Early Music Performance

Master of Arts (MA)
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

All applicants to the MA and DMA in Early Music Performance are required to submit 3 Letters of Recommendation (see the USC online application for instructions on how to submit. A performance audition is required of all applicants to the Early Music program. It is expected that applicants will perform a live audition on the USC campus on the published audition date. However, in some cases it may be possible to submit a recording in lieu of performing a live audition.

Note: If you select this option, recordings will not be accepted via mail or email for this program. Recordings must be submitted online through the “Fall DecisionDesk portal” by the December 1st deadline. Any application not complete by December 1 may be removed from consideration.To access the Fall portal to submit your recording click on the following link:

USC Thornton Fall Portal (Available Sept 1)

Audition requirements

Applicants must prepare three works in differing styles or from different periods that illustrate technical and musical abilities. All applicants may be asked to participate in a short coaching session. Keyboardists may also be asked to realize a passage of figured bass.

An accompanist is not required at the audition. It is also not guaranteed that an accompanist will be provided at the audition. If you will need an accompanist, please contact Adam Gilbert, Director of Early Music, at adam.gilbert@usc.edu. You may also call the Early Music Office at 213-821-6052. Finding an accompanist is only possible with sufficient prior notice, so please contact Adam Gilbert early in your audition preparation process. The applicants wishing to utilize an accompanist must provide copies of their music and arrange for any extra rehearsal time if needed. While there is no cost for accompaniment at the audition itself, the accompanist must be paid for any rehearsal time.

If you have questions regarding the application or audition process, please contact Kit Bellamy, Associate Director of Admission for further information. Please use the following contact information: keb@usc.edu. (213) 821-1245.

Additional information

One or two representative historical or analytical term papers must be submitted with the USC online application. These should be papers written for assignments in music history classes.