Please review the general audition requirements and recording guidelines below, and then use the links to the left to access the repertoire for your major/instrument. 

Prescreening for Live Auditions

Many majors require the submission of a prescreening recording before a live audition invitation will be made. Prescreening recordings must be submitted through our online application.

Prescreening recordings are required of:

Prescreening portfolios are required of:

Prescreening recordings and composition portfolios are due December 1. Prescreening recordings should be audio-only files except for applicants to Conducting, Artist Diploma, and DMA in Percussion, who should submit video files. Applicants to Composition should upload their scores as Adobe PDF files along with any accompanying sound files. Applicants to Jazz Composition should upload both their composition files and accompanying sound recordings and their required prescreening performance recordings.

After review, qualified applicants will be invited come to NEC for a live audition (or interview). Applicants who submit a prescreening recording and are not invited for a live audition will be notified that they have not been selected to move forward.

Live Auditions at NEC

Live auditions (or interviews for composition, music theory, and musicology applicants) at NEC are required of:

  • All applicants to Collaborative Piano, Conducting, Flute, Piano, and the DMA, Artist Diploma, Harvard/NEC dual degree, and Chamber Music programs, regardless of country of residence
  • Applicants for all other majors who reside in North America (United States, Canada, and Mexico).

Confirmation of a live performance audition (or interview) date will be sent by email approximately one month prior to the audition. Applicants who cancel an audition for documented unforeseen difficulties (e.g., illness, inclement weather, injury) may request placement on a waiting list for a later date should openings occur.

Harvard/NEC dual-degree applicants should prepare the undergraduate audition repertoire.

Collaborative pianists are required for Voice and Opera auditions and for DMA applicants for Flute, Violin, Viola, and Cello. Pianists are not required for other instrumental auditions, although applicants wishing to audition with their own pianist (personally arranged) may do so. For a fee of $25, NEC will provide a pianist for Voice and Opera auditions. For a fee of $25, NEC will provide a vocalist and/or instrumentalist for Collaborative Piano auditions. A rhythm section is provided free of charge for Jazz auditions.

Live Audition (or Interview) Repertoire / Requirements:
Artist DiplomaContemporary ImprovisationPercussion
BrassHistorical PerformancePiano
Chamber MusicJazz CompositionStrings
Collaborative PianoJazz PerformanceVocal Performance
CompositionMusicologyVocal Pedagogy
ConductingMusic TheoryWoodwinds

Live audition repertoire choices do not need to match those submitted for the prescreening.


Recorded Auditions (video only)

Applicants are strongly encouraged to present a live audition at NEC. However, performance applicants who are not required to attend a live audition may submit a final audition video recording by February 1. No recording will be reviewed without a completed application. Unless indicated in the specific guidelines for your major/instrument, repertoire requirements for final video auditions are the same as those for live auditions. Full pieces should be included unless otherwise indicated.

Applicants who plan to send a final video audition instead of attending a live audition should not also submit a prescreening recording.

While final video auditions are due February 1, all other application and supporting materials are due by December 1.

Recording Guidelines

All recordings must be uploaded as part of the online application. The following digital file formats are supported, as are Adobe PDF files for composition scores.

  • Audio: MP3, MP4, WAV, WMA, Ogg Vorbis
  • Video: AVI, M4V, MOV, MP4, MPG, WMV

Each piece must be performed in a single, unedited take (with the exception of Contemporary Improvisation recordings). Each piece or composition score should be submitted as a separate file and clearly labeled with the composer's name, title of work, and movement (if applicable). It is not necessary to submit a professionally produced recording, but the sound quality should be very good. For video recordings, applicants should make sure that proper lighting is used and that the camera shows full range of movement and use of instrument.

Audition Schedule