Join Webster's Department of Music

For nearly 100 years, we have helped mold exceptional musical artists for the contemporary world. Our small class sizes (averaging 8-11 per music class) and caring faculty mean you are heard. And our comprehensive musical education, including a wide-range of undergraduate programs and specific-focus graduate programs led by artist/teachers, provides enlightenment and advancement for serious musicians.

music students playing instruments in orchestra

Audition Dates for 2024-2025 Academic Year

music students playing instruments in orchestra
  • Friday, Nov. 8, 2024
  • Friday, Dec. 6, 2024
  • Friday, Jan. 31, 2025
  • Friday, Feb. 14, 2025
  • Saturday, Feb. 15, 2025
  • Friday, March 7, 2025
  • Friday, April 18, 2025
  • Friday, May 30, 2025

 

Department of Music Auditions

The Department of Music welcomes auditions from students interested in any of our majors. In addition to reviewing audition materials you submit, faculty will engage in conversation with you so we can get to know you as a student and as a person.

Undergraduate Auditions

In order to get a sense of who you are as a musician, and to assess your readiness for college music study, please prepare at least one piece that best represents your musical and technical ability. This can be a solo piece with or without accompaniment, or it can be an 茅tude, orchestral excerpt, etc. Our faculty are happy to provide suggestions. Simply send an email to music@webster.edu telling us your instrument and intended major, and we'll connect you with the appropriate faculty.

Additional Materials: In addition to the above requirements, you may also provide materials that showcase your complete musical self. These may include prepared performances in any style (including on multiple instruments), a clip of a solo with an ensemble, compositions and arrangements (including beats and other DAW-based creations), improvisations, teaching experiences, lyrics, or a writing sample demonstrating compelling prose about music. Almost any material that helps us get to know you as a musician is fair game but try to limit these materials to three best demonstrations of your musical life. These materials should be emailed to music@webster.edu in advance of your audition date.

. You will need to create an account to start a new application.

If you intend to major in music, you must complete an audition as part of your application. Auditions are also required for consideration of a music scholarship.

In-person auditions provide an opportunity to meet faculty and current music students. If traveling to the Webster Groves campus is not possible, a virtual audition can be arranged. Please contact music@webster.edu for more information on this process.

Students should apply for admission to the university before requesting an audition. Once you鈥檝e submitted your application, you will receive an email with the link to request an audition. You can also log into your account to request a music audition.

Current students should contact music@webster.edu for the registration link.

Audition information must be submitted at least one week prior to your audition!

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Please complete a required essay of 500-750 words using one of these prompts:

  1. What is the most memorable musical experience you have had so far? Why did it have such an impact on you?
  2. Describe an interest or passion you have outside of music. How do you engage with it, and what does it mean to you?
  3. Describe a musical role model (artist, performer, composer, teacher, etc.). Why do you admire them and how do they influence you?

Please submit your essay to music@webster.edu no later than the Monday prior to your audition. You may simply include your name, the prompt, and your essay response. No cover letter or fancy heading is needed!

Please send any additional audition materials to music@webster.edu. See 鈥淲hat To Prepare for Your Audition鈥 above for more details.

Details will be sent a few days in advance. We look forward to meeting you!

8:30 a.m. Check-in

9 a.m. Department of Music introductions and overview

9:30 a.m. Pre-Audition activities begin: Meet professors, rehearse with an accompanist, music theory placement, aural skills assessment, piano evaluation, meet current students, observe classes/ensembles

12 p.m. Lunch

1 p.m. Audition performance and meet with faculty

2:30 p.m. Optional Campus Tour

All entering students requiring class piano (MUSC 1080/1085) as part of their degree requirements must take a piano placement exam. We recognize that students who come to study at Webster have varying backgrounds and experiences in reading notation and playing music. In order to help you succeed in class, you will be carefully assessed in your current abilities at the keyboard and placed at a piano level that is appropriate to your educational needs.

During your piano placement examination, expect to discuss and your musical background and ability to perform:

  • Major and minor scales
  • Chord Progressions
  • Harmonization
  • Transposition
  • Sight Reading

If you wish, you may also prepare a piece of your choice to play.

Placement exams for incoming students are conducted as part of your audition day. (Keep in mind that piano placement is primarily for registration purposes and does not affect your acceptance to any program.) Placement exams are also offered before the Fall and Spring semesters for any students who need to be re-assessed for any reason.

For questions or concerns regarding piano placement, please contact Nina Ferrigno, Director of Keyboard Studies, at ninaferrigno@webster.edu or 314-246-7043.

Piano Placement Exam Information (PDF)

Graduate Auditions

Composers should present a portfolio of at least three scores in various genres, as well as recordings of the works from performances, or electronic realizations, if possible. Applicants are also required to perform on their primary instrument.

Please prepare a minimum of three works from memory. Instrumentalists should demonstrate improvisation skills on a 12-bar blues, a standard by Ellington or a similar composer, and a contemporary jazz work. Vocalists should perform two standards from the jazz repertoire. Scat singing may be requested. Percussionists will demonstrate an understanding of swing, Latin, fusion, and other styles. A brief sight-reading demonstration may be required.

Present a minimum of three works, representing a variety of historical and technical styles. Orchestral instrumentalists should also perform excerpts from standard orchestral literature.

Applicants for the MM in Performance with an Emphasis in Piano should present three works that represent a variety of historical and technical styles. Memorization is preferred, though not required.

MA applicants with piano as a primary instrument should present three works using the same repertoire guidelines as above.

When choosing repertoire for your audition, we encourage you to explore the works of underrepresented composers and ones that reflect different racial, gender, ethnic and cultural traditions. To get started, we recommend the following resources:


Applicants choosing to audition on guitar should present a minimum of three works representing a variety of historical and technical styles, and preferably performed from memory.

Applicants for the MM in Performance with an Emphasis in Voice should present five works from memory, including oratorio/opera arias and songs from the classical repertoire in four languages. A work from non-classical repertoire may also be included.

MA applicants with voice as a primary instrument should present three works from memory using the same repertoire guidelines as above.

. You will need to create an account to start a new application.

Contact Dr. Jacob Lassetter to arrange a time for an audition.

Please see the Graduate Audition Requirements above for your area of emphasis. In addition, you may also provide supplemental materials that showcase additional aspects of your musicianship. These may include compositions or arrangements, improvisations, teaching samples, or an essay about music. These materials can be submitted to music@webster.edu.

If you have any questions about what to prepare, simply send an email to music@webster.edu telling us your area of interest, and we'll connect you with appropriate faculty.

We occasionally have openings for graduate student employment in the Department of Music. If you might be interested in applying, please submit the application (PDF) to carlacolletti88@webster.edu.

News and Events

Department of Music News and Upcoming Events