Auditions and Screening: Performance D.Mus.

Screening Material (due by December 1)

All Performance D.Mus. applicants, including current McGill students, must submit a video screening for pre-selection by December 1st.

Screening video repertoire

  • Voice applicants: Record 7 contrasting pieces, in 4 major languages;
    • Opera/Voice concentration: Represent operatic and song repertoire.
    • Early Music concentration: Include song repertoire and opera or oratorio (or both). Two pieces may be post-1800.
    • You can include recent recital or professional performances.
  • Conducting applicants:
    • 30 minute video (camera facing the conductor) showing 15 minutes of a rehearsal and 15 minutes of performance excerpts featuring a minimum of two contrasting works.
  • All other instruments:
    • Include a minimum of 20 minutes of music and at least two contrasting pieces.
    • You can include recent recital or professional performances.

For instructions on how to upload your material, follow our application guide.

On-Campus Auditions

Applicants with disabilities who require accommodations in order to participate in the audition process must notify the undergraduateadmissions.music [at] mcgill.ca (admissions office) in advance of their audition date.

How to prepare for your on-campus audition

  • Check your audition repertoire requirements. Choose material that you are comfortable playing and that showcases your musicianship and technical proficiency.
  • If you are coming from outside Canada, check with Immigration Canada for travel document requirements.

 

On Audition Day:

If you are experiencing travel delays on the day of your audition or you are unable to attend your audition, please email our melanie.collins [at] mcgill.ca (Recruitment Office)

Check-in:

  • A minimum of one hour prior to your audition, you must check-in at the Strathcona Music Building lobby (555 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, Quebec).
    *Check-in is also mandatory for current students.
  • Practice rooms are available during the audition period.
  • During check-in, directions to your audition location and practice rooms will be provided.

Tours will be given by the Schulich Ambassadors during the lunch break.
Details will be available at the check-in desk.

Accompanists:

  • Accompanists are provided free of charge for your audition time only.
  • Rehearsal costs vary and are your responsibility.
  • Contact your accompanist at least 48 hours before your audition to arrange rehearsal times, provide music, etc.
    You can also bring your own accompanists, at your expense.
  • Jazz applicants are provided with a rhythm section free of charge for the audition time only and cannot rehearse with them.

 


The Audition:

  • You must bring a list of pieces to be performed, including études and ensemble music.
  • Prepare to be interviewed about your experience and your educational and professional goals.
  • Jazz applicants: In addition, bring copies of your music.
  • The panel may interrupt your audition at any moment in a piece to ensure that auditions proceed on schedule.
  • Auditions last approximately 15 minutes.

 


 

 

 

Where to Stay:

Book a hotel in Montreal:

Special accommodations have been arranged with several downtown hotels. All hotels are within walking distance of the Schulich School of Music.

Special room prices are available to the McGill University community: staff, students, visitors, etc. 

If you are making reservations by phone, be sure to mention McGill University.

Events & Montreal:

Consult our Events Calendar for Schulich School of Music concerts and related events.

See the Discover Montreal website for happenings in the Greater Montreal area.

On-campus audition dates for 2020:

    • Choral conducting: Tues., Feb. 4
    • Orchestral conducting: Wed., Feb. 5
    • Wind Band Conducting: *No auditions will be held in 2020 (applications will not be accepted for 2020-21).
    • All other auditions (all instruments) : Fri., Feb. 7- Sun., Feb. 9
  • Check uApply for your individual audition date, time, location, and accompanist information.
  • You must graduateadmissions.music [at] mcgill.ca (email our admissions staff) to confirm whether or not you will attend.

Audition repertoire

Brass

For your live audition, focus on chamber music, orchestral or solo repertoire. 

  • Prepare 60 minutes of recital material in various styles.
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview.

Conducting

This year your options are: choral, orchestral and wind orchestra.

At your live audition:

  • You will participate in a 15-30 minute rehearsal with one of our choral and/or wind ensembles.
  • You may be asked to sight-sing and read a score at the keyboard.
  • You may be briefly tested on your background knowledge of choral, orchestral and wind orchestra literature.
  • CHORAL CONDUCTORS WILL BE asked to perform 2 (two) CONTRASTING ARIAS OR ART SONGS.
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview.

