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. Performing Arts will also award two full-tuition scholarships. For 2021, we have an additional East Bay Performing Arts Scholarship which will be awarded to a Black or African-American student from the East Bay. This new scholarship may be combined with financial aid to include books, room and board. 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, 2021.  Students must apply for a scholarship audition by January 15 and apply to Saint Mary's College by January 15. We recommend meeting the Early-Action deadline for college applications.

2021 Auditions Dates:

January 23, 2021 (vocalists, strings, and classical piano)

January 24, 2021 (woodwinds, brass, percussion, jazz piano/bass/guitar)


Deadline for music scholarship applications and the following accompanying materials is January 8, 2021.

  • Application Form AND Music Questionnaire (submit online)

  • One 2-minute video performance (file or link)

  • Two 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 and Prof. Sixto Montesinos at

*Acceptance of scholarship applications after January 8, 2021 cannot be guaranteed.

If selected, you will be contacted for a synchronous Zoom audition with Music Faculty on January 23 or 24, 2021.

How to Prepare for the Virtual Audition:


  • Woodwinds, brass, strings, and percussion should prepare at least 2 short solo pieces, movements, or excerpts of contrasting styles showing a variety of tempi and ability to perform fast and lyrical passages. Musical excerpts can be from any source, including something played in high school band or orchestra. You will be asked to play at least one major scale and one natural, harmonic, or melodic minor scale of your choice. Scales must be tongued up and slurred down at a tempo of your choice and reflect characteristic tone, steady tempo, and clear articulation. For specific questions about these requirements contact Dr. Sixto Montesinos, Head of Instrumental Studies at  

  • Pianists should play two contrasting pieces or movements, preferably by memory, from two different historical periods.

  • If you perform jazz, we suggest you use a recording of a rhythm section over which you improvise a solo.

  • The sight reading portion of the audition 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. It is recommended to play under-tempo accurately than at performance tempo with numerous errors, stammerings, and having to start over again.

  • 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 contrasting styles of music. Ideally one piece will be an art song or aria (non-English language preferred), and the other contrasting piece would be anything of your choosing (e.g. a contemporary genre such as pop, folk, R&B, Gospel, Musical Theatre, Jazz, etc. for which you may use sheet music or backing track recording).

  • Vocalists will be asked to clap a line of rhythmic notation, sight-read either single line notation or your part from a SATB chorale by Bach, vocalise to demonstrate range, and listen and sing back short melodic fragments.

  • You will be asked to take a written assessment in basic music theory at the virtual 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 2020 for Fall of 2021 Admissions.

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

For further information or to schedule an audition contact Prof. Renée Witon and/or Dr. Sixto Montesinos at