Percussion

Bachelor of Music (BM) or Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Master of Music (MM) or Graduate Certificate (GCRT)
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Applicants to programs in Percussion must submit an audition VIDEO DVD 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.

Note: 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 DecisionDesk

Undergraduate pre-screen recording requirements

Persons failing to prepare the full pre-screen requirements described below will not be permitted to perform a live audition nor offered admission to the program.

Snare Drum

  • Long Roll-Start pp and gradually crescendo to ff, hold at ff for a few seconds, and gradually diminuendo back to pp for a total duration of 25-30 seconds.
  • Pratt “Drum Corps on Parade from 14 Modern Contest Solos for Snare Drum”- From the beginning to the downbeat of measure 28 (1/4 note = 108).

Mallets

  • Two Mallets (to be played on marimba)
    • JS Bach “Violin Concerto in A Minor” (Transcription from Morris Goldenberg “Modern Method of Xylophone”): Play from the beginning to the down beat of letter B. Quarter = 104.
  • Four Mallets
    • JS Bach “Tempo de Bouree’” From Partita #1 first 20 bars 1st time only (1/2 note = 66).

Timpani

(Please tune exclusively with an A440 tuning fork, and without the use of an electronic tuner)

  • Starting with the pedals in a low position, tune a B natural on the 29″ drum and an E natural on the 26″. Perform Goodman “The Modern Method for Timpani” – Etude #49.

Graduate pre-screen recording requirements

Persons failing to prepare the full pre-screen requirements described below will not be permitted to perform a live audition nor offered admission to the program.

Snare Drum

  • Long Roll-Start pp and gradually crescendo to ff, hold at ff for a few seconds, and gradually diminuendo back to pp for a total duration of 25-30 seconds.
  • Pratt “Drum Corps on Parade from 14 Modern Contest Solos for Snare Drum”- From the beginning to the downbeat of measure 28 (1/4 note = 108)
  • Delecluse “Etude No. 1 from 12 Etudes pour Caisse Claire”. Play from the beginning to the downbeat of measure 46. (1/4 note = 76).

Mallets

  • Two mallets
    • Any two mallet movements from J.S. Bach Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin or Suites for Solo Cello (no repeats).
  • Four mallets
    • A 2-3 minute excerpt from a work of your choice.

Timpani

(Please tune exclusively with an A440 tuning fork, and without the use of an electronic tuner)

  • Record the following excerpts in one take without stopping as if playing a live audition.
    • Beethoven “Symphony no. 9″ coda (1st mvt., 18 before S to the end).
    • Hindemith “Symphonic Metamorphases” (2nd mvt., S to T).
    • Tchaikovsky “Symphony no. 4″ (1st mvt., 2 before T to 3 before U).

Undergraduate live audition repertoire

Based on the result of the pre-screen video recording, the faculty will invite a select group of applicants to the USC campus in Los Angeles for a live audition. If invited, it is REQUIRED that you audition live in person (it is not possible to be admitted to this program by recording).

If invited to a live audition, applicants should bring two bound copies of all materials.

Snare Drum

  • Rudimental Solo Etude from Pratt, Wilcoxon or the equivalent.
  • Concert Solo Etude from Cirone Portraits in Rhythm, Mitchell Peters Advanced Studies or Delecluse 12 Etudes, or the equivalent.
  • Knowledge of rudiments and ornaments.
  • Ability to roll at all dynamic levels.
  • Sight-reading.

Mallets

  • Two-mallet solo of your choice that would be suitable for a recital.
  • Four-mallet Marimba or Vibraphone solo of your choice that would be suitable for a recital.
  • Knowledge of scales and arpeggios.
  • Sight-reading.

Timpani

  • Etude from Goodman method, Firth, Delecluse, Hochrainer books or the equivalent.
  • Ability to tune accurately.
  • Sight-reading.

Graduate live audition repertoire

Based on the result of the pre-screen video recording, the faculty will invite a select group of applicants to the USC campus in Los Angeles for a live audition. If invited, it is REQUIRED that you audition live in person (It is not possible to be admitted to this program by recording).

If invited to a live audition, applicants should bring two bound copies of all materials.

Snare Drum

  • Rudimental Solo Etude from Pratt, Wilcoxon or the equivalent.
  • Concert Solo Etude from Cirone Portraits in Rhythm, Mitchell Peters Advanced Studies or Delecluse 12 Etudes, or the equivalent.
  • Knowledge of rudiments and ornaments.
  • Ability to roll at all dynamic levels.
  • Sight-reading.
  • Four standard orchestral excerpts.

Mallets

  • Two-mallet solo of your choice that would be suitable for a recital.
  • Four-mallet Marimba or Vibraphone solo of your choice that would be suitable for a recital.
  • Knowledge of scales and arpeggios.
  • Sight-reading.
  • Three standard orchestral excerpts on Xylophone and 2 on Glockenspiel.

Timpani

  • Etude from Goodman method, Firth, Delecluse, Hochrainer books or the equivalent.
  • Ability to tune accurately.
  • Sight-reading.
  • Four standard orchestral excerpts.

Important note for spring

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 recording for pre-screening. Spring applicants will be notified via email regarding their prescreen decision.