Classical Auditions

Admission to the Music Performance Program (MPP) is determined by the demonstrated level of performance skill during auditions and the availability of openings in different performance areas. Participation in the MPP requires a year-long commitment, and all students must undergo re-auditions annually, regardless of previous acceptance. Students who are not accepted in the current year are encouraged to audition in future years. Auditions are required for lessons and/or ensembles, as well as the Performance MasterClass. For students interested in a combination of the above in classical music, one audition suffices. Students interested in lessons and/or ensembles in various genres of music (classical, jazz, pop/contemporary, world, voice), or in the Columbia University Orchestra, will need to audition separately for each.

If you have any questions, please contact Jenny Lee.

Audition Dates


Tuesday, September 3rd, 2024

Thursday, September 5th, 2024

Dates and sign-ups for fall auditions will be posted in August. 

Audition Requirements

For those auditioning for lessons and ensembles, including Performance Seminar, two contrasting pieces or movements from solo repertoire are required. There will also be a short excerpt of sight-reading.

Day of Audition 

Arrive at least 10 minutes prior to your scheduled time to fill out the audition form, quietly tune your instrument and make sure your music is organized.

After Audition

You will receive an email regarding placement, registration, and instructor information. If we are not able to place you with an instructor or ensemble, you will be notified and may be placed on the wait list.  If you are placed with an instructor for lessons, you will need to contact your instructor and set up a mutually agreeable time to meet during the semester. Your instructor will help you choose repertoire and establish a daily practice routine.

Please visit 109/110 Dodge Hall during the first week of classes (dates TBA) to interview with instructors and set up your lesson time. This will serve as your audition, no online sign-up required.

If you play harp or organ please contact the instructor directly to set up an audition during the first week of classes:

The Department of Music at Columbia University holds annual auditions for the Columbia University Orchestra, the oldest continually operating university orchestra in the United States. The CUO website provides detailed information on the audition process for the orchestra.