DePaul University School of Music > Admission & Aid > Auditions > Undergraduate/Teacher Licensure > Percussion

Auditions: Undergraduate - Percussion

Percussionists may choose to perform either a classical or jazz audition. Applicants who wish to schedule both may do so.

Successful applicants will be assigned to the applied studios within the category (classical or jazz) for which they have auditioned. If an applicant wishes to study in both the jazz and classical studios they must participate in both a classical and jazz audition.

Please see the audition requirements below.

  • Classical
  • Jazz Drumset
  • Jazz Vibraphone

Classical

Undergraduate Auditions typically consist of scales and prepared selections, which should include one or more movements from the standard solo, sonata or concerto repertoire. Etudes may also be included. Sight-reading may be requested. Selections need not be memorized and piano accompaniment is not required. All students are asked to bring three copies of their music with them to the audition. Auditions must include every component listed below.

Snare Drum

  • Solo (Comparable to Cirone Portraits in Rhythm, or Delecluse Douze Etudes)
  • Rudiments
  • Sight reading

Marimba (specific pieces mentioned are meant to guide towards difficulty expected, and should not be interpreted as a requirement) 

Demonstrate 2 AND 4 mallet technique:

  • 2 Mallet (Bach A minor Violin Concerto, Creston Concerto, Kreisler Tambourin Chinois, G.H. Green Rag, or comparable)
  • 4 Mallet (Stout Two Mexican Dances, Abe Michi, Smadbeck Rhythm Song, Sammut Rotation IV, or comparable)
  • Sight reading

Timpani

  • 4 timpani etude/solo from Vic Firth's Solo Timpanist, Richard Hochrainer's Etuden Fur Timpani (Book 2 or 3) or a comparable work

Jazz Drumset

All jazz applicants (regardless of intended major) are required to submit a pre-audition screening video through our Acceptd page​ by December 1. Pre-screenings must be in video format. All videos received after December 1 will only be considered based on the availability of audition times. Upon passing the pre-screening, you will receive notification by no later than December 20 inviting you to schedule your live audition. ​​

Pre-Screening Requirements

  • A performance of “Blakey’s End” from Thompson’s Jazz Solos for Drumset Volume 1

  • Play time in a 4/4 swing feel (half note = 96) for approximately 20 seconds

  • Trade fours (4/4 swing followed by solo, repeated, half note = 96) for approximately 1 minute

  • Play a Mambo, quarter note = 200

​Live Audition Requirements

Note: All applicants must provide their own cymbals, sticks, and hi-hat clutch.

All pre-screening requirements will be included in the live audition in addition to the following requirements:

  • ​Prepared snare drum solo (comparable to material found in Cirone’s Portraits in Rhythm or Tompkins’ French-American Rudimental Solos)

  • Rudiments (knowledge of and application to the snare drum and drum set)

  • Soloing and trading (playing phrases, using rudiments, dynamics, etc.)

  • Sight-reading (large and small jazz ensemble charts, ensemble figures, chart interpretation)

  • Form identification and recognition (blues and rhythm changes)

The prospective student will be required to demonstrate a familiarity with and ability to play the following musical styles on the drumset: 4/4 swing at a variety of tempos;
 rock styles at a variety of tempos; 
bossa nova;
 mambo; 
brush technique – medium and ballad tempi;
 jazz waltz time keeping​

Jazz Vibraphone

All jazz applicants (regardless of intended major) are required to submit a pre-audition screening video through our Acceptd page by December 1. Pre-screenings must be in video format. All videos received after December 1 will only be considered based on the availability of audition times. Upon passing the pre-screening, you will receive notification by no later than December 20 inviting you to schedule your live audition. ​

Pre-Screening Requirements

  • ​“All The Things You Are” - Medium Tempo (quarter note = 108 – 132)

  • “Billie’s Bounce” - Medium Up Tempo (quarter note = 138 – 168)

Using play-along accompaniment or in solo performance, applicants must perform the melody, play a chorus of accompaniment, and a chorus of improvisation (two choruses on “Billie’s Bounce”) for each selection. You must also demonstrate use of dampening and pedaling techniques on melodies and improvised choruses. If possible, four-mallet accompaniment with chord inversions should be demonstrated during your chorus of comping.

Live Audition Requirements

Note: Vibraphone will be provided. Applicants must bring a play-along CD or music player with play-along tracks for the audition (iPod or similar, with headphone output jack).

All pre-screening requirements will be included in the live audition in addition to the following requirements:

Jazz vibraphone applicants should be prepared to play along with a Jamey Aebersold recording or its equivalent for a 15-minute audition consisting of two contrasting jazz pieces (i.e. a 12-bar blues (“Au Privave” or “Straight, No Chaser”) and a jazz standard (“Star Eyes” or “Oleo”). For each, applicants should be able to play the melody, comp, and improvise on the chord changes. 

Additionally, applicants should prepare the following materials:

  • ​A prepared solo vibraphone selection (Friedman’s “Mirror from Another” or “Wind”) and a four mallet solo marimba selection (Peters’ “Yellow After the Rain”)

  • Two octaves of scales and arpeggios through three sharps and three flats; harmonic minor, one sharp and one flat; chromatic scale.

Other skills assessed:​

  • ​Chord solo approach on a standard jazz ballad (four-mallets)

  • Sight-reading of melody in the jazz style

  • Repertoire knowledge

NOTE: If interested in formally studying drum set, the vibraphone applicant must also prepare the above drum set audition requirements.​​​​​​​