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Prospective Students

Contact Us  


Swope Music Building
817 S. High Street
West Chester, PA 19383

Phone: 610-436-2739
Fax: 610-436-2873

Faculty Contact Information:
Applied Music
Music Education
Music Theory, History and Composition


Tour Registration

The College of Visual and Performing Arts will be offering tours throughout the fall / spring semesters and summer. In registering for a tour, you are also automatically registered for the campus tour. Please park by Swope Music Building and meet for the campus tour at the Office of Admissions on Rosedale Avenue. You will receive a confirmation and parking pass two business days before your tour.

Register Now For a Department Tour

Applying to the School of Music

All prospective music majors must first apply for admission to WCU. Once your application has been received and you have indicated that you'd like to be a music major we will contact you via email to schedule an audition (check your "junk mail" folder in case your email client blocks unknown emails). Freshmen will be given a choice of up to three possible Audition Days to choose from based on instrument availability and time of application. Transfer students will select an Audition day based upon their semester of entrance.

APPLY for Admission to WCU

All prospective music majors must first apply for admission to WCU. The School of Music cannot audition any students who have not yet applied for academic admission to the university. It is recommended that students apply in August or September to ensure that their application is processed and reviewed with ample time to schedule an audition during the fall semester.

REGISTER for an Audition Day

Once you have applied for admission to WCU, you will receive an email invitation to register online for an Audition Day. You will be able to register for an audition date within the next three available dates. Transfer students have separate audition dates.

ATTEND an Audition Day

The audition has two main parts (Intonation & Sight-Singing, and Major-level Proficiency on an instrument, piano/organ, or voice) that all prospective music majors must complete. Please review the Audition Requirements below before your audition.

Notification of Acceptance

Instead of a quota system, students are required to earn a minimum audition score for acceptance into their chosen major program within the School of Music. We will notify you of your audition results by email. We feel that it is important to return a students' results quickly so that they have time to take sample lessons or shadow students before making commitments enroll at a particular university. Passing the School of Music audition does not guarantee admission to West Chester University. You must still submit all materials to complete your application and meet all academic requirements in order to be accepted to the University. The final admissions decision will be sent by the Office of Admissions.

Audition Requirements

The audition has two main parts (intonation & sight-signing, and major level proficiency on an instrument, piano/organ, or voice) that all prospective music majors must complete. Students interested in pursuing a major in theory & composition or jazz performance have additional audition requirements to complete. As all School of Music degree programs require piano classes as a part of the curriculum, we also offer a piano placement exam during the audition for those students who have piano experience and would like to place into a higher level piano class.

Intonation and Sight-Singing

You will be asked to sing intervals which are first played on the piano and to sing simple melodies from a printed page with melodic and rhythmic accuracy. You may sing on neutral syllables or use solmization. You should prepare for this part of the test by practicing singing major and minor scales, major and minor triads and simple melodies. Please ask your music teacher to help you prepare for these tests using examples so that you will feel confident and comfortable when you arrive on campus, especially if you have limited singing experience.

Piano Placement (optional)

All incoming freshmen will be placed in Piano Class I (PIA191). If you have piano experience, you may opt to take the piano placement exam as a part of your audition. You should come with a short piano piece prepared in advance, and to demonstrate proficiency in the following areas covered in the first semester:

  • Major scales hands separately with traditional fingering; cadence patterns (I - IV - V7)
  • Sight-reading both clefs (Piano Placement Criteria )

Major Instrument Proficiency

Students may audition on the following instruments: Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass (not electric bass), Classical guitar (not steel strings), Percussion (including mallets), Trumpet, Trombone, Baritone, Tuba, French Horn, Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon, Harp. Transfer students must bring to the audition a list of repertoire performed in recital or at end of semester "juries".

  • Wind & String Instruments (except guitar & double bass): Two pieces/movements of your choice, in contrasting styles, which best show your proficiency. Be prepared to play all major scales & complete a sight-reading example.
  • Guitarists: Two classical guitar solos (melody and supporting parts are all played simultaneously on one guitar). Guitar solos by any of the following composers are acceptable: Sor, Giuliani, Carcassi, Aguado, Carulli, Tárrega, Sagreras, Villa-Lobos, Barrios, Brouwer, Dowland, Milan, Visée, Weiss, and Bach.
  • Percussionists: Three pieces - one two or four mallet solo on a keyboard instrument (marimba, vibraphone or xylophone), one concert snare drum etude, and a short solo or etude on timpani. The audition will also include sight reading on marimba and snare drum, major scales, and snare drum rudiments.
  • Double Bassists: One movement from a Baroque Sonata (example: Bach, Marcello, Vivaldi, Corelli, Eccles, etc.) and one movement from a Classical, Romantic or Contemporary piece (example: Dragonetti, Dittersdorf, Vanhal, Koussevitzky, Proto, Rabbath, etc.

