Audition Requirements

Application process

The Sewanee Summer Music Festival is pleased to work with for our application process.  Audition recordings will be submitted through this portal as part of the application process.

Video Guidelines

All applications should be submitted using a video – audio-only applications will not be accepted under any circumstances.

Your videos should be of recent performances, no more than 6 months old.

Please upload the solo video and excerpt video(s) as different files, in accordance with the requirements listed below. Excerpts can be one video, with pauses in between, or separate videos.

Application Fees

Application fees and deadlines will be posted in Fall 2020.

Audition Requirements


In addition to the selected excerpts, please upload a solo or selection of solos from a sonata, concerto or other work that amount to 5-7 minutes, demonstrating your current performance ability. These may be performed with or without piano accompaniment.

Violin: all applicants 

Mendelssohn: Midsummer’s Night Dream – Scherzo – 1st violin:
8 measures before “A” to 7 measures after D

Viola: pre-college applicants

Glinka: Ruslan & Ludmilla – opening to letter “C”

Viola: college applicants 

Brahms Haydn Variations #5

Cello: all applicants 

Beethoven’s 5th symphony
Movement II: Pickups to mm. 1-10
Movement II: mm. 49-59
Movement II: mm. 98-106

Double Bass: all applicants 

Select ONE of the 3 excerpts below. You do not have to prepare all three, just either #1, or #2, or #3

1. Beethoven Symphony no.5, mvt 3: Scherzo (mm. 1-78) AND Trio (pickup to m. 141 to 178) with no repeat


2. Wagner Die Miestersinger Prelude: rehearsal J to rehearsal N


3. Mozart’s Symphony no. 40 mvt. 1, pickup to m. 115 to m. 138

  • All flute applicants

    • Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Scherzo: 2 bars before letter P until the end
    • Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe: 176 until 2 bars after 179
  • Hindemith Symphonic Metamorphoses 1st mvmt.

    Shostakovich 1st symphony, 3rd movement

    For your convenience, please find a copy of these excerpts here.

  • Select TWO of the excerpts below to record

    Beethoven, Symphony 8, movement 3, Trio only
    Brahms, Symphony 3, movement 2, measures 1-22
    Kodaly, Galanta Dances, measures 31-65
    Mendelssohn, Scherzo, measures 1-48 from a Midsummer Nights Dream
    Rachmaninov, Symphony no. 2, beginning through tied C at 47
  • Mozart Marriage of Figaro overture 
    1st bassoon – mm. 139 to 171

    Rimsky Korsakov Scheherazade 
    1st bassoon – 2nd movement solo and cadenzas

  • All applicants ( pre-college and college)
    Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, Mvt 3, Horn 1 — 50 after A through 79 after A
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5, Mvt 2, Horn 1 — 8 before A through 13 after A
    For college applicants only (optional for pre-college students)
    4 — Shostakovich: Symphony No 5, Mvt 1, Horn 1 — 3 after 17 through the first bar of 21
  • Mussorgsky/Ravel, Pictures at an Exhibition Beginning to rehearsal 2

    Mahler 5th symphony

    1. Beginning to 5 after reh. 1
    2. 1 before reh. 13 to reh. 14
  • Select ONE of the two solo’s listed below

    Grondahl – Concerto, mvt. 1 or
    David – Concertino, mvt. 1

    Select TWO of the excerpts listed below

    Tomasi – Fanfares Liturgiques, mvt. 2 (Evangile – solo) 

    Strauss – Ein Heldenleben (Battle Scene – trombone 2)

    Mozart – Tuba Mirum

    Hindemith – Symphonic Metamorphosis (March)

  • Select ONE of the solos listed below

    Lebedev – Concerto in One Movement or

    Bozza – New Orleans

    Select TWO of the excerpts listed below

    Haydn – The Creation (Achieved is the Glorious Works)

    Respighi – Fountains of Rome

    Wagner – Das Rheingold (Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla)

