College of Performing Arts Audition Requirements

Every student applying to the College of Performing Arts must pass an entrance audition or interview. This measures not only the student’s creative and expressive facility, but also the level of skill acquired.

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School of Dance
School of Music
Ira Brind School of Theater Arts

COLLEGE OF PERFORMING ARTS DEADLINES

Priority Admission and Scholarship Consideration Deadline:  Applications are still being accepted for all undergraduate College of Performing Arts programs for Fall 2014, and scholarships are still available! Freshmen and transfer applicants are encouraged to submit their applications and supporting documents, and complete an audition or interview as soon as possible. Applicants will continue to be reviewed on a space-available basis. 

Video Auditions and Phone/Skype Interview Deadline: Students who live more than 500 miles from Philadelphia must submit their taped audition or complete their phone/Skype interview on or before March 1, 2014 for priority consideration for Fall 2014.

Video Pre-Screening Deadline: Applicants to the Acting and Musical Theater programs who are taking advantage of the Video Pre-Screening Option must submit their video through Acceptd by January 1, 2014 for consideration. If you are planning on attending the November 23 or December 7 audition, it is recommended that you submit your pre-screening video at least four weeks prior to your selected audition date to ensure it will be evaluated before the scheduled audition. Pre-screening videos submitted less than four weeks before an in-person audition are not guaranteed to be reviewed. 

COLLEGE OF PERFORMING ARTS AUDITION DATES

Auditions are scheduled by selecting your desired audition date on the application. You will receive a confirmation and further instructions for your audition after your application has been processed. Please do not make travel arrangements until your audition date is confirmed. An application for admission must be submitted to the Admissions Office at least 2 weeks prior to the requested Audition/Interview day.

On-Campus Audition Dates:

  • Saturday, March 22, 2014
  • Saturday, April 5, 2014 (Dance & Music only)

Off-Campus Audition Dates:
All off-campus auditions have passed.

SCHOOL OF DANCE

The audition consists of two main parts: a class combining techniques of ballet, modern, and jazz and a solo dance presentation.

The class is taken as a group, but every effort is made to evaluate each dancer individually for technical proficiency and potential for professional development.

The solo dance presentation should last two minutes and may be choreographed by the applicant or by a dance instructor. Musical accompaniment, if any, must be provided by the applicant on compact disc or on an MP3 player. (Audio equipment will be provided by the School of Dance.) This part of the audition should feature the area of dance in which you are most proficient and feel most comfortable.

Required Dress
Women

  • Ballet: Black leotard, pink or tan tights, pink or black ballet shoes. 
  • Modern & Jazz: Black leotard and tights, jazz shoes or sneakers recommended.

Men

  • Ballet: Black tights and white tee shirt. 
  • Modern & Jazz: All black

Video Auditions: All Dance applicants are expected to audition in peson. However, if you live beyond 500 miles of Philadelphia and are unable to audition in person, you may submit a video recording of your audition to the Office of Admissions.

Recorded auditions should be submitted via the Acceptd online submission platform. Before you send the audition, be sure to check for sound levels, framing, focus and lighting. 

For all recorded dance auditions: A warm up section that includes both barre and floor work should begin the video. You should videotape barre from both the front and side, showing demi and grand pliés, tendus, dégagés (battement jetés), ronds de jambes, grand battements, and developés (extensions) en croix. Your center work should include small and large jumps, pirouettes, adagios and a modern or jazz combination, all videotaped from the front. Next should be an across-the-floor combination of at least eight measures which includes leaps and turns, followed by a solo dance presentation lasting approximately two minutes.

The University reserves the right to reaudition any applicant admitted on the basis of a taped audition. In such cases, we also reserve the right to reconsider and to withdraw, if necessary, the original offer of admission, or scholarship.

SCHOOL OF MUSIC

Guitar
• Major and minor scales, two octaves, two fingerings in various keys.
• Major 7th, minor 7th and dominant 7th arpeggios, two octaves from 6th and 5th strings in various keys.
• Several voicings of major 7th, minor 7th, and dominant 7th chords.
• Prepare two selections from the jazz standard repertoire. One selection must be performed as an original chord melody arrangement (non-published or transcribed). You must demonstrate the ability to solo and play the chord changes in a traditional jazz style. Accompaniment and guitar amp will be provided (or you can bring your own play-along CD). Please bring your own cable.
• Sight-reading (an ability to read melodic lines and chord symbols in treble clef ) Example: “Rhythms Complete” by Bugs Bower, Jazz Fake Book.

