For your audition, you should prepare two contrasting songs — if one song is slow and sustained, for example, the other should be in a quicker tempo. At least one of the two songs must be in English. Both songs must be memorized.  Musical theatre, commercial, pop and gospel songs are not appropriate for the audition. Choral parts (soprano, alto, tenor or bass lines from choral works) are not acceptable.

Repertoire suggestions

English language

  • Folk song arrangements such as Quilter’s “The Arnold Book of Old Songs”
  • Henry Purcell
  • Lute songs by Dowland, Campian, Morely, etc.
  • John Jacob Niles
  • Roger Quilter
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • Samuel Barber
  • Aaron Copland
  • Richard Hundley
  • Lee Hoiby

Foreign language

  • If you wish to present a selection in a foreign language, standard art songs in French, German, Italian and Spanish are appropriate.


Auditions must be accompanied by piano. If you would like VCU Music to provide an accompanist, then you will need to upload your sheet music when you submit your audition request form.  Your music must be received at least two weeks before your scheduled audition date. You will also need to bring copies of your music to the audition.

Students auditioning for the voice area may bring their own accompanist on the day of the audition. However, please note that your audition time cannot be confirmed in advance, so your accompanist will need to spend most, if not all, of the audition day with you at VCU.


Students will be asked to play (piano) and sing a short passage at sight.

Preparation tips

Your song choices should present your voice at its best. Your musicianship and the beauty of your singing are important — the difficulty of your music is not.

A career in music requires that you play the piano and read music with fluency. Your audition will be more successful if you have studied a musical instrument and are familiar with the keyboard.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Kenneth Wood, coordinator of vocal studies.