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Music scholarships

Augustana College offers music scholarships to students of any major. Scholarships are renewable for fours years and range from $1,000-$4,000.

Visiting is a great way to get to learn about music programs, degrees, ensembles, and faculty. You can visit first, audition later, or do it all in one trip.

Audition dates

(For students entering fall 2020)

If you cannot attend any of these dates, and would like to schedule an alternate date, register here.

If you live more than 200 miles away and would like to submit a recording, register here.

Scholarship ranges

Music scholarship any major: $1,000-$4,000 annually, including the Deisenroth Scholarship, Morgan Scholarship, and Swanson Vocal Scholarships.

Carl B. Nelson Music Education Bonus Scholarship: $500 for students planning to major in music education. Can be combined with a general or honors music scholarship.

How to apply

Scholarship audition

  • Register for a date.
  • Application: The Music Application will be emailed to you directly upon registration for your music audition date and must be completed by the deadlines indicated above.
  • Audition: We will schedule you an audition on the day you select if the application is submitted on or before the deadline.
  • Notification: Applicants will receive detailed information by email concerning their audition time approximately two weeks before the audition.
  • See audition requirements below

Carl B. Nelson Music Education Scholarship Procedure: These $500 scholarships for potential music education majors are bonus awards to be added to a honors or general music scholarship. Students must intend to major in music education and have a high school GPA of at least 3.0. Please indicate your interest on the application.

  • Register for a date.
  • Application: The Music Application will be emailed to you directly upon registration for your music audition date and must be completed by the deadlines indicated above.
  • Audition: You must apply for a music scholarship to be considered for this bonus award.
  • Interview: An interview with the music education scholarship committee will be scheduled to correspond with your music scholarship audition date and time.

Audition requirements

Two songs of your choice in contrasting styles, no more than 6 minutes total. Contest, competition, or other solo performance pieces are appropriate. Please choose music you sing well and shows your voice to its best advantage. A short vocal exercise and tonal memory will also be included. An accompanist will be provided.

Applicants should be prepared to play two contrasting movements or etudes that best demonstrate their musicality, tone, time, and technique. Applicants will also be asked to sight read.

Prepare to play two excerpts in contrasting styles and tempi, of any combination of repertoire taken from standard solo and etude literature. The excerpts should be no longer than 3-4 minutes each. You will also be asked to sight read basic literature. You might be asked to play a major or minor scale, two octaves where applicable, as well as a full chromatic scale.

Prepare to play one movement of a suite, sonata or concerto of your choice and one additional work in a contrasting style. An etude may be substituted for one of the above. Candidates may also be asked to play a three-octave scale. Plan to play about 8 minutes of music in total. No sight reading is required. The string area prefers to hear candidates without piano accompaniment.

Students should perform two compositions representing two different periods of music history. One should be a movement from a suite or sonata and the other a piece in a contrasting style. An etude by Sor, Carcassi or Villa-Lobos may be substituted for one of the above. One piece should be originally written for the guitar and the other could be a transcription. Candidates should also be prepared to play a two or three-octave scale if asked.

Be prepared to play two works from contrasting style periods. Selections should be taken from standard solo piano repertoire and may not include accompaniments, music for chamber ensemble, or concertos. Students with experience playing in jazz styles may use a jazz composition or improvisation for one of their selections. Memorization is not required, but highly encouraged for all applicants.

Prepare at least two excerpts in contrasting styles on any of the following instruments: snare drum (rudimental or concert); timpani; and marimba, vibraphone, or xylophone (two or four mallets). Excerpts may be performed on the same instrument, but demonstrating abilities on two or more instruments is encouraged. Total timing of all excerpts should be no longer than 10 minutes, and memorization is not required. We may also ask you to sight read basic literature as part of the audition. Percussion instruments will be provided for on-campus auditions. Please contact Dr. Tony Oliver after you apply (but before the audition) with further questions:
*Those auditioning on drum set for jazz should email Dr. Tony Oliver.

For scholarship applications, submit 1-3 recent compositions, recordings (if available), and a list of works. All composition candidates must also audition on an applied instrument or voice. Any candidate with an interest in or curiosity about the composition program are encouraged to request a meeting with the composition faculty when visiting campus.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to be a music major?
No. With the exception of the Carl B. Nelson Music Education Scholarship, all scholarships are open to majors and non-majors.

Do I need to be accepted at Augustana in order to sign up for a visit or audition?
No. Your application for admission to Augustana College should be complete by the audition date. Please apply and set up your audition date as soon as possible, as there is limited room. Do not wait until you are accepted.

Do I have to audition to be accepted?
No. There is no audition for admission to the music program or degrees. Your acceptance to the college allows you to pursue any major. We have course requirements to ensure quality progress towards your degree.

Is this an audition for an ensemble?
No. Ensemble auditions are held the weekend before the start of classes in the fall.

Can I audition on more than one instrument?
You will be scheduled for two auditions. We do our best to schedule them within an hour or two of each other. Again, you will receive the higher of the two scholarships, as we can only award one.

How long are the auditions?
Auditions are 10-20 minutes long

Do I need an accompanist?
We provide an accompanist for all vocal auditions, or you may bring your own. Vocalists get 5-10 minutes with the accompanist before they go into the audition.
Instrumentalists may bring their own accompanist, but most audition without accompaniment. It will have no impact on your results.

Do I need to bring music or send it ahead of time?
No music is needed ahead of time.

When will I hear about my audition time?
We send a schedule approximately two weeks before the audition date.

If I receive a scholarship, what are the requirements?
All scholarship recipients are required to take applied lessons on the audition instrument for at least one credit, or one half-hour per week, and participate in one of the major ensembles. There is a fee for music lessons.

What if I cannot make one of the scheduled audition dates?
It is best to audition on a scheduled date, however if you absolutely cannot, please contact the office by email.

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