Undergraduate - Music Scholarship

Music-making at Greenville University is plentiful and varied. We host renowned annual events such as the Greenville Choral Union and Orchestra performance of Handel’s Messiah in the winter and the Schoenhals Fine Arts Symposium (featuring world-class professional musicians and visual artists) in the spring. Opportunities to experience student-led Christian worship, faculty and student recitals, and student concerts and coffeehouses abound.

Music has a long and rich history at the University. For more than 90 years the Greenville University Choir has taken an annual spring tour in the United States and has now begun to travel internationally. This premier vocal group has a widespread reputation for fine choral performances of sacred music ranging from the 17th Century to the 21st Century. The Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble have also established themselves as fine performing groups on campus. Other opportunities for musical ensemble involvement open to all students include Worship Arts Ensembles, Lab Bands, Marching and Pep Band, Chamber Singers, Fusion Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, and Choral Union.

The Music Department is particularly well-known for its innovative musical offerings in its major programs: Bachelor of Science in Music Industry Studies (BS) and Bachelor of Science in Worship Arts (BA). Within these programs are emphases such as composition, performance, and songwriting. A minor in music is also available to students. The Music Department is housed in Whitlock Music Center, which features several state-of-the-art recording studios, 24 sound-proof practice rooms, a 500-seat recital hall, spacious classrooms, rehearsal rooms, and faculty offices.

Music Scholarship Audition Dates

  • Monday, September 2, 2019 - Preview Day
  • Monday, November 11, 2019 - Preview Day
  • Saturday, January 11, 2020 - Scholarship Day

Deadline to Audition for the 19-20 school year is April 15, 2020

Music Scholarship Auditions FAQ

1. What types of Music Scholarships and Awards are available and who is eligible for each of them?

  • Endowed Music ScholarshipsVarying amounts – Available to upperclassmen and given on the recommendation of the Department of Music faculty based on the academic and musical performance of the student and endowment criteria. Renewed annually at the discretion of the Department of Music faculty.

  • GU Choral Scholarships - $500 - $3,000 per year – Available to both Music Majors and Non-Music Majors, and based on a live or videotaped music audition and music teacher recommendation. The GU Choral Scholarship requires enrollment each semester in Greenville University Choir and is renewed annually at the discretion of the Director of Choral Activities. This award has limited funding, inquire early. The audition deadline is April 15, 2020.
  • Marching and Pep Band Award - $500 - $3,000 per year – Available to Non-Music Majors and based on meeting academic merit scholarship criteria and a live or videotaped music audition. The Marching and Pep Band Award requires enrollment each semester in Marching/Pep Band and is renewed annually at the discretion of the Director of Bands. The audition deadline is April 15, 2020.
  • Music Ensemble Award - $500 per year – Available to Non-Music Majors, and based on a live or videotaped music audition. The Music Ensemble Award requires enrollment each semester in a GU Ensemble and is renewed annually at the discretion of the Music Department Chair.

2. When may I audition for a Choral Scholarship, Marching Band and Pep Band Award or a Music Ensemble Award? 

  • The Department of Music will offer Music Scholarship auditions at the Whitlock Music Center on these dates:Prospective students reserve an auditorium time by completing the online Music Audition form. Time slots are reserved for students on a first-come, first-served basis.

    • Preview Days: Scholarship auditions between 1:30-3:20 p.m. on the following Preview Days:
      • Monday, November 11, 2019
    • Music Visit Day (Date TBA)
    • High School Choral Festival: Thursday, February 6, 2020
    • Scholarship Day: Saturday, January 11, 2020
    • Admissions Preview Day: Saturday, February 22
    • Admissions Preview Day: Friday, March 20
    • Additional scholarship auditions will also be available in February - March 2020   --Scholarship auditions to be arranged through Kim Brannon.
  • Prospective students reserve an auditorium time by completing the online Music Audition form. Time slots are reserved for students on a first-come, first-served basis.

3. May I schedule a campus visit on my audition date?

  • Yes, we would love to have you do a full campus visit when you come for your music scholarship audition. Plan on arriving at the admissions office at around 9 a.m. You and your parents would be able to attend Chapel, go on a campus tour, attend classes, eat in the Dining Commons, and meet with an Admissions Counselor. Please contact the Admissions Office at 800.345.4440 to schedule your campus visit.

