Woodwinds and Brass

Master of Music (MM), Graduate Certificate (GCRT)

Graduate Spring Application Deadline

October 1st

Looking for Fall Admission?
Click here for your requirements

Current USC Thornton Student?
Click here for additional information

Graduate Application Requirements for Spring Admission

This section is for all Master’s (MM) and Graduate Certificate (GCRT) applicants including current USC students applying for a USC graduate program for the spring semester.

All applicants are required to submit two separate application forms:

  1. USC Application for Graduate Admission
  2. Thornton’s SlideRoom application form

The total application fee is $115 ($90 for the USC Graduate Application and $25 for the SlideRoom Media/Materials upload). All required materials must be received by October 1. Application materials will not be accepted via mail or email. If both required application forms are not submitted by the appropriate deadline, your application will 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

Spring Admission

Auditions Required?

Yes, 2 rounds

Questions?

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

Complete the USC Application

Applicants must complete the USC Graduate Application and submit all other application materials required by the October 1st deadline.

USC Graduate Application Fee

The application fee for the USC Graduate application is $90. Application fee waivers are available to qualified applicants, and must be requested before submitting the USC Graduate Application. If you plan to apply for a waiver of the USC Graduate Application fee, please do so at least two weeks before the application deadline. The deadline will not be extended for applicants who fail to request a fee waiver in time. Details and instructions can be found here.

Transcripts

All transcripts are due October 1st. Please carefully read the transcript requirements below.

Scans (PDF format) of official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended must be uploaded into the USC Graduate application. Official transcripts are issued by the registrar’s office of each institution. Unofficial transcripts or documents printed from an on-line student system will not be accepted. Failure to upload scans of official transcripts may significantly delay the release of a final admission decision.

Please note that official transcripts must also be submitted separately to the USC Graduate Admission office following the guidelines here.

Program Materials Section

When completing the USC Graduate application, it is important to pay special attention to the following items that you will find in the “program materials” section of the application:

  • Thornton SlideRoom portal – A link to access the Thornton SlideRoom portal will be provided in this section.
  • The Documents tab – Documents submitted in this section will not be accessible to the Thornton faculty. Thornton faculty will only be able to review documents submitted via the Thornton SlideRoom portal. In order to complete this section, you must check the box indicating that you do not wish to upload documents in this section.
  • The Questions tab – Enter your SlideRoom Confirmation number where indicated (you will receive your SlideRoom confirmation number upon submission of the SlideRoom form).
International Applicants

Click here for important additional requirements and instructions.

Complete the SlideRoom Portfolio

All applicants must complete the Thornton SlideRoom portfolio by the October 1st deadline.

All Thornton supplemental materials must be uploaded through SlideRoom, which you will access through the link provided in the “Program Materials” section of the USC Graduate Application.

SlideRoom Requirements

SlideRoom Application Portal

A link to the SlideRoom portal is located inside the USC Application for Graduate Admission, in the “Program Materials” Section.

The SlideRoom application fee is $25 (fee waivers are not available). Thornton supplemental materials will not be accepted via mail or email.

The SlideRoom form must be submitted before the USC Application for Graduate Admission (Applicants can start both forms and work on them at the same time). Once SlideRoom is submitted, you will need to enter your SlideRoom confirmation number into the “Questions” tab, also located in the “program materials” section of the USC Graduate application.

Prescreen Recorded Audition

Applicants to programs in Woodwinds and Brass must submit a recording to be prescreened by the faculty. A video recording is required for Flute, Clarinet and French Horn (audio recordings are accepted for all other instruments). The results of this prescreen will determine whether an applicant will be invited to perform a live audition. Applicants will be notified of prescreen results and live audition details via email from the corresponding Thornton department.

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 (keb@usc.edu) in the Thornton Admission office with any questions or concerns regarding audition scheduling.

Flute

Piano accompaniment is not required. Prescreen audition recordings for Flute must be video recordings. Audio only recordings will not be accepted. Audition repertoire requirements are the same for all degree levels.

  • Mozart – Exposition of 1st and 2nd movements of Concerto in G Major or D Major – piano not necessary.
  • One contrasting piece (solo flute or with optional piano)

Two excerpts from the following list:

  • Mendelssohn Scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream – 2 measures before P to the end.
  • Beethoven Leonore Overture No. 3 – measures 328–360.
  • Brahms Symphony No. 4 – Last movement – measures 93–105.
  • Debussy Afternoon of a Faun – measures 1–4

Clarinet

Piano accompaniment is not required. Prescreen audition recordings for Clarinet must be video recordings. Audio only recordings will not be accepted. Audition repertoire requirements are the same for all degree levels.

