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Scholarship Auditions

The music faculty requires that each incoming scholarship candidate arrange an audition. Auditions must take place prior to March 7 each year.

See audition guidelines by instrument

Prospective students may schedule an audition through the Admissions Department (1-800-458-8437) or at www.luther/edu/admissions/visit/. The music department recommends auditioning on the following official audition days during the 2013-2014 academic year:

  • Thursday, December 5: Christmas at Luther visit day
  • Saturday, February 1: Off-campus audition days in Des Moines and Twin Cities areas
  • Saturday, February 15: Luther College
  • Saturday, February 22: Luther College
  • Dorian Festival days: Luther College
    • Keyboard: November 8-10
    • Vocal: January 11-13
    • Orchestra: February 9-10
    • Band: March 2-3
  • March 7: Music Scholarship Audition Day

If the distance you live from Luther makes auditioning on campus impractical (greater than 200 miles), the music faculty will accept a high-quality CD or video recording of a solo, etude, or recital. Audition recordings must be postmarked prior to March 7. Submissions can be mailed to: Jim Buzza, Luther College, 700 College Dr, Decorah, IA 52101.

Additionally, auditions can be heard by ensemble directors during annual ensemble tours as scheduling allows. Vocal auditions are restricted to choir tours and instrumental auditions to orchestra, band, or jazz tours. Refer to the tour schedule dates at https://www.luther.edu/music/tours/. Contact Eric Ellingsen (eric.ellingsen@luther.edu) to schedule a choir tour audition or Kate Haller (kate.haller@luther.edu) to schedule an instrumental tour audition.

Music scholarships are only awarded to students who have been admitted to Luther.  Students who are admitted and audition prior to Saturday, December 7, 2013 will be notified on Monday, December 16, 2013.  Students who are admitted and audition prior to Monday, March 10, 2014 will be notified on Monday, March 17, 2014.

Please complete the Music Participation Survey if you are considering auditioning for a Luther College music scholarship.

Types of Scholarships

Luther College awards three types of scholarships to students: Music Lesson, Weston Noble, and Endowed Scholarships.

Music Lesson Scholarships

Music Lesson Scholarships are designed to cover the cost of a private lesson for students. Incoming students, regardless of major, may receive this scholarship to develop their musical ability through individual and group instruction during their first years at Luther College. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are music majors may receive one music lesson scholarship each semester, with a maximum total of seven semesters of scholarships.

Weston Noble Music Scholarships

Weston Noble Music Scholarships recognize incoming students who display outstanding potential for participation in Luther's major music organizations. The music faculty awards scholarships in several areas of interest, including vocal music, band, orchestra, and keyboard. Candidates for a Weston Noble Music Scholarship are identified through auditions and brought to the attention of the scholarship committee.

Endowed Scholarships

Endowed Scholarships are also funded by Luther. These awards annually assist a large number of upperclass music majors who meet the eligibility conditions specified for each scholarship.

Audition guidelines

Vocal

A prospective student auditioning for a vocal scholarship should be prepared to perform, from memory, two selections of contrasting mood/style from the classical art song repertoire. An opera or oratorio aria may be substituted for one selection. Please bring a copy of the music to be performed (in the key performed if possible).

Bass

Prepare a solo or etude that represents your best technique and musicianship. Accompanist recommended but not required. A solo with contrasting sections (slow/lyrical and rapid/technical) or two contrasting movements of a sonata or concerto is preferred. Memorization is not required. Luther basses can be checked out for an audition.

Bassoon

Prepare two contrasting movements from any major concerto, sonata, or concert piece. Advanced etudes are also appropriate.

Cello

Prepare a solo piece that shows tone articulation and level of technical development. It does not need to be memorized. No accompanist is necessary.

Clarinet

A prepared solo appropriate for use in state solo and ensemble contests. Memorization not required. Accompaniment recommended but not required. A solo with contrasting sections is best—i.e. one or more slow, lyrical sections; and one or more sections of rapid technical passages.

Composition

Submit a portfolio of 2-3 contrasting original works. If works are primarily acoustic, scores should be included. Recordings are helpful but not required. While an in-person audition is ideal, portfolios may be mailed or sent electronically. 

Flute

Prepare 2 pieces of contrasting styles showing different aspects of playing ability. Be prepared to perform chromatic scales in three octaves. Accompanist not required.

French Horn

Be prepared to perform a chromatic scale covering your entire range.  Prepare a sonata or concerto with contrasting movements or sections (slow/lyrical and fast/technical) which demonstrates your tone quality, technical ability, and musicianship.  Two pieces with contrasting styles is also acceptable.  Memorization and accompaniment is not required.

Guitar

Auditionees should perform works from any of the five periods of guitar literature.

Examples include: Renaissance (Dowland, Mudarra, Narvaez), Baroque (DeVisee, Sanz, J.S. Bach), Classical (Sor, Guiliani, Paganini, Agnado), Spanish Romantic (Tarrega, Barrios, Llobet, Pujol, Torroba), and 20th Century (Brouwer, Duarte, Brindle).

Oboe

Prepare two contrasting movements from any major concerto, sonata, or concert piece. Advanced etudes are also appropriate.

Organ

Prepare two pieces of organ literature in contrasting styles of no more than 5 minutes each in length and one hymn such as Lobe den Herren or Aurelia. The pieces do not need to be from memory. Selections should show off students' musicianship and technique to their best advantage.

Percussion

Prepare a solo on all, or any of the three groups: snare drum, mallet or timpani. Memorization is not required. Accompanist is not required.

Piano

Prepare two pieces in contrasting styles, from memory. Pieces should show off students' musicianship and technique to their best advantage. We prefer Wednesday afternoon, Friday afternoon or Dorian Keyboard Festival (in early November) auditions.

Saxophone

A prepared solo appropriate for use in state solo and ensemble contests. Memorization not required. Accompaniment recommended but not required. A solo with contrasting sections is best—i.e. one or more slow, lyrical sections; and one or more sections of rapid technical passages.

Trombone/Tuba/Euphonium

Prepare a solo or etude from recent study or All State Audition tryout material. No accompanist is necessary.

Trumpet

Play a solo or etude from the previous year's study or All State Audition tryout material (Iowa Only). No accompanist is necessary.

Violin

Prepare a solo piece which demonstrates your most advanced technical and lyrical playing styles, or two contrasting pieces. Solo literature is preferred, but orchestra or chamber music is acceptable. Memorization is not required. Accompanist is not required.

Viola

Prepare two contrasting solo pieces that show tone, articulation, and level of technical development. An etude may be substituted for a solo piece. Memorization is not required, but recommended. Accompaniment is not required, but student may bring an accompanist if they wish.