Auditions

For acceptance into select programs at Grand Canyon University (GCU), you may be required to complete an audition process. Auditions not only allow department leaders to gauge your level of skill and experience, but are also used as a basis for awarding scholarships. Requirements vary by program.  Limited performing arts major scholarships are available for music, theatre and dance programs. Early auditions are strongly recommended.

College of Theology

Center for Worship Arts

Auditions in the primary area of study (voice or instrumental) are required for students interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Worship Arts with an Emphasis in Worship Ministry through the College of Theology's Center for Worship Arts. The audition process ensures you have a sufficient level of musical skill and aptitude to be successful in the worship ministry emphasis.

Audition Process for Center for Worship Arts

Audition assessment focuses on intonation and pitch, rhythm, musicality, tone and improvisation. Prior music theory training and experience in performance are not required for admission as they are taught within the curriculum.

  • Vocalists: Sing a capella or with light accompaniment
  • Instrumentalists/vocalists: Play and sing
  • Instrumentalists: Consider an instrumental solo (with or without accompaniment), a classical piece, a popular song or any example you think best showcases your style and skill

Submit two different online videos or recordings of you performing two different worship songs, genre of your choice. The songs can be covers, originals or a combination of both. The videos should feature you using your primary instrument and showcase your style and skill. Evaluations assess the quality of your musicality, not the quality of the recording or video.

Center for Worship Arts Audition Registration Form

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Fill out and submit the Center for Worship Arts Audition Registration Form to complete your audition. For more information, contact your student services advisor.

View CWA Audition Form

Button to play video: The Center for Worship Arts at GCU

GCU Recording Studio

The new GCU Recording Studio was designed to build communities and inspire the next generation of worship leaders by providing creative outlets to express, collaborate and share their passion. The space features two studios, in addition to rehearsal rooms equipped with instruments, microphones and personal monitoring systems. Studio A includes a recording room, four isolation booths and a control room, in addition to instruments and amplifiers. All spaces have double-wall construction, two layers of drywall and acoustic paneling to absorb acoustics and prevent sound leakage.

College of Arts and Media

The audition process is dependent on your selected major. The following Bachelor of Arts programs offered by the College of Arts and Media require an audition to declare a major in:

Please note that you must apply to GCU and be a declared College of Arts and Media student to register for an audition. For specific program requirements, see details below. The audition process is also used as a basis for awarding scholarships. Scholarship performance monies are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis as applicants are reviewed. If you wish to minor in dance, theatre, music or musical theatre, an audition is not required. To complete your audition, fill out and submit the registration form that corresponds with your major below.

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Thundering Heard Pep Band

Auditions are required for the Thundering Heard Pep Band. To schedule your audition, fill out and submit the Pep Band Audition Registration Form. Thundering Heard Pep Band membership and scholarship eligibility is open to all students on the GCU campus. A major or minor in music is not required.

Audition Requirements

Students will be required to complete the following during their Pep Band audition:

  • Play your favorite three scales with arpeggios at your maximum controllable range/tempo
    • Open-closed-open rudiments for drummers
  • Play the chromatic scale at your maximum controllable range/tempo
    • Two favorite drum set grooves for drummers; three bars time, one bar fill
  • Perform one lyrical piece demonstrating your musicianship
    • Marimba/Timpani for music major percussionists
  • Perform one technical piece demonstrating your facility around your instrument
    (marimba/timpani for music major percussionists)
  • Student must be visible in video recording
    • i.e. embouchure, fingers, etc.
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Audition Process for Dance and Dance for Secondary Education Majors

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An audition is required for scholarships and admission into both the dance and dance for secondary education programs. A live audition is preferred for scholarship consideration, which are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. For live attendees, liability waivers are also required.

In-person auditions will consist of a combined class of ballet, modern and jazz techniques. Following the technique class, students will perform a one- to two-minute solo that highlights their highest technical and performance abilities (ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, tap, etc.).