Three selections representing various stylistic periods of music. These selections should be full-length pieces from the standard solo literature, although excerpts from ensemble literature may also be included. If any of the selections are taken from a multi-movement sonata or concerto, applicants need only prepare one movement of the piece.

French Horn

Piano accompaniment is not required. Prescreen audition recordings for French Horn must be video only. Audio only recordings will not be accepted. Audition repertoire requirements are the same for all graduate degree levels.

  1. Exposition from Mozart concertos 2 or 4, OR the first page of either Strauss concerto (No. 1 – until the 11 bars of rest half way down the page on most editions; No. 2 – the first page of the horn part)
  2. Please choose one excerpt from each group below (a total of 2 excerpts)

Group A

  • RAVEL: Piano Concerto in G major (horn 1, movement 1, rehearsal numbers 25-26)
  • BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7 in A major, op. 92 (horn 1, movement 1, measures 84-102)
  • WAGNER: from Gotterdammerung (Sigfried’s short call)

Group B

  • SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 5 in D minor, op. 47 (horn 1, movement 1, low tutti)
  • BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, op. 55 “Eroica” (Scherzo trio, horn 2, measures 171-205)
  • R. STRAUSS: Don Quixote (Variation VIII, horn 2, six measures before rehearsal 59 to eight measures after rehearsal 62)

Trombone

Piano accompaniment is not required. Audio or video recordings are acceptable for prescreen. Audition repertoire requirements are the same for all degree levels.

Tenor Trombone:

  • A movement from each of two solo pieces of contrasting styles.

Orchestral excerpts from:

  • Trombone solo from the Mozart Requiem
  • Wagner- Ride of the Walkϋre
  • Rossini- La Gazza Ladra
  • Ravel- Bolero

Bass Trombone:

  • Lebedev – Concerto in one Movement

Orchestral excerpts from:

  • Kodály – Háry János Suite
  • Wagner – Ride of the Walkϋre
  • Rossini – La Gazza Ladra

Tuba

Piano accompaniment is not required, unless otherwise noted below. Audio or video recordings are acceptable for prescreen. Audition repertoire requirements are the same for all graduate degree levels. Important notes for tuba: Graduate applicants must demonstrate both CC (or BBb) and F (or Eb) tubas either in the live audition or prescreen recording.

  • Two contrasting movements or etudes from standard tuba literature. One should be with piano or other accompaniment. A live recital or jury performance is preferred.
  • Two standard orchestral excerpts

Bassoon

Piano accompaniment is not required. Audio or video recordings are acceptable for prescreen. Audition repertoire requirements are the same for all degree levels.

  • Three selections representing various stylistic periods of music. These selections should be full-length pieces chosen from the standard solo literature or standard etude books such as Weissenborn, Jancourt, Milde, or comparable excerpts from standard ensemble literature may also be included. If any of the selections are taken from a multi-movement sonata or concerto, applicants need only prepare one movement of the piece.

Trumpet

Piano accompaniment is not required. Audio or video recordings are acceptable for prescreen. Audition repertoire requirements are the same for all graduate degree levels.

  • One movement from two contrasting solo pieces
  • One etude from Charlier’s 36 Etudes for Trumpet
  • One etude from Brandt’s 34 Studies
  • Four contrasting orchestral excerpts as appropriate to training and experiences

Oboe and Saxophone

Piano accompaniment is not required. Audio or video recordings are acceptable for prescreen. Audition repertoire requirements are the same for all graduate degree levels.

  • Two selections, in contrasting styles, from the standard solo repertoire
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.

Statement of Purpose (Optional)

Graduate applicants are encouraged to prepare a brief statement of their professional goals, as well as their purpose in applying for the Woodwinds and Brass program. The Statement of Purpose is typically 1-2 pages in length.

Transcripts

All transcripts are due October 1st. Please carefully read the transcript requirements below.

Scans (PDF format) of official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended must be uploaded into SlideRoom. Official transcripts are issued by the registrar’s office of each institution. Unofficial transcripts or documents printed from an on-line student system will not be accepted. Failure to upload scans of official transcripts may significantly delay the release of a final admission decision.

