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Department of Music
Phone: (509) 963-1216
Fax: (509) 963-1239

Admission Audition Requirements

For New Cello Students

In order to study Cello at CWU, you must first audition for the music faculty. This step is required to complete your acceptance into the CWU Department of Music program. This audition gives us an opportunity to hear the level you have achieved in your musical skills and it gives you the opportunity to discuss your development with collegiate instructors. Performance entrance standards may be found at the bottom of the page. For more details about the admissions process pleas visit our Music Program Auditions & Admissions page.

For Cello Students Pursuing a Performance Degree

If you would like to audition for admission to the BM in Performance, we would like you to come prepared to complete the requirements section below. We recommend you select a solo that best demonstrates your current skills. It is desirable to choose a piece that is competitive at the district or (preferably) state contest level, emphasizing both musical and technical capabilities.

Note: Due to the current pandemic, only the bolded text items are required. If you would like to include some of the non-bolded items this is fine, but not required this year.


  • One movement of a standard concerto of moderate difficulty, such as Saint-SaĆ«ns, Haydn, Lalo, or Boccherini
  • One movement of a standard sonata, such as Sammartini G Major, Beethoven, Brahms E minor, Francoeur E Major, or Boccherini A Major or equivalent piece
  • Two contrasting movements of a Bach suite
  • One Popper or similar etude
  • One four-octave major and minor scale and arpeggios

For Cello Students Pursuing a Music Ed. or Composition Degree

In general, there is no difference in the expectations of performance level for any music major, but those who wish to major in music education, but may feel under-prepared or insecure about their current performance skills, may choose a piece of music that demonstrates either musical or technical skills.


  • One 3-octave scale.
  • One movement of a concerto, sonata or concert piece that demonstrates highest level of technical and musical achievement on their instrument.

Your audition includes a brief interview, and time is limited, so expect that you may not be able to perform your entire selection. Keep this in mind as you plan your audition performance. Please perform works that best demonstrate your level of technical accomplishment and musicianship. Memorization is encouraged. Accompaniment is encouraged but not required as well. If you would like to hire a pianist, we can offer referrals to local professional accompanists.

For Cello Students Pursuing a Master of Music Performance Degree

To audition for admission to the MM in Performance degree program, we ask that you come prepared to perform the following requirements listed below. We recommend you select pieces that best demonstrate your musical and technical capabilities.


  • One movement of a standard concerto, such as Dvorak, Haydn D, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky Rococo, Brahms Double or other similar work
  • Two contrasting movements of a Bach suite
  • One movement of a post-Romantic work
  • One etude that demonstrates some of your technical prowess
  • One four-octave major and minor scales and arpeggios; one three-octave scale in thirds, sixths and octaves.

Please note: because of limited live audition time, we may only hear your concerto and one other selection.

Admissions Audition Registration

Before you can audition you must register for an audition time. Please visit our Music Program Auditions & Admissions page for further information. 

Ensemble Audition Requirements

For New and Returning Cello Students wishing to play in a large ensemble. Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Symphonic Band auditions take place during the first week of each new quarter. Fall auditions have specific materials for all who intend to play in a large ensemble. For the schedule, and further details, please visit our Ensemble Auditions page. Auditions for Winter and/or Spring will be announced as needed. Check our Audition Excerpts page for specific cello excerpts.

Contact Dr. Caoile for more information.

  • Entrance Standards Cello

    To begin your studies at the 364 level in the Cello Studio at CWU you must demonstrate proficiency on your instrument in an audition or placement lesson based upon the guidelines below. Students not meeting these standard may be placed in the 164 or 264 level based upon the discretion of the auditioning faculty.

    "The man who thinks he can
    and the man who thinks he can't are both right"
    - Henry Ford

    Junior Level

    To pass into the 364 level, the student should demonstrate Minimum competencies:

    • Concertos and unaccompanied works must be memorized. Materials of similar difficulty may be substituted at teacher’s discretion.
    • All works of each category must be at performance level complete with good intonation, rhythm, and sense of style.
    • All applied lesson students must participate in the CWU Orchestra or Lab Orchestra.
    • It is highly encouraged of all Bachelor of Music candidates to perform on at least four convocations during your tenure.
    • Music Education majors are required to achieve 364 level for at least two quarters of study.
    • Normally, a student will advance no faster than one level per year.

    Course Minimum Entrance Requirements:

    364 level

    • Technique:
      All major and minor scales in octaves and at least first twelve of the Popper High School of Cello Playing etudes

    (Complete at least one work from each of the following categories)

    • Solos
      • Bach Suite No. 3 or 4 (Prelude plus 2 movements)
      • Hindermith
      • Crumb
    • Sonatas
      • Valentin
      • Beethoven No. 3 or 5
      • Bach Sonata in G minor
    • Britten
      • Boccherini A major
      • Chopin
      • Debussy
      • Straus
    • Concertos
      • Boccherini
      • Haydn C
      • Lalo
      • Kabalevsky
      • Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations