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Department of Performing Arts


Performing Arts - Music

A music student in the Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts is equipped with the knowledge and skills to thrive in the dynamic performing arts market. Our degree prepares students through music courses such as performance, theory, history, technology, arts administration, and entrepreneurship.

 Music students can choose from more than 20 large and small ensembles within our band, choir, and orchestra programs 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.


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. Anthony Bernarducci, director of music, at

  • 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 vocal solos of contrasting styles. At least one of the selections MUST be a classical folk song, art song, or aria. Foreign language art songs are encouraged. The second can be from a musical. Make sure the selections adequately demonstrate musicality, tone quality, and technical abilities. Singers are encouraged to memorize their songs.

    For repertoire suggestions, please contact Dr. Lisa Sain Odom at


  • 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 the following keys:  C, G, D, A, E; F, B-flat, E-flat, A-flat Major and relative minors for each.

    For repertoire suggestions, please contact Dr. Leslie Warlick at

  • 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.

    For repertoire suggestions, please contact Tim Hurlburt, assistant director of bands at

  • 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. 

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

    Timpani: A four drum timpani solo and the ability to tune individual notes. 

    Drumset: Perform various musical styles including jazz, rock, funk, world, and ballads by playing time and improvising fills. A basic understanding of reading drumset charts is also highly regarded.

    For repertoire suggestions, please contact: Dr. Paul Buyer, director of percussion at

  • 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 Steve Newbrough at for classical and finger style and Adam Knight at for jazz.

  • Piano, Organ and Carillon Auditions

    Prospective piano students should prepare, on piano, two memorized solo works from the following:

    One piece from the Baroque Era by Domineco Scarlatti, Antonio Soler, or J.S. Bach. Works by J.S. Bach may include Inventions, Sinfonias, Preludes and Fugues, or movements from a suite.


    1. A Classical Era sonata 1st or last movement, which may include works by Mozart, Haydn or Beethoven.


    1. One Romantic Era piece or movement, which may include works by Chopin, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann, Brahms, Grieg, Liszt, Franck or Rachmaninov.


    1. One 20th or 21st Century-Era piece, which may include works by Debussy, Ravel, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Bartok, Copland, Barber, Kabalevsky, Khachaturian, Scriabin, Ginastera, Poulenc, Mucsynski, Florence Price.

    Students with questions regarding repertoire should contact Dr. Linda Li-Bleuel at

    Prospective Jazz Piano Major students should prepare two contrasting solo pieces from the jazz standard repertoire, demonstrating the ability to read the melody,and improvise over the chord changes.

    Students with questions regarding repertoire selections should contact Hazen Bannister at

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

Playing saxophone


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.  

Alumni Spotlight

Charlie Brooks-Knepfle

Charlie Brooks-Knepflie '22 is working on his Master of Music degree in jazz studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He recently spent his summer as part of the Disney All-American College Band in Anaheim, California.

Charlie Brooks-Knepfle playing saxophone in the Disney All-American College Band
Bryan Daniels

Alumni Spotlight

Piper Starnes

Piper Starnes '22 is a performing arts alumna with an emphasis in music. After graduating from Clemson, Piper attended Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and obtained her master's degree in arts journalism and communications. She is currently a Creative Copywriter for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where she writes and copyedits publications such as newsletters, magazines, and radio scripts. She also writes many of the concert descriptions for the Philharmonic's website.

Alumni Spotlight

Bryan Daniels

Bryan received his bachelor’s degree in performing arts with an emphasis in music and 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.

Bryan Daniels

Contact Us

Anthony Bernarducci
Director of Music
Linda Dzuris
Department Chair
Department of Performing Arts
Department of Performing Arts | 221 Brooks Center, Box 340525, Clemson, SC 29634