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Worship Auditions

Program application is required for all prospective worship students before admission into the worship program. The purpose of the audition is to evaluate your potential success as a worship student and whether you will be admitted to the department to pursue a worship degree.


Students who wish to audition must fulfill the following requirements prior to the audition:

  • Completed junior year of high school
  • Submitted admissions application to Cedarville University
  • Declared worship as their major
  • Intending to complete the worship degree at Cedarville


The application process consists of four components: essay, personal interview, music audition, and personal recommendations. All four components must be completed before your admission is approved.


The essay is to be 2-3 typed double-spaced pages (approximately 500-750 words) that will help us get to know you and let us see a sample of your writing. The topics that you should address are: Why are you interested in studying worship? Why Cedarville? What are your career goals at this point in your life? What ministry experiences have you had? Your essay must be uploaded with your worship audition application.

Personal Interview

The personal interview is designed to help us get to know you better and to be able to interact with you personally. The interview can be part of your on-campus music audition. You should be nicely dressed and be ready to interact with faculty regarding your essay.

Music Audition

All worship students will ultimately need to be proficient in voice and either piano or guitar. To help evaluate your strengths and abilities, you will sing and play either piano or guitar as part of your audition. You should prepare two selections on your strongest performance area and one short selection on the other. You will also be asked to sight-read vocally and instrumentally.


You are required to be recommended by two individuals that are able to assess you based on your musical abilities, ministry experience, and spiritual maturity. Suggested references include pastor, worship leader, youth pastor, or music teacher.

Audition Requirements

Auditions will include:

  • Performance of two selections on your primary instrument
  • Performance of a brief selection on your secondary instrument
  • Sight-reading on your primary instrument
  • Interview

Students are encouraged to accompany themselves, use accompaniment tapes, or bring an accompanist. However, we are able to provide an accompanist for your audition. When scheduling your audition, please let us know if you need an accompanist. If you will be using a Cedarville University accompanist, please provide copies of your pieces 2 full weeks before your scheduled audition.


Students auditioning with voice as their primary instrument should prepare two memorized selections of contrasting nature using the following guidelines:

  • One classical art song or hymn arrangement.
  • One selection of your choice. Contemporary Christian songs, pop standards, or Broadway show tunes are allowed.

Students auditioning with voice as their secondary instrument should prepare to sing one memorized selection using the following guidelines:

  • A hymn of your choice, sung a cappella.

You will also:

  • Sight-read a melodic line a capella. (Primary instrument only)
  • Sing back a series of pitches to test your tonal memory
  • Be vocalized by a member of the worship faculty to determine your vocal range and flexibility


Students auditioning with piano as their primary instrument should prepare two selections of contrasting nature using the following guidelines:

  • One classical piece, such as a movement from a piano sonata of Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven.
  • One hymn arrangement, jazz standard, or arrangement of a contemporary song.
  • Memorization is highly encouraged.

You will also:

  • Play major and minor 4-octave scales (between 4 sharps and 4 flats) at a moderate tempo.
  • Sight-read a piece of medium difficulty.
  • Play from a chord chart

Students auditioning with piano as their secondary instrument should prepare to perform one short piece of your choice.

You will also:

  • Play from a chord chart.


Students auditioning with guitar as their primary instrument should prepare two selections of contrasting nature using the following guidelines.

  • Selections should include several playing styles, such as finger picked, solos, and strummed.
  • Classical, jazz, rock, blues, and contemporary Christian music styles are all welcome.

You will also:

  • Play major and minor 2-octave scales (between 4 flats and 4 sharps) at a moderate tempo.
  • Sight-read a melody
  • Play from a chord chart.

Students auditioning with guitar as their secondary instrument should perform a short piece of their choice.

You will also:

  • Play from a chord chart

Recorded Audition Instructions

On campus auditions are preferred and required for applicants living within 300 miles. If a recorded audition is necessary, please submit a video or DVD recording using the same guidelines for on-campus auditions:

  1. Please announce each piece before it is performed allowing sufficient breaks between selections.
  2. Recordings should be prepared with great care. If you cannot have the recording made professionally, be sure to locate the best equipment, acoustical situation and personal assistance possible.
  3. The recording should not be edited or spliced.

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

Theory Entrance Exam

All worship students must study music theory as part of their course work. Some students have studied music theory as part of private lessons they have taken or in their high school music program. Other students have had no prior music theory experience, which is not required for admission to the program.

We offer a Theory Entrance exam for worship students who have had a background in music theory, and who believe that they could pass out of the class "Introduction to Music Theory and Aural Skills". This can save the student time and money. The criteria for "Credit by Examination" can be found in the current academic catalog.

Taking this test is optional for worship students, but there is no penalty for taking it and not being successful. It is offered on audition days and during Getting Started week. Topics covered on the exam include keys, scales, intervals, etc. and simple aural concepts.

You can prepare for the Theory Entrance Exam by purchasing an introductory music theory text and working through the material on your own. Introductory texts usually include titles such as Introduction to Music Theory, Basic Music Theory, or Fundamentals of Music Theory. A really useful text is Basic Materials in Music Theory: A Program Course by Paul O. Harder.

As you prepare, you should become very familiar with the following topics:

  • Rules of basic music notation
  • Major and minor key signatures
  • Relative and parallel keys
  • Simple meter and rhythm
  • Major and three minor scale forms
  • Basic interval spelling and recognition (up through the octave)

For additional information:

Dr. Roger O'Neel
(937) 766-7728

Scheduling Your Audition

The department has dedicated the following days as audition days:

  • Friday, November 18, 2016 (Priority consideration and early scholarship decision available this date only)
  • Monday, February 20, 2017
  • Friday, March 24, 2017 (Last audition day to be eligible for music scholarship consideration)
  • Other date (by permission of the music office only*)

Students who wish to audition should submit the online audition application at least two weeks prior to the date they wish to audition.

These audition days are designed especially for you! You will enjoy a complimentary breakfast and lunch, attend chapel, meet current music students, take the Theory Placement Exam, attend a special concert during the noon hour, and your parents can take part in a Financial Aid meeting. We highly encourage you to schedule your audition on one of these dates.

*However, if you are unable to visit campus during one of the dedicated audition dates, we can accommodate you. In these cases, please email the music and worship department with your desired audition date(s). You will receive an email stating either that your desired date has been approved or that you need to choose another date. Please note that specially scheduled auditions are available on weekdays (Monday–Friday) only. Auditions must be completed by March 24, 2017, if you wish to be considered for a department scholarship.

If travel distance (300-plus miles) makes it impractical for you to perform an on-campus audition, you may submit a video audition. Recorded auditions must be received by March 24, 2017, to be considered for a department scholarship. Please refer to the "Recorded Audition Instructions" on the Audition Requirements page or contact the Department of Music and Worship if you still have questions.

A schedule of the day's events will be emailed to you after your audition application form is processed. It is imperative that we have a working email that is checked daily, as this is the method by which we will contact you concerning your audition and any other pertinent information.

Schedule Your Audition Now