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Music Scholarship Application Procedures

Scholarship Dates and Deadlines

Honors Scholarship Weekend

  • January 31—February 1, 2014—All materials for Honors Music Scholarship Weekend are due at the Department of Music no later than January 1, 2014. See below for details on how to apply. Students are invited to attend based on a preliminary recording.

General Scholarship Dates

  • January 18, 2014 (application due 1/1/14)  All auditioning on Jan. 18 must register for the Departmental Open House in addition to completing the audition application. Non-music majors can audition and compete for scholarship in their major field. Music majors audition for general music scholarships and attend a presentation in addition to other Departmental Open House events. 
  • February 15, 2014 (application due 1/15/14)
  • March 15, 2014 (application due 2/15/14)

Scholarship Ranges

Honors Music Scholarship—any major

Five scholarships at $5,000, including Nels and Emma Swanson Voice Scholarship, Morgan Scholarship, Deisenroth Scholarship

Several up to $4,000

General Music Scholarship—any major

$1000-$4,000 annually

Carl B. Nelson Music Education Bonus Scholarship

$500 Bonus scholarships for students planning to major in music education. Can be combined with a General or Honors music scholarship. 

How to Apply

Honors Weekend

  • Application: Please submit the Music Scholarship Application for Audition no later than January 1, 2014. Your application for admission to Augustana College should be complete by the audition date.
  • Preliminary Recording: Audition material should include approximately 6-10 minutes of music, following the audition guidelines below. Due January 1, 2014.
  • Audition: Students will be required to attend the events on both days to be considered.
  • Notification: After review of the tapes and application materials, approximately 25 students will be invited to audition on campus Jan 31-Feb 1, 2014. Finalists will be expected to attend both audition dates.
  • See Audition Requirements below

General Scholarship Audition

  • Application: Please complete the online application
  • Audition: We guarantee you an audition on the day you select if the application is submitted on or before the deadline.
  • Notification: Applicants will receive detailed information by email concerning their audition time approximately two weeks before the audition.
  • See Audition Requirements below

Carl B. Nelson Music Education Scholarship Procedure

These $500 scholarships for potential music education majors are bonus awards to be added to a Honors or General music scholarship. Students must intend to major in music education and have a high school G.P.A. of at least 3.0. Please indicate your interest on the Music Scholarship Application.

  • Application:  Please submit the Music Scholarship Application by the deadline listed. 
  • Audition: You must apply for a music scholarship to be considered for this bonus award.
  • Interview: An interview with the music education scholarship committee will be scheduled to correspond with your music scholarship audition date and time.

Audition Requirements

Two songs of your choice in contrasting styles, no more than 6 minutes total. Contest, competition, or other solo performance pieces are appropriate.  Please choose music you sing well and shows your voice to its best advantage. A short vocal exercise and tonal memory will also be included. An accompanist will be provided.

Applicants should be prepared to play two (2) contrasting movements or etudes that best demonstrate their musicality, tone, time, and technique. Applicants will also be asked to sight read. 

Prepare to play two (2) excerpts in contrasting styles and tempi, of any combination of repertoire taken from standard solo and etude literature. The excerpts should be no longer than 3-4 minutes each. You will also be asked to sight read basic literature. You might be asked to play a major or minor scale, two octaves where applicable, as well as a full chromatic scale.

Prepare to play one movement of a suite, sonata or concerto of your choice and one additional work in a contrasting style. An etude may be substituted for one of the above. Candidates may also be asked to play a three octave scale. Plan to play about 8 minutes of music in total. No sight reading is required. The string area prefers to hear candidates without piano accompaniment.

Students should perform two compositions representing two different  periods of music history. One should be a movement from a suite or sonata and the other a piece in a contrasting style. An etude by Sor, Carcassi or Villa-Lobos may be substituted for one of the above. One piece should be originally written for the guitar and the other could be a transcription. Candidates should also be prepared to play a two or three octave scale if asked.

Be prepared to play two (2) works from contrasting style periods. Selections should be taken from standard solo piano repertoire and may not include accompaniments, music for chamber ensemble, or concertos. Students with experience playing in jazz styles may use a jazz composition or improvisation for one of their selections. Memorization is not required, but highly encouraged for all applicants. 

Prepare at least two (2) excerpts in contrasting styles on any of the following instruments: snare drum (rudimental or concert); timpani; and marimba, vibraphone, or xylophone (two or four mallets). Excerpts may be performed on the same instrument, but demonstrating abilities on two or more  instruments is encouraged. Total timing of all excerpts should be no longer than 10 minutes, and memorization is not required. We may also ask you to sight read basic literature as part of the audition. Percussion instruments will be provided for on-campus auditions. Please contact Dr. Tony Oliver after you apply (but before the audition) with further questions:

*Those auditioning on drum set for jazz should email Dr. Tony Oliver:

For scholarship applications, submit 1-3 recent compositions, recordings (if available), and a list of works. All composition candidates must also audition on an applied instrument or voice. Any candidate with an interest in or curiosity about the composition program are encouraged to request a meeting with the composition faculty when visiting campus.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Honors weekend like?
The Honors weekend is a two day event, starting on Friday and concluding on Saturday. Each student attending is on a different schedule for the Friday morning events, from 10:00a.m.-2:00p.m., depending on their interview and accompaniment needs, then all the students follow the same schedule from 2:30-7:00p.m. that evening. On Saturday, the students have individual schedules and are done no later than 2:00p.m.

What if I don't get selected for the Honors weekend?
There are still plenty of opportunities and scholarships available. Please select an alternate date for a General Scholarship audition and we will automatically schedule for that day. You will receive information regarding your specific time and location of your audition two weeks before the date.

Do I need an accompanist?
For Honors weekend scholarship auditions, you need a live accompanist. You are welcome to bring your own accompanist, but we are happy to provide our accompanists. For General scholarships, we provide an accompanist for all vocal auditions, or you may bring your own. You do need to perform pieces that are accompanied. Instrumentalists may bring their own accompanist, but most audition without accompaniment. It will have no impact on your results unless noted under audition requirements above.

Do I get to practice with the accompanist?
For the Honors weekend, you will have a chance to rehearse with the accompanist for 30 minutes. This rehearsal is either Friday or Saturday of the two day weekend.

For General auditions, vocalists get 5-10 minutes with the accompanist before they go into the audition.

How long is the live audition?
Auditions are 10-15 minutes long.

Do I need to bring music or send it ahead of time?
For the Honors audition, you need to send the accompaniment immediately after you are notified about being a finalist. For General scholarships, no music is needed ahead of time.

When will I hear about my audition time?
Upon notification of being an Honors finalist, we ask that you reply by email with answers to several questions, helping us design your schedule. After we have heard from all the finalists, we will send you a schedule for the two day weekend. For General scholarships, we send a schedule approximately two weeks before the audition date.

If I receive a scholarship, what are the requirements?
All scholarship recipients are required to take applied lessons on the audition instrument for at least one credit, or one half-hour per week, and participate in one of the major ensembles. There is a fee for music lessons.

What if I cannot make one of the scheduled audition dates?
It is best to audition on a scheduled date, however if you absolutely cannot, please contact the office by email at