Early Music Instruments

For your live audition:

  • Prepare 60 minutes of recital repertoire.
  • Include a work by Bach, a French suite or sonata, and an 18th-century Italian sonata. Where appropriate, include works from the 17th century.
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview.

Early Music Voice

For your live audition:

  • Prepare a balanced 60-minute program, to perform from memory. Represent the major musical periods (Baroque, Renaissance, Medieval), contrasting styles (opera, oratorio, cantata, air de cour, songs), and the four major languages (English, French, German, Italian). Include at least two recitatives and works from the repertoire on which you want to focus your research project.
  • At least 48 hours before your audition, submit a copy of your program and two individual choices of repertoire to the Voice Area Chair (Dominique Labelle). The jury will extract a short program for you to perform as a "mini-recital" at your audition. Afterwards, they may ask to hear other selections from your original program.
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview.

Fortepiano

For your live audition:

  • Prepare 60 minutes of recital repertoire on a five-octave classical fortepiano (FF-a3).
  • Include at least one sonata by Joseph Haydn.  The remaining works may be freely chosen from Mozart, Beethoven, Clementi, CPE Bach, or any other composer active between ca. 1750 and 1805. 
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview.

Guitar

Options include chamber music or solo performance. For your live audition:

  • Prepare 60 minutes of recital repertoire.
  • Include works relevant to your proposed performance specialization. For example, prepare contemporary works if your focus is on 20th century music, prepare renaissance and baroque works if your specialization is early music, etc. 
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview.

Harp

For your live audition:

  • Prepare 60 minutes of repertoire.
  • Include four works in different styles, with at least one 20th century composition and an étude.
  • You may be asked to sight-read.
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview.

Harpsichord

For your live audition:

  • Prepare a balanced 60-minute program representing the most important styles of the 17th and 18th centuries.
  • Include works from the repertoire on which you want to focus your research project.
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview.

Jazz

For your live audition:

  • Create a 20-minute mini-concert of pieces which should include at least one piece from the standard jazz repertoire plus 2-3 original pieces (minimum of 1 original is required)
  • Bring a printed copy of the music you have prepared for the audition panel.
  • You will be provided with a rhythm section free of charge for the audition ONLY
  • Rehearsal costs vary and are your responsibility.
  • The Jazz Area will arrange your rehearsal time/room which will occur the day before your audition and give you contact info for your provided rhythm section so you can arrange rehearsal payment, provide music, etc
  • If possible, you can also bring your own band, at your expense
  • The panel may interrupt your audition at any moment in a piece to ensure that auditions proceed on schedule.
  • Prepare for a 30-minute interview after the concert portion
  • Drummers: Bring your own cymbals!

Organ and Church Music

For your live audition:

  • Prepare 60 minutes of recital repertoire.
  • Include a major work by J.S. Bach, along with pre-Bach, romantic and contemporary selections.
  • You can choose between a mechanical action or electric action instrument. You can also audition on two different instruments. You can use a registration assistant at the mechanical action console, but you should do your own registrations at the electric console.
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview.

Percussion

You must demonstrate ability on all basic percussion instruments, i.e., timpani, keyboard percussion, snare drum, multiple percussion. You can submit multiple recordings of percussion solos to the Percussion Area Chair in advance of your live audition.

Prepare for a 30 minute interview and choose one of the following options:

  • Chamber music: Prepare 30 minutes of solo recital repertoire plus 30 minutes of mixed chamber music (recording). Prepare to sight-read.
  • Orchestral repertoire (percussion): Prepare 30 minutes of solo recital repertoire plus 30 minutes of mixed orchestral excerpts. Prepare to sight-read.  
  • Orchestral repertoire (timpani): Prepare 20 minutes of solo recital repertoire plus 40 minutes of mixed orchestral excerpts for timpani. Prepare to sight-read. 
  • Solo: Prepare 60 minutes of solo recital material in various styles. 

