All applicants for degrees with voice as the instrument of applied study should audition in person, if possible. If you are planning to visit the NMSU campus, please contact us so we can schedule your audition when you are here (NMSU Admissions offers Aggie Experience  or other visit opportunities throughout the year). If you are unable to come to campus in person for an audition, please contact either Dr. Sarah Daughtrey (Voice Area Coordinator) or Dr. Jake Taylor (Director of Choral Studies) to submit a recorded audition as well as to schedule an online/virtual sight-reading and interview portion.

All applicants must audition in order to be admitted to any program in music.  Auditions held/received prior to April 1st will receive highest consideration for any music scholarships (NMSU offers many institutional and specific scholarships – be sure to check NMSU Financial Aid & Scholarships for details and deadlines). The last date to submit an audition for acceptance into the program is August 1, 2022.  (After August 1st, you may be admitted provisionally and must enroll in voice lessons for non-credit in order to prepare an audition for the end of the fall semester.)


  • Audition Repertoire: Two contrasting selections from the standard art song repertoire in varying styles or tempi:
    • One art song (or aria) in English;
    • A second art song or aria (may be in a foreign language such as Italian, French, German, Latin or Spanish)

Solo selections must be comparable to those prepared and memorized for high school All-State Choir auditions or Solo and Ensemble competitions.

  • Selections must be memorized and sung without score. The audition must be accompanied with the piano.   If you do not bring your own accompanist, you must send a copy of your music with your application (scan and email or by mail).
  • Students should be prepared to sight-read a short excerpt similar to exercises required for All-State auditions.
  • Be able to demonstrate pitch recognition (tonal recall).
  • Students will be interviewed about their musical background and prospective major.


Day of Audition:

  • Be prepared to perform two prepared vocal solos from memory (see repertoire suggestions above). You may bring your own accompanist or request one to be provided for your audition at no charge.  You must have already sent in your music if using provided accompanist.
  • Sight read provided excerpt.
  • Demonstrate pitch recognition and range. 

If you have questions about the types of selections that are acceptable for the audition or would like suggestions for books which contain suitable repertoire, please contact Dr. Sarah Daughtrey, Voice Area Coordinator.



Vocal Performance Applicants must either perform an audition in person or submit an audition via video recording, which must include at least five selections, with music representative of the following styles and languages: 

  • Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary 
  • English, Italian, French, German 
  • Art song, opera, oratorio 

Pieces should be memorized and sung without score.  The audition must be accompanied with the piano.   If you do not bring your own accompanist, you must send a copy of your music with your application (scan and email or by mail).

Letters of Recommendation:  Applicants are required to have three letters of recommendation submitted on the applicant’s behalf. The letters should be submitted by instructors in your discipline related to your proposed field of study who are in a position to analyze your abilities and academic promise. Letters may be submitted online or on paper via regular mail to Dr. James Shearer, Coordinator of Graduate Studies. 

Instructions for Submission of Recorded Auditions:
 Preparation (using the NATS national auditions guidelines https://www.nats.org/NSA_-_You_Tube_Round_Video_Submissions.html ):
Recording Location:  You should record your video just as you would for a live audition. You may record in a home, school, church, synagogue, recital hall, rehearsal room, or voice studio with good natural acoustics with or without an audience. You should dress professionally, as you would for a recital or live audition.
Recording Instructions:
Your camera should record from a fixed position as if three adjudicators were seated in front of you.
You should face straight forward to the camera as you would appear to adjudicators in a live audition.
Your video recordings must clearly show your face and most of your body from the knees upward.**     
**Singers, pianists, and teachers should follow the health guidelines/regulations issued by their institution/venue wherever they are recording.  
To view a short video of best practices for recording a quality audition video click HERE.
Preparing the YouTube Video
- Settings
- Please note that you must select "unlisted" in the Privacy settings found under the broadcasting and - - Sharing Options section when uploading your video file to YouTube.
- If you select "private," we will not be able to access your submission(s). If you select “Public”, you may encounter copyright issues with YouTube.
- Submission
- In your application, provide the web link/address for each video that you submit.
- Please double check the links you provide for each video before submitting your audition.
If you need help with uploading your video to YouTube, instructions can be found HERE.