Application information and audition requirements for the Setnor School of Music’s master of music (M.M.) programs in composition, conducting, performance, and voice pedagogy are listed below.
Additionally, in conjunction with Syracuse University’s School of Education, the Setnor School of Music offers M.M. and master of science (M.S.) degrees in music education. Admission to music education is through the School of Education.
Application deadline: February 1 for fall admission
- Setnor School of Music programs currently do not offer spring admission.
- To be considered for merit-based awards, please submit your application by February 1.
Completed applications must include:
- Online application.
- Audition. Refer to the bottom of this page for audition submission information and requirements.
- Three letters of recommendation. Consult online application for details.
- Academic transcript. Unofficial transcript uploaded to the online application. If you are admitted, an official, degree-bearing transcript must be mailed to the University. Applicants must complete a U.S. bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent in another country) before starting a graduate program.
- Personal statement/essay. Describe in approximately 500 words your main academic interests, why you wish to study for the degree you have chosen, why you wish to study at Syracuse University, how you expect to finance your studies, and your plans for the future after you receive your degree. Upload directly to the online application.
- Resume. Upload directly to the online application.
- Application fee. A non-refundable application fee of $75. See online application for details.
- International students must also meet these requirements
Submitting Your Audition
In the interest of creating a process that is safe, welcoming, and accessible, the Setnor School of Music is moving auditions to an entirely online/digital submission format via Acceptd for the 2020-21 admissions cycle. Please note that the Acceptd application will open in mid-September.
There is a $40 fee to submit video audition materials to Acceptd.
You may upload video files (.mov, .wmv, .flv) and PDF documents as appropriate to the requirements for your major of interest. It is also possible for you to embed files from YouTube or Vimeo. The online portal offers additional instruction for submitting materials. Once your audition is submitted, it can be viewed and rearranged until the final submission. For technical assistance, contact .
Follow these steps as you move through the online audition process:
- All music applicants are required to create a profile in Acceptd, submit the Music Audition Form, and upload video-recorded audition materials.
- To get started with your Music Audition Form, choose your “Level” (undergraduate or graduate). Then, select your “Degree” (intended major) and “Program” (degree/instrument).
- The Music Audition Form requires music applicants to provide information about their background and music experience, including a list of audition repertoire, music resume information, and a photo. You may also provide an email address for a music teacher to submit a recommendation on your behalf.
- Schedule an interview date
- Once you have submitted your recorded audition materials, you will receive access to schedule your required live interview. During the interview, faculty will conduct sight-singing/sightreading exercises, test aural skills, and/or ask for specific scales to be performed. There will also be opportunity for conversation, Q&A and discussion about your goals and interests with the faculty during your interview.
- Dates can be found within the Acceptd portal once granted access as well as on the VPA Virtual Visit web page.
- In addition to completing an audition, you must submit a Syracuse University application (see link above). The application deadline is February 1.
Please submit three scores (with recordings if available) of three works online through Accept’d. At least one score must be for more than four instruments. Contact: Dr. Nicolas Scherzinger, chair, composition department,
Submit a 20 to 30 minute recording online through Accept’d, including at least 10 minutes of conducting in performance and 10 minutes rehearsing. The camera should be facing the conductor. Conductors who pass the video audition will be invited to campus to audition with one of the Setnor School of Music’s choral ensembles. Contact: Dr. John Warren, director of choral studies, .
Submit a 20- to 30-minute recording online through Acceptd, including at least 10 minutes of conducting in performance and 10 minutes rehearsing. The camera should be facing the conductor. Conductors who pass the video audition will be invited to campus to audition with one of the Setnor School of Music ensembles. Contact: Dr. James Tapia, director of orchestral studies, .
Submit a 20- to 30-minute recording online through Accept’d, including at least 10 minutes of conducting in performance and 10 minutes rehearsing. The camera should be facing the conductor. Conductors who pass the video audition will be invited to campus to audition with one of the Setnor School of Music ensembles. Contact: Dr. Bradley Ethington, winds and percussion area coordinator and director of bands, .
