Music Student Smiling while playing the drums

Showcasing your talent for Music program admission.

Acceptance into all of our degree programs is by application and live audition only. Our application is separate from that of the college. First and foremost, you should apply for general acceptance to the college. Then, you should apply to the Music program. 

Please Note: Prospective students should plan to audition in person at York College, although virtual auditions will be considered if an in-person audition is not feasible. Auditions will be held on campus on: 

  • Saturday, November 18, 2023 (YCP Open House)
  • Monday, February 19, 2024 
  • Saturday, March 23, 2024 (YCP Accepted Students Day)
  • Saturday, April 6, 2024 (YCP Accepted Students Day)
  • Saturday, April 27, 2024 (YCP Open House)


Frequently Asked Questions

The Division of Music at York College of PA is dedicated to developing strong, well-rounded musicians, and an audition should demonstrate a student's aptitude, training, and commitment to the discipline.   Auditioning students are expected to demonstrate a wide range of musical ability, including general musicianship, phrasing, tone production, and stage presence.  Students are encouraged to consult with their private instructor or high school band or choir director when preparing for the audition.  Professional dress is strongly encouraged.  You must audition in person - audition recordings will not be accepted.  Please refer to our Audition Requirements at the bottom of this page.

You will be notified of the results of your audition by formal letter, within approximately two weeks.  In order to be accepted into the music program, candidates must pass their audition AND meet all requirements for acceptance into the college as determined by the York College Admissions Office.  It should be noted that acceptance by the college does not guarantee acceptance into the music program.  

The York College Music Division awards various scholarships to outstanding music majors.  If you demonstrate that you are a truly exceptional musician via your audition and application materials, you may qualify for a music scholarship award.  Awards are assigned on a one-time basis with the possibility of renewal each school year and are based on the availability of funds.  Prospective students must submit their audition video by March 31st to be considered for a music scholarship.

Suggested Repertoire Audition Requirements

1. Major scales, the chromatic scale.
2. A solo concert piece of the student’s choosing that demonstrates both technique and musicality.
3. Two contrasting etudes selected from the following or equivalent material:

*  Melodious & Progressive Studies (Book 1, blue), Pub. Southern.
*  18 Exercises, Berbiguier.

*  48 Famous Studies for the Oboe, W. Ferling.

*  50 Bassoon Studies, Op. 8, Vol. 2, Weissenborn.

*  32 Etudes, or 40 Etudes, Rose.
*  Melodious & Progressive Studies (Book 1 or 2), Hite.

*  48 Famous Studies, W. Ferling
*  Selected Studies, H. Voxman (Rubank)

*  Complete Conservatory Method – J.B. Arban
*  Lyrical Studies – G. Concone
*  60 Selected Studies – C. Kopprasch
*  Melodious & Rhythmical Studies – J.L. Small

*  Lyrical Studies – G. Concone
*  60 Selected Studies – C. Kopprasch
*  Advanced Method, Vol. I – H. Voxman (Rubank)

*  Melodious Studies – J. Rochut
*  Advanced Method, Vol. I – H. Voxman (Rubank)

*  Please consult with us regarding your audition material.


Students should demonstrate training and facility in at least two (2) of the four (4) core instrument categories.  Only published works may be selected.

Snare Drum (core instrument)
1.  One rudimental solo/etude from Pratt, Wilcoxon.
2.  One orchestral solo/etude from Cirone, Peters, Goldenberg.

Mallets (core instrument)
1.  All major scales and arpeggios, the chromatic scale (two octaves).
2.  One solo/etude from Goldenberg, Peters, Abe, J.S. Bach, Creston, Musser, Rosauro, or equivalent (published works only). A 4-  mallet solo is preferred, though not required.

Timpani (core instrument)
1.  Demonstrate tuning ability (tune a given pitch on any drum).
2.  One prepared solo/etude for 3-4 timpani from Goodman, Vic Firth, Peters.

