College of Arts and Sciences

Audition Requirements

Vocal Emphasis

The student must:

  1. Perform one (1) vocal solo in a foreign language (i.e., Latin, Italian, French, or German).
  2. Perform one (1) vocal solo in English (i.e., folk song, Negro Spiritual, Broadway Show Tune, or an Art Song).
  3. Perform one (1) vocal solo of their own choosing that best displays their talent.

Note:  All selections must be vocal solo selections and not choral. All music to be accompanied must reach the Department of Fine Arts/Music at least one (1) day prior to the audition.  You must call or write to schedule and audition.  No Walk-ins.

*You must provide copies of each piece (10).

Please note: It is recommended that applicants have at least minimal keyboard or instrumental training before auditioning as a vocal major. Winston-Salem State University does not currently offer a degree in vocal performance/musical theatre. Although your vocal training here may touch on this genre, it will focus on the classical repertoire as a foundation.

Winston-Salem State University has the following general audition requirements. However, for voice students, the following information is provided as simply a recommendation and not as a requirement. If you have any questions about the repertoire you plan to perform, please contact Mrs. D’Walla Simmons Burke. In general, there are no limitations with regard to what you want to perform.  Judgment should be based on what makes you sound your best! Any student who does not qualify for Studio Voice will be given the opportunity to join a Voice Class and may audition again for Studio Voice after a semester. 

Appropriate examples may be found in the following collections:

  • 24 Italian Songs and Arias of the 17th and 18th Centuries
    (G. Schirmer)
  • The Best of Pathways of Song: High Voice
    (Frank Laforge and Will Earhart)
  • Anthology of French Song
    (G. Schirmer)
  • Gabriel Faure’ - 50 Songs
    (Laura Ward and Richard Walters)
  • Anthology of Sacred Song
    (G. Schirmer)
  • Broadway Belter’s Songbook
    (Hal Leonard)
  • Negro Spirituals
    (Harry T. Burleigh)


Full or partial tuition (in-state) scholarships are available to all students having auditioned and enrolled in the University Choir. Applicants must audition by March 30 to be considered for a scholarship for the following academic year.  The following criteria are required of all students auditioning for the Choir Scholarship:

  1. Official acceptance by the University Admissions Office.
  2. Completion of the Federal Student Aid Application with results forwarded to Winston-Salem State University.
  3. A 2.5 grade point average to qualify for the scholarship and at least a 2.7 cumulative grade point average to keep the scholarship during your tenure at the university.
  4. Letters (2) of recommendation forwarded to Winston-Salem State University Choir Director (from high school or church choral directors, private instructors, etc.). Persons completing the "Music Teacher Recommendation" CANNOT be related to the applicant in any way. See mailing address below.
    Download Music Teacher Recommendation.doc (click here)
  5.  Must abide by the class syllabus given at the beginning of the semester.


  1. Perform one (1) Foreign Language solo piece memorized: Latin, Italian, French or German.
  2. Perform one (1) English solo piece memorized: Folk Song/Negro Spiritual, Broadway, Arts Song.
  3. Perform one memorized (1) piece of the students’ choosing that best displays your talent.
  4. Sight-Reading.
  5. Personal conference with auditioner(s).
  6. Score at least 80 out of a 100 point score on the entire audition.

NOTE:  All music to be accompanied must reach the Department of Fine Arts/Music at least one (1) week prior to audition.  You must call to schedule an audition.  NO WALK-INS, PLEASE!!

D’Walla Simmons Burke
Director of Choirs and Vocal Studies
116 Fine Arts Building
Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem, NC 27110
Office: (336) 750-2525; 750-2522 (fax)
723-0089 (fax)


In addition to the general requirements for admission to the university, entering freshmen and transfer students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Submit a special supplementary application to the music area.  This form is mailed to all students who indicate music as a major when they apply to the university. (You may obtain this form by calling the secretary: 750-2520)
  2. Demonstrate performance proficiency in an applied area (voice, piano, flute, etc.) by auditioning on campus or by video tape recording should distance prohibit a campus audition.  The audition should occur prior to student’s actual matriculation at the university.  A sample list of appropriate literature will be sent with the supplementary music area application.  Students may select compositions other than those listed if they are comparable in musical and technical difficulty.
  3. Take a music theory skill assessment examination.
  4. Take a keyboard skill assessment examination.
  5. Complete a personal interview with music faculty.

Note:  After being accepted, music majors failing to enroll in courses within the department for a year or more will be required to re-audition for readmission into the department.

Minimum Grade Requirement

Art and music majors must earn a minimum grade of a “C” on each required course in their respective content areas.

Winston-Salem State University

601 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Winston-Salem, NC 27110

Phone: (336) 750-2000

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