Auditions and Scholarships

UST Music rewards your talents and achievements. Each year we award over $150,000 in scholarships to new and returning music majors. Ensemble scholarships are available to all students regardless of major.

Auditions for Incoming Freshmen and Transfer Students

Applicants who are considering majors in musicliturgical musicmusic performancemusic business, or music education must apply to the Department of Music using the following online audition procedures. The Music Department will review audition applications on a rolling basis; you will be notified of music major acceptance status approximately two weeks after submitting a complete audition file (application, video, recommendations, music theory assessment).

Online Audition Procedures for Prospective Students

1. Apply to the University of St. Thomas.  You must be accepted by St. Thomas prior to applying to the Department of Music

2. Complete the Undergraduate Music Audition Application Form online

3. Upload your Audition Video to the Music Department's dropbox. The video should include 10 minutes of music showcasing at least two compositions or movements of contrasting style. (See guidelines below). Pieces must be performed with an accompanist if written for piano accompaniment. All students should also perform America the Beautiful‌, verse one, sung a cappella.  

Audition Video Guidelines & Suggested Repertoire

Guitarists should contact the Director of Guitar Studies at to discuss audition repertoire. Pieces will be determined based on applicant's music orientation, background and goals.

Organ students should prepare three works from contrasting historical periods, such as a contrapuntal work by J.S. Bach, a nineteenth-century piece, and a piece from the twentieth century. Students should offer a balance of styles, including at least one virtuosic work and one expressive piece. Pieces need not be memorized. Scholarship invitational auditions will be held on the Kney organ in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Pianists should prepare two pieces of contrasting styles and historical periods. Although memorization is required for music scholarship consideration and strongly encouraged for all students, it is not a requirement for admittance.

Examples of preferred repertoire choices are as follows:

  • Baroque: A sinfonia, prelude and fugue from The Well-Tempered Clavier, or movement from a suite by J.S. Bach.
  • Classical: A movement of a sonata by Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven.
  • Romantic: A lyrical or technical work by Chopin, Schumann, Schubert, Brahms, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, or other major composer of the nineteenth century.
  • Twentieth-Century: A piece or movement from a work by Debussy, Ravel, Bartók, Prokofiev, Ginastera, Copland, Barber, or other composer of art music from the twentieth or twenty-first centuries.

Students who wish to pursue a jazz emphasis should demonstrate proficiency in both jazz and classical styles. Please contact the Director of Keyboard Studies at with any questions about audition repertoire.

Vocalists should bring a minimum of two memorized selections in contrasting style. One foreign language piece is recommended. One musical theater piece is allowed. Examples of repertoire could include selections from the "Twenty-Four Italian Songs and Arias" collection or "The First/Second Book of SATB Solos," compiled by Joan Boytim. No taped accompaniments or pop songs allowed. 

Woodwind/Brass/Percussion/Orchestral String
Applicants should prepare two pieces of contrasting styles. Contrasting pieces could consist of

  • A single-movement solo work written specifically for their instrument (either one movement of a concerto or a piece or a work that is entirely one movement) and
  • An etude from a book of studies specific to their instrument or
  • An orchestral excerpt or
  • Another solo piece (a single movement work or a slow movement from a concerto). 
Percussionists should perform pieces on two of the following three instruments: snare, mallets, timpani.

4. Ask your music teacher(s) and/or director(s) to complete the online Recommendation Form. Two are required. You may wish to email your recommenders the link to access the online recommendation form:

5. Complete the online Music Theory Assessment to the best of your ability. This assessment gives us a sense of students' incoming theory background. No preparation is necessary. The assessment will cover elements such as key signatures, scales, time signatures, intervals and triads, and some listening identification. The assessment should be done individually and last approximately 20 minutes. 

Students who submit their music application materials prior to January 31 will automatically be considered for music scholarship awards. Select students will be invited to on-campus scholarship auditions to be held in late February. Invitation does not guarantee a scholarship; lack of invitation does not negate a scholarship. Notification of scholarship awards will be mailed in early March.

On-Campus Scholarship Audition Invitational
Saturday, Feb. 28
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Brady Educational Center

Ensemble Scholarship Opportunities for All Students

Freshman Music Option ($1,400 tuition savings)

All UST freshmen participating in a large ensemble (Concert Choir, Liturgical Choir, Women's Choir, Chamber Singers, Symphonic Band, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, String Orchestra, or Guitar Ensemble) are eligible for the freshman music option discount. This provides non-music major freshmen the opportunity to take 30-minute elective level lessons free of charge. The discount may be applied both fall and spring semesters. The freshman music option applies to vocal lessons for students participating in the UST Choirs. For UST Band, String Orchestra, or Guitar Ensemble members, the discount applies to lessons on the instrument played in the ensemble. Freshmen music majors receive a 50% reduction on their first year of applied level lessons. The freshman music option equates to a savings of over $1,400 per year for both music majors and non-majors.