Bass (Acoustic and Electric)
• Major and minor scales, two octaves
• Major 7th, minor 7th and Dominant 7th arpeggios, two octaves
• A classical or jazz etude
• A prepared jazz standard (i.e. Autumn Leaves, Blue Bossa, or any blues or tune based on rhythm changes) Be prepared to play melody, walk a bass line and solo at least one chorus.
• Sight-reading

Drum Set or Percussion
• Snare Drum; rudimental study or orchestral solo (Wilcoxon, Firth, Cirone, Lepak)
• Drum Set: play a swing feel, latin (bossa nova, songo and samba), rock (slow-funk and moderate fast-fusion) and ballad (swing with brushes and rock with sticks). Students may be asked to accompany a piece.
• Improvisation: 2s, 4s, or 8s in one of the above styles
• Sight-reading (single line rhythms) example: “Syncopation” by Ted Reed

In addition to the above, percussionist may also wish to to demonstrate the following: (not required)
• For mallets: all major scales and arpeggios, two octaves; solo or etude from the standard repertoire
• For timpani: tune perfect 4th and 5th; solo for two drums from the standard repertoire

Hand-drumming
• A prepared piece performed on a hand drum (e.g. conga, bongo, djembe, etc.). Students may bring an accompanist, a play-along CD, or an iPod. (No longer than 5 minutes.)
• Demonstrate basic tones on the conga drum (closed tones, open tones, “heeltoe”, hand rocking motion, slaps muted and slaps open)
• Demonstrate basic “Martillo” rhythm with the bongo at a slow tempo. If possible, include some basic variations and improvisations
• Demonstrate the basic “Son” rhythm on the conga drum
• Demonstrate ability to perform basic Bossa Nova rhythm in a hand percussion instrument of the student’s choice
• A listening test where the student identifies basic Cuban, Brazilian, Caribbean, and African rhythms and musical styles
• A test where the student identifies basic hand percussion instruments
• Sight-reading of basic rhythms (quarters, 8ths, 16ths, etc.)
• An interview of approximately 15 minutes in order to review the student’s experience and goals

Piano
• Scales: Major, harmonic and melodic minors, four octaves, two hands, ascending and descending using standard “Hanon” fingering
• Arpeggios: Major and minor triads, four octaves, two hands, ascending and descending using standard “Hanon” fingering
• An etude or short solo piece from the classical repertoire performed by memory; the level of difficulty should be determined by the applicant’s technical and interpretive ability. (examples: Bach, Two-Part Invention; Bartok, Mikrokosmos; Clementi or any Sonatina)
• Improvisation on standard 12-bar blues progression
• One ballad and one up-tempo piece from the standard jazz repertoire, demonstrating both melodic interpretation and improvisational skill
• Seventh chords in all keys: major 7th, minor 7th, dominant 7th and diminished 7th
• Sight reading (An ability to read chords and individual melodic lines in treble and bass clefs). Example: Bach’s “Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach”. Fake Book style lead sheets with given chords and melody. Example: Real Book, Hal Leonard Corporation.

Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone and all other Instruments
• Major and minor scales, two octaves
• Major and minor arpeggios, two octaves
• A prepared technical study, etude, classical or solo piece from repertoire appropriate for the instrument
• An improvised jazz solo on a standard tune, or a twelve-bar blues progression
• Sight-reading

Vocal Performance
• Repertoire: All applicants must perform 3 selections total representing at least two of the following styles:
- Classical song in English
- Jazz
- Musical Theater
- Classical song in a foreign language
• Sight reading

All vocal applicants must perform their repertoire memorized with live piano accompaniment. Students must bring copies of all of their audition music for the accompanist. An accompanist will be provided, however, students have the option of bringing their own accompanist. No recorded accompanimentmor a cappella singing will be accepted.

