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music Auditions and Scholarships

To be accepted to the music program, each prospective incoming music major and minor, freshman or transfer, must successfully pass an entrance audition and interview. The purpose of this audition/interview is to evaluate the student's level of preparation upon entering Saint Xavier University and to acquaint the music faculty with the student's potential.

The audition must be completed before a student can be placed in the proper course work. For those students who have not auditioned before registration, an audition date will be offered during the week before the semester begins, or they may audition during the regularly scheduled audition dates found on the Music Department website. If students do not audition, they will be placed in general music coursework, which may improve musicianship skills but will not fulfill credits toward the major/minor. Any student not registered for applied lessons for more than two consecutive semesters must re-audition for acceptance into the program.

Students may audition in more than one performance area.

Where travel distance is a problem, an applicant may submit a high-quality video recording in lieu of a personal appearance.

Scholarship Opportunities

A student wishing to study as a music major or minor must audition for admission to the Music Department as a music major or music minor candidate. Music scholarships and talent awards are available and are renewable each academic year based on continued study and earned GPA. Music scholarships are also available to non-majors for ensemble participation based on playing and/or singing ability and ensemble need. Ensemble participation scholarships are open to all students regardless of major, but an audition is necessary.

In addition to music scholarships students may receive other forms of Financial Aid, including Presidential Scholarships, Leadership Scholarships, need- and merit-based grants, work study awards and student loans.

For further information about admission or scholarships, please contact the Music Department at 773-298-3448.

Learn More

Audition Requirements

Auditions for admittance to the Saint Xavier University Music Department will consist of the following:

  • Demonstration of major scales up to 3 sharps and 3 flats (preferably two octaves or more) and a full-range chromatic scale. Percussionists should prepare as many of the PAS 26 American Drum Rudiments as possible.
  • Sight-reading
  • Prepared solo or two études of contrasting styles (i.e. technical and lyrical).
  • Students wishing to pursue a Jazz Performance Emphasis see B.M. Jazz audition requirements
    • Students wishing to pursue a Bachelors of Arts or minor in music many also prepare at least one selection from the jazz audition requirements
  • All pianists should follow the audition requirements listed under Piano, for the B.A., B.M. or minor.

Each audition should contain 6-8 minutes of music and take approximately 15 minutes.



  1. Standard Repertory: One or more solo or étude excerpts that demonstrate technical proficiency on the ones instrument as well as musicality, ideally in contrasting styles. The ILMEA audition materials from the current or previous years may be used as part of the audition; other examples may be found below. The pieces do not have to be memorized. If you are preparing repertoire for another audition, you may use that music for your SXU audition.
  2. Scales: It is expected that the music student would know at a minimum the major scales through three sharps and three flats (minimum) and a chromatic scale. These scales should be performed from memory and should include the full range of the instrument. Students who do not know these scales are still encouraged to audition, but they should expect to learn them quickly upon admission to the Music program.
  3. Sight-reading: The best way to "practice" sight-reading is to sight-read regularly, paying close attention not only to notes and rhythms but also to dynamics, articulations, and other musical nuances.
  4. Pitch Matching: Students will be asked to sing back a series of notes played to them.



Online entrance and scholarship application

For Prospective Music Majors and Minors

In order to set up an audition, you must fill out the application form linked below and the Letter of Recommendation Form (PDF).

The application must be submitted with your Letter of Recommendation Form and music (for those needing an accompaniment), and must be sent electronically two weeks prior to your audition date.

For any questions, please contact the Music Department at musicFREESXU.


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