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Audition Repertoire Requirements – Percussion

Percussion/Drumset Repertoire

Please prepare a single etude, excerpt, or solo on the following three instruments: snare drum, a mallet keyboard instrument (marimba, vibes, or xylophone), and timpani. You are encouraged to prepare additional repertoire/instruments for full music scholarship eligibility. Due to the nature of instrument access and other potential factors, we understand how an applicant may require some flexibility with these requirements. Auditions on one or two instrument areas are satisfactory in these circumstances. Applicants may be asked to sight read if comfortable as well. Please reach out to percussion faculty Kramer Milan at with any questions.

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Suggested Repertoire – Drumset

Please prepare as many of the suggested groove demonstrations below as you are comfortable with. (While playing drumset as part of your audition is encouraged, it is not required)

Suggested/Sample audition repertoire:

Snare Drum:

1 Concert Etude/Solo

Portraits in Rhythm, Cirone
Douze Etudes, Delecluse
Intermediate Snare Drum Studies, Peters

1 Rudimental Etude/Solo

The All-American Drummer or Modern Rudimental Swing Solos, C.H. Wilcoxon
14 Modern Contest Solos, Pratt (Choose a solo similar to “Drum Corps on Parade”)
Nine French-American Rudimental Solos, Tompkins


Sonata for Timpani, John Beck
Etudes from Modern Method for Timpani, Goodman
Etudes from Etuden fur Timpani Volume 1 or 2, Hochrainer


1 Two-mallet solo

Any Solos/etudes by Green, Goldenberg, Peters, Hatch, McMillan, Gottlieb
Modern School for Xylophone by Goldenberg
Fundamental Method for Mallets, Peters
Funny Mallets, Zivkovic
Xylophone Rags of George Hamilton Green

1 Four-mallet solo (or excerpt approximately 2-3 minutes in length)

Rain Dance, Mbira Song- Alice Gomez
Yellow After the Rain- Mitchell Peters
Frogs, Michi, Dream of the Cherry Blossoms, Wind in the Bamboo Grove- Keiko Abe
Etudes/Solos from “Image- 20 Children’s Songs for Marimba”, Bart Quartier
Rhythm Song, Virginia Tate, Etude 1- Smadbeck


(Simply prepare as many of the suggested groove demonstrations below as you are comfortable with)

  1. Medium tempo swing (Q=132), alternating 4 measures of time with 4 bars of solo, for 32 measures
  2. Up tempo swing (Q=200), alternating 4 measures of time with 4 bars of solo, for 32 measures
  3. Jazz waltz, 32 measures of interactive timekeeping
  4. Bossa Nova, 32 measures of interactive timekeeping
  5. Samba, 32 measures of interactive timekeeping
  6. 12/8 Afro-Cuban, 32 measures of interactive timekeeping
  7. Mambo or other Cuban groove, 32 measures
  8. Brushes:
    1. Medium tempo swing (Q=132), 16 measures
    2. Up tempo swing (Q=200), 16 measures
    3. Ballad tempo (Q=60), 4 measures, doubling up to medium swing (Q=120) for 8 measures
  9. Back to sticks—play a form that consists of 10 measures of 4/4 Latin (bossa nova or similar), followed by 8 bars of swing. Repeat this form 3 times without stopping.

Graduate Percussion Audition Requirements:

  • 4 mallet marimba solo
  • 2 or 4 mallet marimba solo by Bach
  • Timpani solo (such as one of Carter’s 8 Pieces for Timpani or an equivalent)
  • Concert snare drum solo like an advanced Delecluse Etude or equivalent
  • Sight reading on marimba
  • Demonstration of soft to loud to soft roll on snare drum over 30 seconds

Plus one of the following:

  • A multiple percussion solo submitted as a video (unlisted YouTube link preferred)
  • A demonstration of ability on a world percussion instrument
  • A demonstration of drumset technique and abilities (play a jazz chart and/or transcription, demonstrate styles, etc.)
  • Play 2 contrasting orchestral excerpts on your choice of snare drum, xylophone or timpani
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