Music Performance

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    • Degrees
      Bachelor of Music in Performance – Instrumental
      Bachelor of Music in Performance – Piano
      Bachelor of Music in Performance – Organ
      Bachelor of Music in Performance – Vocal
      Bachelor of Music in Performance – Vocal Opera/Musical Theatre Emphasis   

      Whether it’s an audience of thousands or an audience of three, you were born to perform. Life on the stage is all you've ever dreamed about. Now it’s time to take your talent and passion, and turn that dream into reality. A Bachelor of Music Performance degree from Capital’s Conservatory of Music emphasizes performance in all aspects of study — instrumental performance, vocal performance, vocal performance with opera/musical theatre emphasis or keyboard performance on piano or organ. Simply add in the self-discipline and intellectual curiosity necessary to succeed, and you're well on your way. You also have the unique opportunity to combine a challenging and dynamic Conservatory experience with the broad-based learning provided by Capital’s liberal arts core curriculum. That will make you well rounded and adaptable, which is exactly the skillset you need to perform well — in any field.

      From start to finish, this degree emphasizes performance in all aspects of study. Begin by choosing one of four areas of emphasis:

      • instrumental
      • piano
      • organ
      • vocal

      These areas of emphasis include wide-ranging performance experiences, from solo and stage to instrumental, choral, chamber and large ensemble. Then add a core curriculum that centers on applied lessons, music theory, history, keyboard studies, conducting and world music. The result is intense personalized instruction by world-class performers and educators, and outstanding practical experience — the perfect formula for a successful and rewarding career.

      Capital’s performance majors go on to do great things in the world of music. Many pursue advanced degrees at the finest graduate schools in the country, like Indiana University, Eastman School of Music, Yale University, Manhattan School of Music and more. Others are living their dreams with opera houses and orchestras, or as solo or ensemble performers in this country or Europe. In fact, students who pursued their dreams and followed their passion with a Performance degree from Capital have performed on Broadway, with the Santa Fe Opera and with standouts like Maestro Lorin Maazel, Lady Antebellum, Peter Frampton and Shania Twain. Their lives and careers as performers took shape at Capital, and they’re even more meaningful today — impacting the world through music. 

      Conservatory Admission and Audition Requirements

      Admission into this program will require you to complete a two-part process to gain admittance to both Capital University and the Conservatory of Music. Please review the requirements carefully before applying.


    • Conservatory Instructors

      At the Capital University Conservatory of Music, our instructors are some of the best in the business—and in the classroom. That means you will be learning from people who, quite frankly, have been there, done that. As committed educators, they are prepared to share their knowledge, expertise and contacts so you, too, can orchestrate a career in music, whether your passion is classical, contemporary or somewhere in between. 

      Choose your emphasis below to see the audition requirement and the instructors you'll be studying under. 

      • Bassoon

        Major scales in all keys, at least 2 octaves. Chromatic scale demonstrating applicant's complete range (preferably at least 3 octaves). Two contrasting solos; possible choices include movements from Mozart, Weber or Vivaldi bassoon concertos or Telemann Sonata in f minor; one of the solos may be an etude from Weissenborn, Milde, Gambaro or equivalent. Sight-reading.

        Bassoon Betsy Sturdevant 

      • Clarinet

        Major and chromatic scales in two octaves. One etude from any of the following studies: Melodious and Progressive Studies Book I or II; Rose 32 Etudes; Rose 40 Etudes. A solo piece comparable to the following: Mozart, Concerto K. 622 (movements 1 or 3); von Weber, Concertino; Cavallini, Adagio and Tarantella; Poulenc, Sonata (movements 1 or 3). Sight-reading.

        Clarinet Dr. Gail L. Zugger

      • Classical Jazz Contemporary Guitar

        Major scales, one or two octaves using at least two fingerings. Two solo pieces any style. Sight-reading melodies. Demonstrate improvisational skills and chord progressions if jazz/contemporary guitar major.

        Guitar Stan Smith

      • Composition
        Composition applicants must submit a portfolio of representative original compositions, with the expectation of three to four works of contrasting style. The portfolio must be submitted with the audition application and should include notated scores of all acoustic compositions and recorded representations (CD or cassette of live performances or computer realizations) of all pieces. In addition to the composition audition/interview, you will be scheduled to audition on your primary instrument.
      • Double Bass

        One solo or movement from a large work such as a sonata or concerto. One etude from any standard technique book. Major and minor scales through four sharps and four flats. Sight-reading.

