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Music scholarships

Augustana College offers music scholarships to students of any major. Scholarships are renewable for four years and range from $1,000-$4,000.

Virtual scholarships auditions will be offered for students who will enter Augustana College in the fall of 2022.

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: Augustana Symphonic Band, Augustana Concert band, Augustana Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Augustana Choir, Jenny Lind, Concert Chorale and OperX.

*Several audition options are available:

1. Submit a recording and have an in-person visit with music faculty on the date selected. This is the preferred option. You would upload two video recordings. On the date you choose, we will schedule a talk with music faculty and options of your choice (tour, music talk, student panels, etc.) Recordings should be sent two weeks before the date. See specific audition area requirements below. Vocalists will be given tonal memory and sight-reading in person during the meeting.

2. Perform an in-person audition and have an in-person visit with music faculty on the date selected. We will listen to you perform first and then talk with you and answer questions. See specific audition area requirements below. Vocalists will be given tonal memory and sight-reading in person during the meeting.

3. Take a lesson with a faculty member. If you complete a 30-minute lesson with a faculty member, we will use that experience as your audition. These would also be scheduled on the selected audition date, and do require you to have prepared material for use in the lesson. Please contact Margaret Ellis for details. See specific study area requirements below.

If none of these dates work for you, you have the option to be scheduled for an alternate date. Indicate this on your application and we will contact you about an alternate audition date.

Virtual options are available to students 300 miles or those with extenuating circumstances.

*These options may need to be adapted according health and safety protocols due to COVID-19.

Student portal

Upload your recordings to the student portal before your audition.

Audition dates

These auditions are for students entering Augustana College in the fall of 2022. Auditions are scheduled between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturdays.

Nov. 13
(Deadline to register is Nov. 1)

Jan. 15
(Deadline to register is Jan. 3)

Feb. 12
(Deadline to register is Feb. 1)

Feb. 26
(Deadline to register is Feb. 10)

March 12
(Deadline to register is March 1)

Register for an alternate date if you cannot attend any of these dates.

Scholarship ranges

Music scholarship any major: $1,000-$4,000 annually, including the Deisenroth Scholarship, Morgan Scholarship, and Swanson Vocal Scholarships.

Carl B. Nelson Music Education Bonus Scholarship: $500 for students planning to major in music education. Can be added to your music scholarship. Students must intend to major in music education and have a high school GPA of at least 3.0.

Please indicate your interest on the application, and you will be scheduled for a virtual meeting on the same day as your audition to meet with the music education faculty. You must apply for a music scholarship to be considered for this bonus award.

How to apply

Register for a date above. If you have chosen to upload a recording, upload your recording two weeks before your audition. 

Application: The music application will be emailed to you directly upon registration for your music audition date and must be completed by the deadlines indicated above.

Audition: We will schedule 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 about two weeks before the audition.

See audition requirements and please read the FAQ below. 

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.

Voice students can choose to use their own accompaniments or can request an accompaniment recording from the college. (You must provide legally purchased PDF piano music). Please upload your music PDF as soon as you submit your application.  

If you request an accompaniment recording, we will send it to you for use in preparing your audition recording or live audition within two weeks of your submission of the music.


Applicants should be prepared to play two contrasting movements or etudes that best demonstrate their musicality, tone, time and technique. The excerpts should be no longer than 3-4 minutes each.


Prepare to play two 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. In addition, please prepare a full range chromatic scale, a major, and minor scale of your choice.


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. Please prepare about 8 minutes of music in total.

No sight reading is required. The string area prefers to hear candidates without piano accompaniment.


Be prepared to play two works from contrasting style periods. An etude may be substituted for one of the above. Please prepare about 8 minutes of music in total. Memorization is not required, and sight reading is not required.  


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 prepare a three-octave major scale. 


Be prepared to play two 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 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. Please contact Dr. Tony Oliver after you apply with any further questions.

Note: 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 are encouraged to also submit audition materials on an applied instrument or voice. Any candidate with an interest in the composition program is encouraged to request a one-on-one online meeting with the composition faculty.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to be a music major?
No. With the exception of the Carl B. Nelson Music Education Scholarship, all scholarships are open to majors and non-majors.

Do I need to be accepted at Augustana in order to sign up for a visit or audition?
No. Your application for admission to Augustana College should be complete by the audition date. Please apply and set up your audition date as soon as possible, as there is limited room. Do not wait until you are accepted.

Do I have to audition to be accepted?
No. There is no audition for admission to the music program or degrees. Your acceptance to the college allows you to pursue any major. We have course requirements to ensure quality progress towards your degree.

Is this an audition for an ensemble?
No. Ensemble auditions are held the weekend before the start of classes in the fall.

Can I audition on more than one instrument?
You will be scheduled for two auditions. We do our best to schedule them within an hour or two of each other. Again, you will receive the higher of the two scholarships, as we can only award one.

How long are the auditions?
Auditions are 10-20 minutes long

Do I need an accompanist?
We provide an accompanist for all vocal auditions, or you may bring your own. Vocalists get 5-10 minutes with the accompanist before they go into the audition. (For this year’s virtual auditions, we can provide recordings.)

Instrumentalists may bring their own accompanist, but most audition without accompaniment. It will have no impact on your results.

Do I need to bring music or send it ahead of time?
No music is needed ahead of time.

When will I hear about my audition time?
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 cannot, please contact the office by email.

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