Vocal Arts (Classical Voice/Opera)

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 voice applicants. For jazz voice, please refer to the Jazz Studies requirements. For the BA with a Choral Music emphasis, please refer to the Choral Music requirements.

Applicants to programs in Vocal Arts must submit an audition DVD recording to be pre-screened by the faculty. Only video recordings are acceptable. 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 Slideroom portal” by the December 1st deadline. Any application not complete by December 1 may be removed from consideration.

  • UNDERGRADUATE APPLICANTS- For instructions on how to access the Slideroom portal to submit your recording click HERE
  • GRADUATE APPLICANTS- For instructions on how to access the Slideroom portal to submit your recording click HERE

Please note: Current USC Thornton 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.

Audition requirements

For both the pre-screen recording and the live audition, undergraduate applicants must submit two selections of contrasting styles, and graduate applicants must submit five or more selections of contrasting styles. These selections should be pieces from the standard solo voice literature. Applicants are encouraged to prepare at least one of these selections in a foreign language and all selections must be memorized. The same selections may be performed on the recording as for the live audition.

Piano accompaniment is required for all voice auditions. Voice applicants who are invited to perform a live audition on the USC campus are strongly encouraged to bring their own pianists for their audition. If a voice applicant is not able to bring his/her own pianist to the audition, s/he must request a Thornton-provided pianist by the deadline stated in his/her audition confirmation. Audition confirmations for Fall 2015 voice applicants will be issued via email on or about December 22, 2014. In this email confirmation, applicants will be given specific information about how to formally request a Thornton-provided pianist for the audition, including a specific deadline by which the request must be received. Applicants will also be required, as part of this request, to provide PDF documents of the repertoire they will be performing for their audition. These PDF documents will be forwarded by the USC Thornton Admission office to the Thornton-assigned pianist in order to facilitate the pianists’ preparations in advance of the audition. ****Applicants will be assigned a pianist by USC Thornton only if they make a request for a pianist according to the instructions given and by the deadline specified in the email audition confirmation.**** If this request is not received by the deadline a pianist will not be assigned by USC Thornton.

On the day of the audition, applicants will have an assigned warm-up room for approximately 30 minutes before their scheduled audition appointment. Applicants who have been assigned a pianist by USC Thornton will be able to rehearse their repertoire with the Thornton-assigned pianist for about 15 minutes of that warm-up time.

If an applicant who has passed the pre-screen round cannot attend a live audition, that applicant must contact the Thornton Admission office at (213) 740-8986 to request that their pre-screen DVD recording be considered in lieu of a live audition. DMA and Graduate Certificate applicants must perform a live audition.

Additional information

DMA applicants are required to submit 3 letters of recommendation (see the USC online application for instructions on how to submit.)

Important note

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.