Percussion Audition Requirements

Percussion concert

Suggested Audition Material


  • All prospective percussion majors must audition and take the theory entrance exam.
  • Please choose material from the following list, or material of comparable difficulty, to best demonstrate your abilities. We encourage you to prepare audition material in all areas in which you feel comfortable (snare, keyboards, timpani, etc.). Because keyboard skills are important for all music majors, applicants with demonstrated keyboard percussion abilities will be given first consideration.
  • These are only suggestions — you may choose any material you wish!
  • A concert snare solo is preferable to a rudimental solo, although you may play both.
  • Please let us know well in advance what instrument(s) you will need for us to provide.

All Instruments

Snare Drum

Concert Snare
  • Cirone - Portraits in Rhythm
  • Delécluse - selection(s) from Keiskleiriana 1 or 2; 12 Studies for Snare Drum
  • Colgrass - Six Unaccompanied Solos
Rudimental Snare

Choose one solo from one of the following sources:

  • Pratt - 14 Modern Contest Solos
  • Freytag - Rudimental Cookbook or Just Desserts
  • various - Violent Ice Cream
  • various - Ziggadabuzz
  • various - Aptitude
  • Basic rudiments and orchestra-style rolls at various dynamic levels



Choose one solo from one of the following sources:

  • Firth - Solo Timpanist
  • Goodman - Modern Method for Timpani
  • Carroll - Exercises, Etudes and Solos for the Timpani
  • Hinger - Technique for the Virtuoso Timpanist
  • Orfaly - Studies in Copper
  • Woud - The Timpani Challenge



Choose one solo from one of the following sources:

  • Two-mallet
    • Goldenberg - Modern School for Xylophone, Marimba, and Vibraphone
    • Reamer - Reamer’s Elixirs (pick two)
    • Bailey - Mental and Manual Calisthenics (choose any full-page etude)
  • Four-mallet
    • Ford - Marimba: Technique through Music (choose one)
    • Quartier - Image (pick two)
    • Peters - Yellow After the Rain
    • Gomez - "Mbira Song," "Etude in D Minor," "Marimba Flamenca"
    • Gaines - Sequential Studies for Four-mallet Marimba, Level 1 (choose an etude that is appropriate for your level of development)
  • All major scales, minimum of two octaves, plus all major arpeggios, minimum of two octaves

Drum Set

  • Demonstration of basic styles: medium swing, up-tempo swing, rock/funk, bossa nova, and samba. Time keeping and soloing in each style.
  • Sight-reading


All incoming undergraduate students wanting to audition for a music major must also take the theory entrance exam.