Music Scholarships

Annual merit scholarships of $13,000 are available to selected incoming first-year students who major or minor in Theatre, Dance or Music and have demonstrated artistic excellence. Beginning for Fall 2020 applicants: Performing Arts will also award two full-tuition scholarships. These merit­-based awards are available only to incoming first-year students, and are renewable for four years. ALL APPLICANTS WILL BE NOTIFIED OF THE SCHOLARSHIP RESULTS BY FEBRUARY 28, 2020.  Students must apply for a scholarship audition by January 9, and apply to Saint Mary's College by January 15. We recommend meeting the early-decision deadline for college applications.


NEW! Travel Stipends for Scholarship Saturday

Our goal is to bring as many scholarship auditioners to Saint Mary's as possible, giving each candidate a chance to show themselves to best advantage, while experiencing our beautiful campus, meeting the faculty, and finding out more about all Saint Mary's has to offer.

If you live in Southern California or out of state, travel stipends are now available. To be eligible, financial need must be demonstrated.  

Travel stipends may be applied toward one roundtrip plane ticket. Cap amount TBD.

Hotel costs are not covered, but Admissions can house you overnight on campus, with a student host.

For more information, email Jenna Sciarrino, Associate Director of Admissions (


Auditions are held:

January 25, 2020 (vocalists, strings, and classical piano)

January 26, 2020 (woodwinds, brass, percussion, jazz piano/bass/guitar)

Deadline for music scholarship applications and the following accompanying materials is January 9, 2020*:

  • Application Form AND Music Questionnaire (submit online, see below)
  • One 2-minute video performance (file or link)
  • Three letters of recommendation (one from an ensemble director and/or music instructor) sent via email directly from your references.

Videos and letters of recommendation should be sent to Prof. Renée Witon at

*Acceptance of scholarship applications after January 9, 2020 cannot be guaranteed.

How to Prepare for the Audition:


  • Non-pianists should prepare 2-3 pieces or excerpts showing a variety of tempi and your ability with rapid and lyrical musical passages. The excerpts can be from any source, including something you’ve played in high school band or orchestra. You will be asked to play some major and minor scales.
  • Pianists should play two pieces or movements, preferably by memory, from two contrasting historical periods.
  • If you perform jazz, we suggest you bring a recording of a rhythm section over which you improvise a solo. You will also be asked to play some major and minor scales.
  • You will be asked to sight-read, but remember the process is meant to be non-threatening – we simply want to understand the breadth and depth of your musicianship skills. Instrumentalists will be asked to read a short excerpt appropriate for their instrument and ability. Remember it is preferable to play under-tempo accurately than at tempo with numerous errors.
  • You will be asked to take a written assessment in basic music theory at the audition.
  • Interview with faculty. See below.


  • Sing two songs, preferably from memory, selected from two of the groups listed below. An accompanist will be provided.
      A. An Italian art song or aria
      B. A French, German or English art song
      C. A song of your own choosing
  • Vocalists will be asked to clap or tap a line of rhythmic notation, sight-read either single line notation or your part from a SATB chorale by Bach, and listen and sing back short melodic fragments.
  • You will be asked to take a written assessment in basic music theory at the audition.
  • Interview with faculty. See below.


To maintain scholarship eligibility you must:

  • Major or Minor in music
  • Be a full-time student
  • Pass all classes
  • Enroll in an ensemble each semester
  • Serve the ensemble and department as a model student and citizen of the College

Apply for an audition here.

Audition Applications reopened in October of 2019 for Fall of 2020 Admissions.

For those musicians auditioning, Saint Mary's College will offer one complimentary voice or instrument lesson on the day of your audition, if schedules permit. Contact Scholarship Director Prof. Renée Witon to arrange.

For further information or to schedule an audition contact Prof. Renée Witon at