Sign Up for a Dance Audition

Essay:

Student auditioning for the BA Dance or BA Dance for Secondary Education major must submit an audition essay. This essay needs to be two pages maximum and in APA or MLA format. The essay should answer the following questions:

  • What has brought you to dance?
  • Why have you chosen to pursue a degree in dance?
  • Describe your academic, artistic and professional goals. How will attending Grand Canyon University prepare you to meet those goals?
  • Describe interests, skills and talents you have outside of dance that you will use to impact your experience in GCU's dance program.

Headshot:

  • 8" x 10"
  • Color or black and white; matte or glossy

Dance Resume:

  • Detail your performance experience and dance training including genres studies, schools, studios and conferences.

Letters of Recommendation (Optional):

  • Letters of recommendation from teachers or other references that can discuss your academic or artistic performance.

Apparel needs to show the dancer’s body alignment and form.

  • Ballet: Leotards, tights and ballet shoes
  • Jazz: Jazz pants and shoes
  • Modern: Footless tights

Students who cannot attend a live audition may submit digital materials. Student video submissions must include the following:

  • Five minutes of ballet barre
  • Five minutes of classroom studies in modern or jazz (i.e center work, progressions, floor work)
  • One- to two-minute solo that highlights students’ highest technical and performance
    abilities (ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, tap, etc.)

Video submissions should be placed on a video sharing site (YouTube or Vimeo recommended over a Google drive) and set to unlisted or public (they can be removed after the audition and interview are complete). The video URL should be submitted along with the materials to submit with audition: essay, headshot, dance resume and letters of recommendation (optional). Begin the recording with an affidavit stating that you are the person performing:

  • My name is …
  • I am auditioning for the Bachelor of Arts in ...
  • I attest that I am the person who applied to GCU, and I am the performer in this video.

Audition Process for Music and Music Education Majors

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Auditions are required for full acceptance to the music and music education majors. Students are evaluated on skills and knowledge relating to performing and music theory.

The first step in the process is successful completion of the online music theory assessment, which reviews basic music notation. The assessment may be taken a maximum of two times, with 30 days between each attempt. Complete the assessment using the link below.

The next step is to sign up for your audition. A live audition is preferred for scholarship consideration. Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Below are the requirements for the voice, piano and instrumental program auditions and link to schedule your audition:

Music Theory Assessment

Following your music theory assessment, you will need to prepare for the performance portion of your audition. This includes:

  • Two memorized selections from classical piano literature composed in historic or stylistic periods that demonstrate your musicianship and technical skills

Attire should reflect the importance of the audition process.

Specifications for Virtual Piano Auditions

Hands need to be visible. Video submissions should be placed on a video sharing site (YouTube or Vimeo recommended over a Google drive) and set to unlisted or public (they can be removed after the audition and interview are complete). Begin the recording with an affidavit stating that you are the person performing:

  • My name is ...
  • I am auditioning for the Bachelor of Arts in ...
  • I attest that I am the person who applied to GCU, and I am the performer in this video.

Sign Up for a Piano Audition

For further information, contact:
Juan Hernandez
602-639-6497
[email protected]

Besides completing your assessment, you will need to prepare two contrasting works that may be performed from memory:

  • First piece that demonstrates technical proficiency (usually in a faster tempo, demonstrating your facility around your instrument)
  • Second piece that demonstrates lyrical playing (usually in a slower tempo, demonstrating your musicianship)

Above all, we suggest choosing works that will demonstrate your musical and technical performance abilities. Additionally, using your maximum controllable range, please submit your favorite two scales (major or minor) and the chromatic scale.

Specifications for Virtual Instrumental Auditions

Make sure that all aspects of your technique are visible (hands, fingers, embouchure, posture and face). We are looking at tone, tune, time and technique. Video submissions should be placed on a video sharing site (YouTube or Vimeo recommended over a Google drive) and set to unlisted or public (they can be removed after the audition and interview are complete). Begin the recording with an affidavit stating that you are the person performing:

  • My name is ...
  • I am auditioning for the Bachelor of Arts in ...
  • I attest that I am the person who applied to GCU, and I am the performer in this video.

