Major Ensembles

Chamber Ensembles - Auditions

*Ensembles marked with an asterisk are student-led and not currently offered for credit.

Look good, feel great, perform your best!

Mind: Prepare for your future with highly engaged faculty, visiting artists and lecturers.

Body: Discover useful techniques and suggestions to help you stay at your best.

Spirit: Build positive relationships on and off the stage.

  • Music service fraternities and sororities
  • Student-led vocal ensembles
  • Professional music organizations
  • Student ambassadors

The Department of Music is committed to the development of mind, body, and spirit. With the health and safety of every student in mind, faculty and staff assist students in creating practice routines, managing performance anxiety, bonding with peers, protecting against hearing loss, handling instruments and equipment safely, leading a healthy lifestyle, developing leadership skills, and pursuing career enhancement opportunities. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the numerous courses, workshops, lectures, and internships that serve to build healthy and vibrant musicians and citizens.

Please contact Dr. Kelly Rossum at (757) 594-8812 or for more information.


Entrance Exam

  • Theory Primer
    Use this to help review before your entrance examinations in music.

Music Education

Exit Exam Reviews Miscellaneous

CNU Graduate School Audition Strategies

College juniors preparing for graduate school auditions know it can be a daunting process. Students can feel overwhelmed by varied requirements and deadlines, and unfamiliarity with the process can result in missed opportunities. Here is a list of strategies and "things to remember" to help make the application and audition process run smoothly.

First question: College or Conservatory?
Similar to your undergraduate experience, graduate-school curriculum can vary widely, depending on what kind of institution and program to which you are applying. Check the school’s website and see what courses are required of graduate students.

Application Process:

  • Know the school’s pre-audition requirements – some schools need a CD, some now ask for a DVD. Compile a list of repertoire each school needs. That list might add up to a sizeable repertoire list!
  • Deadlines – do not wait until the week before a deadline to start making an audition CD! Quality recordings are the gateway to a “face to face” audition, and if your CD is poor quality, you might not be given a live audition. Understand it takes at least a half-hour PER piece to get a recording you will be happy with. Your applied instructor should review and approve all audition materials.
  • Headshots – again, take time to acquire a quality headshot by a professional photographer. Understand that a quality headshot can be costly and require a day of your time.
  • Resume – consult with your teacher on how to compile a professional resume. Many singer’s websites have examples of excellent resumes. Consult with your applied teacher.
  • Pick appropriate repertoire – understand you will probably have a different accompanist from your weekly collaborative artist, and some difficult repertoire might not be advisable in those situations.

I got a live audition! Now what?

  • Live auditions are usually held at the relevant institution, unless they have “off site” audition days. This will require travel and hotel expenses. Be mindful of your audition date and time, and check it against your semester calendar. Often auditions are held during that institution’s winter or spring break, not necessarily your break. Get approval for all missed class days.
  • Try to avoid flying on the day of your audition. Traveling is tiring, and airplane travel can dehydrate a performer. Traveling to an unknown city can be stressful, so try to leave at least a day to become familiar with the audition site.
  • Prepare an audition folder – make sure you have at least two copies of all audition materials, including resumes and headshots. Make sure your music is clear and readable by an accompanist. Cuts, tempo changes and omitted sections should be clearly marked and highlighted.
  • Find out if a rehearsal time with your accompanist is possible – many schools make it possible for a separate rehearsal before the audition with your accompanist. This is highly desirable, and will make your audition go much smoother.

Audition Day

  • Get some sleep! Make sure you get plenty of restful sleep, and drink plenty of water – avoid caffeine, which can dehydrate the performer.
  • Arrive early. Make sure you plan for plenty of commuting time to your audition location – an unfamiliar commute can take longer than you expect; don’t add lateness to your already nerve-wracking day.
  • Report early – Find the audition proctor and report in. You might get an update on how the timings of the auditions are going; they might be running an hour behind, or be looking for you to sing a bit early. Be adaptable to any situation.
  • Be confident – you might sing for three expressionless judges, or 15 excited and complimentary panelists. Focus on why you are at the audition and why you make music. The audition committee wants to hear great music and is excited to hear you play. Use this as motivation to make music and sing or play beautifully.

Follow Up
Sometimes, the most important part of the audition process is the follow-up contact. If you have been in touch with a specific instructor or administrator, make sure to send an email, or even better, a handwritten card, expressing your thanks for his or her time and consideration. In a close decision-making process, this can sometimes be the thing that closes the deal for you.

Summer Festivals & Camps

American Bandmasters Association International Festival Institute at Round Top
Americans for the Arts Juilliard Summer Percussion Seminar
American Music Conference League of American Orchestras
American Music Therapy Association Marrowstone Music Festival
American Orff-Schulwerk Association Masterworks Festival
Aspen Music Festival and School The Midwest Clinic
Bandworld Midwest Young Artists Summer Music Festival
Birch Creek Music Performance Center Music Academy of the West
Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Music for All (formerly Bands of America)
Boston University Tanglewood Institute Music Educators National Conference
Brevard Music Center Music Teachers National Association
Camp Encore/Coda National High School Music Institute at Northwestern University
Center for Creative Youth New England Music Camp
Chautauqua Summer Schools of Fine and Performing Arts New York Summer Music Festival
College Band Directors National Association Potomac Summer Music Camp at George Mason
College Music Society Sewanee Summer Music Festival
Drum Corps International Summit Music Festival
Eastern Music Festival and School Support Music
Eastman Summer Sessions Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific
Eastern U.S. Music Camp at Colgate University University of Michigan Summer Music Programs
Florence International Music Summer Camps University of Wisconsin-Madison Summer Music Clinic
Hartwick College Summer Music Festival Walnut Hill Chamber Music Festival: Summer Chamber Music in France
Idyllwild Arts Summer Program West Michigan University High School Summer Music Camp
The Instrumentalist Magazine Winter Guard International
Interlochen Arts Camp Young Audiences New York

European Festivals – Opera (back to top)

European – Art Song (back to top)

United States – Opera (back to top)

United States – Art Song (back to top)

United States – Choral /Choral Conducting (back to top)