Video Auditions: All Instrumental and Vocal Performance applicants are expected to audition in person. However, if you live beyond 500 miles of Philadelphia and are unable to audition in person, you may submit a video recording of your audition to the Office of Admissions.

Recorded auditions should be submitted via the Acceptd online submission platform. Before you send your audition, be sure to check for sound levels, framing, focus and lighting.

Repertoire for recorded auditions is the same as for in person auditions. A repertoire or program list (also clearly marked with your name and major) outlining titles, authors, composers and descriptions of the pieces being performed should be included.

Videos of recitals or concerts are not acceptable, and the video should not exceed 15 minutes. Musicians must show full-body frame with close-up shots of embouchure, hands, and face. Musicians should also include information about the instrument being played.

The University reserves the right to reaudition/reinterview any applicant admitted on the basis of a video audition. In such cases, we also reserve the right to reconsider and to withdraw, if necessary, the original offer of admission, or scholarship.

Composition
All applicants must submit a portfolio of six original compositions. Pieces may be vocal, instrumental, or MIDI and should demonstrate the applicant’s best work in a variety of styles. Some of the scores may be presented in handwritten, fully notated manuscript form, while others may use computer notation (Finale or Sibelius). The portfolio should include a CD with recordings of as many of the pieces as possible (live performances or MIDI). Please bring this portfolio and CD to your audition. Applicants will also be interviewed by composition faculty and must demonstrate their proficiency as instrumental or vocal performers with either recorded or live performances during the interview. Prior to the interview, applicants will be given time to complete a short music theory/composition assignment. 

Music Business, Entrepreneurship & Technology
Applicants who seek admission to Music Business, Entrepreneurship & Technology are required to submit an essay, and to bring a portfolio of their work to the interview.

  • Essay: Detailing educational and/or professional goals and including any past experience/knowledge in music, technology, or business, submitted to the Office of Admissions at least 2 weeks prior to the scheduled interview.
  • Interview: All applicants are expected to interview in person. Applicants residing more than 500 miles from Philadelphia who cannot appear on campus for an interview must contact the Admissions Office for alternate arrangements. Applicants will be contacted by the School of Music for a phone or Skype interview.
  • Portfolio: During the interview, you will be expected to present a portfolio of any work produced, which may include recordings, videos, documentation of business experience or promotional work (i.e.) show fliers, web site links, etc.

Phone Interviews: All Composition and Music Business, Entrepreneurship & Technology applicants are expected to interview in person. However, if you live beyond 500 miles of Philadelphia and are unable to interview in person, you may mail your portfolio to the Office of Admissions, or send the URL of your online portfolio to admissions@uarts.edu. The Acceptd online submission platform can also be used to submit portfolio materials.

Applicants will be contacted by the School of Music to arrange a phone or Skype interview.

The University reserves the right to reaudition/reinterview any applicant admitted on the basis of a video audition. In such cases, we also reserve the right to reconsider and to withdraw, if necessary, the original offer of admission, or scholarship.

IRA BRIND SCHOOL OF THEATER ARTS

Video Pre-Screening Option (Acting and Musical Theater)
We receive many applications for our highly competitive performer training programs, and the video pre-screening option offered through Acceptd is recommended to help you determine whether it will be worthwhile for you to audition in-person for the Brind School.

Applicants who submit a video audition for review will either receive an invitation to come for an in-person "callback" audition, or notification that they have not been accepted to UArts.

Video pre-screening is not mandatory, and applicants will be seen in Philadelphia and at regional auditions regardless of whether they have submitted a video for review. However, the pre-screening step is recommended for all applicants, especially students who want some reassurance that the time, effort and cost of traveling to the audition is justified. Applicants who have been pre-screened will skip the initial screening round at the audition and proceed directly to the callback.

Applications and pre-screening videos must be received by the Office of Admissions by January 1, 2014 for pre-screening consideration.

Acting

Prepare two contrasting monologues for your audition to the Acting program. The combined time of your monologues should not exceed three minutes. Choose monologues from published plays (not original material) that are contrasting in character, style or tone. Be sure to memorize your monologues, and familiarize yourself with the plays they come from.

