Voice Audition Repertoire

Live auditions at NEC are required for all Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy applicants living in North America, as well as all Vocal Performance applicants to the Harvard/NEC dual degree and DMA programs.

Live Audition Dates 2020

Sunday, February 2, 2020
Sunday, February 9, 2020
Friday, February 14, 2020
Saturday, February 15, 2020
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Sunday, February 23, 2020


Prescreening recordings are required for all vocal performance and vocal pedagogy applicants. Prescreening repertoire requirements are the same as for the live audition; recordings will not be reviewed if repertoire is incomplete or substitutions are made. After reviewing the recording guidelines, please upload your prescreening recording files as part of your online application. Artist Diploma requirements are found on the Artist Diploma audition requirements page. After review, qualified applicants will be invited to present a live audition at NEC.

Live Auditions

All live auditions must be performed with a collaborative pianist. There is a fee of $25, payable on the day of the audition, for a pianist provided by NEC. NEC pianists will warm up with applicants for ten minutes immediately before the audition. All works should be performed from memory. At the live audition, singers will choose their first piece, and the voice faculty will typically choose a second selection from the applicant's prepared repertoire. Undergraduate singers must begin their audition with an art song.

Applicants may present different repertoire in the live audition than that in the prescreening recording, as long as all requirements are met.


An operatic aria is not required for undergraduate applicants; however, any undergraduate who wishes to include an aria in addition to the required repertoire on their prescreening and/or live audition may do so. The first piece presented at the live audition must be an art song.

Bachelor of Music and Tufts/NEC applicants should prepare the following:

  1. One art song in English
  2. One art song in Italian (pre-1800 from any early Italian anthology)
  3. One art song in a language of the applicant's choice
  4. Optional: one opera aria

Harvard/NEC and Undergraduate Transfer applicants should prepare the following:

  1. One art song in English
  2. One art song in Italian (pre-1800 from any early Italian anthology)
  3. One art song in German
  4. One art song in French
  5. Optional: one opera aria

Master of Music and Graduate Diploma

Please prepare six selections:

  1. One art song in Italian
  2. One art song in French
  3. One art song in German
  4. One art song in English
  5. One opera aria
  6. One oratorio aria

Graduate singers may choose to substitute a second contrasting operatic aria for one of the art songs, as long as all four major languages are represented in the six selections.


Doctor of Musical Arts

Applicants must prepare a full recital program consisting of 45 minutes of music covering at least three distinct stylistic periods and including repertoire in Italian, French, German and English. In addition to the recital repertoire, the applicant must present one operatic and one oratorio aria from any period. Unusual repertoire is of special interest. The applicant will select the first piece, and subsequent selections will be made by the audition panel. The audition will last approximately 20 minutes and will include a brief interview with the voice faculty.


Final Audition Recording (video only)

Applicants residing outside of North America 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. Given the competitive nature of our programs, applicants are strongly encouraged to present a live audition at NEC.

A prescreening recording must still be submitted as a part of the online application. If you pass the prescreening round, you will be invited to submit a final video audition recording in January. Repertoire requirements for the final video audition recording are the same as those for live auditions. Final audition video recordings are due by February 1, but all other application and supporting materials, including prescreening, are due by December 1. No recording will be reviewed without a completed application.

Vocal Pedagogy Writing Requirement

Along with the prescreening recording outlined above, applicants in Vocal Pedagogy must submit a writing sample. Writing samples should be submitted as either a pdf or Microsoft Word document and should be sent directly to Ian Howell, Director of Vocal Pedagogy, at ian.howell@necmusic.edu. The deadline for writing samples is December 1.

Please submit one essay from the list of options below. Please provide citations where appropriate.

  • An academic research paper related to singing, vocal pedagogy, or voice science.
  • A critical review of an article (from JOS or similar), book, or published methodology related to singing or vocal pedagogy.
  • An essay describing your personal interest in vocal pedagogy.