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.
  • The scheduling of an audition on one of the specific audition days is the first step in the Crane admissions process.  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 and audition time-slots are sometimes limited at off-campus sites.There is also a $50 fee for students auditioning off-campus; this fee helps us offset the costs of off-campus auditions.
  • Harp, piano and percussion auditions are only available on-campus. 
  • 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. 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,etc.) and video taped for the primary teacher's 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.

The Audition Itself

  • As a general rule, it is desirable for candidates, other than vocalists, to perform two contrasting movements or pieces (one fast, technical, the other slow, lyrical). A movement or work from a different style period is useful but not required. The audition usually includes a brief sight-reading example of moderate difficulty as well. An alphabetical listing of representative repertoire for auditions by performance medium can be found by clicking the "Repertoire for Auditions" link found on the right side of this page.
  • Pianists and vocalists are required to perform from memory. Performers on other instruments need not memorize their music.   
  • Accompanists for both On-and Off-Campus voice auditions are available for a fee of $30.  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 & Information Form

  • Although letters of recommendation are not required as part of the music audition/admissions process, they are encouraged.  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 prior to the audition.
  • Undergraduate students will need to submit a Supplemental Information Form prior to their audition. This document provides us with your musical resume. After completing the form, please send it to us; you can email it as an attachment, mail it or fax it to us using the contact information below.
  • Please submit this information form and the letters of recommendation at least two weeks prior to your audition so that our faculty have access to this information prior to your audition.    

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. Please send these materials to: Music Admissions, The Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, 44 Pierrepont Avenue, Potsdam, NY 13676.  Note that the portfolio submission does not replace a performance audition; applicants for the composition major must complete a performance audition as well.  If you have any questions about applying for the concentration in composition, please contact Dr. Wanamaker at (315) 267-2297,

Odds and Ends

  • Students auditioning for Crane who are already enrolled at SUNY Potsdam (liberal arts transfers), must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher to be eligible for admission to a music major.
  • In the case of inclement weather, please confirm your audition appointment with Crane or the SUNY Potsdam University Police (315) 267-2222.
  • Directions and travel information for both on campus and off campus auditions can be found on the audition Directions and Travel Information web page.

Video Auditions

Video auditions are available only 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 form.  Students should select any on-campus audition date and note their desire to submit a video audition in the Comments box on the online audition form.  Video auditions must be approved by the Crane Admissions Office; email confirmation will be sent within two weeks of submitting the online audition form. Video auditions may be by DVD or via YouTube links depending on the wishes of the auditioning area.  Your video must reach The Crane School of Music by December 10th, 2014 for spring 2015 admission and by March 1st, 2015 for fall 2015 admission.  Please make sure your video is of a high quality and is as close to a live performance as possible.  Vocalists should not use a close microphone.  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 or that uses processing on the audio portion.  We cannot accept audio-only audition recordings (CD, mp3, etc.).  In some situations, students requesting a video audition will have to pay a $30 processing fee. Send videos to:

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