Now that you’ve decided to audition for Performing Arts Scholarship Foundation, there are some things you need to know and for which you need to be prepared. For some of you this will be your first audition of many. It does not need to be an intimidating process; prepare well, follow the instructions carefully, and relax. Everyone at PASF is here to support your success.

The overall impression you make on the Audition Committee is based upon the following requirements and your ability to know and follow them. Please keep this as a reference guide as you (with the help of your teacher) prepare to audition.


(What we expect from you):

  • Music must be performed by memory.
  • Please supply your own accompanist. If you need help finding one, contact PASF at (805)898-0941 or email Deborah Bertling for referrals.
  • Once you have an audition appointment, plan your audition day with ample travel time to be 30 minutes early for your appointment. If you are late, you will miss your appointment and will have to wait until the end of the audition day to see if we have time to hear you.
  • Make sure you communicate your appointment date/time to your accompanist.
  • Come to the audition appointment warmed up. Do that at home, or in one of the practice studios available to you at the Music Academy of the West.
  • They are located downstairs at the far left side of Marilyn Horne Main House (formerly called Miraflores).
  • Dress for success! Your appearance and how you present yourself will be taken into consideration. Gentlemen, wear a dress shirt and tie and nice shoes. A suit jacket would even be better, but we know not everyone has a suit. Women, wear dressy slacks and nice blouse, or a dress with dressy shoes. Everyone, wear things that hang nicely on you and move well. If you are uncomfortable in your clothes, we are uncomfortable watching you. It IS possible to accomplish dress-up and comfort in the same outfit.
  • Please keep your hair out of your face so we can see your face. If you need to put it up with clips, etc., do so. Make sure your hair matches the “dress for success” outfit you will be wearing. Come to the audition dressed like it matters to you!
  • Bring four (4) copies of AUDITION REPERTOIRE LIST, a downloadable form that you can fill out prior to your audition. Please bring these copies with you! Again, this form is called AUDITION REPERTOIRE LIST. The judges DO NOT need copies of your music scores.


(Read carefully!):

  • Music must be memorized.
  • ADULT & JUNIOR INSTRUMENTALISTS: Choose one piece written before the year 1820 and one contrasting piece of your choice. You may choose which piece you start with. It is possible that the audition committee will not need to hear all of the second piece to determine whether or not you go on to the competition round. Musical selections must EACH be between three (3) and seven (7) minutes in length. You are allowed to edit a piece to meet the 7-minute maximum time limit, but please include “edited” on your audition repertoire list. You may also play one movement from a larger piece of music, but you should make sure it resolves in a way that makes it sound like a complete piece of music. That may require combining part of another movement or adding a cadenza. Your teacher can help you prepare with this requirement in mind. Adult and Junior Division finalists will not compete with each other. Prizes will be awarded for each division.
  • VOCALISTS: Choose three (3) operatic arias from known operatic works. Make sure you have selections from at least two (2) languages. You may substitute one of the selections with an art song, lied, chanson. You may also substitute one of the selections with an oratorio solo. Although we do not require you to choose from different musical eras, we expect your selections to have contrast in musical style. You may decide which aria to sing first, but the audition committee will decide what you sing next. It is possible that the audition committee will not need to hear all of the second or third selections to determine whether or not you go on to the competition round.


(What you can expect from us):

  • Our committee is comprised of Board Members who are also professional musicians. The Committee wants you to succeed and may offer a suggestion or two while you are in the audition room.
  • Committee members are genuinely interested in who you are and may ask a question or two of you regarding yourself or your musical choices.
  • After you perform your first selection, the Audition Committee may ask you to perform a second piece but may not need to hear the entire piece. Vocalists: You may be asked to sing the first part of a second and/or third aria, but not sing them in their entirety.
  • The Audition Committee will be looking for excellence in the following performance standards: technique, tone, and pitch.
  • The Audition Committee will notice whether or not you have followed the directions given to you in the audition requirements and guidelines notice. Failure to comply with these requirements and guidelines may result in your audition being cut short.
  • The Audition Committee would also like to see you include your accompanist in your introduction before you audition. (This will be good practice should you be chosen to compete in the competition as we will require that you introduce your accompanist before your performance at that event.)
  • Auditions will be closed to everyone except you, your accompanist and the Audition Committee. Teachers, parents, friends, etc., will not be allowed to attend your audition. If any of those people want to be with you while you wait and to talk with you after, they may come wait with you but they may not come into the audition room.

Thank you for your interest in PASF and for your hard work as a musician. Please share this information with your teacher and discuss your repertoire choices with them.

If you, or your teacher, have any questions about the requirements and guidelines, you may call Deborah Bertling, PASF President, at (805)898- 0941 or email


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