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Applying to Blair

2021-22 Application & Audition Information

Students applying for Fall 2022 entry will follow the application timeline below. Applicants for Fall 2022 entry will have the opportunity to indicate their preference of audition format (virtual or in-person) on their application, and choose from a set of corresponding dates. Please keep in mind that audition formats (virtual or in-person) are subject to change in accordance with Vanderbilt COVID-19 protocols.

Applicants may be notified about pre-screening results on a rolling basis. Submission prior to your chosen application plan deadline has no bearing on admissions review. Please contact Blair Admissions with any questions.

Early Decision 1

  1. Application submission deadline: November 1, 2021
  2. Pre-screening results issued by November 15, 2021 
  3. Early Decision 1 virtual audition date: December 4, 2021 (Please note that auditions for Early Decision 1 applicants will be virtual-only)
  4. Early Decision 1 admissions decisions issued by mid December, 2021

Early Decision 2 and Regular Decision

  1. Application submission deadline: January 1, 2022
  2. Pre-screening results issued by January 15, 2022. 
  3. Early Decision 2 audition date options: January 22, 2022 (virtual-only) or January 29, 2022 (in person or virtual)
  4. Regular Decision audition date options: January 22, 2022 (virtual-only), January 29, 2022 (in person or virtual), Februray 12, 2022 (in person or virtual), or February 26, 2022 (in person or virtual)
  5. Early Decision 2 admissions decisions issued by mid February, 2022
  6. Regular Decision admissions decisions issued by April 1, 2022

Special note for Questbridge applicants

Due to our audition timeline, applicants cannot apply to Blair as their first-choice school as a Questbridge National College Match scholar. If you have questions or concerns, please email Blair Admissions.

*Please see the application procedures outlined below.

How to apply

ALL Students applying to the Blair School of Music must submit two applications by the application deadline (see above.)

1. An application to Vanderbilt University, using one of two application methods (Coalition Application or the Common ApplicationYour Common Application or Coalition Application must be submitted and received by Admissions in order to access the Blair School of Music Application.  For details about Vanderbilt application requirements, visit the Office of Undergraduate Admissions quick guide.

2. A Blair School of Music application. This application cannot be accessed until your Common application or Coalition application has been submitted; please plan accordingly by reviewing and preparing the Blair required materials below. Students must submit all required Blair School of Music application materials before the applicant can be considered for an audition. 

*QuestBridge National Match candidates may not list Blair as their first-choice Vanderbilt school.

Blair School of Music Application Required Materials:
  1. One artistic recommendation, with space for additional optional supplemental artistic recommendation(s)
  2. Headshot or photo (for identification purposes; does not need to be professional)
  3. Music resume
  4. A comprehensive repertoire list of all works studied on your instrument
  5. Pre-screening video (see below for requirements)

Pre-screening video submission and audition process

Within the Blair School of Music application, ALL Blair applicants will be required to create and upload a pre-screening video . All videos must include the appropriate audition repertoire (see below for specific area requirements).

  • All video submissions must contain a continuous, unedited performance of each selection; cuts in between movements/selections are acceptable.
  • All vocal pre-screening videos must be recorded with piano accompaniment. We understand this may present challenges due to COVID19. Applicants may record their prescreening video with pre-recorded accompaniment, or utilize an online accompaniment option (such as the Accompanist app, Virtuallyvocal.com, Youtube, etc.) Vocalists must be unmasked in their prescreening video(s).
  • For all other instrumental pre-screening videos, piano accompaniment is optional.
  • It is important for videos to provide a clear visual and audio of your performance. Please be sure that you, as the performer, can be seen clearly and that you are recording in a quiet space so that your performance can be heard clearly, too.
  • Examples of recording spaces for your pre-screening video include: a music rehearsal space at a school, a space at home, a church, etc. 
  • Examples of recording devices for your pre-screening video include: a video camera that you own, a video camera available from your school, a smartphone, etc.
  • If you have additional questions about how to create your pre-screening video, please contact Blair Admissions.

After review by the appropriate Blair faculty, selected applicants who pass pre-screening will be notified about next steps for auditions. Students should not make any travel arrangements until further details have been provided by Blair Admissions.

Composition application requirements

Applicants for the composition major must upload a portfolio of three original scores and corresponding recordings. *Due to COVID19, we understand live recording arrangements may be challenging to include in Composition portfolios during the 2021-22 application timeline. Please reach out to Blair Admissions  with concerns or questions. In addition, applicants must upload a pre-screening video showcasing proficiency on their primary instrument or voice. For this, applicants can select any piece from their current repertoire. After composition portfolios and videos have been reviewed by the composition faculty, selected applicants will be notified about next steps for continuing the Blair Composition Interview process. 