Drum Set (core instrument)
1.  Demonstrate the following styles with either a metronome or (preferably) a play-along track (e.g. “Essential Styles” Book 1 by Steve Houghton):
  *  Swing (also demonstrate trading 4-bar solos and time)
  *  Funk/Rock
  *  Bossa Nova
  *  Samba

Hand Drumming / World Percussion (optional – please contact us prior to the audition)
  *  Demonstrate mastery of technique and various style on congas, bongos, Brazilian instruments, djembe, and/or other various ethnic percussion instruments. Candidate should contact the instructor prior to the audition to confirm instrument availability and acceptable repertoire.


The audition for the guitar studio is an overall evaluation. Not all categories (below) are required. Most applicants are not equally strong in all categories; in some cases, a deficiency in one area may be mitigated by excelling in another.
1.  Scales - Movable Major scale patterns, any key. Useful fingerings may be found in Berklee, Vol.1 (pp. 60, 70, 80, 90, 100); the “3 notes per string” system; or the Segovia Diatonic Major and Minor Scales (Belwin Mills Publishing Co.).
2.  Chord vocabulary - Ability to play chords to a jazz tune, in tempo, from a lead sheet or jazz fakebook. Two fingerings (i.e., “shapes”) for: major 7th, dominant 7th, minor 7th, and diminished 7th chords. Knowledge of chord symbols (e.g., “Dm7, G7,” etc) is required.
3.  Improvisation - Improvisation on a blues or jazz standard of your choice. For this, play-along CDs, such as the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Aids series, are highly recommended. Recommended: “Nothin’ But Blues” or “Blues in All Keys.”
4.  Solo pieces - One or Two (in contrasting style) pieces for solo guitar. Pieces from the classical repertoire or jazz standards are preferred.


Prepare two compositions of contrasting styles, preferably from memory.

Examples of Suggested Repertoire:
  *  J. S. Bach – Two or Three-part Inventions
  *  D. Scarlatti – keyboard sonatas
  *  One or more movements taken from a Classical keyboard sonata by such composers as Franz J. Haydn, W. A. Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Muzio Clementi, etc.
  *  F. Schubert – Impromptus, Moments Musicaux
  *  F. Chopin – Preludes, Nocturnes, Waltzes
  *  F. Mendelssohn – Songs Without Words
  *  J. Brahms – Waltzes, Intermezzi, etc.
  *  C. Debussy – Children’s Corner Suite, Suite Bergamasque, etc.
  *  S. Prokofieff – Visions Fugitives
  *  B. Bartok – Mikrokosmos

Prospective students in voice should be prepared to sing three selections from the standard vocal repertoire for their audition. Songs or arias of contrasting style, mood, and tempo, are recommended. A song in a foreign language is encouraged, but not required.  It is recommended that students dress professionally and sing their audition songs from memory.  Please bring music on the day of your audition for the pianist (who is provided at no cost.)

Criteria for acceptance as a music major in voice include the following:

1. Tone Production, as demonstrated by clarity of sound, resonance, breath management and vocal health.

2. Musicianship, as demonstrated by the ability to sing with pitch and rhythmic accuracy, as well as careful attention to dynamics and articulation.

3. Artistry and interpretation, as demonstrated by clarity of diction and expressive communication.

4. Stage presence and professionalism, as demonstrated through preparation and delivery.

Examples of suggested literature:

ART SONGS OR ARIAS from any opera or solo vocal collection such as the ones listed below

  • 24 or 26 Italian Art Songs and Arias (published by Schirmer or Alfred).
  • The First Book series (individual books are by voice part), edited by Boytim.
  • 15 American Art Songs, edited by Arvin.
  • The Singing Book, edited by Bunch and Vaughn

THEATER SONGS from any theater songbook collection or Broadway musical score

  • The Singers’ Musical Theater Anthology (published by Hal Leonard)
  • Music Theatre Anthology for Teens (published by Hal Leonard)

JAZZ SONGS from any standard jazz collection

  • Great Standards Collection – (Pro Vocal Series, published by Hal Leonard)

CONTEMPORARY COMMERCIAL SONGS (Non-classical songs in popular styles)

  • Available on most music printing websites and a variety of other sources
  • The music selection should be lyrical and translate well to a piano accompaniment if the student will be collaborating with the pianist provided.
  • Recorded accompaniment is not permitted, but in some cases, students may prefer to accompany themselves on piano or guitar. 
  • No more than one of the three audition selections should be from this category.