General guidelines

In addition to the guidelines on this page, be sure to follow the music audition guidelines for all students.

Audition guidelines for percussion

Perform two works on contrasting instruments:

  • One work should be on a batter instrument
  • One work should be on a melodic instrument
  • At least one work must include piano accompaniment

Repertoire suggestions

The following lists are provided to represent sample repertoire only and are not meant to be exclusive listings of acceptable works that may be performed. Please contact your personal music instructor if you need additional help in choosing acceptable audition material. Popular songs are not an accepted form of audition repertoire.


Perform an etude or solo from one of the following:

  • Peters: Fundamental Method for Timpani
  • Peters: Fundamental Solos for Timpani
  • Goodman: Modern Methods for Timpani
  • Beck: Sonata for Timpani

Snare drum

  • Clark: MacArthur at Manila
  • Harr: Downfall of Paris
  • Gauthreaux: Speed Trap
  • Albright: Contemporary Studies for the Snare Drum


  • Musser: Etude in A-flat Major
  • Chopin/Musser: Etude in F minor
  • Rodriquez/Breure: La Cumparsita
  • Bach: Violin Concerto in A minor; Suites for Cello

Drum set

Show ability to perform basic styles such as swing, jazz brushes, bossa nova, samba, Afro-Cuban, funk, and rock. Demonstration may be in a presentational format or structured into a solo format (such as 8 bars of each style, or 4 bars followed by 4 bars fills, etc.). A composed drum set solo may also be performed.

Audition tips


  • Prepare for sight-reading by sight-reading.
    • Set a metronome. Don’t stop. 
    • Record it, don’t evaluate as you go; or have someone else evaluate. 
    • Slow, steady tempo.
  • Practice major scales up to 5 flats and 4 sharps comfortable. (You may not be asked for these but it’s good to be ready.)
    • Two octaves where possible, tongued up, slurred down; quarters and eighths.
    • Chromatic scale in full range of instruments in triplets, as quickly as is comfortable.
  • Listen to several versions of recordings of your piece to assist with style and familiarize yourself with accompaniment.
  • Batter, mallet, timpani, traps – multiple skills preparation is recommended. Prepare at least two categories.


  • Take time to adjust the placement of the instruments and your music stand. 
  • Make sure heights and distances are comfortable for you. 
  • Make sure the brake is set on a mallet instrument.  
  • Make sure drums are adjusted to your liking and to fit the acoustics of the room.