Transfer Applicants

The application submission deadline is March 15, 2022. Applicants who pass pre-screening will be contacted about next steps for continuing the Blair audition process. Please refer to your application checklist.

Pre-screening & Audition Repertoire Requirements

All applicants must complete a pre-screening video according to their program (instrument, voice, composition or jazz.) Pre-screening requirements are the same regardless of your specific major of interest (with the exception of Jazz). For example: all voice applicants will follow the vocal requirements below no matter what they plan to major in (Performance, Integrated Studies, or along the Musical Arts degree.) Once the admissions process is complete, admitted students will notify us of their intended specific major. You can learn more about these majors here. Jazz applicants should follow the specific Jazz requirements below for pre-screening and audition on their primary instrument or voice.

All applicants should feel free to reach out to Blair Admissions with audition repertoire questions.

Woodwinds

Flute 

  • Major and minor scales (audition only)
  • Three selections of contrasting styles; please include all movements from sonatas, concertos and/or solo pieces per selection, when applicable (pre-screening and audition)
  • Two contrasting orchestral excerpts (audition only)

Oboe

  • Major and minor scales (audition only)
  • Two selections from the oboe literature that contrast in style and time period, and represent the applicant's musical maturity and technical skill. Selections may be single movements drawn from a sonata, concerto, similar concert piece, or a work for solo oboe. (pre-screening and audition)
  • Either a Ferling étude or one of the Barret 16 Grand Studies (pre-screening and audition)

 Clarinet

  • Major and melodic minor scales, full range, 3 octaves when possible (audition only)
  • One movement from either the Mozart Concerto or a Crussell Concerto (pre-screening & audition)
  • One work of your choice from a 21st century composer (pre-screening & audition)
  • Two contrasting etudes from Rose (32 etudes), Alfred Uhl or Cavallini (pre-screening & audition)
  • At least 2 major orchestral excerpts (audition only)

 Saxophone

  • Major and minor scales (audition only)
  • Two contrasting études from Ferling's 48 Famous Studies or Voxman Selected Studies (pre-screening and audition)
  • Two or three contrasting selections from standard saxophone sonatas, concertos or solo works, which best demonstrate the applicant's technical and musical skills. (pre-screening and audition)

  Bassoon

  • One étude from the Concert Studies, Op. 26, of Ludwig Milde (pre-screening and audition)
  • Two contrasting solo works; single movements from larger pieces are acceptable (pre-screening and audition; only one for pre-screening)
  • Sight-reading (audition only)

Brass

Horn

  • Étude from Maxime-Alphonse, Gallay, Kling or Kopprasch book 3 (pre-screening and audition)
  • First movement from a standard concerto (pre-screening and audition)
  • 3 orchestral excerpts of your choice (pre-screening and audition)

Trumpet 

  • Major and minor scales (audition only)
  • Two contrasting études, such as Charlier, Brandt, Arban or Bousquet (only one required for pre-screening; two required for audition)
  • Movement of a major work, such as the Haydn Concerto, Hummel Concerto, Hindemith Sonata, or similar work (pre-screening and audition)
  • Two or three orchestral excerpts of your choice (audition only)

Tenor Trombone 

  • Three contrasting orchestral excerpts (audition only)
  • One solo work selected from the following: (pre-screening and audition)
    Guilmant, Morceau Symphonique (entire)
    David, Concertino (movements 1 & 2)
    Bozza, Ballade (entire)
    Grøndahl, Concerto (movements 1 & 2)

  • Sight-reading (audition only)

Bass Trombone 

  • One solo work selected from the following: (pre-screening and audition)
    Lebedev, Concerto in  One Movement  (entire)
    Bozza, New Orleans (entire)
    Hidas, Meditation (entire)
    Koetsier, Allegro Maestoso (entire)
    Ewazen, Concertino (entire)

  • Three contrasting orchestral works (audition only)
  • Sight-reading (audition only)

Euphonium 

  • Major and minor scales (audition only)
  • Two contrasting études, technical and lyrical (only one required for pre-screening; two required for audition)
  • Solo by Barat, Capuzzi, Sparke, Ellerby or similar work (pre-screening and audition)
  • Orchestral or band excerpts (optional for audition only)

