CI Audition Repertoire

Prescreening video submissions are required of all CI applicants as part of the online Embark application by December 1, 2021. 

Please read the following audition guidelines carefully:

  • NEC will return to a live audition format with option to submit a final recorded audition for applicants who are unable to travel to Boston due to ongoing pandemic restrictions
  • Applicants to the Bachelor of Music, Tufts/NEC Five-Year Dual-Degree, Master of Music, and Graduate Diploma will be offered equal consideration for both recorded auditions and in-person auditions to accommodate applicants who are unable to travel. All application materials, including repertoire requirements, will be the same for in-person and recorded auditions
  • Due to the selective nature of our Doctor of Musical Arts and Harvard/NEC Five-Year Dual-Degree programs, applicants to those programs must present a live audition on campus

Please read the recording guidelines below for prescreening and auditions. 

Audition Repertoire Guidelines

Prescreening Requirements

Applicants should perform two pieces. One piece should be unaccompanied. 

  1. A re-composition of an existing piece. This piece should express your personal musical style and you should take a leadership role in the piece as the primary soloist, arranger, and/or musical director
  2. An original composition, an original interpretation of an existing piece, or a structured improvisation

Applicants are encouraged to submit diverse repertoire, including works composed by women, people from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, and/or musicians from one's own cultural background.

Prescreening recordings should be uploaded with the online application for admission. 

Live Audition Requirements

Applicants invited for a live audition will be asked to play two different pieces. One piece should be performed unaccompanied: 

  1. A re-composition of a pre-existing piece
  2. An original composition, an original interpretation of a pre-existing piece, or a structured improvisation

In addition to the performed pieces, applicants will be asked to sing and play back brief musical phrases and improvise vocally and instrumentally on brief harmonic progressions. Drummers will be asked to demonstrate ability to play in various grooves. Instrumentalists will be asked to demonstrate ability to perform as functional ensemble musicians (for example, bassists might improvise bass lines and guitarists or pianists might provide rhythmic accompaniment).

A rhythm section (consisting of piano, bass, and drums) will be provided to assist with the audition as needed. 

The audition process will also include an interview and an aural skills test (including interval and chord identification, long-term melodic and rhythmic retention).

Live Audition Dates

Sunday, February 13, 2022 

Tuesday, February 22, 2022 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Final Recorded Auditions (video only)

Applicants who choose to submit a final recorded audition must still submit prescreening videos as part of the online application. Applicants who pass the prescreening round will be invited to submit a final video audition recording. Repertoire requirements for the final video audition recording are the same as those for live auditions, however repertoire chosen should differ from what was submitted for prescreening. Final audition video recordings are due by February 1, and all other application and supporting materials, including prescreening, are due by December 1. No recording will be reviewed without a completed application. Applicants being considered for admission by final recorded audition will be interviewed and given an aural skills test by telephone.