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Music Auditions and Portfolios


Office of Admission

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999




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Music Auditions and Portfolios

Music Auditions

Your performance piece should be prepared as follows:

Prepare either a standard solo piece, concerto movement, or an appropriate technical etude. Memorization is not required.

String players can request accompaniment from the auditioning faculty member. Jazz instrumentalists with improvisation experience will be asked to solo over a 12-bar blues with piano accompaniment provided by the auditioning faculty member. All other brass and woodwind players are welcome to bring their own accompanists, but the music department does not supply accompanists for these auditions.

Prepare a solo work from the classical repertoire (i.e. Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th/21st Century). Memorization is preferred, but not required.

Perform, preferably from memory, a selection from the standard classical repertoire that showcases your voice to its best advantage. Show tunes, rock, and pop selections are not advised. You do not need to bring an accompanist with you to the audition.

If you present your audition on campus: You should prepare a work suitable for performance, as noted above. You will also be asked to sight-read an appropriate musical piece and discuss your background and aspirations with a music professor.

If you submit your audition electronically: You should include the required performance piece, as noted above. You must also include a sight-reading piece that is supervised by a current instructor (this should be one piece of music chosen by an instructor and not shown to you until the recorded audition; vocal students should be given the first note). With your submission, you should include a copy of the sight-reading sheet music and a statement describing your musical training, background, and experience. Videos containing segments of recent performances will not be considered.

If you submit your audition through a live interview online: You should contact the appropriate faculty to make arrangements. For vocal auditions, contact Laura Lane ( and for instrumental auditions, contact Nikki Malley (

Music Composition Portfolio

Students interested in music composition should submit a portfolio showing evidence of creative musical activity, which may include (but is not limited to): written examples such as musical scores, sketches of pieces, lead sheets, or song lyrics and/or audio examples, including MIDI renderings or recordings of submitted scores, song demos, tracks or beats created with software, recordings of improvisation, or any other recorded example of creative activity.

If you present your work on campus, an interview with a member of the music faculty will coincide with your portfolio review.

Submission Deadlines
Auditions and portfolios are due by the same deadline as your application for admission (see for specific deadlines).

Electronic Submission of Auditions or Portfolios
Portfolios can be submitted electronically through the Portfolio section on your AppTracker, which will be available within about 48 hours of submitting your application for admission—we'll send you an email with a link to create a password and access your AppTracker

File Sizes and Types
We support media files as large as 5GB, but please be advised that larger files will take longer to upload from your Internet connection and may stall if you are on a wireless connection or one that cannot sustain a connection for the necessary period of time. We support the following file formats:

  • Video: .avi, .flv, .m1v, .m2v, .m4v, .mkv, .mov, .mpeg, .mpg, .mp4, .webm, .wmv
  • Audio: .aac, .aif, .aiff, .iff, .fla, .m4a, .mpa, .mp3, .ra, .wav, .wma

Candidates are notified of their scholarship awards at the time of admission.

Scholarship Guidelines
Scholarships are renewable annually as long as you remain in good academic standing. Your scholarships must be applied toward the cost of tuition, and the combination of Knox scholarships and grants and federal and state grants cannot exceed the cost of tuition. You may also qualify for additional need-based financial assistance, including grants, work-study, and loans.

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Printed on Tuesday, September 29, 2020