        Double Bass Nick Barnaby

      • Euphonium

        All major and chromatic scales, one octave. One etude from Rochut, Melodious Etudes or Tyrell 40 Progressive Etudes or equivalent, and a solo piece equivalent to or from the following: Blazhevich, Concert Piece No. 5; Barat, Andante and Allegro; Guilmant, Morceau Symphonique. Sight-reading.

        Euphonium and Trombone Dr. Thomas Zugger

      • Flute

        Two-octave major scales and arpeggios, all keys; three-octaves for C and chromatic. Two contrasting solos from different style periods. Possible solos from various periods are Bach, Handel or Telemann sonatas or suites (Baroque); Mozart, Quantz or Stamitz concerti (classical); Chaminade Concertino, Faure Fantasie, Poulenc Sonata, Doppler Fantasie (Romantic); the Debussy Syrinx, Hindemith Sonata, works by Muczynski or Hoover (contemporary). Sight-reading. Optional: Minor scales [natural, melodic, and/or harmonic] and arpeggios.

        Flute Dr. Lisa A. Jelle 

      • Harp
        Major and minor scales in all keys. Two contrasting solos and two orchestral excerpts preferable, including one cadenza, e.g. “Nutcracker,” “Swan Lake” or Britten’s “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra.” Sight-reading.
      • Horn

        All major and chromatic scales, one octave. Major arpeggios, legato and articulated. Two contrasting etudes from Kopprasch, Alphonse, Gallay or a comparable etude of the student’s choice. One solo movement from a concerto or sonata by Mozart, Franz Strauss, Richard Strauss, Hindemith or Heiden or a solo of comparable difficulty. Sight-reading.

        Horn Kimberly McCann 

      • Jazz Contemporary Bass

        Minimum one-octave major scales – all keys. Chromatic scale, minimum two octaves, starting with low F. Walking bass pattern over a 12-bar blues progression in B-fl at or F. Two selections must be chosen from the following: "Misty,” “Autumn Leaves,” “A-Train,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” “Satin Doll” or “Gone With The Wind.” Preparation of the two selections should be as follows: melody, bass line, solo (improvisation) optional. The two selections must be performed in contrasting styles (i.e. walking 4/4 swing style vs. bossa or ballad). The student also must prepare one selection of his or her choice. Sight-reading.

        Jazz Contemporary Bass Roger Hines 

      • Jazz Piano Contemporary Keyboard

        Major and minor scales, hands together in four octaves. Ability to play a prepared melody and accompaniment for two contrasting selections in the popular/jazz idiom. Realization of popular/jazz chord progressions at sight. Any prepared classical literature. Demonstrate improvisational skills.

        Jazz Piano/Contemporary Keyboard Erik Augis

      • Oboe

        Major and minor scales in two octaves. A study from one of the following or equivalent: Barret, Melodious Studies; Ferling, 48 Famous Studies; Sellner, Progressive Studies. A solo piece from the following or the equivalent: Handel, Sonata No. 1 or Concerto No. 2 in B-fl at; Emil Paladilhe, Solo De Concert; Haydn, Concerto in C. Sight-reading.

        Oboe Melissa Stevens 

      • Organ

        A minimum of two selections (three preferred) of contrasting styles or periods. One from the following or the equivalent: Prelude in G Minor, Prelude in F Major from J.S. Bach Eight Little Preludes and Fugues. Sight-read one hymn. Applicants who have not previously studied organ should play a Bach two-part invention or a comparable piece on the piano.

        Organ Kevin Jones

      • Percussion

        Applicant should demonstrate ability in a minimum of three of the following five areas: snare drum: solo or etude; mallet percussion: solo or etude using two, three or four mallets; timpani: contest solo, orchestral excerpts, or etude of moderate difficulty; drum set: demonstrate basic style concepts of drum set drumming and may prepare a short solo to demonstrate improvisational skills; multiple percussion: solo or etude of moderate difficulty. Student also should be prepared to sight-read and play rudiments and scales. Students should supply sticks, mallets and literature. Demonstrate improvisational skills if appropriate.

        Percussion Robert Breithaupt (area head), Eric Paton, Ryan Kilgore and Nathan Anders

      • Piano

        All major and harmonic minor scales and arpeggios in four octaves. Repertoire from three contrasting styles or periods (Baroque, Classical - one movement from a sonata by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven, Romantic or Contemporary). All pieces must be memorized. Sight-reading.