4. What if I cannot audition on these dates? Do I have other options?

  • While the music department prefers to hear scholarship auditions live and in person, students may present their audition on a videotape/DVD. No audio-only recordings will be considered for audition purposes.
  • All auditions must include a **Music Audition form, your essay and your music résumé (see the information under question #5 about the essay and music résumé) and must be received by April 15, 2020. You will also take a Music Theory Placement Exam. Send your recorded audition to:

Office of Admissions
Greenville University
315 East College Avenue
Greenville, IL 62246

5. How should I prepare for a Music Scholarship audition?

  • Prepare a brief typed résumé of your musical activities, music training, and music-related awards (such as Regional and All State participation), and a list of the pieces you have studied and performed. It would also be beneficial for you to list your high school GPA and your SAT/ACT scores. The résumé should indicate how many years of applied lessons you have studied on your primary instrument. It should also indicate the name(s) of your applied teacher(s) for the last few years. Please provide your current teacher's contact information (phone or e-mail).
  • Prepare a brief one or two paragraph essay explaining why you wish to pursue your chosen degree plan.
  • Prepare two selections of differing musical styles to perform at the auditions.
  • For prospective Worship Arts or Audio Engineering students, the best combination is one traditional or classically-based repertoire selection and one contemporary selection of the student's choice. Otherwise, two contemporary selections of differing styles will suffice. Drummers need to demonstrate multiple percussion styles to play rather than two song selections. (See #9 below).

6. What if I play more than one instrument? Can I audition on more than one instrument?

  • Many of our students play multiple instruments. However, music scholarships are awarded on the basis of your principal instrument. Each student must select one instrument (voice is considered an instrument) that will be the focus of his or her study throughout the degree. This is not to say that students may study only one instrument during their time a Greenville University, but scholarships are awarded only on the basis of one primary instrument.
  • Do not plan to play more than one instrument during the audition as the time slots are limited to 10 minutes each. Please avoid playing a secondary instrument while performing your primary instrument (for example, singing a vocal audition while playing a guitar or piano). Scholarship awards are based primarily on the student's skill and experience with their primary instrument. Students accompanying themselves may detract from the presentation of their primary instrument.

7. What should I do about accompaniment? Is accompaniment provided?

  • You may bring an accompanist and/or a recorded accompaniment tape/CD to the audition. Do not bring more than one accompanist to your audition. We are interested in hearing the prospective student rather than a backup ensemble.
  • The Music Department will provide an accompanist if arrangements are made with the Music Department Administrative Assistant at least three weeks prior to the scheduled audition. Call 618.664.6560 in order to make these arrangements. 

8. Should I bring my instrument with me to the auditions?

  • If you are auditioning on a traditional band or orchestral instrument, then you should bring your instrument with you to the audition. Drummers should not bring their instruments as the university will supply a standard trap-set configuration for the auditions. Drummers should bring their sticks and mallets. Electric guitar students should NOT bring their amplifier as we will supply one during the audition. Microphones will also be available for contemporary vocal styles
  • Due to time constraints during the auditions, there is insufficient time to set up and break down your personal drum set or amplifiers. We will take into consideration the fact that you will be playing an instrument that is not your own.

9. What if I play the drums?

  • Students applying for music scholarships on a drum set, must display confident drum grooves in the following styles: Jazz/Swing, Rock/Funk, Latin/Samba or Bossa.
  • Students are NOT required to learn a specific song for this audition, however, there will be either bass, guitar or both to accompany them in generic grooves of these styles. The student will be asked to follow along presenting the correct feel in the above styles.
  • There will also be a short sight reading requirement. This will be entry level reading on the snare drum.
  • If there are any questions regarding the drum audition procedure, please contact Gary Erickson at [email protected].

10. Is there somewhere I can warm up or practice before the audition?

  • Greenville University has a number of practice rooms on the first level of the Whitlock Music Center that will be available for you to warm up prior to your audition time. Representatives from the music department will be available to direct you to these facilities.
  • Students who need a CD player for pre-audition rehearsal should bring that unit with them. If a drummer needs rehearsal prior to the audition, he or she must bring his or her own set for rehearsal only. Each practice room is equipped with a piano.

11. May my parents come to watch me during my audition?

  • While we can appreciate the interest of a prospective student's parents regarding the audition process, parents are requested to wait outside of the audition hall until the student is finished. The one exception to this rule is if one parent functions as the accompanist during the audition. The parent will then be asked to leave during the question-and-answer portion of the audition.

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We believe that this information is sufficient to enable each prospective student to prepare for the music scholarship auditions in his or her chosen degree plan. If you have further questions, please contact the Admissions Office at 618.664.6560.