Conservatory Auditions

AUDITION INFORMATION

Thank you for your interest in the Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory at the Merit School of Music! Merit holds auditions for its Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory in May each year for both classical and jazz programs.

  • May 6, 2017
    • Returning Student Auditions for Band, Orchestra & Voice/Choir Programs
  • May 13, 2017
    • New Student Auditions for Band, Orchestra, & Voice/Choir Programs
    • New AND Returning student auditions for Guitar, Jazz, and/or Piano Programs

Returning students MUST audition:

  • If they are in a Band, Orchestra, or Voice/Choir Program and would like to move to a higher level ensemble
  • If they are currently on probation
  • If they are currently in the Conservatory Guitar, Jazz, and/or Piano Programs

Returning students do NOT have to audition if they are in an ensemble that is at the appropriate level for them or if they are currently in one of the top ensembles (Wind Symphony, Merit Philharmonic, or Conservatory Choir).

NEW STUDENT AUDITIONS

Merit’s Alice S. Pfaelzer Tuition-free Conservatory is a comprehensive program that includes four main components: an instrument/vocal technique class, large ensemble, theory, and weekly recital hour. Upon acceptance students MUST participate in all aspects of the program. Classes take place on Saturday and are held between 8:00am – 5:45pm. Students should expect to have at least a four to six hour day, depending on their level and program. (Note: Wind Symphony students also have ensemble rehearsals during the week.)

On audition day, students should plan to be at Merit for at least one hour. The audition process consists of a warm-up, audition, theory placement exam, and family interview. The family interview serves as an opportunity for prospective families to ask any specific questions and to ensure that students and families are prepared for the significant commitment required of all Conservatory students. A parent or guardian MUST be present with the student for the family interview.

AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Students must carefully review the audition requirements for each ensemble and choose to audition for the ensemble that is closest to their level of playing. (Please visit the Conservatory Large Ensembles page for descriptions.) Students must prepare all of the materials listed.

FOR ALL AUDITIONS:

  • All students should expect to be at Merit for at least an hour
    • Returning students: warm-up, audition, theory placement exam
    • New students: warm-up, audition, theory placement exam, and family interview (parent/guardian must be present)
  • All auditions will be videotaped and reviewed by the appropriate ensemble conductor(s), instrumental instructor(s), and/or Department Chair

FOR MERIT PHILHARMONIC:

Please note that Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion students interested in auditioning for the Merit Philharmonic must first be accepted into the Wind Symphony. Students who are accepted into the Conservatory at the Wind Symphony level may then audition in the fall for seating placement in Merit Philharmonic.

 

For any questions regarding audition requirements and materials, please contact Kurtis Gildow.

SCHEDULE AN AUDITION

The deadline to request an audition for the Conservatory is April 15, 2017. Any requests submitted after April 15 will be considered on a case by case basis and may be subject to availability.

To request an audition, all students must submit an Entrance Audition Request Form. We will accommodate your specific time preferences as best we can, but all requests are subject to availability, and specified time preferences are NOT guaranteed.

If you are auditioning on multiple instruments, you must submit the Entrance Audition Request Form for EACH instrument.

If you are auditioning for both classical and jazz programs, you must submit the Entrance Audition Request Form for EACH program.

Please note: returning Conservatory students hoping to perform with a jazz ensemble as an elective do NOT need to audition in the spring. Auditions for placement in jazz ensembles as electives will be conducted in the fall.

AUDITION RESULTS NOTIFICATION

Audition results will be sent by email on June 15, 2017.

Piano (classical) audition results will be sent by email on May 31, 2017.

If accepted, students will have until July 15, 2017 to confirm their acceptance and register for the Conservatory. Please contact Kurtis Gildow for any questions or concerns.