Vocal Arts (Classical Voice/Opera)

Bachelor of Music (BM)

Application Deadline for Current USC Students

Spring Admission: October 1 | Fall Admission: December 1

Not a Current USC Student?
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Graduate Student?
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Undergraduate Application Requirements for Current USC Students

This section is for current USC students applying to the Bachelor of Music (BM) Vocal Arts program, including current Thornton students wishing to add or switch their major. All required materials for spring admission must be submitted by October 1. All required materials for fall admission must be submitted by December 1.

Note: This information applies only to classical voice applicants. For jazz voice, please refer to the Jazz Studies program page. For Choral Music, please refer to the Choral Music program page.

The total application fee is $25 for the Thornton Portfolio in SlideRoom. Recordings/materials must be submitted online through the SlideRoom Portfolio by the appropriate deadline and will not be accepted via mail or email for any program. We cannot guarantee the review of any material received after the deadline. Any application not complete by the appropriate deadline may be removed from consideration.

Applicants experiencing hardship or extenuating circumstances due to natural disaster or public health concerns in their local area that may affect their ability to satisfy application requirements may contact the Thornton Office of Admission at uscmusic@usc.edu to explore possible accommodations. Though we cannot guarantee that accommodations/exceptions will be possible, applicants are encouraged to contact the Admission Office as soon as possible to allow the maximum amount of time to consider the options.

Applying For

Fall and Spring Admission

Auditions Required?

Yes, 2 rounds

Questions?

Email: uscmusic@usc.edu | Phone: (213)740-8986

Complete the SlideRoom Portfolio

Applicants must complete the USC Thornton Portfolio for Current USC Students via SlideRoom. Applicants are only permitted to select one program through the SlideRoom application. Applicants who would like to be considered for admission to a second Thornton program must contact Brittany Jimenez at seits@usc.edu prior to the application deadline to receive instructions on how to submit a second SlideRoom application.

To access the Current USC Student SlideRoom portal to submit your application click here.

Important Note: Once in SlideRoom, make sure to select the form titled “FOR CURRENT USC STUDENTS ONLY” and the appropriate term (spring or fall). All other forms will require you to have a Common Application and current USC students do not need to complete the Common Application.

Applicants will be asked to provide the following materials in the SlideRoom portfolio:

SlideRoom Requirements

Prescreen Recorded Audition

Applicants to programs in Vocal Arts must submit a video recording to be prescreened by the faculty. Only video recordings are acceptable. The results of this prescreen will determine whether an applicant will be invited to perform a live audition.

Undergraduate applicants must submit two selections of contrasting styles, from the standard classical solo vocal repertoire. It is recommended that one of the selections be in English and the other in a foreign language. All selections must be memorized and piano accompaniment is required for all voice auditions.

Introductory Video for All Undergraduate Applicants

All applicants to undergraduate Thornton programs are required to submit a single-take, unedited, and preferably unrehearsed 1-2 minute video that offers a brief personal introduction and answers the following question: How do you envision using your USC Thornton education to become a force for positive change in the evolution of the music profession and music as an art form?

Young Artist Project Introductory Video

The classical music profession is changing, and we’re changing with it. USC Thornton’s undergraduate classical music curriculum (called “The ReDesign”) maintains a rigorous foundation of the finest conservatory training, while also offering flexibility for students to chart their own artistic pathway. We aim to create musical leaders who can not only take advantage of traditional opportunities, but also discover new ones – and even create their own. All four years are aimed at the two things most important to musicians: taking their musicianship to the highest levels and preparing for a thriving professional life.

At the heart of the ReDesign is the Young Artist Project. This individualized, mentored project is pursued during the junior and senior years of the program, and requires students to develop and fully realize a unique project related to their work as a classical musician. This could involve developing a hybrid performance, conducting original research, exploring new creative technologies, or applying creative expression to a pressing social issue.

