Auditions & Audition Requirements

Music Department Audition Dates for students entering CSUB in the Fall of 2017

Saturday, February 25 (scholarship priority date) & Saturday, April 1.


What does the audition consist of, you ask? Well, in addition to a solo audition on your primary instrument (including voice), you will have opportunities to learn about the Music Department's programs, interact with CSU Bakersfield Music faculty and begin the process of academic advising by taking a short Music Theory Diagnostic Exam and consult with Music Department faculty advisors. We hope to make the transition to CSU Bakersfield as simple as possible for you and your family.

At CSU Bakersfield, the audition is the primary way that we get to know prospective students as musicians. Auditions enable the faculty to place students in the private lessons, ensembles, and classes that will best support their musical development and success. 

We hope the information on this page will answer many of the questions that prospective students may have as they prepare for their audition.  We look forward to hearing your singing and playing!

Vocal Music Audition Requirements

Applicants should prepare two (2) vocal selections performed from memory (piano accompaniment will be provided, bring sheet music in the key you are singing):

  • Art song or aria* in Italian or English
  • Second art song or aria in English, Italian, German, French or Spanish
  • Demonstrate musical skills through the following exercises:
    • Melodic sight-singing
    • Aural recall (tonal memory)

 * Opera arias from the 19th century (Puccini, Verdi, etc.) are discouraged for Freshman singers. Opera or oratorio arias from the 17th and 18th century are appropriate (Handel, Caldara, Scarlatti, Bach, etc.)

  • Audition Dress - Professional dress is recommended: 
    • Women: skirts/dresses/dressy slacks
    • Men: dress slacks/dress shirt. No jeans, T-shirts, or sneakers, please

Instrumental Music Audition Requirements

  • Two standard solo pieces or etudes in contrasting styles (approx. 10 min. total):
    • One piece demonstrating technical proficiency
    • One piece demonstrating expressive, lyrical playing
  • Scales (ascending and descending):
    • Major scales up to three sharps or flats (two octaves when possible)
    • Chromatic scale (over full range of the instrument)
  • Jazz improvisation (optional):
    • Improvise on a 12-bar blues pattern or jazz standard
    • Bassists: demonstrate walking bass line on a 12-bar blues form or jazz standard
    • Drummers: demonstrate various styles (swing, samba, bossa nova, and rock)

An accompanist will be provided for voice auditions. Students may use an accompaniment CD if they wish. Instrumentalists shall provide their own accompanist, or use an accompaniment CD.

On the day of the audition, all students will also receive a mini orientation and complete the Music Theory Diagnostic.

If there are any further questions you might have about auditions for the CSU Bakersfield Music Program, its ensembles, course offerings, and degree programs, please don't hesitate to contact: Jim Scully, Audition Coordinator.

CSU Admission Requirements

Planning on attending CSU Bakersfield in the Fall of 2017? Be sure to apply to the University between October 1 and November 30, 2016.

Apply to CSU Bakersfield

Prospective students need to complete the following prior to applying to CSU Bakersfield:

  • SAT or ACT College Entrance Exam (completed or scheduled)
  • English: 4 years of college preparatory English composition and literature
  • Math: 3 years (4 years are recommended), including Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, or higher mathematics
  • History and Social Science: 2 years, including 1 year of U.S. history (or 1 semester of U.S. History and 1 semester of civics or American government) and 1 year of social science
  • Laboratory Science: 2 years with a lab class
  • Language (other than English): 2 years of the same language (American Sign Language is acceptable)
  • Visual and Performing Arts: 1 year of dance, drama or theatre, music, or visual arts
  • College Preparatory Elective: 1 year of any college preparatory subject

Apply for Scholarships

To be eligible for scholarship consideration all students must have

The FAFSA and CSUB Scholarship Application need to be completed between January 1, 2017 and March 1, 2017.  

If you have any questions about music scholarships at CSUB contact Jim Scully for more information.