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Instrumental Music

What we are looking for

We are first and foremost evaluating your potential and passion for your instrument, your musicality, and your willingness to work hard to move to the next level.

What to bring/how to prepare

For their audition, all students must:

  • Prepare a musical selection for the audition and bring sheet music for the selection,
  • Bring their own musical instrument (except for string bass, tuba, piano, and percussion) and mouthpiece (if required by instrument),
  • Bring sticks and/or mallets if needed.

 The audition process itself

All students auditioning in instrumental music will be required to:

  • Perform a prepared musical selection,
  • Perform a sampling of major scales,
  • Be tested on musical response and sight-reading,
  • Participate in a personal interview.

In addition to the procedures above, percussion students must present at least one of the following:

Students may not use any tape-recorded music for accompaniment.

Have a successful audition

  • Practice! Truly prepare your musical selection.
  • Arrive promptly with all required materials.
  • Present yourself well – dress neatly, speak confidently and clearly.
  • Be prepared to talk about yourself – your musical background, and your goals for the future.


  • All departments offer Audition Workshops in December and January to help students prepare for their official audition. Students who participate will be able to learn what to bring, review the audition procedures, learn how to build a portfolio, present their work with confidence and prepare their work for the audition. Visit for more information and how to sign up – workshops cost $10. This fee can be waived for special circumstances, please email if you would like to request one.
  • Auditions are the first week of February 2020immediately after the application deadline! Make sure to visit our website to review the audition schedule. Auditions are open call for all students who successfully apply via MySchoolDC. You must view your audition date and time based on your art department and the first letter of your last name.