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General Auditions Information


  • Admission to The Crane School consists of two parts: 1) acceptance by Crane following successful completion of the Crane audition process; and 2) academic admission by the College. These can be completed in any order.
  • The scheduling of an audition on one of the specific audition days is the beginning of the Crane admissions process. Audition registration is required for all auditioning students. Registration for each audition ends two weeks prior to the audition day.
  • To obtain an Application for Admission to the College, Undergraduate students should visit the Office of Admissions. Graduate students should visit the Crane Graduate Admissions webpage.

Off-Campus vs. On-Campus Auditions

  • The Crane School of Music makes every effort to ensure that on- and off-campus auditions provide an equal evaluation and opportunity for admission.
  • Do note that warm-up facilities off-campus are usually communal warm-up areas (and not individualized practice rooms, as we have on-campus), and that audition time-slots are sometimes limited at off-campus sites.There is also a $50 fee for students auditioning off-campus, which helps us offset the costs of off-campus auditions. 
  • Harp and percussion auditions are only available on-campus. Piano auditions are available on-campus or at our New York City location only.
  • Students who have had their college admissions fee waived may request an off-campus audition fee waiver by contacting the Office of Music Admissions (see contact information below)
  • Each audition is designed to give candidates an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to pursue college-level, private music instruction and will include a 15 or 20-minute appointment with faculty members qualified to evaluate the student's performance on his/her primary instrument or voice.
  • On-Campus Auditions are usually administered by the teacher or teachers of that specific instrument. For non-vocalists, off-campus auditions are administered by a teacher from the area (one of the string teachers for all strings,one of the brass teachers for all brass, one of the woodwind teachers for the all woodwinds)  and video taped for the primary teacher's review, with the exception of our New York City auditions. New York City auditions will be administered by a Crane faculty member, and video taped, but students may be auditioning for a faculty outside of their instrumental area. Vocal auditions are always conducted by members of the voice faculty, and all vocal auditions are video taped for potential review.
  • At on-campus auditions, there are opportunities for students and their parents to meet with faculty, administrators,college admissions personnel and current Crane students; consult the audition day schedule for details. At off-campus auditions, representatives of both the Crane School and SUNY Potsdam Admissions Office are typically present to answer questions. Crane alumni are also typically present at all auditions.

The Audition Itself

  • A listing of representative undergraduate repertoire for auditions can be found by clicking the "Repertoire for Auditions" link found on the left side of this page. Students should consult this list well in advance of their planned audition day. Students should be prepared for sight reading to be part of the audition as well.
  • Pianists and vocalists are required to perform from memory. Performers on other instruments need not memorize their music.
  • Graduate students in voice, piano, and trumpet can find repertoire information via the "Repertoire for Auditions" link to the left. For other instruments, please contact the Crane Graduate Office at or (315) 267-2417.
  • Only vocal auditions will have piano accompaniment. Accompanists for both on- and off-Campus voice auditions are available for a fee of $30, or you may choose to bring your own accompanist. For recommendations about providing music for our accompanists, please click here. Instrumentalists do not audition with accompaniment.
  • Due to the large number of auditions each year for admission to Crane, prospective students are only allowed one audition per performance area, per year/admissions cycle (typically December - March). Students who are ill for their scheduled audition date should contact Crane prior to the audition and the appointment will be rescheduled.

Letters of Recommendation & Resume

  • Undergraduate students are encouraged to supply music-specific letters of recommendation to Crane. The Private Music Instructor Recommendation Form is particularly helpful to the faculty hearing the audition.This form and the general Music Recommendation Form should be mailed to the address below at least two-weeks prior to the audition.
  • Undergraduate students are not required to provide a resume at their audition. Part of the audition registration form includes information about your musical background and achievements, and the faculty will have access to this at the time of the audition.
  • Graduate students will submit letters of recommendation and a resume as part of their graduate application.

Additional Requirements for Composers

  • Students auditioning for the Bachelor of Music: Musical Studies degree with an emphasis in Composition must also apply for admission to the composition program. A portfolio of compositions with audio recordings of the works is required for consideration for the program.
  • Submit two or three original scores of contrasting character that best highlight your creativity and potential for compositional growth. You should submit your scores as Finale files, Sibelius files, or in pdf format.
  • If you have recordings, feel free to submit them in mp3, wav or aiff formats. (Live recordings are encouraged, but not required.) Audio files larger than 5 MB may be submitted via Dropbox or posted to a site like Soundcloud. 
  • Please send these materials to: Music Admissions, The Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, 44 Pierrepont Avenue, Potsdam, NY 13676. Email submissions, or for any questions about applying for the composition degree, please contact Dr. Timothy Sullivan at
  • Note that the portfolio submission does not replace a performance audition; applicants for the composition major must complete a performance audition as well.

Travel Information

  • Directions and travel information for both on campus and off campus auditions can be found on the audition Directions and Travel Information web page. Particularly for those traveling to campus for the first time for your audition, we strongly advise looking at the directions on our website, even if you are planning on using GPS. We have seen a small number of applicants have issues with GPS systems due (we believe) to certain preference settings (such as preferences for non-toll roads, etc.) which has led them on longer-than-necessary routes to Potsdam. 
  • In the case of inclement weather, please confirm your audition appointment with Crane or the SUNY Potsdam University Police (315) 267-2222.

Video Auditions

  • Video auditions are generally reserved for students who are outside of the Northeast region of the U.S. who are unable to attend auditions at one of our audition sites due to the distance that would need to be traveled.
  • Students requesting this option still need to fill out the Crane online audition registration form (and do so before registration closes: November 25, 2018 for spring admissions and February 17, 2019 for fall admissions). Video auditions must be approved by the Crane Admissions Office; email confirmation will be sent within two weeks of submitting the online audition form.
  • There is a $50 fee for all video auditions.
  • We accept video auditions by YouTube links (preferred) or DVD only. If you are unable to use YouTube due to international access issues, you may use another online video medium, but please include that information with your audition registration (using the comments box on the registration form).
  • Your video must arrive at The Crane School of Music by November 30, 2018 for spring 2019 admission, and by March 1, 2019 for fall 2019 admission.
  • Please make sure your video is of a high quality and is as close to a live performance as possible. Do not use a close microphone or any audio processing. Because pianists and vocalists are required to perform from memory, frame the video so it is clear the auditioning student is not reading from music. Do not submit a video that has been created by cutting together several takes. We cannot accept audio-only audition recordings (CD, mp3, etc.).
  • Send videos to the address or email below only. Do not send videos to the SUNY Potsdam Office of Admissions or Center for Graduate Studies.

Contact Information:

Office of Music Admissions
The Crane School of Music
The State University of New York at Potsdam
44 Pierrepont Avenue
Potsdam, NY 13676
Phone: (315) 267-2775
Fax: (315) 267-2413