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Comprehensive Exams

Woodwinds

Instrumental-track candidates play all of the following instruments. Choral-track candidates select one:

Woodwind comp instructions are available here.  Assessment rubrics for woodwind comps are available here.

Please contact the following professors to arrange performance appointments for woodwind comps:
Flute, Dr. Dolan
Clarinet, Dr. Campbell
Oboe, Prof. Popplewell
Bassoon, Prof. Hogan
Saxophone, Prof. Kidonakis

Brass

Instrumental-track candidates play all of the following instruments. Choral-track candidates select one:

Please contact the following professors to arrange performance appointments for brass comps:
Trumpet, Dr. Schuman
Horn, Dr. Schuman
Trombone, Prof. Riordan
Euphonium/Tuba, Dr. Briggs

Strings

Instrumental-track candidates play all of the following instruments. Choral-track candidates select one orchestral string and are also required to play guitar:

Assessment rubrics for strings comps:
Guitar, Violin, Viola, Cello and String Bass.

Please contact Dr. Yvonne Davila-Cortes to arrange orchestral string performance appointments.

Please contact Dr. Goldberg to arrange guitar performance appointments.

Piano

Instrumental-Track Requirements: 

  • Perform The Star-Spangled Banner (choice of Version A, B, or C)
  • Perform Pomp and Circumstance
    • Choice A – as written
    • Choice B – play melody in right hand and blocked chords in left hand
  • Harmonization of Melodies – choose one

Choral-Track Requirements:

  • The Star-Spangled Banner (choice of Version A, B, or C)
  • Pomp and Circumstance
    • Choice A – as written
    • Choice B – play melody in RH and blocked chords in LH following chord symbols
  • Harmonization of Melodies (all three)
    • Choice A – play melody in RH and accompaniment in LH
    • Choice B – sing melody, and play two-handed accompaniment
  • Score Reading (all three)
    • No. 1 – be prepared to play any two parts together
    • No. 2 – play all three parts together
    • No. 3 – be prepared to play any two parts together
  • Accompaniments (all three)
  • (not included in packet) Prepare to accompany a standard choir warm-up exercise of your choice Be prepared to play in all major key (ascending chromatically)
  • (not included in packet) All major scales, one hand only

Please contact Dr. Hung to arrange performance appointments.

Voice

Instrumental-Track Requirements:

  • Perform a hymn or song of choice (not included in packet linked above) that demonstrates ability to sing in tune and on pitch.
  • Perform up to seven melodic sight reading exercises (from packet) with correct pitches, rhythms and solfège syllables in both the treble and bass clefs.

Choral-Track Requirements:

  • Prepare a vocal solo (not included in packet) that demonstrates ability to sing in tune and on pitch.
  • Perform all melodic sight reading exercises (from packet linked above) with correct pitches, rhythms and solfège syllables in both the treble and bass clefs.
  • Prepare to sigh read any or all of the parts in a choral selection.
  • Prepare to sing all lines and discuss the challenging factors in each of:
    • Let Us with a Gladsome Mind
    • To the Glory of the Father

Please contact Dr. Sinclair to arrange performance appointments.

Conducting

The conducting component of the Comprehensive Examination is fulfilled upon successful preparation and participation in the annual Student Conductor Concerts held each spring. Please see Dr. Sinclair for approval.

Upon completion of comprehensive examinations, please keep a copy of your completed Check-Form and turn the original in to the appropriate dean.

Student Resources

2023-2024 College Catalog

Performance Opportunities

You will perform over 20 times a year!

As a member of the Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Concert Choir, String Orchestra, Collegiate Chorale, Percussion Ensemble and Jazz Band, you will perform over 20 times a year on campus and throughout the city of Chicago.

Schedule a Campus Visit or Audition

Contact Admissions at
312.788.1120 or

The Midwest Clinic

VanderCook co-founded The Midwest Clinic: an international band and orchestra conference held in Chicago with more than 18,000 attendees from all 50 states and more than 40 countries.  Throughout the history of The Midwest Clinic, VanderCook is the only college Symphonic Band invited to perform every year.

Student Resources

2023-2024 College Catalog

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Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

The mission of VanderCook College of Music is to enrich the lives of present and future generations by developing uniquely skilled music teachers who exhibit strong character, professionalism, and a commitment to excellence.

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