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Applying for a Music Scholarship

Music Scholarship Dates

  • Oct. 14, 15 (apply by Sept. 23)
  • Nov. 18, 19 (apply by Oct. 21)
  • Jan. 13, 14 (apply by Dec. 16)
  • Feb. 11 (apply by Jan. 13)
  • March 11 (apply by Feb. 10)

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

How to Apply

Music Scholarship Audition

  • Application: Please complete the Music Application by the deadline indicated for your choice of date.
  • 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 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 Application.

  • Application:  Please submit the Music  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.