Tuba

  • Major and minor scales (audition only)
  • Two contrasting études (only one required for pre-screening; two required for audition)
  • First movement of the Vaughan Williams or Gregson Concerto, Hindemith Sonata, or similar work (pre-screening and audition)
  • Orchestral excerpts (audition only)

Strings

Violin 

  • First or third movement of a standard concerto, memorized (pre-screening and audition)
  • Two contrasting movements of a Bach solo sonata or partita, memorized (pre-screening and audition)

Viola 

  • Étude or any short work or sonata movement (audition only)
  • Two contrasting movements from a Bach unaccompanied suite (originally for cello) or a Bach unaccompanied sonata or partita (originally for violin); memorized (pre-screening and audition)
  • One movement of standard concerto, memorized (pre-screening and audition). Examples include (but are not limited to):
    First movement of the Stamitz D Major or Hoffmeister D Major
    Slow-fast pair of movements of the Telemann G Major
    Any movement from Hindemith Der Schwanendreher or Walton, Bartok concerti

Cello 

  • Étude demonstrating technical proficiency (audition only)
  • Two contrasting movements of a Bach unaccompanied suite; memorized (only one movement required for pre-screening; two required for audition)
  • Movement of a standard concerto; memorized (pre-screening and audition)

Double Bass

  • Two solo pieces of contrasting style, tempo, and era. A movement of a sonata or concerto will be considered one piece. (prescreening and audition)

  • Two standard orchestral excerpts of choice.(pre-screening and audition)

Piano

Memorization Required
  • Major and harmonic minor scales, four octaves (audition only)
  • Prelude (pre-screening only) and fugue (audition only) from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier or similar contrapuntal Baroque work
  • Sonata-allegro movement by Haydn, Mozart (excluding K. 545), Beethoven (excluding Op. 49), or similar work from the classical period (pre-screening & audition)
  • A major Romantic or Impressionistwork (pre-screening and audition)
  • A major work by a 20th or 21st century composer (audition only)
  • Sight reading(audition only)

  Percussion

  • Concert snare drum solo or étude (pre-screening and audition)
  • Four-mallet marimba solo or étude (pre-screening and audition)
  • Timpani solo or étude (pre-screening and audition) 
  • Traditional rudimental snare drum solo or étude (audition only)
  • Two-mallet keyboard solo, transcription or étude (audition only)
  • Demonstrate the ability to recognize, sing and tune pitches and intervals on timpani (audition only)
  • Sight-reading on all percussion instruments listed above (audition only)

Harp

  • One movement of a concerto by Handel, Mozart, Dittersdorf, or similar work (pre-screening and audition)
  • Two contrasting solo pieces from different periods (pre-screening and audition)

Voice

  • A 20th- or 21st-century British, American or Canadian art song (in English), memorized (pre-screening and audition)
  • A foreign language art song, memorized (pre-screening and audition)
  • An additional art song, or an opera, operetta or oratorio aria, in English or a foreign language, memorized (pre-screening and audition)
  • Monologue, memorized (pre-screening and audition) Please prepare one of the five provided options.   

 A change in repertoire for the audition must follow guidelines above. Please contact Blair Admissions with any questions.

  Composition

  • A portfolio of three original scores and corresponding recordings. At least one live recording is preferred, but not mandated. (pre-screening only)
  • A pre-screening video showcasing proficiency on your primary instrument or voice. You may select any piece from your current repertoire. (pre-screening only)

  Jazz

Applicants interested in the Bachelors of Music in Jazz Studies should prepare the following on their primary instrument or voice. *Note: Students auditioning on drum set, please contact Marc Widenhofer for additional details.

  • Select three tunes from different categories on the list below, play melody and improvise over the form. All repertoire should be performed from memory. (pre-screening and audition) 
  1. Blues:     Billie's Bounce; Footprints; Blues for Alice
  2. Great American Songbook:   Lullaby of Birdland; Take the A Train; Someday My Prince Will Come
  3. Ballad: In a Sentimental Mood; Body and Soul; Skylark
  4. Rhyth m Changes:  Anthropology; Oleo; Rhythm-a-ning
  5. Latin/Straight 8th:   Desafinado; La Fiesta; Mas Que Nada
  • Major and Minor Scales (audition only) 
  • Rhythm Section instruments demonstrate ability to play diverse styles and grooves (audition only) 
  • An additional tune from a different category (from the list above) that was not included in pre-screening selections (audition only)
  • Sight Reading (audition only)