Student playing an instrument in one of Cedarville's ensembles

Worship Auditions

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  11. Worship Camp
  12. Department of Music and Worship
  13. Resonance Worship Bands
  14. Rekindle Worship Bands

Cedarville University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music.

Purpose and Eligibility

Who Should Audition?

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.

Eligibility

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

Process

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.

Essay

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.

Recommendations

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 Dates

The department has dedicated the following days as audition days:

  • Friday, November 9, 2018 (Priority consideration and early scholarship decision available this date only)
  • Monday, February 18, 2019
  • Friday, March 15, 2019 (Last audition day to be eligible for music/worship scholarship consideration)
  • Other date (by permission of the music and worship department only; see note on the Auditions tab)

Audition Requirements

Students must sing and play piano or guitar. You should select one of these three areas as your primary instrument and another one as your secondary instrument. Voice is considered an instrument, and must be either your primary or secondary instrument.

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, bring an accompanist or request one. If you require one and do not have one available, please make a request for one on your audition form online. You can also sing and play for yourself to demonstrate proficiency in your primary and secondary instruments.

Vocal

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

  • One song of your choice such as a hymn, classical art song, Broadway or gospel song
  • Contemporary worship song

Students auditioning with voice as their secondary instrument should be prepared to a song of your choice, such as a contemporary worship song or a hymn.

You will also:

  • Sight-read a melodic line a capella
  • Sing back a series of pitches to test your tonal memory
  • Be asked to harmonize on a contemporary worship song

Piano

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

  • One performance piece, such as a classical piece, a Broadway standard, jazz piece, etc.
  • One religious piece, such as a hymn arrangement, gospel piece, CCM, or worship song
  • Students are encouraged to play from memory

You will also:

  • Piano students should also be prepared to play major and minor 4-octave scales (between 4 sharps and 4 flats) at a moderate tempo 
  • Sight-reading a piece of medium difficulty at sight
  • Play from a chord chart

Students auditioning with piano as their secondary instrument should be prepared to demonstrate their ability by performing a short piece of their choice.

You will also:

  • Play from a chord chart

Guitar

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

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

You will also:

  • Students will be requested to play major and minor 2-octave scales (between 4 flats and 4 sharps) at a moderate tempo 
  • Students will be asked to sight-read a melody
  • Play triads in different places on the neck
  • Play from a chord chart

Students auditioning with guitar as their secondary instrument should be prepared to demonstrate their ability by performing 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. You may also post a link to a video hosting service such as youtube.com or vimeo.com. 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
e-mail 

Schedule Your Audition

The department has dedicated the following days as audition days:

  • Friday, November 9, 2018 (Priority consideration and early scholarship decision available this date only)
  • Monday, February 18, 2019
  • Friday, March 15, 2019 (Last audition day to be eligible for music/worship 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 the last audition date 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 the last audition date 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 »