All undergraduate applicants must apply to the University of Colorado and complete a College of Music Admission Application. Undergraduate auditions cannot not be scheduled until both applications have been received. Graduate students only need to complete the graduate application.
For information about the Vocal Coaching Artist Diploma, visit the collaborative piano audition page.
Undergraduate voice + opera + musical theatre
To apply, you must submit a high-quality video pre-screening recording, without reverb. Prepare this as well as you possibly can. If we need additional material from you, we may invite you to a live audition (in-person or virtual).
All applicants are required to submit recorded materials. Due to high applicant numbers, we strongly recommend that you choose to submit on or before Dec. 1. Recordings received after Dec. 1 will be considered based on space availability. Once recordings have been reviewed, applicants will be notified, and instructions will be sent if a live audition (in-person or virtual) is required. Please note that the recording and live audition requirements are the same and all requirements listed below must be met in the recording.
Audition requirements (first year)
Please prepare two contrasting songs that best display your vocal talent.
- One of the selections must be from the classical repertoire, which can include a folk song or a spiritual; the other can be either a second classical song, a musical theater number, or a jazz standard with fully-realized piano accompaniment (no lead sheets or chord symbols).
- Please note that we center our vocal training around the classical and musical theater singing styles. We are not, at the moment, able to offer training in commercial music, solo vocal jazz, or contemporary pop singing.
- If you have a background in a language other than English, please feel free to offer a selection in that language.
- All selections must be performed from memory. For the video recording and virtual-live audition, full body must be shown. You may be disqualified if your video submission is too close-up for us to evaluate whether your songs are memorized.
- Sight-singing and pitch-matching may be tested at the live audition.
If you have a repertoire list of previously studied songs, feel free to share it with us. Please choose music that shows your voice to its best advantage; something you like to sing and that you feel comfortable performing. We are listening for vocal quality, expressiveness, musical competence and, above all, potential. Excessively advanced repertoire is neither expected nor desired. Opera arias written after 1800 are discouraged.
Note: If you sign up for a virtual-live (Zoom) audition, please be ready to use your own backing track. A pianist will be provided for all in-person auditions.
Audition requirements (transfer students)
You should prepare a brief program of 3-4 songs; the majority of these should be from the classical repertoire. Please also submit a copy of your repertoire list.
All voice applicants are required to submit a pre-screening video recording. The deadline for pre-screening submissions is Dec. 1. Once pre-screening videos have been reviewed, applicants will be notified if they are invited to the live audition round. The recording and live audition requirements are the same and all requirements listed below must be met in the recording.
- Avoid extreme close-ups and be sure to include waist-up shots. Try to balance the volume of the piano with your singing, but do not sing with a microphone or extra amplification.
- Say your name and the name of the song, monologue or dance before you begin each section.
- Upload your audition requirements as SEPARATE video files. Videos should be uploaded via the Application Status Page.
Those who pass the pre-screening round will be invited to a live audition in January-February. Live audition information. If you are unavailable for one of these audition weekends, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
These requirements apply to both the pre-screening and live audition. Without all four components, your audition will be considered incomplete and you will not be considered for admission.
If you’re invited to perform an in-person or a virtual live audition, please be prepared to sing two full songs of your choice under 3 minutes in length and also present a 60 second monologue (please stick to monologues in the musical comedy vein). If you choose a virtual live audition, please be ready to use your own backing tracks. A pianist will be provided for all in-person auditions.
- Resumé: Upload a pdf of your full resumé, which includes any training and experience you have had in music, theatre, and dance.
- Voice Video (pre-screening): Prepare two selections of musical theatre repertoire that contrast in style and decade of composition. Each cut may be up to 32 bars each, but should not exceed 60 seconds in length and must be memorized. In addition, please have the entire song available in addition to the 32 bar preparations in case faulty wishes to hear the song in its entirety.
- Monologue Video: Prepare one short monologue. The monologue must be memorized and should be performed in the context of the entire play. The monologue should be no longer than 90 seconds. Choose a monologue that is appropriate for your age and experience. (Be able to discuss the play or material as a whole. You may want to select a monologue from a play, monologue books or other material.
