Auditions and Scholarships

All potential music majors and minors are required to audition before appropriate faculty in order to determine their suitability to enter the program, participate in any ensemble, and determine eligibility for a scholarship or service award.

Auditions should be scheduled through the following links, as follows:

Woodwind, Brass, Percussion, Piano, Guitar, and Strings auditions

Or by individual appointment

Vocal Auditions

Please also note the music major audition repertoire requirements listed below.

Note: Guitar and piano auditions are scheduled with the faculty in those applied areas; however, music majors will also need to audition for a major ensemble (choir, band, or orchestra). Additional scholarships or service awards are available through these major ensemble auditions. It is possible to schedule your applied audition (guitar or piano) on the same day as your major ensemble audition (choir, band, or orchestra)- see the audition form for more information. Please contact the area chairs in your applied area if you have any questions:

Questions regarding auditions can be sent to Dr. Jason Baker or a faculty member in your applied area.

Audition Procedures

Woodwind and Brass

  • Five major scales of the student’s choice, two octaves where appropriate
  • A chromatic scale within the range of the instrument
  • Sight-reading
  • A short prepared piece that demonstrates your best qualities
  • An additional contrasting piece, if requested by the applied faculty area


  • Snare drum - concert and/or rudimental solo, rudiments
  • Keyboard percussion - two or four mallet solo, major scales
  • Timpani - etude or solo
  • Drum set (optional) - demonstration of swing/rock/latin styles


  • Short aria or art song of your choice - see our suggested repertoire list.
  • Vocalization through your range
  • Exercise given by faculty for pitch retention. You will sing back a series of pitches after they are played for you on the piano
  • Sight-reading


  • Major and minor scales
  • Prepared concerto movement or solo literature
  • Sight-reading


  • Demonstrate major/minor scales and arpeggios (minimum of two octaves)
  • Two prepared pieces of contrasting styles (memorization preferred)
  • Sight-reading at an appropriate level


  • One major scale
  • Two contrasting musical selections

Additional Scholarship Opportunities for Music and Music Education Majors

Lois C. Kaufman Endowment for Music Education: This endowment was established in memory of Dr. Harold F. Kaufman. Applicants should be full time music education majors and rising seniors with demonstrated musical and academic achievement. This annual scholarship is based on the selection and completion of a research proposal related to the area of world music, as submitted by the student. For further information, contact the Department of Music.

Cheryl Prewitt Christian Voice and Music Scholarship: This scholarship is donated by Mr. and Mrs. James W. Tennyson and Bill, and friends in honor of Mr. and Mrs. John Tennyson, grandparents of Cheryl Prewitt, Miss America 1980. Three scholarships are given annually: one to an entering freshman, a transfer student, and a resident student majoring in vocal music education. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of character references and vocal competition. For further information, contact the Department of Music.

Katherine Gardner Thomas Memorial Piano Scholarships: These scholarships are funded through an endowment created by Mr. Garnett J. Thomas in memory of his late wife. Scholarships are awarded annually to resident freshman, sophomore or junior piano majors; and to entering freshman or transfer students. All awards are based on competitive performance auditions. When an organ program becomes available at Mississippi State University, upper-class students enrolled in this program shall be eligible for scholarships. For further information, contact the Department of Music.

Jerry D. Williams Endowed Choral Scholarship: For 36 years Jerry D. Williams served Mississippi State University as the Program Administrator, Director of Choral Activities, and founded the University Madrigal Singers. This endowment was established by his daughter Rebekah, and her husband Steve Smith. Candidates for this award must be a full-time student enrolled at Mississippi State University; participate within the MSU Choral Activities area; and must maintain a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale while attending Mississippi State University. This choral endowment is managed by the Director of Choral Activities and inquires should be directed as such.

Please contact the Department of Music at 662-325-3070 for more information about these scholarships.