Fine Arts Award ($4,400 tuition savings)

The "Fine-Arts Award" includes the fulfillment of the fine arts core requirement with the completion of four semesters of large ensemble participation with no tuition charge (a savings of approximately $4,400).  Four semesters of participation in the following ensembles fulfills the fine arts core requirement: Concert Choir, Liturgical Choir, Women's Choir, Chamber Singers, Symphonic Band, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, String Orchestra, or Guitar Ensemble.

Free Elective Credit

Students earn one free credit ($1,121) per ensemble each semester. 

Auditions & Scholarships for Current Students 

Audition Dates and Procedures for Current UST Students

Fall Scholarship and Performance Level Auditions 
Oct. 10, 2014
Brady Educational Center

Reserved for current students who have not previously auditioned for music major status.  Students auditioning for scholarship must complete a music major application, an interview, and a brief assessment of piano, vocal, and theory skills prior to their fall scholarship and performance level audition. Please contact Kara Bradshaw ( to discuss the application process in September.

In-House Scholarship Auditions 
May 18, 2015
Brady Educational Center

Current music majors have the opportunity to audition for first-time scholarships or upgrades to current scholarship packages.  In addition to GPA, criteria for selection includes presentation, musicianship, technical ability, tone, artistry and professional development.  In-House applications are due May 9. The audition should consist of ten minutes of your finest performing (to include transition time).  The committee is interested in hearing at least two compositions or movements in contrasting styles or from contrasting time periods.  Pieces must be played with an accompanist if written for piano accompaniment.

Rolling Performance Level Auditions

Current students may audition for music major status at any time during the academic year.  Please follow the guidelines outlined in the ‌Rolling Audition Procedures and contact Kara Bradshaw ( to review the audition process and obtain the required forms.

The Loftus Family Alternative Music Creativity Award

Intended Recipient

This award is based solely on potential of individual’s ability to instigate and sustain artistic creativity through music performance, or composition, or production.  The award is neither need-based nor GPA-based.  The award can go to a music major or non-music major.

Criteria for Evaluation/Selection

The intended recipient must demonstrate dedication to the musical craft, originality in musical thought, and vision for future development and honing of craft. 

Nomination Body

Candidates will be nominated by any member of the Music faculty and will be deliberated by the entire full time faculty of the Music Department.  The faculty member nominating the candidate will give a detailed description of how the nominee meets the criteria established above.

Expectations from the Recipient

It is expected that the recipient will do some sort of regular public service with his/her craft either through performance or production for any situation where a marginalized group is represented.

Mary O. Petra Memorial Endowed Scholarship in Music

Intended Recipient

  • The scholarship recipient must be a St. Thomas student with a minimum 3.0 G.P.A.
  • The student must demonstrate financial need
  • The student must be pursuing a major or minor in music
  • Preference will be given to students participating in a UST music ensemble 

Nomination Body

Candidates will be nominated by any member of the Music faculty and will be deliberated by the entire full time faculty of the Music Department.  The faculty member nominating the candidate will give a detailed description of how the nominee meets the criteria established above.

Mary O. Petra Legacy Statement

"If there was ever someone who made me feel like the only way to live life was to follow your dream and passion, it was Mary." These words were written by one of the many people that Mary Olivia Petra mentored during her lifetime.

Mary was an accomplished entrepreneur, philanthropist, and supporter of the arts. She had a love for the University of St. Thomas that went back to the early 1970s when her husband, Terry, was a graduate student and they lived in a little apartment on Laurel Avenue. She believed in the mission of UST and everything it stood for. As a little girl, I remember my mom taking us to play in the lower quad while my dad was busy on campus. It was here she began to nurture my dreams and teach me that all things were possible through faith in God and hard work. My mom was so proud when I became a Tommie because she knew the quality of the education and strong values I would gain during my college years. She knew this was the place where I could pursue my interests in music and business and create a life by design that would allow me to live out God's calling and make a difference.

Mary supported me in my career as an artist in addition to supporting countless others in theirs. She was always there to believe in us, letting us know that anything was possible. When she was reaching the end of her life she decided to leave behind a legacy gift to the University of St. Aromas. She wanted to develop a scholarship that would help students pursue their dreams. She loved this school and all it stands for. In her final days, as the scholarship was taking shape, she said, "I am so excited to leave behind a gift to the students, so they will know that someone always believes in them!" She had tears in her eyes and a big smile thinking of the students that would benefit from her gift. That sums up my mom. She was someone who believed in people. She believed that when people follow their dreams, anything is possible. When people live their calling, they make a difference; they make a positive impact in the world.

- Aimée Petra, daughter Mary Olivia Petra