Major Keyboard Proficiency

For all degrees candidates (except Keyboard Performance):

  • Technique
    • Scales, major and minor (harmonic and melodic), four octaves
    • Arpeggios, major and minor, hands together, four octaves, at a fluent tempo
  • Repertoire: All works are to be performed from memory. In certain cases, literature substitutions may be made upon request. Transfer students must bring to the audition a list of repertoire performed in recital or at end of semester "juries".
    • A two or three-part Invention of J.S. Bach, or Scarlatti Sonata
    • The first movement of a sonata by Haydn, Mozart, Schubert or Beethoven (excluding Op. 49 and Op. 79)
    • Any piece from the 19th, 20th, or 21st century, equivalent in difficulty to the sonata movement above
  • Sight Reading: A solo piano example

Major Keyboard Performance Proficiency

  • Technique
    • Scales, major and minor (harmonic and melodic), four octaves, hands together. Suggested minimum tempo, quarter note M.M. = 132 (4 notes/click)
    • Arpeggios, major and minor, four octaves, hands together. Suggested minimum tempo, M.M. = 112 (3 notes/ click)
  • Repertoire: All works are to be performed from memory. In certain cases, literature substitutions may be made upon request.
    • A Prelude and Fugue, Toccata, or several movements from a Suite or Partita by J.S. Bach
    • A complete sonata by Haydn, Mozart, Schubert or Beethoven (excluding Op. 49 and 79)
    • A solo work of substantial length and difficulty from the 19th, 20th or 21st century
  • Sight Reading: A solo piano example

Major Vocal Proficiency

While it is not necessary to bring an accompanist, please choose your repertoire with the understanding that a voice faculty member will serve as your accompanist and no prior rehearsal is provided.

All degree candidates (except in Vocal Performance) must have prepared:

  • Repertoire: Two art-songs, in contrasting styles, memorized. The pieces should show a variety of styles. No choral music excerpts or Musical Theatre, please.

All Vocal Performance candidates must have prepared:

  • Repertoire: Three solo songs, memorized. English and a foreign language must be represented. The pieces should show a variety of styles. No choral music excerpts or Musical Theatre, please.

It is the audition committee’s discretion to hear all or portions of the repertoire prepared at the audition.

Major Jazz Performance Proficiency

This major is ONLY offered for saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, bass (double bass only), piano, and percussion.

ALL potential jazz majors must pass the three main audition parts listed above (including auditioning on the "classical" aspect of your instrument), PLUS the following additional requirements:

  • Tunes: Perform three tunes in contrasting style with Jamey Aebersold (or other CD accompaniment). Original tunes accepted. Specifically the student must:
    • Interpret a melody in an effective and creative way.
    • Improvise on chord changes in a confident manner to perform an original solo that is creative and musically effective.
  • Scales (except percussion)
    • Knowledge, application and the ability to play all of the modes of the:
      • Major Scale
      • Harmonic Minor
      • Melodic Minor (modes from the ascending melodic minor only
    • Knowledge, application and ability to play the following scales:
      • Diminished (half/whole & whole/half)
      • Whole Tone
      • Pentatonic

Theory and Composition (majors only)

In addition to the completing the 3 main audition parts listed above, prospective theory and composition majors will:

  • Demonstrate keyboard proficiency through the performance of any keyboard literature.
  • Aural skills will be evaluated, including: intervals, chord qualities and inversions, and harmonic progression.
  • Sight singing will be evaluated.
  • Composers: Please bring three scores (and recordings, if available) of original compositions (no arrangements).
  • Theorists: Please bring roman numeral analysis and written analysis in the form of short essays of three compositions from different eras (baroque, classical, romantic, etc...)

History (majors only)

Prospective Bachelor of Music, History Concentration majors must complete the 3 main parts of the Undergrad Audition Requirements (dictation, intonation and sight-singing, and major-level proficiency on an instrument, piano/organ, or voice), and may opt to take the piano placement exam.

Undergraduate Audition Days

Note that all auditions occur on Tuesdays and you may need to plan accordingly to miss school or work. We are unable to schedule personal auditions or to audition students via audio or video file. All dates are open to prospective freshmen, transfer students, and internal transfers.

