Composition Audition Guidelines

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The Composition Audition must include all the components which are described below

  1. Portfolio of Scores
    1. Composers should bring scores of at least two original compositions. It is recommended that these be notated in Finale or Sibelius. For more information on notation programs, read “A Guide to Music Notation Software” below.
    2. Students are encouraged to bring live recordings of their compositions. While this can be a challenge, nothing compares with a live recording. In lieu of this, students may also provide MIDI recordings. If no recordings are available, students will not be penalized.
    3. For questions about preparing the portfolio of scores and other questions relating to college level composition study, please read “Preparation for College Level Composition Study” below.
  2. Interview
    1. You will be asked about your career goals, favorite music, composition and performance experience, and other related questions that will help us guide you in our program.
  3. Supporting Materials
    1. The student should provide a music resume which includes:
      • A list of all original compositions and arrangements
      • Performances of original compositions or arrangements (if any)
      • Performance experience (church, school, contests, recitals, etc...)
      • A brief statement of the student's career goals, musical interests, and a list of your favorite five albums.
  4. Performance Audition
    1. Composition students at Cedarville will need to declare a major instrument. As part of the audition process, students will play an audition on their main instrument. Please see the requirements for piano, instrumental, and voice auditions here (hyperlink to “What to prepare”)

Off-Campus Audition Instructions:

On campus auditions are preferred and required for applicants living within 300 miles. If it is not possible for you to travel to Cedarville University, please submit the following

  1. Portfolio of scores
  2. Accompanying recordings, if any
  3. A music resume which includes:
    • A list of all original compositions and arrangements
    • Performances of original compositions or arrangements (if any)
    • Performance experience (church, school, contests, recitals, etc...)
    • A brief statement of the student's career goals, musical interests, and a list of your favorite five albums.

Recordings should be mailed to: Cedarville University Department of Music and Worship, 251 North Main Street, Cedarville, Ohio 45314. Deadline for recorded auditions is on or before the last scheduled audition date.

A Guide to Music Notation Software

While there are other options for music notation software, Finale and Sibelius remain the industry standard across the globe. Other notation programs typically do not have the flexibility that these two programs have, and are not used in the film, publishing, or any other part of the music industry. Fortunately, purchasing these programs is not overly expensive for the high school or college students.

For information about Sibelius student pricing see www.sibelius.com

For information about Finale student pricing see www.finalemusic.com

It should also be mentioned that any student seriously considering Cedarville University could also purchase our theory textbook, Tonal Harmony by Stefan Kostka and Dorothy Payne, and receive an even deeper discount on Finale than is offered from the above websites.

Preparation for College Level Composition Study

Potential composition students often don’t know how to start composing. Here are some suggestions on how to get started.

  1. Start studying music theory. You might investigate any AP classes offered at your high school, or any community college classes available, or just get a theory book and study on your own. We recommend Tonal Harmony by Stefan Kostka and Dorothy Payne. This is the textbook we use at Cedarville.
  2. Consider getting a theory tutor to help you. Cedarville composition students are available for skype tutoring, and are very affordable. Email Dr. Jaquith for more information.
  3. Listen to lots of great music in many genres. Include great classical, jazz, pop, and film albums in your listening. For classical pieces, find the scores and follow along.
  4. Consider getting a composition tutor. Cedarville composition students are also available via skype to help you develop your ideas and shape your music. Email Dr. Jaquith for more information.