Admission is through Syracuse University’s School of Education. Students must apply to and meet the admissions requirements of the School of Education as well as the Setnor School of Music. Competitive scores on one of the following admissions entrance exams is required: Graduate Record Examination (GRE); Miller Analogy Test (MAT); or other acceptable, nationally normed admissions examination; or a passing score on the Praxis: Core Academic Skills for Educators, edTPA, or ATS-W exam.
For information and deadlines, contact Associate Dr. John Coggiola, chair, music education department, at or Speranza Migliore, the School of Education’s Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment at 315.443.2505 or .
Applicants have the option of submitting audition materials that focus on one of two emphases: piano performance (solo) or piano performance (collaborative arts) For the graduate emphasis in solo performance, applicants should present a representative recital program (a minimum of 40 minutes of music). International applicants may, in lieu of a live audition, provide high-quality video recordings online via Accept’d. Applicants auditioning for the collaborative arts emphasis should present a representative program of solo, vocal, and chamber music. Applicants should consult with the chair of the keyboard department to finalize repertoire choices. Please note that students interested in either emphasis should apply to the M.Mus. in performance for piano on their application to Syracuse University. Contact: Professor Ida Tili-Trebicka, .
Applicants for the graduate program in organ performance should prepare a 40-minute program of contrasting pieces, one of which should be a major work by J. S. Bach. Applicants will be expected to sight-read a short passage of music as part of the audition. Contact: Dr. Annie Laver, .
Voice (Including Performance and Voice Pedagogy)
Present a minimum of six selections; include at least one aria and one piece in English. All selections should be of varying styles, historical periods, and languages. In addition, present a resume documenting evidence of performance experience at the university or professional level along with a comprehensive repertoire list. An accompanist will be provided at no charge. You are encouraged to send copies of your music two weeks in advance if you believe the music is difficult to sight-read. Contact/send music to: Professor Janet Brown; voice area coordinator; Setnor School of Music, College of Visual and Performing Arts, Syracuse University; 304A Crouse College; Syracuse NY 13244-1010; .
Perform the following repertoire from memory:
- First movement of a major 19th, 20th or 21st century concerto
- Two contrasting movements of an unaccompanied Bach sonata or partita
- Caprice by Paganini, Dont (Op. 35) or a movement from a solo sonata by Ysaye (equivalent virtuoso solo work is acceptable as a replacement)
- Three octave scales and arpeggios
Perform the following repertoire from memory.
- Three movements of a cello suite or two contrasting movements of a violin sonata/partita by J.S. Bach
- Two contrasting movements of a standard concerto OR one movement of a standard concerto and one movement of a sonata or a contemporary piece (sonatas may be performed with music). Contact: Professor William Knuth, string area coordinator,
Perform the following repertoire from memory:
- Two contrasting movements of a J.S. Bach Suite for Solo cello; One etude from 40 Etudes Op. 73 by David Popper or one Caprice Op. 25 by Piatti.
- First movement of a standard 19th or 20th Century Concerto.
- One movement of a Sonata or Solo Cello piece from the 20th or 21st Century, which may be performed with music.
Please prepare the following:
- A three-octave scale and arpeggio in E major and E melodic minor. (Any tempo)
- The first movement from a concerto.
- One movement of Bach (transcriptions permissible).
- Two orchestral excerpts of your choice.
In addition to all the diatonic major and minor scales edited by Andres Segovia, graduate candidates auditioning on the classical guitar should prepare three selections from the five categories listed below. All selections should be performed from memory.
- The first movement of a major guitar concerto from the 19th, 20th, or 21st century.
- A large-scale solo composition from the 19th, 20th or 21st century.
- One composition by a BIPOC or a female composer.
- Examples include: Frantz Casseus, Francis Bebey, Emilia Giuliani, Elisabeth Lutyens, Joan Tower, Justin Holland, Amos Coulanges, Clarice Assad, Annette Kruisbrink, Tania León, and Dale Kavanagh, among others.
- Two contrasting movements from a Lute Suite, Cello Suite, or Unaccompanied Violin Sonata/Partita of Johann Sebastian Bach.
- Two contrasting concert etudes by Giulio Regondi, Heitor Villa-lobos, or Angelo Gilardino.
Applicants should choose three works in contrasting styles. Sight-reading will also be required as part of the audition. Contact: Dr. Bradley Ethington, winds and percussion area coordinator and director of bands, .