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Graduate Audition Requirements- Percussion

Graduate Percussion - 2020-21 Audition Procedure

Updated, Oct. 23, 2020
Professor Ayano Kataoka,

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, UMass will not be hosting on-campus auditions.
Please follow the application/audition process as described below:

1. Apply to UMass Graduate Admissions. Deadline: December 1st

2. Audition to percussion area, which consists of a two-phase audition process.

Phase 1) Pre-Screening Round

  • Prepare a video performance of audition requirements (see below) and have it available to view on YouTube
  • Create a list of repertoire in PDF form that you 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.)
  • Send an email to Nathaniel Gowen, Music Admissions Director, ( with links to your video performances and PDF repertoire list attached. The deadline for submission is December 31st.
  • Notifications will be sent via email in early January if you have advanced to the livestream round.

Phase 2) Live Stream Round

  • Once you have been informed of being admitted to the livestream round, you will be asked to submit an Audition Request Form.
  • Please aim to have your livestream audition on one of the following dates (Saturdays): January 30, or February 6. If it's not possible for you to attend one of these dates, an alternative date can be set.
  • The livestream round will take place over Zoom.
  • Specific scheduling for time and instructions will be sent to you no later than 1 week in advance of the chosen date.
  • This round will consist of the following:
    • An interview with the percussion faculty
    • A creative sight-reading exercise, in which the applicant will be provided with a musical "prompt" and asked to interpret and prepare the piece for performance after a set time to prepare.

3. Apply for graduate funding (strongly recommended).
Link: GenEd Teaching Assistantship Application
Priority Deadline: December 1st
Required Materials: Writing Sample(s); Summary of Teaching Experience. Please send materials and address any questions on funding application to Maddy Benjamin (

Graduate Percussion 2020-21 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 excerpts
      • Nielsen: Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra
      • Prokofiev: Lt. Kije Suite (1st Mvt., 1 to 2 & 13 to end)
      • Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio espagnol (4th Mvt., beg. to M)
      • 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)

     a. Mozart: Symphony No. 39 (1st Mvt., beg. to A, 1 bar after K to fine)
     b. 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)
     c. One excerpt of your choice from Romantic-era or later (e.g. Bartok, Brahms, Hindemith, Mahler, Sibelius, Strauss, Tchaikovsky)

Multiple Percussion
Multiple percussion solo or chamber music that preferably consists of multiple percussion setup in your performance that demonstrates your advanced technical and musical level.


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