Sign Up for an Instrumental Audition

For further information, contact:
Paul Koch
602-639-8125
[email protected]

Besides completing your music theory assessment, you will need to perform two contrasting works. Memorization is preferred.

  • One classical piece (art song or aria), performed with piano accompaniment.
    • A good resource for repertoire examples/recommendations is the Arizona Choral Educators Regional/All-State Solo Resources page.
    • A live accompanist will be provided for in-person auditions.
      • Bring sheet music that will stay in place on the piano with you to the audition.
    • For digital video submissions, a live accompanist is preferred.
      • An accompaniment track, at minimum, is required for this piece.
  • One contrasting piece that demonstrates the music you are most passionate about.
    • This can be an original composition, a music theatre piece, a pop or worship song, or any other vocal piece of your choosing.
    • Accompaniment is preferred but not required. You may accompany yourself.
    • For in-person auditions, piano sheet music must be provided for our staff accompanist.
      • Only a piano and pianist will be provided.
      • For any other instrument, you must bring it with you to the audition and self-accompany.
  • For in-person auditions:
    • This is a performance and attire should indicate such, if possible.
      • If you are on a Discover campus tour, we understand that performance attire may not be possible.
    • A staff pianist will be provided for in-person auditions.
      • Bring sheet music that will stay in place on the piano with you to the audition.
      • Only a piano and pianist will be provided.
      • For any other instrument, you must bring it with you to the audition and self-accompany.

Specifications for Virtual Voice Auditions
For digital video submissions:

  • Frame yourself against a neutral background. Entire body needs to be visible in video
  • Stand while you sing
  • Preferred shot is knees to head, at a minimum
  • This is a performance and attire should indicate such
  • Live accompaniment is preferred; an accompaniment track, at minimum, is required for the classical piece

Video submissions should be placed on a video sharing site (YouTube or Vimeo recommended over a Google drive) and set to unlisted or public (they can be removed after the audition and interview are complete). Begin the recording with an affidavit stating that you are the person performing:

  • My name is ...
  • I am auditioning for the Bachelor of Arts in ...
  • I attest that I am the person who applied to GCU, and I am the performer in this video.

Sign Up for a Voice Audition

For further information, contact:
Juan Hernandez
602-639-6497
[email protected]


Audition Process for Theatre Majors

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A single audition is required for scholarships and admission into both the theatre for secondary education and the theatre and drama programs. A live audition is preferred for scholarship consideration, which is also awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

All prospective theatre students must supply a theatrical resume. Theatrical resumes include productions, roles/positions held, the producing theatre, special skills, theatrical training, extracurricular activities, grade point average, contact information, and contact information for three references.

Performance Auditions: Auditions for performance-oriented students consists of two contrasting monologues from published plays and an interview regarding the student’s experience and goals.

Technical Theatre Audition: Auditions for technically oriented students (design, directing or stage management) consists of a review of their body of work, preferably in a portfolio (digital or hard copy) and an interview regarding the student’s experience and goals. Interviews can be held in-person, virtually or by phone call.

Performance Auditions: Students must prepare, memorize and present two contrasting monologues, no longer than two minutes each, from published plays (stand-alone monologues from the internet are discouraged). Videos must show the student’s face, torso and legs (give yourself some room to move if the piece requires it). Video submissions should be placed on a video sharing site (YouTube or Vimeo recommended over a Google drive) and set to unlisted or public (they can be removed after the audition and interview are complete). Begin the recording with an affidavit stating that you are the person performing:

  • My name is ...
  • I am auditioning for the Bachelor of Arts in ...
  • I attest that I am the person who applied to GCU, and I am the performer in this video.

Technical Auditions: Students must prepare a portfolio, showcasing their creative work. Portfolios should consist of paperwork, concept statements, photos, drawings, renderings, among any other concrete examples of their work.

Sign Up for a Theatre Audition

For more information, contact:
Michael Kary 
602-639-6654 
[email protected]

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