  • November 17, 2015
  • December 1, 2015
  • January 19, 2016
  • February 2, 2016
  • February 16, 2016
  • March 15, 2016
  • An additional audition day may be available in July for Transfer Students and Late Admission Freshmen

Audition Day Schedule

Students should arrive to check-in for their audition between 8:30am-9:00am. Students are given individualized audition schedules based on their desired degree program and placement exams. No time will be scheduled for warm-up or rehearsal; students may warm-up between auditions or may elect to arrive at the beginning of the check-in period to have time to rehearse before the Welcome Address at 9:15am. As students' schedules are customized, they can expect to be finished with their audition anytime between 10:30am-12:00Noon.

Sample Schedule

  • 9:15am - Welcome Address
  • 9:30am - Piano Placement Exam
  • 9:45am - Sight Singing
  • 10:00am - Major Instrument Audition

Parents and Guests

Parents and Guests attending the Audition Day will be presented with several sessions, including an Information Session with School of Music staff, Financial Aid Information Session, Q&A Session with School of Music Ambassadors, and a Swope Music Building Tour.


Students auditioning with pieces that require accompaniment do not need to bring their own accompanist. Please bring a copy of your music with you and our faculty will accompany you.

References, Resumes, and Repertoires

You do not need to bring any references or resume with you. When a student registers to audition on voice or piano they will fill out a repertoire list/info sheet along with their registration.

Scholarships and Awards

Scholarships are available for students enrolled in School of Music degree programs with varying criteria for application, faculty nomination, and/or competition. We thank our loyal donors for their continued support of our programs and students.

Scholarship Consideration for Incoming Freshmen

Students who attend all auditions in the fall semester will be given first consideration for School of Music scholarships. Scholarships from the School of Music are based off of your performance at your audition; no application necessary.

Incoming Freshman

  • Sandra Alesia Atkins Memorial Scholarship
  • George And Susan Boyer Organ Scholarship
  • Robert L. Carl Memorial Keyboard Scholarship
  • Paul E. Carson Band Scholarship
  • Vincent D. Celentano Memorial Scholarship
  • John T. Coates Horn Scholarship
  • Samuel Russell Cosby, Jr. Endowed Scholarship Voice
  • Charles S. And Margherita Gangemi Memorial Scholarship
  • Miriam S. Gottlieb Piano Scholarship
  • Fritz K. Krueger Memorial Voice Scholarship
  • Theodora Pandel Memorial Piano Scholarship
  • Roz Patton Vocal/Choral Scholarship
  • The Blanche Stretch Peterson Piano/Organ Scholarship
  • String Scholarships

Applied Music

  • Cavalcade Of Bands Scholarships
  • Frank T. Cheesman Memorial Vocal/Choral Scholarship
  • Michael Falcone Memorial Jazz Scholarship
  • Raymond and May Grayson Friday Memorial Scholarship
  • Arthur E. Jones Scholarship
  • Virginia Keshel MacArthur Annual Scholarship
  • S. Powell Middleton Memorial Scholarship
  • Lloyd C. Mitchell Piano Scholarship
  • Michael Morochko Memorial Piano Scholarship
  • Constance W. Murray Memorial Scholarship For Piano Pedagogy
  • Hillary H. Parry Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • Roz Patton Most Improved Voice Major Scholarship
  • Jane Elizabeth Sheppard Vocal/Choral Scholarship
  • Rob Simon Memorial Award
  • Lois Williams Concert Choir Scholarship

Music Education

  • Class Of '45 Memorial Music Scholarship
  • John Gutscher Scholarship In Music Education
  • Sophomore Music Scholarships

Music Theory and Composition

  • Charles S. And Margherita Gangemi Memorial Scholarship
  • Harry Wilkinson Music Theory Scholarship

School Of Music

  • Lenore Alt Excellence And Leadership Award
  • Laury Samuel Brokenshire Scholarship
  • Jacobs Music Steinway Award
  • Leonard Laubach Music Scholarships
  • Theodore Presser Foundation Scholarship
  • Everett E. Shaefer Memorial Scholarship
  • Charles A. Sprenkle Scholarship
  • Joy Vandever Scholarship
  • Benjamin Whitten Prize

Independent Scholarships and Grants

  • David Leibig Memorial Grant Fund
  • Dr. Charles S. Swope Memorial Scholarship Foundation
  • West Chester University Foundation Grant


  • Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia S. Powell Middleton Award
  • Pi Kappa Lambda
  • Sigma Alpha Iota College Honor Award
  • Sigma Alpha Iota Scholastic Certificate