Music Auditions and Scholarships

Young musicians who are interested in studying at North Park University’s School of Music as a music major or minor are required to audition for placement. This audition will also be considered for a scholarship. Students who are still deciding on their academic plans, but wish to continue their musical study through lessons and participation in a music ensemble, may also audition for a music scholarship.

Honors Music Scholarships

Honors Music Scholarships range from $1,500 to $4,000 and are available to students in any major who:
  • Maintain appropriate academic standing
  • Are recommended for renewal by the music faculty
  • Enroll in private music lessons from North Park faculty
  • Participate in designated music ensembles each semester

Presidential Music Scholarships

Open to music majors only, these competitive scholarships can have a maximum award of up to full tuition (after other applicable federal and state grant aid). They are reserved for the most outstanding young musicians; preference will be given to musicians who fill areas of need in North Park’s vocal or instrumental ensembles and to students with demonstrated academic and performance ability.


For students planning to enroll at North Park University beginning in Fall 2016, will be able to audition on Saturday, February 20, or Saturday, March 5, 2016. Recorded auditions will also be accepted and should be postmarked or emailed to Dr. Rebecca Ryan by Friday, February 20, 2016, for full consideration.

Following your application to North Park University, you must complete the music audition application by February 1, 2016.

If you cannot make it to one of the audition dates above, please contact Dr. Ryan regarding alternative arrangements.



Music Scholarship notification for on-campus and recorded auditions will be communicated by April 15 in conjunction with financial aid packages.


Audition Repertoire Requirements


Prepare two complete movements or excerpts from the standard classical repertoire (from Baroque to the present) and an étude representing the current level of technique. Violin, viola, and cello players should also prepare one, three-octave scale. Sight reading may be requested.

Woodwind and Brass

Prepare two complete movements or excerpts that demonstrate lyrical playing and technical agility. Sight reading and/or scales may be requested.


Prepare two complete movements or excerpts that demonstrate lyrical playing and technical agility and two, two-octave major scales. For students who wish to pursue a bachelor of music in music in worship degree, one of the two selections should be a contemporary piece that demonstrates your ability to comp chords and play an accompaniment while singing. Bachelor of music in music in worship candidates must also prepare a I, IV, V7 chord progression in four different keys, and demonstrate the ability to play a melodic line with or without an accompaniment. Sight reading will be required.


Prepare three pieces (at least one by J.S. Bach), all major scales, and arpeggios (2-4 octaves). Sight reading may be requested.


Prepare two contrasting pieces, one in English and one in a foreign language. At least one piece must be classical (art song or aria) from the Baroque, Classical, or Romantic period. One piece may be a musical theater piece or, if the student wishes to pursue the bachelor of music in music in worship degree, a contemporary sacred song. Repertoire chosen should demonstrate the student’s highest level of vocal technique and musical understanding achieved up to this point. Sight singing will be requested.


Set players: Demonstrate competency with various styles such as swing, Latin, ballad, and rock. Sight reading may be requested.

Non-set players: Prepare two pieces, one snare etude, such as those found in “Portraits in Rhythm” by Anthony J. Cirone, and one piece for a mallet instrument and/or timpani. Four mallet playing is desired. Sight reading may be requested.


Prepare three pieces; one by J.S. Bach, a piece of contrasting style and a hymn. Sight reading may be requested.

Additional Considerations for the Bachelor of Art in Music, Composition or Jazz Studies Concentrations


Students who wish to pursue a bachelor of arts in music with a composition concentration must audition on a primary instrument or voice, as articulated above, and submit a portfolio consisting of at least two compositions. Recordings are optional but recommended. An on-campus interview is required and should be scheduled individually with Dr. Rebecca Ryan, music recruiter.

Jazz Studies (instrumental)

Students who wish to pursue a bachelor of art in music with a jazz studies concentration should prepare one classical piece and one jazz transcription. Students must also play two one-octave major and minor scales, and solo over a 12-bar blues in F major. Sight-reading will be a component of all Jazz Studies auditions.

Bass players:

Demonstrate the ability to play a bass line over chord changes (blues, rhythm changes, or standard jazz tunes, for example); presenting a classical piece (using bow) is to your advantage but is not required.

Drum set players:

See set-player audition requirements above.