Folk and Bluegrass Studies Audition Requirements

All applicants will submit the following application materials based on their desired degree program. For instrument-specific audition requirements, please scroll down or use these buttons to navigate to the appropriate instrument.

Application Requirements for All Degrees

  • Complete all required application questions
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement

Note: Accompanists are not required, but the applicant may provide one.


Fiddle

Audition Requirements for All Degrees:

  • Solo playing: Perform two contrasting solo tunes. Demonstrate different styles and original compositions if applicable.
  • Ensemble playing: Play a traditional bluegrass tune and/or song with faculty ensemble. Be expected to kick off a tune, take a solo, and play under a solo or singing; i.e. fills, chopping, and padding.
  • Reading and Aural Skills: Sight read a tune, then play backing with chords from a chart. Repeat short phrases back to demonstrate ability to learn by ear.

Contact:

music@unco.edu


Mandolin

Audition Requirements for All Degrees:

  • Solo Playing:  Perform at least one solo piece in a bluegrass style.
  • Ensemble Playing: Demonstrate the basic abilities required when playing mandolin in a bluegrass band.  Specifically: the ability to kick off a song instrumentally; competency with “chop chord” shapes and their use; playing a lead solo; playing “back up” behind a vocalist; and singing lead or harmony parts.
  • Reading and Aural Skills:  Sight read a tune, then play backing with chords from a chart. Repeat short phrases back to demonstrate ability to learn by ear.

Contact:

music@unco.edu


Banjo

Audition Requirements for All Degrees:

  • Solo Playing:  Perform at least one solo piece in a bluegrass style.
  • Ensemble playing: Be prepared to play a traditional bluegrass tune with a faculty ensemble.
  • Reading and Aural Skills:  Sight read a tune and/or play backing with chords from a chart (if able). Repeat short phrases back to demonstrate ability to learn by ear.

Contact:

music@unco.edu


Guitar

Audition Requirements for All Degrees:

  • Solo playing: Perform at least one fiddle tune or other instrumental piece in a bluegrass style.
  • Ensemble playing: Demonstrate the basic abilities required when playing guitar in a bluegrass band.  Specifically: the ability to kick off a song instrumentally, to follow a kick off, and rhythm playing.
  • Reading and Aural Skills:  Sight read a tune and/or play backing with chords from a chart (if able). Repeat short phrases back to demonstrate ability to learn by ear.

Contact:

music@unco.edu


Bass

Audition Requirements for All Degrees:

  • Perform at least two contrasting bluegrass tunes and/or songs with faculty ensemble. Demonstrate vocal abilities with lead or backup singing if able.
  • Play a selection of scales (major and minor).
  • Reading and Aural Skills:  Demonstrate ability to play by following a chart. Repeat short phrases back to demonstrate ability to learn by ear.

Contact:

music@unco.edu