Portfolio/Audition Guidelines (BFA)
Via the portfolio section of the CalArts Application, you are invited to submit a portfolio containing 3–5 examples of your artistic work. Your portfolio:
Should consist of a minimum of 3 pieces. At least ONE art song or aria in any language is required. This should demonstrate an understanding of vocal technique including range, breath management, dynamics and phrasing, etc. The rest of your submitted work may consist of any genre of music and/or interdisciplinary work, including original work.
Should include video components—we want to see you performing. Live performances before an audience are preferred, if recording quality is high.
May include work outside of music that informs your musical practice, including visual art, writing/poetry, dance, theater, video, and/or other practices.
Should include a résumé and photo.
Please number your examples beginning with what you consider to be your strongest ones—reviewers will examine them in the order that you indicate. Materials must be labeled clearly and completely, including, for each selection: title, composer, approximate timing, date recorded, and any relevant notes or comments. This information can be included in a separate PDF document, if desired. You may link to media hosted on external websites, but please ensure that reviewers will have permission to view this media.
Applicants applying to the VoiceArts BFA program are required to participate in an in-person interview and audition OR a virtual interview. This offers you and the panel the opportunity for greater communication and you will be given the opportunity to ask questions about the program during your audition/interview.
After submitting your application, you will receive an email that grants you access to sign up for an audition location in one of several cities. We will then contact you with an audition time. If you cannot attend an in-person interview/audition, you may participate in a virtual interview and we will treat your portfolio as your audition. More information on the auditions and registration can be found on our Audition Schedule page.
For the auditions, please prepare at least 3 pieces that best represent your abilities, musicianship, and interests. Materials may be drawn from those submitted in your Portfolio or may showcase new work. All music must be memorized.
For all auditions on the CalArts campus, an accompanist will be provided or you may bring your own. Please bring clear, legible music for all selections in the key in which you will be singing.
Karaoke tracks are not suitable for the audition.
For off-site auditions we will not provide an accompanist. You may bring your own, or, if a pianist is not available, professionally recorded piano tracks might be appropriate. If playback equipment is needed, it must be requested in advance.