The on-campus acting audition will be conducted in two rounds. In the first round, you will present your monologues to a member of the Brind School acting faculty. Your performance will be evaluated on the basis of honesty, expressiveness, vocal strength and conviction, as well as the professionalism and preparation of your presentation. After this initial presentation, selected applicants will be invited for a second “callback” audition. Students who have submitted a video for pre-screening will skip this first round and proceed directly to the callback. At the callback, you will present your pieces again, and you may be asked to make an adjustment in your presentation, undertake a brief improvisation, or discuss your interpretation of the pieces you’ve chosen. This callback will include a personal interview with a faculty member who will explore your training, your aspirations, and the suitability of the University of the Arts as a venue to pursue your studies.

At the off-campus auditions, there is no callback; all candidates will present a full audition in the time allotted.

Bring a headshot (or suitable photograph) and resume listing your theater training and performance experience with you to the audition.

Video Auditions: All Acting applicants are expected to audition in person. However, if you live beyond 500 miles of Philadelphia and are unable to audition in person, you may submit a video audition to the Office of Admissions. Recorded auditions should be submitted via the Acceptd online submission platform. 

A video audition should include two contrasting monologues. In lieu of an interview, speak directly into the camera following your monologues telling us a little about yourself: your past and current theater activities and training, and your aspirations for the future, including career goals in theater. Clearly state your name at both the beginning and end of your audition. 

The University reserves the right to reaudition any applicant admitted on the basis of a taped audition. In such cases, we also reserve the right to reconsider and to withdraw, if necessary, the original offer of admission, or scholarship.

Musical Theater
Prepare two contrasting monologues and two contrasting songs for your audition to the Musical Theater program. Choose monologues from published plays (not original material) that are contrasting in character, style or tone. Be sure to memorize your monologues, and familiarize yourself with the plays they come from. Musical theater selections should be presented in 32-bar cuts (or excerpts of approximately one minute in length). Choose audition material that is appropriate to your age and type.

The on-campus Musical Theater audition will be conducted in two rounds. In the first round, you will present one song and one monologue of your choice. Your performance will be evaluated on the basis of honesty, clarity of thought, expressiveness, vocal strength and conviction, as well as the professionalism and preparation of your presentation. After the initial presentation, selected applicants will be invited for a second “callback” audition. Students who have submitted a video for pre-screening will skip this first round and proceed directly to the callback. At the callback, applicants should be prepared to present their initial selections along with an additional song and monologue that contrast in style and content. At this stage of the audition, you may be asked to sing the entire song rather than a cut. This callback will include a personal interview with a faculty member who will explore your training, aspirations, and the suitability of the University of the Arts as a venue to pursue your studies. You should also be prepared to discuss your choice of material and your interpretation.

Applicants who receive a callback will also participate in a group dance audition. Appropriate attire (tights, sweats, gym shorts) and dance footwear must be worn. Applicants auditioning on campus have the option of supplementing their group audition with a solo dance performance, which may not exceed 2 minutes in length.

An accompanist will be provided for on campus auditions ONLY. Music must be easily readable and any cuts or alterations clearly marked. You may not ask the accompanist to change the key; the accompanist will play the music as written. 

Bring a headshot (or suitable photograph) and resume listing your theater training and performance experience with you to the audition.

At off-campus auditions, there is no callback; all candidates will present a full audition in the time allocated. No accompanist will be provided; you must bring your own accompaniment as well as a devide to play it on. It is strongly suggested that you choose a device able to play back at a volume level comfortable to you and your auditiors. In lieu of a group dance audition, you must present a prepared dance solo that demonstrates your level of proficiency in dance and movement. This solo, which may be choreographed by you or someone else, must not exceed two minutes in length.

Bring a headshot (or suitable photograph) and resume listing your theater training and performance experience with you to the audition.

Video Auditions: All Musical Theater applicants are expected to audition in person. However, if you live beyond 500 miles of Philadelphia and are unable to audition in person, you may submit a video audition to the Office of Admissions. Recorded auditions should be submitted via the Acceptd online submission platform. 

In addition to the two monologues and two songs, you must present a prepared dance solo that demonstrates your level of proficiency in dance and movement. This solo, which may be choreographed by you or someone else, must not exceed two minutes in length.