        Piano Tianshu Wang (area head), Seymour Fink and Orlay Alonso

      • Saxophone

        Major and chromatic scales, two octaves or full range. Minor scales optional. An OMEA Class A or comparable contest-level solo such as the Maurice Tableaux de Provence, Heiden Solo or Sonata, Creston Sonata, Sonatas by Bach or Handel, Ibert Concertino da camera, etc. Jazz saxophonists may present two contrasting selections (such as medium swing, ballad, straight-eighth, be-bop, etc.) with improvisation, in place of or in addition to the above materials. A play-along CD is recommended for jazz auditions. All wind players will be asked to sight-read as part of the audition.

        Saxophone Dr. Michael Cox
      • Trombone

        All major and chromatic scales. One etude from Rochut, Melodious Etudes, Book 1; or Tyrell, Blume, Kopprasch or equivalent and a contrasting solo composition equivalent to Barat, Andante and Allegro; Guilmant, Morceau Symphonique; Rimsky-Korsakov, Concerto. Jazz trombone players may present two contrasting selections (such as medium swing, ballad, straight-eighth, be-bop, etc.) with improvisation, in place of or in addition to the above materials. A play-along CD is recommended for jazz auditions. All brass players will be asked to sight-read as part of the audition.

        Trombone and Euphonium Dr. Thomas Zugger

        Jazz Trombone Professor Ryan Hamilton

      • Trumpet

        Major and chromatic scales, minor scales optional. Two contrasting etudes from: Brandt, Concone, Goldman, Small, Vannettelbosch, Voxman or a comparable etude of applicant’s choice. One solo selection from a concerto or sonata by Arutiunian, Haydn, Hindemith, Hummel, Kennan, Stevens or a comparable solo of the applicant’s choice. Jazz trumpet players may present two contrasting selections (such as medium swing, ballad, straight-eighth, be-bop, etc.) with improvisation, in place of or in addition to the above materials. A play-along CD is recommended for jazz auditions. All brass players will be asked to sight-read as part of the audition.

        Trumpet Rob Parton 

      • Tuba

        All major and chromatic scales one octave. Two contrasting studies from one of the following or the equivalent: Blazhevich, Grigoriev, Vasiliev, Bordogni, Rochut. A solo piece from the following or the equivalent: Bach/Bell, Air and Bourree; Beversdorf, Sonata for Tuba; Capuzzi/Catilinet, Andante and Rondo; Catozzi, Beelzebub; Nelhybel, Suite. Sight-reading.

        Tuba Tony Zilincik
      • Viola

        One solo or movement from a large work such as a sonata or concerto. One etude from any standard technique book. Major and minor scales through four sharps and four flats. Sight-reading.

        Viola Kenichiro Matsuda

    • Explore Your Options

      Ian Howell
      A 1998 graduate of the Conservatory, Ian Howell originally thought he wanted to be a band instructor. But during his time at Capital, he changed his mind. "I was able to try a lot of different things while I was at Capital," he said. "I sang the entire time, played in the MIDI Band and used the recording studio. The were a lot of resources that allowed me to explore different options." Howell eventually changed his major from Music Education to Music Performance, and then went on to attend graduate school at the Yale School of Music/Institute for Sacred Music where he studied Voice & Early Music.

      Today Howell is an opera singer and an instructor at the New England Conservatory of Music. His 14-year performing and recording career as a member of the Grammy Award-winning ensemble, Chanticleer, and as a soloist with orchestras, opera companies and small ensembles across North and South America is marked by numerous accolades and awards. Still, his advice to students is simple: "Be honest with yourself. If you can think of anything else that can bring you joy in life, do that and have music be something you do in life because you love it personally. But if you are someone who cannot function without it, then that's where you want to pour all your energy, and give it every ounce that you have."

      Chris Bozeka
      Chris Bozeka is a 2013 graduate of the Conservatory. In July 2013, he sang under the direction of Maestro Lorin Maazel in the Castleton Festival in Virginia, which included performances in Spain. He has once again been selected to be featured in the 2014 Castleton Festival. He is currently a graduate student in vocal performance at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.

      Andrew Graham
      Alumnus Andrew Graham (’97) has been making his mark on the national musical theater scene. Since 2012, he has served as the music director for the national tour of Wicked. His theatrical credits also include national tours as musical director or conductor of Avenue Q, Pippin, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Seussical the Musical, Oliver, The Music Man and Footloose.

      Darita Seth
      Darita Seth, who graduated from the Conservatory in 2013, is performing full time as a soprano in the Grammy Award-winning Chanticleer, the world’s top male a capella chorus. The San Francisco-based group was called “the world’s reigning male chorus” by The New Yorker magazine, and named Ensemble of the Year by Musical America in 2008.