FAQs for Music Finalists
FAQs for Music Applicants
How important is the quality of the recording?
The quality of the recording is often a factor in selection of finalists. Make sure the recording is such that your performance can be clearly evaluated. It is in the student’s best interest to present his or her instrument or voice as naturally as possible.
How do I make a recording?
Most students do not have access to high-end recording facilities, and there are no guarantees that a costly recording will result in a scholarship. There are a number of excellent-quality digital recorders available. You can also check with your teachers, schools, local churches, or universities to see if they have recording equipment available. Make sure the microphone is placed so YOU can be clearly heard. We recommend you have a teacher or other informed musician listen to the recording to make sure that it is a good representation of your abilities.
May I edit my recording?
The recording may be stopped between selections, but editing or any digital manipulation (such as splicing different takes or adding reverb) within individual pieces is not acceptable.
What recording format should I use?
You should use the highest-quality recording you can. Each file you upload can be up to 256 MB.
What should I include on my music résumé?
The music dropbox will have a resume template which you can fill out, or you can create and upload your own document (such as a Word or PDF document) to the dropbox. You should include the following information:
• Your private study for the past three years and principal and secondary instruments — include teachers’ names, dates of study, and repertoire studied and performed
• Large ensemble experiences in the past four years—include school, church, community and regional ensembles, and names of the conductors
• Chamber music experience and repertoire performed
• Musical honors or awards (including all-state ensembles, adjudicated contests, etc.)
• Other information that you feel is relevant to your application
Most students arrange information either chronologically or by subject. Your high school experiences are the most relevant.
Do I need a pianist on my audition recording?
Singers should have a pianist unless they are performing a piece intended for unaccompanied solo voice. Instrumentalists are not required to have a pianist, but a well-prepared pianist can be a positive addition to your recording. Instrumentalists will not be marked down for playing without accompaniment.
Is there a form for the teacher recommendation? May my teacher send the recommendation separately?
Once you enter the Music Dropbox, the online music application will ask you to provide your teacher's name and email address. The dropbox will then immediately send them a recommendation request via email, which will provide them with a secure URL at which they can upload a recommendation directly to your online music application. You'll receive a confirmation email when your teacher submits the recommendation online, so you know that we have received it. If your teacher is unable to use this online method (i.e., they don't have an email address) you may have them mail their recommendation directly to me via U.S. mail.
When I go to the dropbox, it only gives me the option of opening my regular college application. How can I start a new music application?
If you've already begun your college application, the dropbox link will take you to your account management portal. In order to start a new Music application, at the first dialog box ("Application Details") click CANCEL and then you'll be able to access the "Start New Application" link beneath it. Click on 2013, then Music Scholarships, and you'll be on your way.
How many scholarships are awarded?
We expect to award approximately 30 (each) of the Christiansen and Cassler scholarships in 2013. The awards are distributed across vocal and instrumental, and vary somewhat each year, depending on the applicant pool and the needs within the department.
How many music majors apply and are admitted?
Our target number is 76 first-year music majors. We generally receive about 360 music major applications, approximately 140 of whom are admitted to one of the music majors. Admission to the BM Performance major is more competitive than admission to the BA music major.
Music Application Timeline
November 1–December 15, 2012
Scholarship and music major applications accepted
via St. Olaf music dropbox
Begin (or finish) your St. Olaf College Application for Admission
January 1, 2013
Completed St. Olaf College Application is strongly
encouraged for music applicants.
January 15, 2013
Completed St. Olaf College application for admission
must be on file in the admissions office
January 25, 2013
Audition results and invitations for live auditions are mailed
to all music applicants
March 1-2, 2013
On-campus auditions for music major and scholarship finalists
March 19, 2013
Audition results (admission & award decisions)
mailed to all finalists
May 1, 2013
National Candidate Reply date (date by which all students must
respond to offers of college admission and to scholarship awards)
For more information regarding music scholarships
and/or admission to the music program contact: