Auditions at Millikin University allow you to showcase your talents. Our auditions are a professional experience, so we have developed these guidelines to help students prepare.
Who should audition?
To be accepted by the School of Music, high school seniors and transfer students interested in majoring or minoring in music at Millikin must audition. Students who are interested in playing or singing in an ensemble will also need to audition in order to be considered for a music scholarship.
When should I audition?
INSTRUMENTALISTS: You may choose your audition date. Let us know which month, from October through April (excluding December and January), you would like to audition. We will contact you with specific available dates.
NOTE: Instrumentalists may also choose to audition on a non-audition day. Let us know which month from October through April (excluding December and January) you would like to audition. We will contact you with specific available dates.
If distance precludes you from traveling to Millikin for an audition, you have the option of auditioning virtually. Once you have received notification from Admissions that you have been admitted to Millikin, your first step is to either email a YouTube link or mail an unedited DVD recording of you performing your two audition pieces. It is preferred that your recording is received within one month of your official acceptance to Millikin.
Once your recording has been reviewed, you will be contacted again to set up a time to Skype so your basic music skills can be assessed. You will be emailed a PDF for testing, vocalists will need access to a piano or keyboard and instrumentalists will be tested on their instrument. After you have completed the skills assessment you will find out the cumulative results of your audition and have an opportunity to speak with a member of the music faculty.
How do I schedule an audition?
1. You must be accepted to Millikin University before an audition can be scheduled. If you have not already applied to Millikin University, apply online at www.millikin.edu
2. Fill out the online application for the School of Music (a separate application than to Millikin University). You do not need to wait until you are admitted to Millikin to submit the School of Music application.
3. Once we are notified of your acceptance to the university, our Audition Coordinator will contact you to confirm your appointment and provide specific details.
4. Questions? Contact Brynn Kickle, Audition Coordinator, 217.424.3934 or email@example.com
What to Expect at an Audition
Students will be given plenty of time to warm up prior to the audition. Vocalists will have time to warm up with their accompanist.
For your audition, you will perform one or two prepared pieces. Then, you'll demonstrate basic music competencies including major and minor scales, sight-reading, and, for vocalists, tonal memory drills and basic piano skills. Faculty members from your performance area will look (and listen) for rhythm, intonation, dynamic contrast, tone quality, technique, articulation, and phrasing--those qualities that make you a musician.
Faculty prefer instrumentalists to audition without accompaniment. Vocalists should make every effort to bring their own accompanist. However, Millikin will provide a professional accompanist if given three weeks notice.
NOTE: Your parents/guardians are encouraged to come to campus with you, but will not be allowed to listen to your audition. They will reunite with you at the exit interview.
Following the audition, students and their parents will meet with a member of the music faculty to discuss the audition results. At this time, you will learn about the area of music to which you've been admitted. You will also learn whether or not you've been recommended to receive a talent award. The exit interview is your opportunity to ask any additional questions you or your parents may have.
Extended Millikin Visit/Activites
Millikin strongly encourages performers to take advantage of their time on campus to learn all they can about the University. To do so, please contact the Office of Admission prior to your audition date to arrange a campus tour, lunch or dinner on campus, or a meeting with our financial aid advisor. You are also welcome to attend classes or performances.
What should I perform at my audition?
Prepared pieces should highlight your strengths as a performer. Specific requirements:
Woodwinds and Brass
Prepare no more than ten minutes of literature from one or two pieces. Appropriate literature includes solos and etudes, such as the All-State/District audition etudes. Also be prepared to play at least three major scales to demonstrate range and technical facility. Sight-reading is an important aspect of the audition. Students with expertise in jazz improvisation are also encouraged to include a demonstration of these skills at the audition (bring a play-along CD for accompaniment).
Percussionists should perform one piece on each of these instruments if possible: keyboards (marimba, xylo or vibes) timpani and snare drum (concert or corps style). Those who also play drum set should be prepared to demonstrate various styles. Sight reading will be on the snare drum and marimba.
Perform two contrasting classical pieces, an étude and three-octave major and minor scales. Suggestions for appropriate etudes may be obtained from the professor for your instrument. You will also be asked to sight-read selected examples of music.
Prepare two pieces, preferably one in a classical style and the other in any style, although a jazz piece is encouraged. You will be asked to sight read, improvise and play chord changes and scales.
Commercial Bass (Jazz and commercial styles on electric and/or acoustic bass)
Prepare two pieces in any popular style, preferably a jazz transcription for at least one selection. Play two octave major and minor scales, walk bass lines over chord changes (blues, rhythm changes or standard jazz tunes for example) and sight-read.
Pianists will perform at least two classical pieces in contrasting styles, selected from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and 20th Century repertoire, four-octave major and harmonic minor scales and arpeggios, and sight-reading. Candidates for the piano performance major are required to play all audition repertoire from memory. All other piano candidates are required to play at least one piece from memory. Pianists interested in the commercial music degree will perform one classical piece and one jazz/commercial selection; they will also be asked to sight-read and improvise.
Prepare two solo pieces, preferably memorized, in contrasting styles. Traditional music would include art songs from the Renaissance to present and arias. Do not use choir music, lead sheets, or recorded accompaniment for your audition. If you need Millikin to provide an accompanist, mail, fax, or email your music at least three weeks prior to your audition to the Audition Coordinator, Brynn Kickle, Millikin University School of Music, 1184 West Main Street, Decatur, IL 62522. Fax: 217-420-6652. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The following musicals skills will be assessed: sung major and minor scales, tonal memory, rhythm reading (duple and triple divisions), melodic sight-reading and basic piano skills.
Specific vocal requirements for each degree:
Vocal Performance: Sing two songs from the traditional repertoire with one in a foreign language.
Music Education: Sings two songs both from the traditional repertoire. Singing one foreign language song is desirable but not required.
Commercial Music: Sing one song from the traditional repertoire and one in a commercial, jazz or pop style.
Music Business, Bachelor of Arts, Minor in Music or Ensemble Participation: Sing any two songs.
[Note: Candidates interested in the Musical Theatre degree must audition through the Department of Theatre and Dance]
Vocal auditions result in the following levels of admisstion:
These students have demonstrated the best musical competencies for their age group.They have displayed the highest level of preparation and background and will be eligible to study in any degree program they choose.
These students have shown much potential, but need more training to develop the skills and techniques necessary for a successful career as a performer or teacher. They will be eligible to study in the Music Business or the Bachelor of Arts in Music degree programs, or minor in Music. If a degree in Performance, Music Education or Commercial Music is desired, progress in all areas of instruction will be monitored in order to allow a change of major.
These students are considered to be unprepared to major in music. Many demonstrate innate abilities and talents and are encouraged to audition for choirs. They may also study in class voice and are eligible to Minor in Music.
College of Fine Arts Awards are offered to students based on their talent and potential for contribution to the School of Music. For exceptionally promising musicians, we offer the Dean's Award for Excellence in Music. Recommendations for music scholarships are based on the audition. Since awards are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, it is better to schedule your audition earlier in the year rather than later.