitted with your application. At least one of these should be written by hand. In addition, we require a recording demonstrating level of proficiency on your major instrument.

Instrumental (Classical)

Two or three contrasting movements or short works. The works should include selections from at least two different musical periods (ex: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century, Contemporary).


Two contrasting pieces, with at least one of the two pieces should be composed by a jazz musician such as Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, Herbie Hancock, etc.

Play the written melody once at the beginning, then improvise on the form of the tune for between 1 and 3 minutes. If you play a chord instrument (like piano or guitar) and have other jazz musicians to play with, please demonstrate your ability to accompany someone else’s solo. The composed melody should only be played one time at the beginning. If you play bass, please demonstrate walking bass lines in one piece, and another type of rhythm in another piece (such as funk, bossa nova, ballad, ostinato, or Afro-Cuban, etc.). If you play drums, please demonstrate a swing feel on one piece and another type of rhythm in another piece.

If you are auditioning live, we will provide a pianist or bass player to play with you at your audition.

If you are auditioning by video, submit a recording with a small jazz ensemble consisting of bass, drums and chord instrument (guitar or piano). If a live group is not available, then a “play along” recording is fine for accompaniment. Please use the guidelines above.

Please Note: If you have no previous small jazz ensemble experience, you may audition by playing two contrasting pieces in any style. At least one of the pieces should demonstrate your ability to play in strict metric style (no rubato, no tempo shifts).

Voice (Classical)

2-3 Classical art songs from standard solo vocal repertoire, performed from memory, with live piano accompaniment. A pianist will be provided for you at our live auditions.

Repertoire Guidelines:

  • Choose songs of contrasting styles and languages.
  • One song should be sung in English and another in either French, German, or Italian.
  • Avoid opera arias.

  • Video Submission Guidelines:

  • The recording must not be edited within a song, and please be sure not to alter the sound or add reverb. We would like to hear you as naturally as possible, as if you were auditioning for us in person.
  • Digital Audition Submissions

    If unable to attend a live audition, students may submit a video audition using Slideroom. Digital audition submissions should follow the same guidelines as listed above. Please be sure not to alter the sound of the recording or add reverb. We would like to hear you as naturally as possible, as if you were auditioning for us in person.