Hand of a musician playing the violin in an orchestra close-up

Music Program Auditions

Your journey in music starts here.

We are delighted your are interested in auditioning for our music programs at Commonwealth University. Our undergraduate enrollment is limited and admission to our music programs is highly competitive, therefore it is essential that you be well prepared for your audition. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

 Before you register for an Audition, you must apply to Commonwealth University. Please click here to go to the Admissions page.

Bloomsburg Music Contact

Dr. Charisse Baldoria, Associate Professor
Department of Music, Theatre and Dance
cbaldoria@commonwealthu.edu
570-389-4294

Mansfield Music Contact

Dr. Eun-Joo Kwak, Co-Assistant Chair
Department of Music, Theatre and Dance
ekwak@commonwealthu.edu
570-662-4710

In addition to successful completion of an audition, prospective music majors must apply to Commonwealth University through the Office of Admissions. Acceptance at Commonwealth University is granted on a modified rolling admission plan. Early application is recommended for maximum enrollment opportunity.

Students wishing to minor in music, or participate in ensembles may also audition for possible scholarships.

Register for an Audition

Bloomsburg Audition Dates

  • Monday, October 14, 2024
  • Monday, November 11, 2024
  • Saturday, December 7, 2024
  • Tuesday, January 28, 2025
  • Monday, February 17, 2025
  • Tuesday, March 4, 2025

Mansfield Audition Dates

  • Monday, October 14, 2024 - Part of our Spend-A-Day event
  • Saturday, January 25, 2025 - 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM
  • Monday, February 17, 2025 - 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM
  • Saturday, March 8, 2025 - 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM

Other days/times, by appointment, 570-662-4710 or music@mansfield.edu

Those seeking acceptance into music major degree programs do have the option of performing video or Zoom auditions. Register for an audition and a representative will make contact to coordinate.

Auditions include the following components
  • Principal Instrument/Voice
  • Piano Placement Examination
  • Music Theory Examination
  • Aural Skills Evaluation
Principal Performing Area - Instrumental

Prepare two or three pieces in contrasting style that best show your technical and musical potential. Performing from memory is recommended but only required for piano performance majors. Scales, arpeggios, and sight reading are requested at the audition in all studios. Percussionists should prepare in three areas, including snare drum or multi-percussion, mallet percussion, and timpani. Drum set is not required but may be heard if time allows. Accompanists are not needed for instrumental auditions. Please note that audition expectations are higher for performance majors than for the other non-performance degree programs. Students are accepted at Commonwealth University in the following performing areas: piano, violin, viola, violoncello, bass, guitar, flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet or cornet, french horn, trombone, baritone or euphonium, tuba, and percussion.

Principal Performing Area - Voice

Prepare two pieces in contrasting style that best demonstrate your musical and technical potential. Vocalists may bring an accompanist but this is not required as our staff will gladly serve as your accompanist. Vocalists are encouraged to sing one song in a foreign language (required of performance majors).

Note: Vocal performance majors are required to sing three songs from memory, in at least two languages, and the overall expectations of the audition are quite high.

Principal Performing Area - Guitar

Prospective guitar students should prepare two contrasting selections and must audition on a classical (nylon) string guitar.

Piano Placement Examination

Prospective students with one or more years of recent piano study are encouraged to take the piano placement exam. Please be prepared to perform a piano piece that demonstrates your level of skill. Also be prepared to play scales, arpeggios, cadences, and sight read an easy selection.

Music Theory Examination

This diagnostic test helps us determine your music theory background and aids in your placement in theory courses. It includes the following components:

  • Key signatures
  • Intervals, chords, and scales
  • Simple Roman numeral analysis
  • Recognition of rhythmic patterns and time signatures
  • Ability to write a simple melody from memory
Aural Skills Evaluation

Prospective students will be evaluated for aural skills (ear training) aptitude. In addition, students will be asked to sing a simple folk song, carol, hymn, or patriotic song to demonstration effective vocal intonation.

Letter of Recommendation

The music department suggests that all applicants have a minimum of two letters of recommendation. Print out the recommendation form and request that your reference writers mail the completed form to the address below. Recommendations may also be brought to the audition in sealed envelopes with the author's signature across the seal.

Commonwealth University Music Department
Attn. Audition Committee
Butler Music Center
18 Campus View Drive
Commonwealth University - Mansfield
Mansfield, PA 16933

Commonwealth University's Music Department welcomes transfer applications for students interested in any of our degree programs. You must be accepted by both the university and the music department to gain admission to any music program. Be aware that 50% of your major requirements must come from Commonwealth University in order to graduate with a degree from Commonwealth University.

Undergraduate general education credits will be evaluated by the University Transfer Office in Admissions. Music transfer courses are evaluated by the chair of the music department at both the undergraduate and graduate level. At the graduate level, only 6 graduate credits may be accepted in transfer.

All transfer credits in music must have earned a grade of C or better and come from an accredited NASM institution. Transfer credits in studio lessons will be awarded based on the level of performance demonstrated at the audition. Some music courses may be accepted in degree areas, elective areas or they may not be accepted at all.

We recommend all transfer students apply to Commonwealth University prior to their music audition and send transcripts to both the music department and the university for evaluation in advance of their live audition.

All other aspects of the audition are the same for transfer students. Please refer to audition requirements for further information.

Primary Instrument / Voice

Students are admitted to the Department of Music with the understanding that they will be given private studio instruction on one principal performance medium. While many students may have ability on more than one instrument, it is imperative that they develop excellence on one primary medium. It is our strongest recommendation therefore, that students audition on just one instrument, placing their best effort into one area where their passion is best exemplified.

Recorded Auditions

When distance prohibits a live audition, a recorded audition is acceptable. In this situation, the recording must be unedited and include a minimum of two works of contrasting style and several examples of major and minor scales. Students must complete the sight reading, music theory, and aural skills portions of the audition process via Zoom and correspondence with the music department office. For additional information contact the Music Department chairperson.

Personal Interview

If you wish to speak with the department chairperson or a designee at the audition please request this before the audition and we will schedule this for you. Although considerable information will be shared at the general department meeting and with the auditioning faculty, we are happy to speak with you personally should the need arise.

Audition Results Notification

Prospective students who audition in November or December will be notified concerning their audition status by January 31. Students who audition in January, February, or March will be notified of their audition status by March 31. Any student who auditions after March 31 will be contacted within 2 weeks of their audition. Official notice concerning the status of the application will also be sent to the Admissions Office.

Rolling Admissions Policy

Rolling admissions is a term used to indicate that new student enrollment is based largely upon seating availability. Essentially, we have a limited capacity in our various music programs. The limits are by studio as well as degree. As students complete or leave our program, they create an open seat. Each year we anticipate student graduation and plan for the total number of students we can accept for the following year. We target enrollment for every studio.

Illustration of Mountain
Illustration of Mountain