Scholarship Audition Requirements

A close-up image of Symphony Orchestra from the 2019 Christmas at Luther celebration.

Incoming scholarship candidates who have completed an application to Luther may arrange an audition through the Admissions department prior to the March deadline each year (March 12, 2021). Musicians who complete their Luther application after March 1st may be considered for a deadline extension. Notify the Admissions office of your interest.

Applied students may audition in up to two instruments for consideration of one Weston Noble Music Scholarship in the area of Composition, Instrumental or Vocal music. Official scholarship notification is sent once a student has been accepted to Luther. View our Request a Scholarship Audition page or Frequently Asked Questions to learn more.

Audition Requirements by Instrument - Weston Noble Scholarship:

Brass

Trumpet

  • Solo or etude from recent study or All-State audition tryout material (Iowa only)
  • Memorization not required
  • No accompanist is necessary

Horn

  • Sonata or Concerto with contrasting movements or sections (slow/lyrical and fast/technical) which demonstrates your tone quality, technical ability, and musicianship
    • 2 pieces with contrasting styles is also acceptable
  • Chromatic Scale covering entire range
  • Memorization not required
  • Accompaniment not required

Trombone

  • Solo or etude from recent study or All-State audition tryout material
  • Memorization not required
  • No accompanist is necessary

Euphonium

  • Solo or etude from recent study or All-State audition tryout material
  • Memorization not required
  • No accompanist is necessary

Tuba

  • Solo or etude from recent study or All-State audition tryout material
  • Memorization not required
  • No accompanist is necessary
Composition

Composition

  • A portfolio of 2-3 contrasting original works
  • If works are primarily acoustic, scores should be included
  • Recordings are helpful but not required
  • In person audition is ideal, portfolios may be mailed or sent electronically
Guitar

Jazz Electric Bass or Upright Bass: 

  1. Three different scales of your choice (major, natural minor, and blues and jazz scales for example).
  2. Two pieces you are playing or have played with a Jazz Band. (one swing and one straight-eighth, rock or latin)
  3. Improvisation on a blues form or dorian mode ("So What" for example).

Classical Guitar

  • Works from any of the 5 periods of guitar literature
    • Examples include:
      • Renaissance (Dowland, Mudarra, Narvaez)
      • Baroque (DeVisee, Sanz, J.S. Bach)
      • Classical (Sor, Guiliani, Paganini, Agnado)
      • Spanish Romantic (Tarrega, Barrios, Llobet, Pujol, Torroba)
      • 20th Century (Brouwer, Duarte, Brindle)
  • Memorization not required
  • Accompaniment not required

Jazz Guitar

  • One medium tempo swing tune and one selection in a contrasting style (e.g. ballad, Latin, straight-eighth)
    • Play the melody, improvise, and comp on each tune
  • Memorization required
  • Bring a "play-along” recording, such as an Aebersold, to use as an accompaniment for your selections
  • Sight reading: melody and chord changes
Harp

Harp

  • 1 solo piece which demonstrates your most advanced technical and lyrical playing styles, or 2 contrasting pieces
  • prepare an orchestral cadenza:  either the Nutcracker or Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky
  • Memorization is not required
  • Accompanist is not required
  • Virtual auditions:  submit solo selections via video links in advance of your appointment
Organ

Organ

  • 2 pieces of organ literature in contrasting style of no more than 5 minutes each in length
  • 1 hymn such as Lobe den Herren or Aurelia
  • Memorization not required
  • Virtual auditions:  submit solo selections via video links in advance of your appointment
Percussion

Percussion

  • Prepare a solo on all or any of the 3 groups: snare drum (concert or rudimental style), mallets (two or four), or timpani
  • Memorization not required
  • Accompanist is not required
  • Timpanist should select material other than John Beck Sonata for Timpani mvt. 3
  • Virtual auditions:  submit solo selections via video links in advance of your appointment

Prospective music majors should perform materials in all three of the above instrumental categories.  Drum kit is optional.

Piano

Piano

  • 2 pieces in contrasting styles
  • Memorization Required
  • If you submit a video audition instead of auditioning on campus, please include a list of piano repertoire learned during your high school years, and a brief personal statement about your piano experience and aspirations for the future.
  • Virtual auditions:  submit solo selections via video links in advance of your appointment
Strings

Violin, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass

  • 2 contrasting solo pieces that show tone, articulation and level of technical development
    • Etude may be substituted for 1 solo piece
  • Memorization is not required
  • Accompaniment is not required, but student may bring an accompanist if they wish
  • Virtual auditions:  submit solo selections via video links in advance of your appointment

Double Bass players: 

  • Arrangements can be made for Luther basses to be checked out for an audition with prior notice.
Voice

Voice

  • 2 selections of contrasting tempo and/or style from the classical art song repertoire
    • An opera or oratorio aria may be substituted for one selection
  • Memorization Required
  • The student vocalist does not need to bring an accompanist to auditions taking place at Luther. There will be a pianist for the audition, though there will not be a rehearsal with the pianist prior to the audition
  • Bring a copy of the music (in the key to be performed) for auditions taking place at Luther.
  • Virtual auditions: submit both solo selections via video links in advance of your appointment, performed with live accompaniment or an accompaniment track, if possible. Virtual appointments may consist of vocal exercises (range), tonal memory exercises, and singing excerpts of the submitted repertoire. 
  • During Dorian Vocal Festival, Voice Audition Requirements change to only ONE solo for the mini-lesson audition instead of two.
Woodwinds

Flute

  • 2 pieces or etudes of contrasting styles showing different aspects of playing ability
  • Chromatic scales in 3 octaves
  • Memorization not required
  • Accompanist not required
  • Virtual auditions:  submit solo selections via video links in advance of your appointment

Oboe

  • Two pieces in contrasting styles
  • Two movements from a concerto, sonata, or concert piece are acceptable
  • Two contrasting etudes are acceptable
  • Memorization not required
  • Accompaniment not required

Clarinet (all types)

  • 1 solo with contrasting sections (1 or more slow/lyrical sections; and 1 or more sections of rapid technical passages). Appropriate for use in state solo and ensemble contests
  • Memorization not required
  • Accompaniment recommended but not required. Accompanist will not be provided

Saxophone (all types)

  • 1 solo with contrasting sections (1 or more slow/lyrical sections; and 1 or more sections of rapid technical passages). Appropriate for use in state solo and ensemble contests
  • Memorization not required
  • Accompaniment recommended but not required. Accompanist will not be provided

Bassoon

  • 2 contrasting movements from any major concerto, sonata, or concert piece
    • Advanced etudes also appropriate
  • Memorization not required
  • Accompanist is not necessary
  • Virtual auditions:  submit solo selections via video links in advance of your appointment

Luther Talent Scholarships

Learn more about other auditions: Dance and Theatre.

Looking to audition for an ensemble?

Information about all music ensembles and when you can audition for them is located on the Ensembles page.