2024 Fall Entrance & Scholarship Auditions

The Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance awards over $200,000 in scholarships to students each year. Scholarships are available both to majors and minors at UNK-let us help you schedule an audition and discover our potential!

Audition Dates
January 26: Kearney February 16: Kearney February 17: Omaha
February 23: Scottsbluff February 24: Kearney March 4: Kearney
August 25: Kearney August 27: Kearney


We recommend applying to UNK before auditioning. The Admissions Office can guide you.

Register for your audition

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Admission to the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance as a music major or minor requires an audition. The audition is in addition to the formal application process for admission to the University of Nebraska Kearney. Students should apply to UNK before performing an audition. For information on university admissions, contact admissions@unk.edu. Candidates who complete a successful audition will be considered for music scholarships. There are many scholarships available for both majors and minors.

Auditions for instrumentalists consist of two parts – an individual performance of prepared literature and a short sight-reading example. Vocalists will not sight-read. In addition, students will take theory and piano skills diagnostic exams on the day of the audition.

For full consideration, students are strongly encouraged to appear in person to audition. Students who are unable to audition in person due to extreme distance may audition via the Web. In these cases, please contact Dr. Sharon Campbell at campbellso@unk.edu.

For further details, please see the audition requirements and tips.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Robert Benton
Chair, Music Recruitment & Retention Committee

Office of Admissions
(308) 865-8526

Brass — Prepare two études or short concert/contest pieces (1 lyrical, 1 technical or a solo with a both a lyrical and technical section). 

Guitar — Prepare two contrasting pieces using both fingering and strumming techniques.

Organ — Prepare one selection from the Bach, Little Preludes and Fugues, or a short selection from the repertoire of comparable difficulty, and one hymn.

Percussion — Prepare two short selections in contrasting styles at Grade 3-4 level on two instruments (mallet keyboard, timpani, snare, multi-percussion, trap set).

Piano — Prepare two short selections from repertoire of comparable difficulty to the two-part Inventions of J.S. Bach or above.

Strings — Prepare two contrasting pieces at the minimum level of the Vivaldi Violin Concerto in A Minor, Mvt. I, Suzuki Book IV (violin); two contrasting pieces at the minimum level of the Suzuki Book III (viola); two contrasting etudes of solos at the minimum level of Suzuki Book IV (cello); or two contrasting etudes or solos at the minimum level of Suzuki Book III.

Voice — Prepare two contrasting songs to perform from memory. Examples of appropriate repertoire include: arrangements of folksongs, Art Songs in English, or old Italian songs. A selection from a Broadway musical is also appropriate.

Woodwinds — Prepare two movements or selections of contrasting styles.


You have three accompaniment choices for your audition. You may a) bring your own accompanist, b) use a UNK accompanist, or c) perform with a pre-recorded tape that you provide.

If you plan to use a UNK accompanist, you must email, mail, or fax a copy of your audition selections to Dr. Sharon Campbell, Chair of the Music program's Recruitment and Retention Committee, two weeks prior to your audition:

Dr. Sharon Campbell
UNK Dept. of Music, Theatre, and Dance
2506 12th Avenue, FAB 221
Kearney, NE 68849
Fax: (308) 865-1519

Other Notes: 

Students who do not meet admission requirements may be admitted provisionally. Once students have been accepted into a program they must receive departmental approval to change their applied music area or academic program.

Students with no previous instruction in music theory or who do not pass the theory placement/assessment exam will be required to enroll in MUS 098, Fundamentals of Music. This course will assist students to prepare for collegiate-level study of music.

Students with no prior piano instruction or limited skills are encouraged to enroll in a course of piano study prior to enrollment at UNK. Students who have no piano or theory background should know that they may need more than four years to complete a music degree.

Your entrance/scholarship audition is the first step to becoming a music major or minor. It is your first opportunity to present your skills and level of preparation to the music faculty. We want you to succeed! Here are some suggestions to help you prepare a first-rate audition:

Scheduling your audition

Choose an audition date that works for you and fill out our scholarship application. In addition to your performance, you will be assessed in piano and music theory skills for advising. Plan on spending sufficient time on the UNK campus and Kearney community, to become acquainted with it. Meet with UNK music faculty, or arrange to sit in on a class. Make additional appointments to meet with faculty in other programs in which you may be interested, or speak with a representative in financial aid, student life, or other university offices. Take full advantage of your time on campus!

Preparing your audition

Consult the list of audition requirements for your principal instrument. Your principal instrument is the performance area with which you MOST closely identify. While you may both sing and play an instrument in high school, what do you believe is your real strength as a performer? Do you think of yourself as a singer or instrumentalist? You may have the opportunity to take lessons in more than one instrument in your program of study at UNK, but your audition and assessment for scholarship will be based on your choice of principal instrument. This will serve as a guide for the literature you should prepare for your audition. With the assistance of a music teacher, choose selections which best showcase your talents and skills.

Prepare your music carefully with the assistance of your private teacher, choral or band director. Perform your pieces often for family and friends. You want to feel confident, even in a pressure situation.

Review the sample theory worksheet/piano skills sheet included in your audition packet. This will help you to prepare for these placement exams and give you a brief introduction to theory and keyboard skills expected of each entering

Secure a copy of the accompaniment to your solo (instrumentalists) or an extra copy of your songs (singers) to bring to your audition. If you are using a taped accompaniment, rehearse with it frequently and bring it to campus with you.

Review information you have received about UNK and the music programs that we offer. Please become familiar with our department on our website and come prepared to ask questions. On the night before your audition, get plenty of rest so that you are at your peak of physical energy and concentration. Be sure to eat and drink plenty of fluids to give your body the strength it needs to perform.

On the day of your audition

Choose clothes to wear in which you can perform comfortably. A neat professional look will make you feel good about yourself and present a positive image to the music faculty.

Be sure to arrive on campus in plenty of time for your theory placement test and audition. You will need to find the Fine Arts Building, get settled, warm up, and in most cases, meet with an accompanist.

Take your time warming up and follow your regular routine. Review the words to your songs, fingerings, bowings, etc. Remember, you have spent many hours preparing this music. You are ready!

At your audition

Introduce yourself and your selections with energy and enthusiasm. Check tempos with accompanist before you begin. You have worked hard for this moment — break a leg!