Collaborative Piano

  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview and to sight-read.
  • Prepare 15-20 minutes of music of your choice, from the solo piano repertoire. Present repertoire from one or two composers.  Memorization is optional.
  • Prepare selections from all three concentrations listed below, or choose two of the instrumental pieces plus the vocal or opera repertoire. If you want to work primarily with singers, you must include all three concentrations.

Collaborative concentrations:

  • Instrumental: A violinist will be provided by the School. Prepare the piano part from one (or two) of the following excerpts:
    • Beethoven, Violin Sonata No. 7, c minor, 1st movement, Allegro con brio  
    • Brahms, Violin Sonata No. 2 in A, Op. 100, 1st movement, Allegro amabile
    • Franck, Violin Sonata in A, 2nd movement, Allegro
  • Vocal: A singer will be provided by the School. Prepare the following songs:
    • Franz Schubert, Ganymed
    • Johannes Brahms, Meine Liebe ist grün
    • Claude Debussy, Il pleure dans mon coeur
    • Richard Strauss, Allerseelen
    • Samuel Barber, St. Ita's Vision
  • Opera: The operatic excerpts should be sung in the original language while playing the orchestral reduction from any standard piano/vocal score. Prepare:
    • Any Aria from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Sein wir wieder gut” from Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, or
    • “Here I Stand” from Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress

Piano

For your live audition:

  • Prepare a 60 minute solo recital program. Memorization is optional. The panel may choose to hear complete works and/or excerpts.
  • Select pieces from major composers, in a range of styles, genres and periods.
  • Feature repertoire from the area in which you want to focus your major research and performance.
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview about your research interests.

Strings

For your live audition: Cello, Double Bass, Viola, Violin

  • Prepare a 60-minute program of repertoire from various musical periods.
  • Include two contrasting movements from the solo works by J.S. Bach.
  • You will be assessed for scholarships based on your audition. No separate application is required.

Voice (Opera and Voice)

For your live audition:

  • Prepare a balanced 60-minute program of repertoire, to perform from memory. Represent the major musical periods, contrasting styles, and the four major languages (English, French, German and Italian). Include at least one operatic aria as well as a recitative and aria from Opera, Oratorio or Cantata (1600-1800).
  • At least one week before your audition, submit a copy of your program (including timing of each piece) and two individual choices of repertoire to the Voice Area Chair (Dominique Labelle). The jury will extract a short program for you to perform as a 'mini-recital' at your audition. Afterwards, they may ask to hear other selections from your long program.
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview.

Woodwinds

Flute

All Graduate Programs:

  • Mozart Concerto in G or D Major, complete, with cadenzas
  • Bach Sonata in E Minor, 1st and 2nd Movements
  • Prokofiev Sonata 1st Movement
    AND
    Choose between A or B

    A. Any piece from Flute Music by French Composers or Dutilleux Sonatine
    and
    Piece of candidate’s choice 5 minutes

    B. Orchestral Excerpts (Orchestral Excerpts for Flute with Piano Accompaniment, Jeanne Baxtresser & Martha Rearick, Theodore Presser Company):
  • Ravel, Maurice: Daphnis et Chloé Suite no. 2
  • Debussy, Claude: Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, L. 86
  • Beethoven, Ludwig van: Leonore Overture no. 3, op. 72
  • Bach, Johann Sebastian: Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben, Soprano aria from St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244
  • Mendelssohn, Felix Bartholdy: Symphony no. 4, “Italian”, op. 90
  • Brahms, Johannes: Symphony no. 4, op. 98
  • Stravinsky, Igor: Firebird Suite (1919 version)
  • Stravinsky, Igor: Petrouchka (1947 revised edition)
All other woodwind instruments:

For your live audition, focus on chamber music, orchestral or solo repertoire.

  • Prepare 60 minutes of recital material in various styles.
    In addition to a variety of solo repertoire, the audition may include orchestral excerpts.
  • Prepare for a 30 minute interview regarding your research and other professional interests and aspirations.
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