Bachelor of Music (BM) or Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Master of Music (MM) or Graduate Certificate (GCRT)
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
If you are planning to apply to the Artist Diploma program please follow the audition requirements on the Artist Diploma page.
Note: This information applies only to classical guitar applicants. For studio/jazz guitar, please refer to the studio/jazz guitar requirements.
Applicants to Classical Guitar must submit a video recording to be pre-screened by the faculty. The results of this pre-screen will determine whether an applicant will be invited to perform a live audition on the USC campus in Los Angeles. Pre-screen recordings must include video. Audio recordings will not be accepted.
Note: Video recordings will not be accepted via mail or email for this program. Video recordings must be submitted online through the “Fall SlideRoom portal” by the December 1st deadline. Any application not complete by December 1 may be removed from consideration.
Please note: Current Thornton Classical Guitar students applying for a graduate program are not required to submit a prescreen recording, however they must indicate on the application that they are a current Thornton student or they will not automatically be scheduled for a live audition. Current USC students are encouraged to contact Kit Bellamy in the Thornton Admission office with any questions or concerns regarding audition scheduling.
Pre-screen recording requirements
The prescreen video should include the following for all degrees of application:
- The submitted video recording must contain two pieces of contrasting character and those pieces must be from different style periods. Ideally, one piece should be composed before 1900 and the other should be composed after 1900. The video recording should be about 12 minutes long.
Live audition requirements
It is not necessary that the repertoire submitted as pre-screening material be included in what will be performed at the live audition and the pre-screening material does not need to conform to the live audition repertoire requirement described below. Live audition repertoire should include the following:
- BA and BM applicants: Three selections of contrasting styles from the standard solo literature should be prepared for the live audition. If any of the selections are taken from a multi-movement sonata or concerto, applicants need only prepare one movement of the piece. In addition, applicants should be prepared to demonstrate the proficient use of both apoyando (rest stroke) and tirando (free stroke), as evidenced in the prepared audition repertoire or with representative technical exercises such as selections from the Giuliani 120 Studies for the Right Hand and major and minor scales from the Shearer or Segovia or similar pedagogical systems. Sightreading may also be required at the time of audition.
- MM, GC, and DMA applicants: Thirty minutes of standard solo and/or ensemble pieces from the classical guitar literature should be prepared for the live audition.
In the event that a student is not able to perform the live audition at USC, s/he may request that a pre-screen video recording be considered in lieu of the live audition. It is extremely important to note, however, that only a video recording which includes both the required pre-screen audition repertoire and the required live audition repertoire would be considered in lieu of a live audition. Audio recordings will not be considered in lieu of a live audition nor will any recording that does not include the required live audition repertoire.
- DMA applicants are required to submit a “Personal Introductory Video” as part of their SlideRoom Portfolio. For detailed instructions click here.
- Undergraduate applications are not accepted for Spring admission to this program unless the applicant is already enrolled at USC. All applicants for spring admission are also required to submit a video recording for pre-screening. Spring applicants will be notified via email regarding their prescreen decision.