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Music Scholarships at SDSU

Any student at SDSU may apply for a scholarship for participation in SDSU’s music ensemble program. In 2016, over $165,000 in talent-based awards were accepted by entering freshmen and returning students.

Who should audition?

Any entering freshmen/transfer student planning to participate in a music ensemble, regardless of his/her intended academic major, is encouraged to audition for a music scholarship. All students entering SDSU with the intention of pursuing music as a major must perform an audition.

Scholarships are conducted by members of the Music Scholarship Committee. Students are notified in writing of the results of the audition within one month of the audition.

When are auditions?

  • Monday, February 20, 2017 – Sioux City, IA
  • Monday, February 20, 2017 – Rapid City, SD
  • Friday, February 17, 2017 – Brookings, SD
  • Saturday, February 25, 2017 – Brookings, SD

If, for unusual circumstances, a live audition is not an option, a recorded audition may be submitted. All recorded auditions must be received by Monday, February 27.

Music Audition Requirements

The Audition

All auditions are scheduled in ten-minute increments. Any student auditioning in more than one performance area will have two different appointments on the same day.

Wind, Brass, String, and Percussion Instrumentalists

Instrumentalists should be prepared to perform two works which best exhibit their musicianship, such as contest solo pieces, etudes, or other appropriate selections or excerpts.


Vocalists should be prepared to perform two art songs. Foreign language repertoire is encouraged but not required. The use of 'pop' repertoire is discouraged for an audition.


Pianists should prepare one piece from the standard classical repertoire which represents the student's musical achievement. Performing by memory is preferred but not required. A jazz selection may be played in addition to the repertoire piece. Here are piano audition repertoire suggestions.

Download the 2017 Scholarship Application Form.

High School Senior Honors Recital

The Music Department at South Dakota State University is proud to announce the fifth annual Senior Honors Recital to be held in the Peterson Recital Hall on campus on January 29, 2017.

The purpose of the event is to honor the best high school senior musicians in the state by providing them a solo performance on the SDSU campus. If selected, the Honors Recital serves as the music scholarship audition.

The application procedure involves two steps:

  • Fill out the application and create a recording.
  • Send the application and CD to SDSU at the address provided by December 5, 2017.

High School Senior Honors Recital audition results are communicated in writing by December 21, 2017.

Download Honors Recital Scholarship Application.


Dr. Michael Walsh
Assistant Professor of Clarinet