Students perform during ensemble concert background


Music scholarship auditions for first-year students

Music scholarships are available for any incoming first-year student regardless of major. Whether you are pursuing a major or minor or you simply enjoy music, you are eligible for a music scholarship.

Scholarships are available for voice, string, brass, woodwind, percussion and keyboard musicians. They range in amount and they’re renewable every year that you are studying at SNC. Virtual video auditions for the 2024-25 academic year are due by Feb. 1, 2024.

Please contact Jenny Olson in visual and performing arts by email ( for more information.

Scholarship audition frequently asked questions

No, you don’t. However, you will need to apply to the college before you can audition. Once you audition, you’ll need to be admitted to the college to be considered for a music scholarship.

You must be a full-time student at St. Norbert College, participating in a major ensemble seven out of your eight semesters, performing on the instrument or voice scholarship you were awarded. If you’re planning on going into teacher education, you should save your “free” semester for the semester you will be student-teaching.

Voice: Two memorized solos of advanced standard literature in contrasting styles.

Woodwind, Brass, Percussion: One solo of advanced standard literature or one etude demonstrating contrasting styles. Major scales in keys up to four sharps and four flats.

Piano: Two solos of advanced standard literature in contrasting styles (equivalent to WSMA Class A list). Memorization preferred but not required.

Strings: Two solos of standard literature in contrasting styles (for example, this could be two movements of one piece, or two separate solos altogether). Two scales of your choice, as many octaves as comfortable.

If you are auditioning by video, please introduce yourself by telling us your name, what school you are from, the name of your audition pieces and the composer for each piece. We have provided additional audition resources and tips under the “How to create a great audition video” section.

Quick tips to help you feel confident

  • Making a good audition recording takes practice, preparation and planning. Spend some time making practice recordings to help you feel comfortable. Maybe ask a parent, teacher or friend to help you with the process and to give you feedback. The more you practice, prepare and plan, the more relaxed and confident you will be.
  • Plan to have someone available at your recording to hit start and stop on your recorder. This way you can just concentrate on performing.
  • Record as many takes as you want and choose the one you like best! Have your music teacher review and help suggest which recording to submit to the college for consideration.
How to choose and set up your recording location
  • It is important to find a space with great sound. That might be right in your home or have your music teacher help you locate a space. Consider a church, school, local music venue or studio.
  • Microphone placement makes a big difference in your sound. Record a few takes with different placement and determine what sounds best. Too close may cause a distorted sound and too far away may sound unclear.
  • Make sure you have good lighting so those viewing your recording can see you clearly. Having a light in front of you is best - natural light is even better.
  • Get rid of anything in the video frame that could be distracting to the viewer like artwork, posters, animals or other people.
  • Position yourself about 6-7 feet away from the camera and make sure viewers can observe the full range of motion of your body and instrument. For instrumental auditions, be sure the music stand is not blocking the view of your hands while you are playing.
  • Before the record button is pushed, take a deep breath and relax. You’re going to be great!
Ready to record
  •  Start with an introduction that includes your first and last name and the high school you're from. Share the names of your audition pieces and the composers for each, in the order you are performing them. Take your time so you can be clearly heard and understood. When you're nervous, it can be easy to rush and talk fast.
  • After your introduction, go right into your audition pieces. Enjoy the moment!
  • After you have finished your recording and decide you’re ready to submit, complete the Scholarship Video Audition Form and include the link to your video. This means you'll need to upload your video to a platform that can provide a link for viewing. YouTube is an excellent option and very easy to use.

Yes, please consider the following before you decide:

  • Incoming students are awarded music scholarships in only one specific area (e.g., clarinet, percussion or voice). Auditioning in multiple areas will not increase the amount of money that is offered to you.
  • The area in which you’re awarded a scholarship is the area in which you’ll be required to take lessons and play in an ensemble to maintain your scholarship. This, however, doesn’t prevent you from taking additional lessons or participating in other ensembles while you’re at St. Norbert.
  • If you audition in several areas, we’ll make the decision in which area your scholarship is awarded. If you want to be considered for a scholarship in only one area, audition only in that area.

Scholarships range in amount for the year and they’re renewable, subject to review, for three additional years. St. Norbert music faculty members will listen to your audition and determine scholarship award amounts based on your technical skills, your musicality and your potential as a performer.

Scholarships will be awarded until all of the scholarship funds have been allocated. In the case of closely ranked auditions, music majors and minors may receive some preference over non-majors.