Prospective classical percussionists are required to audition in all three of the major areas listed below. The repertoire suggestions in each area are intended to be representative of the expected level of musical and technical achievement; students are free to perform similar works that are not listed.

Please note that students auditioning as jazz percussion majors are not required to perform a classical audition. Please see the jazz drums audition requirements for more information.

Snare drum

  • Perform one concert-style etude, such as those by Delecluse, Cirone, Peters and Whaley.
  • Students are encouraged, but not required, to also perform a short rudimental solo, such as those by Wilcoxon, Pratt, Freytag (“Rudimental Cookbook”) and Savage (“Rudimental Workshop”).

Keyboard percussion

  • Perform a two- and/or four-mallet solo, such as those by Abe, Stout, Peters, Green, Musser, Goldenberg, Smadbeck, McMillan (“Masterpieces for Marimba”), Gottlieb (“Masterworks for Mallets”) and Davila (“Impressions on Wood”)


  • Demonstrate an understanding of intonation, articulation and tone production by performing a solo/etude, such as those by Beck, Peters, Firth, Carter, Hochrainer and Whaley


  • Students will be asked to sight-read on keyboard percussion — two-mallet, treble clef. Students may be asked to sight read on snare drum as well.

Preparation tips

  • Dress comfortably, but professionally
  • Be organized – make sure you have all of the sticks and mallets that you need, as well as copies of your audition etudes or music.
  • Be open to suggestions – I’m most interested in how you play and if you demonstrate that you are teachable.
  • Have fun! We want you to perform well!

If you have any questions, contact Dr. Justin Alexander, Assistant Professor of Percussion.