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Department of Performing Arts

Music

Performing Arts - Music

The Bachelor of Arts in performing arts - music degree allows you to create your own future in the performing arts.  Our innovative music concentration combines performance (lessons and ensembles), music theory, music history, music technology (Finale, MIDI, recording) and arts administration (music business, entrepreneurship, and marketing). Choose from more than 20 large and small ensembles within our band, choir and orchestra programs such as Tiger Band, CU Singers, String Quartet, Steel Band and Bluegrass Ensemble among others.  Music students collaborate with theatre and audio students and get hands-on experience in our professional roadhouse, the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts, our on-site learning laboratory.  Students also participate in masterclasses, develop connections with professional artists, and work alongside dynamic faculty who are leaders in their field. Most importantly, our students are prepared for today’s highly competitive job market after graduation.

Audition

We’re excited that you’ve decided to audition to study music at Clemson University! Our Bachelor of Arts degree is a versatile program that can be uniquely tailored to your strengths and interests to prepare you for a number of different careers in the music field. If you happen to have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Paul Buyer, director of music, at pbuyer@clemson.edu.

  • Resumé, Headshot and Letters of Recommendation
    All students auditioning for the music concentration are required to bring a resumé listing any experiences and/or skills pertinent to their performing arts interest, at least two current letters of recommendation and a headshot to their audition. One of these letters should come from a current music teacher.
  • Interview

    All students should be prepared to answer the following questions:

    • What attracted you to this degree program? 
    • What are your career aspirations? 
    • What are your experiences and background in the arts? 
    • What other (non-arts) activities were you involved with in your school and/or community during your high school career?
    Understanding that this degree requires collaborative teamwork with students of varying performing arts backgrounds: 
    • How do you see yourself fitting into this curriculum? 
    • What previous experiences have you had in collaboration?
  • Voice Auditions

    Prospective voice students should prepare two art songs or folk songs of contrasting styles. At least one of the selections MUST be in a language other than English. Make sure the selections adequately demonstrate musicality, tone quality and technical abilities.

    In addition to the prepared pieces, students will be asked to sight read a short excerpt.

    For repertoire suggestions, please contact Dr. Anthony Bernarducci, director of choral activities at bernar5@clemson.edu.

  • Strings Auditions

    Prospective bass students may audition in either the classical style or the jazz style but are encouraged to do both if possible.

    Prospective violin, viola, cello, and classical bass students should prepare two selections of contrasting styles. Make sure your selections adequately demonstrate your musicality, tone quality and technical abilities. Suggested repertoire could include unaccompanied Bach. 

    Prospective jazz bass students should be prepared to demonstrate a walking bass line in the keys of F and Bb and a bass line of a jazz standard in either a swing, ballad or bossa style.

    In addition to your prepared pieces, you will be asked to play a selection of scales: 2 octaves for Bass, 3 octaves for violin, viola and cello.

    In addition to the prepared pieces, students will be asked to sight read a short excerpt.

    For repertoire suggestions, please contact Dr. Les Hicklin, orchestra conductor at les.hicken@furman.edu.

  • Woodwinds & Brass Auditions

    Prospective students should prepare two solo pieces, etudes or excerpts of larger works of contrasting styles, which adequately demonstrate musicality, tone quality and technical abilities. Students should be prepared to play a total of 5-7 minutes of music.

    In addition to prepared pieces, students may be asked to sight read a short excerpt.

    For repertoire suggestions, please contact Tim Hurlburt, assistant director of bands at thurlbu@clemson.edu.

  • Percussion Auditions

    Prospective percussion students should prepare to demonstrate proficiency in two of the following areas:

    Snare Drum: A concert or rudimental snare drum solo. Demonstrated proficiency of the Percussive Arts Society International Drum Rudiments is also expected.

    Keyboard: A two or four mallet solo demonstrating technical proficiency on marimba, vibraphone or xylophone.

    Timpani: A three or four drum solo demonstrating technical command of the instrument. Students will also demonstrate the ability to hear, sing and tune individual notes and the intervals of a third, fourth and fifth.

    Drumset: Perform various musical styles including jazz, rock, funk, Latin and ballads. Students should be prepared to play time and improvise fills in different styles. A basic understanding of reading drumset charts is also highly regarded.

    For repertoire suggestions, please contact: Dr. Paul Buyer, director of percussion at pbuyer@clemson.edu

  • Guitar Auditions

    Prospective Classical Guitar students should prepare two selections of contrasting styles demonstrating finger style technique and musicality.

    Prospective Jazz Guitar students should prepare two selections: a jazz standard and a blues chart to demonstrate both comping and improvising.

    While reading ability will be examined, fluency is not an absolute requirement.

    For repertoire suggestions, please contact David Stevenson at dsteven@clemson.edu for classical and finger style and Adam Knight at aknigh2@clemson.edu for jazz.

  • Piano, Organ and Carillon Auditions

    Prospective students should prepare, on piano, two solo works to be performed from memory from the following:

    One piece from the Baroque Era by Domineco Scarlatti or J.S. Bach Prelude and Fugue in its entirety or 2 contrasting movements from a suite

    OR

    A Classical Era sonata 1st or last movement by Mozart, Haydn or Beethoven.

    One Romantic Era piece by Chopin, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, Grieg, Liszt, Franck or Rachmaninov.

    OR

    One 20th Century Era piece by Debussy, Ravel, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Bartok, Copland, Barber, Kabalevsky, Khachaturian, Scriabin, Ginastera, Poulenc or Mucsynski.

    Students with questions regarding repertoire substitutions should contact Dr. Linda Li-Bleul at libleu@clemson.edu.

    Any student wishing to audition on Organ or Carillon instead of piano should contact Dr. Linda Dzuris at ldzuris@clemson.edu.

Playing saxophone

Curriculum

Tailor your studies to suit your needs and aspirations. Study performance, music theory, music history, music technology and arts administration. Choose from more than 20 performing ensembles to develop your talent and gain experience. Take advantage of private lessons available to every vocal student and instrumentalist. Many of our students have the opportunity to work with the vast array of artists who perform at the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts. The experiential nature of the curriculum and diverse opportunities for growth allow graduates to move into successful careers and prestigious graduate programs.  

Bryan Daniels

Alumni Spotlight

Bryan Daniels

Bryan received his Bachelor’s degree in performing arts - music from Clemson University with a minor in business administration. During his time at Clemson, he performed with the Symphonic Band, Symphony Orchestra, CU Jungaleers Jazz Ensemble, Tiger Band and Brass Quintet, as well as various other ensembles. He also served as Tiger Band Commander. In 2016, he earned his Master of Music degree in instrumental conducting from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, under Dr. Gary Sousa. During his time at the University of Tennessee, Bryan performed with the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Trumpet Ensemble and studied privately with Dr. Cathy Leach. Bryan served as the Associate Director of Bands at Collins Hill High School in Suwanee, Georgia and is now Director of Bands at Johns Creek High School in Johns Creek, Georgia. An avid performer, Bryan has played with the Tennessee Wind Symphony, Stateline Wind Symphony, Brass Band of Appalachia and other various ensembles.

Contact Us

Paul Buyer
Director of Music
Linda Dzuris
Department Chair
Claire Kelly
Student Services Coordinator
Department of Performing Arts
Department of Performing Arts | 221 Brooks Center, Box 340525, Clemson, SC 29634