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. In order to apply for both, please email musicadmissions@depaul.edu​. ​

Please see the audition requirements below.

We encourage all applicants, if at all possible, to audition in-person.  

  • Live audition dates are scheduled during the weekends in February. Review list of audition dates by instrument here.
  • ​Recorded video auditions are available by request and must be submitted by February 1 to your Blue Demon Domain (for undergraduates) or your application portal (for graduates/post-masters), in the “edit portfolio" section. To enable the recorded audition submission, you may submit a request form​ for an exemption to upload a recorded audition.

Undergraduate auditions typically consist of scales and prepared selections, which should include one or more movements from the standard solo, sonata or concerto repertoire. Auditions must include every component listed below.

Snare Drum

  • Concert Solo (comparable to Cirone Portraits in Rhythm or Delecluse Douze Etudes)

  • Rudimental Solo (optional) (comparable to Wilcoxon All-American Drummer, Tompkins French-American Rudimental Solos, or Pratt 14 Modern Contest Solos)

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)

Timpani

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

Recorded Interview Questions (only applicable to those who select a recorded submission to audition)

​Please upload a video that is no longer than 2-3 minutes and responds to the below questions:

What is your musical background?

Why are you applying to DePaul?​

Jazz drumset is a prescreened area. All undergraduate jazz drumset applicants are required to submit a pre-audition video recording by December 1. Applicants must first apply to the DePaul University School of Music. After submission of your online application, you may then upload your prescreening video under the "Edit Portfolio" section of your Blue Demon Domain

A video upload is the only acceptable format. All recordings received after December 1 will only be viewed and considered based on the availability of audition times and projected applied jazz drumset studio space. Upon successful passing of the prescreening process, you will receive a letter no later than 2-3 weeks after inviting you to schedule your live, on-campus audition using your Campus Connection username and password.

Pre-screening Requirements - due December 1.

Applicants must submit the following videos using the online portal:

·      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 1 minute.

·      Trade fours (4/4 swing followed by solo, repeated, half note = 110) for approximately 1 minute.

·      Play a Mambo, quarter note = 200 for 45 seconds.

Live audition requirements

We encourage all applicants, if at all possible, to audition in-person.  

  • Live audition dates are scheduled during the weekends in February. Review list of audition dates by instrument here.
  • ​Recorded video auditions are available by request and must be submitted by February 1 to your Blue Demon Domain (for undergraduates) or your application portal (for graduates/post-masters), in the “edit portfolio" section. To enable the recorded audition submission, you may submit a request form​ for an exemption to upload a recorded audition.

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

On-campus audition requirements include the above and the following:

• 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 anddrumset)

• 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

Recorded Interview Questions (only applicable to those who select a recorded submission to audition)

​Please upload a video that is no longer than 2-3 minutes and responds to the below questions:

What is your musical background?

Why are you applying to DePaul?​

Jazz vibraphone is a pre-screened area. All undergraduate jazz vibraphone applicants are required to submit a pre-audition video recording by December 1. Applicants must first apply to the DePaul University School of Music. After submission of your online application, you may then upload your prescreening video recording under the "Edit Portfolio" section of your Blue Demon Domain

A video upload is the only acceptable format. All recordings received after December 1 will only be viewed and considered based on the availability of audition times and projected applied jazz vibraphone studio space. Upon successful passing of the prescreening process, you will receive a letter no later than 2-3 weeks after inviting you to schedule your live, on-campus audition using your Campus Connection username and password.

Prescreening Requirements

Applicants must submit the following videos using the online portal:

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

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

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

​​We encourage all applicants, if at all possible, to audition in-person.  

  • Live audition dates are scheduled during the weekends in February. Review list of audition dates by instrument here.
  • ​Recorded video auditions are available by request and must be submitted by February 1 to your Blue Demon Domain (for undergraduates) or your application portal (for graduates/post-masters), in the “edit portfolio" section. To enable the recorded audition submission, you may submit a request form​ for an exemption to upload a recorded audition.

Note: vibraphone will be provided.
On-campus audition requirements include the above and the materials below. Applicants must bring a play-along CD or music player with play-along tracks for the audition (iPod or similar, with headphone output jack).

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 applicant is interested in formally studying drumset, the jazz vibraphone applicant must also prepare the jazz drumset audition requirements, including submission of jazz drumset prescreening materials.

Recorded Interview Questions (only applicable to those who select a recorded submission to audition)

​Please upload a video that is no longer than 2-3 minutes and responds to the below questions:

What is your musical background?

Why are you applying to DePaul?​