Prescreening recordings are required only for doctoral (DMA) and Artist Diploma applicants. For these programs, prescreening repertoire requirements are the same as the live audition requirements. For Artist Diploma applicants, prescreening and audition requirements may be found in the Artist Diploma audition requirements page. Please refer to the recording guidelines section of our general Audition Requirements page. Prescreening recordings must be uploaded as part of our online application.

Percussion applicants residing more than 500 miles from NEC who are not applying to the Artist Diploma, DMA, or Harvard/NEC dual degree programs may be considered for admission based on the submission of a final recorded audition. Recorded auditions must be video files and should include all movements of all live audition repertoire below.  After reviewing our recording guidelines, applicants should uploaded video recorded auditions to the online application. Given the competitive nature of our programs, we strongly recommend that applicants attend a live audition if possible.

Live Audition Requirements


Applicants should prepare a solo in each of four categories:

  • Snare
  • 2 Mallet
  • 4 Mallet
  • Timpani 

The mallet selections should be chosen for musical content and technical difficulty.  Applicants may also be asked to demonstrate scales and arpeggios.  The snare drum selection should clearly demonstrate your level of technical ability.  Rudiments and orchestral rolls at different dynamics may be asked as well.  Applicants should be prepared to sight-read on any instrument.


Applicants should demonstrate a high level of performance on timpani, mallets (two and four mallets) and snare drum. Be prepared to play an advanced solo in each category as well as up to 4 excerpts from the standard repertoire in each category.


  • Timpani - Carter Etudes
  • Mallets - Stout Two Mexican Dances
  • Snare - Studies by Delecluse

Audition Dates