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Scholarship Info / Frequently Asked Questions!

How do I set up an audition?

Auditions can be scheduled through any of the music faculty, based on the advertised audition days. A phone call or email will accomplish this.  A confirmation letter will be sent to you shortly before your scheduled date. If you cannot make any of the predetermined days, please contact a music faculty member and we will make arrangements for alternative days/locations. 

Where are the auditions?  SHU Music scholarship auditions are held in the Performing Arts Center. Go to the main office (parking lot side) and someone will greet you and tell you where to go next.  In the case of auditions held during Academic Scholarship days, a member of the admissions team will find you in the Erikson Welcome Center (where the scholarship activities are held). You will also receive additional information about logistics prior to the event.

What time zone are you in?

Siena Heights University is on Eastern (New York) standard time.  


What do I prepare for the audition?  

For music auditions, one or two pieces should be prepared which best shows off your abilities.  Generally for all auditions something that you would normally prepare for a senior recital or senior solo & ensemble is appropriate.  Vocal auditions will include a short sight reading selection and brief vocal range determination. Instrumental auditions will include major scales. Remember, we are looking for what kind of musician you are more than the choice of piece you select. Piano auditions have no limits in terms of genre (i.e. Classical, Romantic, etc.).  Memorization is not required.  Just show us what you do best.

Will I need an accompanist?  

We usually hold these auditions without accompaniment, although you are certainly welcome to bring one.  Our first priority is to hear you.

Then what do I do with long rests in the music?  Skip them! Generally 3-5 minutes is sufficient for an audition. The entire process will last about 15 minutes total.

Who will be there?

Usually the audition will include you, and at least two members of the music faculty. Parents are welcomed to listen, if you so choose.

What else happens at auditions?

The music faculty will want to sit with you for a short time, just to get to know you a little better.  This is not a test, and you are not judged on how “well you do”.  We just want to meet you, and learn a little more about you! Auditions at SHU are informal and are designed to be as low-stress as possible.


That’s great, but I still get really nervous. Any advice?  

Remember that you are auditioning for extra scholarship, and everyone walks out alive.  All students are guaranteed a minimum $2000 as a member of band, choir, twirlers, or color guard.  This scholarship is for participating yearly in the ensembles. College is only the next step after high school.  Our expectations are that you perform to the standard expected of a competent high school student.  Despite how intimidating college can seem to you at this point, the faculty members are all just music teachers (former students just like you!) who want to see you succeed.  So, get some sleep the night before, give yourself extra time to arrive, breathe, and enjoy the experience.  Think about it:  someone is paying you money to make music!  Pretty cool, huh?

What should I wear?

Wear what you would to a job interview. In a way, that’s what a scholarship audition is.  Show us you take the audition seriously through your appearance. However, you also want to be comfortable, and dress appropriately for auditions such as color guard and dance.


Are there opportunities to do anything else while I am there?  

Arrangements can be made for a campus tour, meetings with other faculty or even to dine on campus.  Contact your admissions counselor, or any music faculty for more details.


When will I find out the results of the audition?  

The music department holds several audition days throughout the year. Once you have auditioned, the department meets to determine how scholarship money will be disbursed. You will receive notification once your award package and financial aid has been calculated. A letter will be mailed to you with your Tier Two Scholarship amount and additional information.  Please return the bottom portion of the award letter to let us know you have accepted the scholarship.

I have a really dumb question, but I am afraid to ask. What should I do?

Ask! The only way you can know answers is to ask questions.  It is our assumption that this is your first time going to college. Therefore it’s understandable that you have loads of questions. Everyone you meet here is either currently going to college or graduated long ago. In other words… we all started just like you!  So ask away!  You will find our students to be extremely supportive, friendly and willing to help you in any way they can.  All of our ensemble directors come from background in teaching K-12 music education (something other colleges can’t boast!) so we understand your abilities, enthusiasm, questions and fears.  

Siena Heights University Department of Music is committed to excellence in the classroom, rehearsal space and on the stage. Our faculty has diverse and extensive training and provides students, regardless of major, opportunities for success in learning and performing music.  Using accessible but challenging literature, the Siena Heights University music ensembles are one of SHU’s greatest sources of pride both on campus and elsewhere.

Being a member of one of SHU’s music ensembles is an opportunity to grow, learn, make friendships that last a lifetime, and share your talents.  Congratulations on your acceptance at Siena Heights University, and on your interest in the music programs here!  If you have not yet made an appointment for an audition, please do so as soon as possible to get a time and date that works for you!  


Prof. Dan Kesterke, Chair, Department of Music

Visual and Performing Arts Recruiting Team Leader

Director of Bands  


Dr. Kelly A. Ford, Assistant Dean of Academics / Director of Choirs  


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