    Berlioz – Hungarian March


  • Berlioz – Hungarian March – Reh. 4 to 4 measures after Reh. 5

    Prokofiev – Symphony #5, 1st mvt., Reh 3 to the end of the passage

    Wagner – Meistersinger Overture J – L


Solo:  one solo on each snare drum ( Delecluse, Peters, Cirone etc…) , timpani ( Deleclude, Hochrainer, Carter etc…)  and marimba ( bach, or contemporary solo). If the solo work is over 10 minutes, or multi-movement, selections or a single movement – example:  Druckman, Reflections on the Nature of Water, 1st and 2nd movement only would be enough.

  • Snare drum – Rimsky Korsakov Scheherazade 4th movement letter P-R
    Xylophone – Gershwin Porgy and Bess, opening as it appears in the Goldenberg Book
    Timpani – Beethoven 9th Symphony Coda of the first movement
    Tambourine – Dvorak Carnival Overture, beginning to letter C


Solo: In addition to the selected excerpts, please upload your best 5-7 minutes of solo or selection of selection of a sonata, concerto or other work that demonstrates your current performance ability. This may be performed with or without piano accompaniment.

Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
Harp 1: Mvt II, Un Bal, entire movement
Harp 2: Mvt. II, Un Bal, reh. M to O (mm. 183-203) (Reh #28-29 in Luck’s edition)

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade
Mvt II, mm. 1-4; Q through end


Two contrasting works that best showcase both lyrical and technical ability.

Composition Program Application Requirements—students wishing to be admitted to the composition track
  • Composition applicants should submit scores of  PDF ’s two contrasting works written for solo, chamber or large ensemble ( orchestra, chamber orchestra or wind band). Recordings or midi realizations are not required but encouraged. In addition, two letters of recommendation are required.
Conducting Apprentice Program Application Requirements
  • Videos must be in the orchestra’s POV and give focus upon the conductor. The video must include at least two contrasting works and not exceed 15 minutes.
    Videos should show applicants conducting a full orchestra, wind ensemble or chamber ensemble. Applicants may also submit videos with piano, but an ensemble of at least six musicians is preferred.
Video Guidelines

All applications should be submitted using a video – audio-only applications will not be accepted under any circumstances. 

Your videos should be of recent performances, no more than 6 months old.

 Please upload the solo video and excerpt video as two different examples. Excerpts can be one video, with pauses in between.

Application FAQ

I attended SSMF in a prior summer, do I need to submit an application again?

Yes, all new and returning students need to submit an application

I was a participant in the Sewanee Academy last year, and would like to apply for the festival this year, do I have to submit an application? 

Yes, please!

I applied and was admitted in the past, but did not attend, do I need to submit an application again?

Yes. Thanks!

I want to audition with something different than the requirements, is that ok?

No, please review the audition requirements carefully.  We have given you the opportunity to choose something of your own, along with the pre-set excerpts for 2020.  Please send the materials requested.

Can you waive the application fee?

We are unable to waive the application fee, as this fee supports our online audition portal.

What is the age range for SSMF?

While we do not have a specific age limit, we do feel that students will most benefit from the Sewanee experience if they are somewhere between 15-25

How good do I have to be to get into SSMF?

SSMF hears students from across the world and is a competitive program.  We encourage you to do your best in the application and make sure you have strong recommendation letters.  We also believe that students both in high school and in college will benefit from the Sewanee experience, so we encourage students from age 15-25 to apply

When will I hear from Sewanee regarding my application?

A: Notification can occur anytime after our faculty reviews your application, usually 2-3 weeks after submitting the application. Calling or emailing the office will not accelerate the process!

What happens if I am waitlisted?

If you are waitlisted, you should confirm your spot on the waitlist by replying to the admissions team that you wish to be considered for the waiting list.  Some students are admitted right away, others are denied acceptance, and many are placed on the wait list. Calling or emailing the office will not increase your chances of being selected from the waitlist.