- Dance Video*: Required of all submissions, present a 30-60 second clip of yourself moving/dancing. Your full body should be in view at all times. You may choose a cut from a musical or a dance performance in which you participated, or record something original. Any style is acceptable: musical theatre, ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, etc. Wear appropriate dance attire that will show clean line. Dance music may be live or recorded. Optional, for applicants with dance training: Execute a set of plies, tendues, grand battements, and pirouettes. Straightforward, simple exercises are preferred. (side view is best). Note that we will use this dance video as your final audition if you sign up for the virtual live audition date. If you sign up for an in-person date, you will dance live in front of our faculty.
*We are committed to finding a diverse group of individuals of varying skill levels in different areas. Some of you may be strong singer/actors who move well, while others may bring extensive dance training. The movement/dance portion of your audition should reflect who you are as a performer. We will accept a wide array of presentations.
Please note: The University of Colorado Bouder is fortunate to offer two different musical theatre degrees. These two degrees are the Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre (BM/MT) through the College of Music (which you are now investigating), and the Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Musical Theatre (BFA/MT through the College of Arts and Sciences. Both programs work closely together in course offerings and season productions. Additionally, you may be considered for both degree programs at the same audition.
Graduate voice + opera
Graduate voice applicant requirements
Pre-screening recordings are required for all graduate voice applicants. Recordings will not be reviewed until the online application and supporting materials have been received. Live auditions will be granted to applicants chosen from these recordings. Applicants will be notified of the faculty decision no later than Friday, Dec. 23.
- The pre-screening recording should contain three to four contrasting pieces of varying styles and languages, with at least one art song on the recording. Please announce your name and selections at the beginning of the recording.
- A comprehensive list of previously studied repertoire
- A comprehensive performance resume, with categories listed by type (e.g., opera, recital, oratorio, musical, young artist program, etc.), and including location and dates. Applicants are required to upload the documents listed above along with their pre-screening recordings to the Graduate Application. The deadline for submission is Dec. 1.
Doctoral + Artist Diploma applicants
- Three art songs in three different languages
- Two arias from opera and/or oratorio (in any language)
- Any number of additional pieces of the candidate's choice of any genre in any language
- At least one piece must be in English
- Total of at least 20 minutes of music
Please note that the actual audition time may be shorter.
Master of Music applicants
- Candidates must offer five pieces. They must include:
- Three art songs in three different languages
- One aria from an opera or oratorio (in any language)
- One piece of the candidate's choice of any genre in any language
- One of the five pieces must be in English
- An pianist will be provided for the graduate voice audition. You will have the opportunity to rehearse with your pianist before the audition.
Live auditions are strongly preferred. The voice area offers a weekend devoted to graduate auditions. As well as the audition itself, there is the possibility to have a trial lesson, faculty master classes, and other events. If you cannot attend this weekend, there are additional audition times available on some Fridays and Saturdays in February. A recorded audition (live performance or studio recording) may be submitted in place of a live audition when a live audition is not possible. Please see the Recorded Audition Guidelines for information on submitting a recording.
Please note that while a live audition is preferred, record and virtual/live auditions will be given due consideration. A live audition is required to qualify for Teaching Assistantships. If you wish to be considered for a Teaching Assistantship and there are extenuating circumstances that prevent you from traveling for a live audition, please contact the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.
Graduate degree sheets
Audition guidelines for the Artist Diploma in Opera and Solo Vocal Performance are the same as the guidelines for the DMA in Voice Performance. Please see the above.
Voice faculty are listening and evaluating applicants on the following categories during auditions:
- Timbre: A measure of the consistency and control of the quality of a voice.
- Technique: A measure of how an applicant understands the relationship between breathing and singing, as well their approach to intonation, posture and vocal register.
- Musicality + accuracy: An assessment of how a student uses dynamic contrast, phrasing, style and articulation in a piece of music, as well as an evaluation of accuracy in both words and music.
- Presentation: An assessment of how an applicant reflects the meaning of the text and character into their performance using the voice and body.
- Potential: An evaluation of an applicant’s professional demeanor, supplemental materials (reference letters etc.) and perceived potential for success as a CU Boulder student.