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Graduate Audition Requirements- Percussion

Professor Ayano Kataoka,

The audition for the graduate percussion program at UMass Amherst consists of a pre-screening and a live audition round.

Pre-screening procedure:

Deadline: The priority deadline for all graduate percussion audition materials, including pre-screening video, repertoire list, and Music Application, is December 15th, 2022.

1. Applicants must prepare a video performance of the following pieces:

  • 1 substantial piece for keyboard percussion
  • An orchestral excerpt AND an advanced solo/etude for timpani
  • An orchestral excerpt AND an advanced solo/etude for snare drum
  • A multiple percussion solo or chamber music that preferably consists of multiple percussion setup in your performance that demonstrates your advanced technical and musical level.

2. Applicants must submit a Music Application and include the video link when prompted.

3. When filling out the Music Application, applicants will select an audition date. Should an applicant pass the pre-screening round, they will be invited to the live round on the selected date.

  • Students unable to attend a live audition date may request a remote audition. Please email before submitting a Music Application to request approval for a remote audition.

4. Additionally, applicants must create a list of repertoire that they have learned/performed in the past, including:

  • solos (mallets/multi-percussion/snare drum/timpani)
  • percussion ensembles (duo, trio, and more)
  • mixed chamber ensembles (if any)
  • orchestra (if applicable, please identify the percussion part that you performed. e.g. timpani, snare drum, xylophone, etc.)

5. Once the repertoire list is complete, please attach it as a PDF to an email addressed to


Live Audition procedure:

Applicants invited to a live audition will be notified in early January 2023 (no later than January 15). Live round applicants must be prepared for the following:

  • Prepare and present all Graduate Percussion Audition Requirements listed below
  • Sight-read on percussion instruments of all types
  • Interview with the percussion faculty of UMass Amherst

Applicants who opt to perform a remote audition will have similar procedures as a live audition, conducted live-stream via Zoom.


Graduate Percussion Audition Requirements


  1. Two significant solo works for marimba or vibraphone (at least one must be 4-mallets)
  2. Two xylophone orchestral excerpts


Snare Drum:

  1. One concert solo or etude demonstrating your advanced technical and musical level, AND
  2. Two orchestral excerpts (one required and one selected)
  • Required: Rimsky-Korsakov : Scheherazade (3rd and 4th movements)
  • Selected: Choose one from the following four excerpts:
  1. Nielsen: Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra
  2. Prokofiev: Lt. Kije Suite (1st Mvt., 1 to 2 & 13 to end)
  3. Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio espagnol (4th Mvt., beg. to M)
  4. W. Schuman: Symphony No. 3 (Toccata)


  1. One solo or etude demonstrating your advanced technical and musical level
  2. Three orchestral excerpts in contrasting styles (two required excerpts plus one selected excerpt)

Required (two excerpts):

    1. Mozart: Symphony No. 39 (1st Mvt., beg. to A, 1 bar after K to fine)
    2. Beethoven - all of "i" or "ii" below:
              i. Symphony No. 7

  • 1st Mvt., 20 bef. C to 2 aft. C
  • 4th Mvt., 7 bef. K to end

              ii. Symphony No. 9

  • 1st Mvt., beg. to A & 18 bef. S to end (m 513 to fine)
  • 2nd Mvt., F to downbeat of H
  • 4th Mvt., M to fine (m 594), m 849 to fine (m 940)

Selected (one excerpt)
     3. One excerpt of your choice from Romantic-era or later (e.g. Bartok, Brahms, Hindemith, Mahler, Sibelius, Strauss, Tchaikovsky)


If you have concerns of your repertoire choice or difficulties of accessing instruments, please contact Professor Kataoka ( for consultation and assistance.