Auditioning for a multiple woodwinds degree program

October 15, 2008

I had an exchange by email with someone today, that I thought might be of use to all you hordes of prospective multiple woodwinds majors out there.

Hi Mr. Pimentel,
My name is Mike ________ from _______ University, and I am an aspiring doubler. I have been doing some looking around at graduate schools and programs, and I have found there still are a few programs that still offer doubling. What I have not found are the requirements or guidelines for auditions. I was wondering how an audition for a doubling program would go. What kind of things should I prepare? Do I audition on all the instruments? Thanks for your insight.
Mike

My reply:

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the message—always nice to hear from a fellow doubler.

If you haven’t already, check this out:
https://bretpimentel.com/woodwinds/doubling/degree-programs
I think this is the closest thing there is to a complete list of doubling programs. If you run across any more in your search, send me another email!

Each school’s requirements will be different. Send an email to the chair of the woodwind department at each school that interests you (or maybe the professor of your major instrument, if you’re not sure), introduce yourself briefly, and inquire about audition requirements. If you are hoping to start a program in fall 2009, the time to start inquiring is NOW, since a few schools have their auditions as early as November or December.

I can tell you what I did at the schools I auditioned at, but be aware that these requirements change.

For masters degree programs in five woodwinds, I auditioned at North Texas and Indiana.

At North Texas, I did three separate auditions, one on my “primary” instrument (saxophone), and two on “secondary” instruments (flute and clarinet). For the primary instrument I had two or three large works prepared, and for the secondaries I had either a small work or a movement of a large work.

At Indiana, I auditioned only on my “primary” instrument, but I believe this has now changed. I prepared 2 or 3 major works. I ended up going to Indiana.

For doctoral programs in five woodwinds, I auditioned at Indiana, Miami, and Georgia. Each required three instruments on the audition.

Indiana wanted my three strongest instruments, which at the time were saxophone, clarinet and flute, each played in a separate audition.

I prepared a slightly different audition for Miami and Georgia. One required flute and one required at least one double reed (I don’t remember which). I think I had two major saxophone works and one major work each on flute and oboe. Georgia also required orchestral excerpts on each instrument. Both schools did a single recital-style audition. I ended up going to Georgia.

Hope that helps! Good luck.

Best,
Bret

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