To help us get to know our applicants and their unique identity as young musicians, all applicants to undergraduate programs in classical music performance and composition are required to submit (via SlideRoom) a single-take, unedited, and preferably unrehearsed video of no more than two minutes. In this video applicants must answer the following question: If you were pitching your Young Artist Project idea today, what is the most daring project you would propose and why?

Résumé

The résumé should list musical, professional, and academic experience and is generally 1-2 pages in length.

Repertoire List

This list should include works studied and performed. Etudes, scale studies, arias, art songs, chamber music, solo pieces, and original compositions are all examples of what could be included in this list.

Academic Information

Current USC students are not required to submit transcripts but will be asked to upload a copy of their “Summary of Completed Courses” and “Registered Course List” available through myUSC.

To access your “Summary of Completed Courses”, log into myUSC (my.usc.edu) and click “OASIS”. Click “Continue” to access your course information and then select “Summary of Completed Courses”, which is the history of your completed courses including units and grades. Important note: the STARS report will not be accepted in lieu of the “Summary of Completed Courses”.

  • Note: If you are currently enrolled in your first semester at USC and have not yet completed any courses, upload a PDF document with the following statement: “I am currently enrolled in my first semester at USC and have not yet completed any courses at USC.”

To access your “Registered Course List”, log into myUSC (my.usc.edu) and click “OASIS”. Click “Continue” to access your course information and then select “Registered Course List”.

  • Note: you only need to upload your registered courses for the current fall semester.
Letters of Recommendation (Optional)

Optional letters of recommendation for the Thornton School may be submitted through the SlideRoom References section. Important notes for optional letters of recommendation:

  • Any optional letters of recommendation you want reviewed by the faculty must be submitted via the Thornton SlideRoom References form by the appropriate deadline (October 1 for spring admission, December 1 for fall admission). We cannot guarantee the review of any material received after the deadline.
  • Any recommendations sent via mail or email will not be reviewed by the faculty.

Perform Audition if Invited

The results of the prescreen recorded audition will determine whether an applicant will be invited to perform a live audition. Notice of the results of the prescreen audition will be sent to applicants via email 3-4 weeks after the application deadline, which will include the date and time of the audition, if invited.

Applicants who live more than 100 miles from the USC campus and are unable to travel to Los Angeles for their live audition can indicate their preference for an online audition on their Thornton application in SlideRoom. Applicants who live within a 100 mile radius of the USC campus are required to perform their live audition in-person.

Live Audition Requirements

Undergraduate applicants must prepare two selections of contrasting styles, from the standard classical solo vocal repertoire. It is recommended that one of the selections be in English and the other in a foreign language. All selections must be memorized and piano accompaniment is required (see below for details). The same selections may be used for both the prescreen recording and the live audition.

Piano Accompaniment

Instructions for Spring Applicants

Piano accompaniment is required for all voice auditions (in-person or online). Applicants who live within a 100 mile radius of the USC campus are required to perform their live audition in-person. 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 performing their live audition on the USC campus is not able to bring their own pianist to the audition, contact the Vocal Arts Department Office to request a Thornton-provided pianist within one week of receipt of the audition confirmation.

Instructions for Fall Applicants

Piano accompaniment is required for all voice auditions (in-person or online). Applicants who live within a 100 mile radius of the USC campus are required to perform their live audition in-person. 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 performing their live audition on the USC campus is not able to bring their own pianist to the audition, they must request a Thornton-provided pianist by the deadline stated in their audition confirmation. Audition confirmations for fall voice applicants will be issued via email by the end of December. 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.

Undergraduate Theory Exam

All undergraduate applicants (except in Composition and Music Industry) are required to complete a music theory examination as part of the live audition requirements. The exam will measure proficiency in basic music theory. Further details about how and when the exam will be administered will be provided in the audition confirmation sent to applicants invited for a live audition. Exam results alone will not prevent a student from being admitted to USC or the Thornton School. The Thornton Admission office cannot release exam details in advance of the exam. Inquiries regarding the content of the exam will not be answered.

Note: Current Thornton students who have already completed MUCO 132ab and MUCO 133ab are not required to take the exam.