Please note that official transcripts must also be submitted separately to the USC Graduate Admission office following the guidelines here.

Letters of Recommendation

1-3 recommendation letters are required from graduate applicants. Recommendation letters are to be submitted online through the Thornton SlideRoom portal via the “References” section by October 1. We cannot guarantee the review of any material received after October 1.

Perform Audition if Invited

The results of the prescreen will determine whether an applicant will be invited to perform a live audition. Applicants will be notified of prescreen results and live audition details via email from the corresponding Thornton department. Please do not make travel plans to audition at USC Thornton until you have received confirmation of your audition appointment.

Prospective students are strongly encouraged to visit our campus and live audition events can be the ideal opportunity for this kind of visit. We therefore encourage applicants to perform their live auditions in person on the USC campus. 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

Flute

Piano accompaniment is not required. Audition repertoire requirements are the same for all graduate degree levels.

  • Mozart – Exposition of 1st and 2nd movements of Concerto in G Major or D Major – piano not necessary.
  • One contrasting piece (solo flute or with optional piano)

Two excerpts from the following list:

  • Mendelssohn Scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream – 2 measures before P to the end.
  • Beethoven Leonore Overture No. 3 – measures 328–360.
  • Brahms Symphony No. 4 – Last movement – measures 93–105.
  • Debussy Afternoon of a Faun – measures 1–4

Clarinet

Piano accompaniment is not required. Audition repertoire requirements are the same for all graduate degree levels.

  • Three selections representing various stylistic periods of music. These selections should be full-length pieces from the standard solo literature, although excerpts from ensemble literature may also be included. If any of the selections are taken from a multi-movement sonata or concerto, applicants need only prepare one movement of the piece.

French Horn

Applicants must be prepared to perform the following selections for the live audition. It is not necessary that the repertoire prepared be identical to the prescreen recording. Audition repertoire requirements are the same for all graduate degree levels.

  • Two etudes of the applicant’s choice, showing the applicant’s level of technical and musical advancement.
  • At least one major solo of the applicant’s choice.
  • Three to six standard orchestral excerpts.
  • Additional evaluation such as scales, range/register exploration, and an interview might be included as part of the live audition.

Trombone

Piano accompaniment is not required. Audition repertoire requirements are the same for all graduate degree levels.

Tenor Trombone:

  • A movement from each of two solo pieces of contrasting styles.

Orchestral excerpts from:

  • Trombone solo from the Mozart Requiem
  • Wagner- Ride of the Walkϋre
  • Rossini- La Gazza Ladra
  • Ravel- Bolero

Bass Trombone:

  • Lebedev – Concerto in one Movement

Orchestral excerpts from:

  • Kodály – Háry János Suite
  • Wagner – Ride of the Walkϋre
  • Rossini – La Gazza Ladra

Tuba

Piano accompaniment is not required. Audition repertoire requirements are the same for all graduate degree levels. Important notes for tuba: Graduate students must demonstrate both CC (or BBb) and F (or Eb) tubas either in the live audition or prescreen recording.

  • Two contrasting movements from tuba literature that show musicality, tone, pitch, and range
  • Two standard orchestral excerpts

Bassoon

Piano accompaniment is not required. Audition repertoire requirements are the same for all graduate degree levels.

  • Three selections representing various stylistic periods of music. These selections should be full-length pieces chosen from the standard solo literature or standard etude books such as Weissenborn, Jancourt, Milde, or comparable excerpts from standard ensemble literature may also be included. If any of the selections are taken from a multi-movement sonata or concerto, applicants need only prepare one movement of the piece.
  • All major and minor scales and sight reading may be tested at the live audition.

Trumpet

Piano accompaniment is not required. Audition repertoire requirements are the same for all graduate degree levels.

  • One movement from two contrasting solo pieces
  • One etude from Charlier’s 36 Etudes for Trumpet
  • One etude from Brandt’s 34 Studies
  • Four contrasting orchestral excerpts as appropriate to training and experiences
  • Sight reading and all major and minor scales may be tested at the live audition

Oboe and Saxophone

Piano accompaniment is NOT required. Audition repertoire requirements are the same for all graduate degree levels.

  • Three selections representing various stylistic periods of music. These selections should be full-length pieces from the standard solo literature, although excerpts from ensemble literature may also be included. If any of the selections are taken from a multi-movement sonata or concerto, applicants need only prepare one movement of the piece.