In lieu of an interview, speak directly into the camera following your monologues and/or songs, telling us a little about yourself: your past and current theater activities and training, and your aspirations for the future, including career goals in theater. Clearly state your name at both the beginning and end of your audition. 

The University reserves the right to reaudition any applicant admitted on the basis of a taped audition. In such cases, we also reserve the right to reconsider and to withdraw, if necessary, the original offer of admission, or scholarship.

Theater Design and Technology
Applicants to Theater Design & Technology are evaluated on the basis of experience, creativity, evidence of skill, and potential for development. All candidates are required to bring the following to the interview:

• Resume: Listing your relevant skills and work experiences.
• Portfolio: During the interview you will be expected to present a collection of visual and graphic material that demonstrates your experience and potential in the field of theater design and technology. Items to be considered might include, but are not limited to:
  - Documentation of past theater work: Photographs, reviews, news articles, etc. Photographs are the most important component. "Process" photos may be included as well as photographs that show the finished work.
- Examples of organizational and planning skills: Lighting plots and paper work, prop lists, set design drafting, scene shift notes, costume plots, rental agreements, etc.
- Photographic or physical examples of craft work and technical work: Sewing samples, scenic painting, prop construction, carpentry work, sculptural work, etc.
- Other examples of creative and artistic skill and experience: drawings, paintings, sketches, art photography, scale models, CAD work, and/or anything else that demonstrates your passions, skill and talents.

You should be able to talk about your portfolio - what each project involved, how you made design decisions, what you learned from the experience and what you think about the finished piece. It is not necessary for you to mount or mat your work as long as it is presented neatly, in an order that makes sense. It is not necessary to document every production in full detail, but it is useful to give concept-to-completion details on at least one realized project in your portfolio.

Phone Interviews: All Theater Design & Technology applicants are expected to interview in person. However, if you live beyond 500 miles of Philadelphia and are unable to interview in person, you may mail your portfolio to the Office of Admissions, or send the URL of your online portfolio to admissions@uarts.edu.  The Acceptd online submission platform can also be used to submit portfolio materials.

Each production project must be accompanied by a typewritten paragraph succinctly stating the design concept and its objective. Portfolios may be submitted in the following formats, and will not be returned: 35mm slides, photographs, photo copies, video tape (VHS format), URLs, CD-ROM, DVD, or USB flash drive. (Digital images must be in .JPG or .GIF format.) Please do not mail original work. Applicants will be contacted by the department for a phone interview.

The University reserves the right to reaudition/reinterview any applicant admitted on the basis of a taped audition. In such cases, we also reserve the right to reconsider and to withdraw, if necessary, the original offer of admission, or scholarship.

Directing, Playwriting and Production
As an applicant to Directing, Playwriting and Production, you will be evaluated on the basis of your experience, leadership, creativity and potential for development. You may choose to demonstrate your aptitude in these areas through any one of the following options:

• An original script (be prepared to leave a non-returnable copy)
• A production book for directors or stage managers
• Models and/or renderings of set, costume or lighting designs
• Examples of publicity and program design (Any material for public presentation, such as plays, school functions, community events, etc. This may include programs, poster designs, and promotional copy.)
• Video tapes of productions with which you have had significant involvement (be prepared to leave a non-returnable copy) and a typed, detailed, description of your role in the production.
• Resume and examples of leadership and creativity inside and outside of theater, including clubs and extracurricular activities.

During the interview you will be expected to discuss the options you have chosen to present in support of your application, your past involvement, and study in theater.

Phone Interviews: All Directing, Playwriting and Production applicants are expected to interview in person. However, if you live beyond 500 miles of Philadelphia and are unable to interview in person, you may mail your portfolio to the Office of Admissions, or send the URL of your online portfolio to admissions@uarts.edu.  The Acceptd online submission platform can also be used to submit portfolio materials. Applicants will be contacted by the department for a phone interview.

The University reserves the right to reaudition/reinterview any applicant admitted on the basis of a taped audition. In such cases, we also reserve the right to reconsider and to withdraw, if necessary, the original offer of admission, or scholarship.