1. Admissions

Audition Day Information

What to Expect on Your Audition Day

We have put together a list of must-know information for your audition at SFCM. Be sure to check out the list below to see what’s in store for you on your audition day.

On the Day of Your Audition

  • There is limited parking in the neighborhood, so it may be easier to arrive by public transportation. We are on the MUNI line and a 10-minute walk from the Civic Center BART stop.
  • Arrive at 50 Oak St and check in with security to gain access to the building.
  • Check in with the admissions team at the welcome table on the café level.
  • Be sure to find out about the information sessions and tours that will be going on throughout the audition day when you check in. You can expect to spend most of your day at SFCM.
  • You will be directed to the third or fifth floor, depending on program area, to warm up in your designated warm up room for 45 minutes to one hour.
  • Arrive 10 minutes before your audition time at the designated audition space.
  • We would love to have as many parents, family, and friends at audition days as possible! We will have events and meetings with great information for students, parents, and guardians, including:
    • Information sessions with Financial Aid and Student Life
    • Tours of SFCM
    • Briefing on the Bowes Center for Performing Arts, opening in Fall 2020
    • Tours of SFCM's Technology and Applied Composition Labs
    • Performances at SFCM and our neighboring arts organizations in the Civic Center
    • Chats with our Associate Deans
    • Conversations over coffee/tea with our Dean
    • Student panels

During Your Audition

  • The audition panel will likely say a few words of welcome to you, and they will often allow you to choose the first piece that you perform.
  • After your first selection, the panel will then choose the additional material that they would like to hear.
  • The panel may stop you in the middle of one of your selections due to time restrictions. Please do not be concerned if you do not have the opportunity to perform all of your pieces from beginning to end.

After Your Audition

  • You are done. Congratulations!
  • Be sure to check your handout for information session times, tours, and other meetings.
  • Take time to explore the area around the Conservatory (i.e. Hayes Street)
  • We recommend looking at FuncheapSF or other online listings to see what events are occuring in and around San Francisco.

​You will be notified of admission decisions by March 15 if you are a graduate or postgraduate student or by April 1 if you are an undergraduate student.

The Days Before and After Your Audition

  • Feel free to sit in on classes and rehearsals while you are here in San Francisco. 
  • Check our performance calendar to see if there are any SFCM concerts or recitals you would like to see.
  • Depending on their availability, faculty are often willing to give you a consultative lesson during your visit. Contact them far in advance to schedule a lesson time while you are in San Francisco. You can find their contact information in their faculty profiles, or email apply@sfcm.edu.
  • Get out and explore beautiful San Francisco!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to perform my audition with a pianist?

Voice auditions are required to be performed with a pianist. Voice applicants auditioning live in San Francisco or regionally in New York City may select to use the SFCM-provided collaborative pianist or opt out and provide their own. Voice applicants auditioning at other regional sites or by final recording must provide their own. Instrumental areas are not required to be performed with a pianist.

May I change my audition repertoire?

Live and regional audition applicants will receive an email in the week leading up to the audition with final details and the opportunity to change repertoire.

Will faculty be present at my regional audition?

We are unable to have faculty at all regional auditions, so each audition is recorded for later review by faculty.

  • Simon James, Professor of Violin, will be present at the 2020 Interlochen regional auditions for string applicants.
  • Cathy Payne, Professor of Flute and Piccolo, will be present at the 2020 Chicago regional auditions for woodwind applicants.
  • Sharon Mann, Professor of Piano, will be present at the 2020 New York City auditions on February 28 and 29 for piano applicants.
  • Guitar faculty members David Tanenbaum, Judicaël Perroy, and Marc Teicholz will be present at the 2020 New York City auditions on March 1 for guitar applicants.

All of these faculty members will be leading master classes or concerts open to all applicants and parents in the area, in addition to hearing auditions. These master classes or concerts are open to the public, except for Interlochen. Make sure to RSVP through your audition scheduling form and reach out to apply@sfcm.edu with any questions.

Is it possible to have a practice space in the days leading up to my audition?

We are unable to grant practice space at SFCM before the audition date. We recommend reaching out to Village Music San Francisco to find a space at least 48 hours in advance. On the day of the audition, applicants will have a warm-up space leading up to their assigned time.

Where do I stay while in San Francisco?

Hotel prices fluctuate based on the weekend and events in the City. In addition to name-brand hotels, such as Holiday Inn and Days Inn, or short-term housing such as Airbnb, past auditionees have found more affordable pricing at Edwardian Hotel, Hotel Whitcomb, Inn at the Opera, or Hotel Majestic.

For most audition weekends, SFCM is able to offer a discounted rate for the Kimpton Buchanan Hotel in Japantown. Follow this link to view the rates available for your audition weekend.