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Applying to Blair

2022-23 Application & Audition Information

Students applying for Fall 2023 entry should review all processes and requirements below which will be finalized by August 1, 2022. 

Applicants will follow the application timeline below. 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, 2022 
  2. Pre-screening results issued by November 15, 2022 
  3. Early Decision 1 audition date: December 4, 2022
  4. Early Decision 1 admissions decisions issued by mid December, 2022
  5. Questbridge Finalists*: November 1, 2022 is also the final Blair Application materials submission deadline to ensure full Blair prescreening & audition consideration

Early Decision 2 and Regular Decision

  1. Application submission deadline: January 1, 2023
  2. Pre-screening results issued by January 15, 2023. 
  3. Early Decision 2 audition date: January 28, 2023
  4. Regular Decision audition date options: January 28, 2023, February 11, 2023, or February 25, 2023
  5. Early Decision 2 admissions decisions issued by mid February, 2023
  6. Regular Decision admissions decisions issued by April 1, 2023

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 ApplicationCommon Application or the Questbridge Application*) Your Common Application, Coalition Application, or Questbridge 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 finalists must submit all Blair School of Music Application Required Materials (below) by November 1, 2022. November 1, 2022 is the absolute final deadline to ensure full consideration for Blair pre-screening and audition for Questbridge finalists.

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.Please do not make travel arrangements until you have received further instructions from the Blair School of Music.

Composition application requirements

Applicants for the composition major must upload a portfolio of three original scores and corresponding recordings. 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, 2023. 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. 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 contrasting solo works; single movements from larger pieces are acceptable (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

  • 3 Major scales, 3 Melodic minor scales, 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 written after year 1950 (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

  • Three major and three harmonic minor scales of applicant’s choice, at least two octaves (pre-screening only)
  • Two complete contrasting études from Ferling's 48 Famous Studies or Voxman’s Selected Studies (pre-screening and audition)
  • Two contrasting works from the standard saxophone repertoire which best demonstrate the applicant's technical and musical skills. Single movements from larger works are acceptable (pre-screening and audition)
  • Sight-reading (audition only)

  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 Gallay, Kopprasch, Kling or Maxime-Alphonse 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)
  • One Paganini Caprice, memorized (pre-screening and audition)

Viola 

  • Étude or caprice (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).

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)
  • Possible sight-reading on snare drum, timpani and marimba (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)
  • One orchestral excerpt or cadenza from the standard audition repertoire (audition only)

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)