Contact

Marshall Forrester

Marshall Forrester

Professor of Music and Chair, Horton School of Music
P843-863-7967
Emforrester@csuniv.edu

All prospective students are eligible for music scholarships based on successful completion of an audition. All incoming students wishing to audition for the Horton School of Music are eligible to receive scholarships, but only incoming freshman music majors may be awarded the Premiere Scholarship. To register for an audition, please fill out the Music Audition Application.

Only virtual auditions will be accepted at this time. If conditions allow, in-person auditions may resume in Spring 2021. 

Music scholarships are available for majors and nonmajors by audition. Please use the online Music Audition Application form to request an audition. At Charleston Southern, your studio lessons will be taught by the full-time performance faculty or other highly qualified musicians from the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and other professional organizations.

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Audition Information

Requesting an Audition

To request an audition with the Horton School of Music and Performing Arts, please complete the Music Audition Application. After completion of the online form, students will receive a confirmation email within 24-48 business hours. Once you are admitted to the University, the School of Music and Performing Arts will request a brief music audition in your primary performance area (voice, instrumental, or keyboard). We will ask you to complete this brief video audition soon after your admission to CSU.

Each prospective music major admitted to the University will be contacted by the School of Music with scheduling instructions. If there are any questions regarding audition expectations, please contact us


Dates – At this time, only virtual auditions by video appointment will be scheduled. In-person auditions will resume as soon as conditions allow.


Musicianship Skills Entrance Assessment

Incoming music students are required to complete a brief Musicianship Skills Entrance Assessment. Students will complete this assessment during summer Preregistration. This assessment is given in two parts to examine the student’s theory knowledge: written theory skills and aural/sight singing abilities.  The following resources may be helpful in preparation for the Musicianship Skills Entrance Assessment:

We encourage all prospective music students to use these resources to be as successful as possible in the Musicianship Skills Entrance Assessment. If there are any questions regarding the requirements of the Musicianship Skills Entrance Assessment, please contact us.

Audition Requirements

Students will audition with two selections: (1) one classical (preferably in a foreign language) and (2) either an Art Song in English or a Music Theater selection (a contemporary Christian selection or hymn may be substituted for one of the selections for Music and Worship Leadership students). Each selection should be under four minutes in length and be of contrasting styles. Contemporary songs in strophic form only need to be two to three verses long. Performing from memory is recommended for all students and required for scholarship consideration. An accompanist will be provided if requested in advance, or you may bring your own (Music and Worship Leadership students may also self-accompany on piano or acoustic guitar for one selection if they wish).

Students will audition with two classical repertoires selected from Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary (20th Century) in contrasting styles. Performing from memory is highly recommended. Students should also be prepared to play major and minor scales, arpeggio (two-octaves or four-octaves) in the keys of the performing repertoires, and cadences. At the live audition, students should provide original music scores of the repertoires, and prepare one hard copy of the program including composer’s full name, dates of the composer, and full title of the repertoires including movements.

Students will audition with a prepared solo or an etude, or technical exercises, from a standard method book. The prepared solo must exhibit both lyrical and technical ability. An All-State audition solo is also acceptable. Students will be asked to perform the major scales and complete a short sight reading.

Students will audition with a prepared solo or an etude, or technical exercises. The prepared solo must exhibit both lyrical and technical ability. An All-State audition solo is also acceptable. Students will be asked to perform the major scales and complete a short sight reading.

Students will audition with a prepared solo on snare drum, keyboard percussion and timpani. Keyboard percussion will require a two-mallet prepared solo (four-mallet solo is preferred). All major scales are required on mallet instruments only. A short sight reading etude will be required on snare drum, timpani and/or keyboard percussion.

Students should prepare any two works of contrasting styles. Recommend pieces include: Bach-Grandjany, any etude; Bochsa Advanced Etudes Nos. 1 or 10; Handel’s Concerto in B-flat, first movement; Lariviere Etude #1 (scales); Naderman, any sonata; Saint-Saëns Fantaisie; Tournier’s Etude de concert: Au matin or Vers la source dans le bois. Students will also be asked to perform scales and complete a short sight reading.

Students will audition with two prepared solos or excerpts in several contrasting styles which best show the student’s range of technical and musical abilities. Performance from memory is encouraged. The following two octave scales are required: C-Major, G-Major, A-Minor, D-Major, A-Major, A-Minor pentatonic and E-Minor pentatonic. Students will be asked to demonstrate a working knowledge of major and minor chord forms.

Music Audition Request Form