VoiceArts (MFA Only)

Before applying, please make sure to familiarize yourself with the VoiceArts Program, faculty, facilities, curriculum and view student work.

Please note that you must complete all Admissions Requirements as well as the portfolio requirements to be considered for admission.

Portfolio/Audition Guidelines

You are required to submit an online portfolio that showcases your work as a creative artist. We strongly encourage you to schedule a live audition/interview, either on campus or at one of the audition sites off-campus.

Since CalArts’ VoiceArts program/specialization works towards developing the entire artist and focuses on individual pathways, the faculty are interested in audition materials that offer a sense of who you are as an artist as you enter CalArts. You are encouraged to put together a portfolio and audition that includes materials reflective of your interests and experiences, and that shows your work as a creative artist at this point in your life. The audition and portfolio have few specific requirements, and the choice of material is left to your discretion.

Portfolio Requirements

All applicants must submit a portfolio using our online portfolio submission system. Your portfolio should “tell the story” of who you are as an artist/person. This collection of materials should showcase your creative and academic self in the best light.

The portfolio must include both audio and video components—we want to see you performing. Uploaded recordings must be of good fidelity and each selection must be in one complete take with non-intrusive accompaniment. Live performances before an audience are preferred. Materials must be labeled clearly and completely, including, for each selection: the title, composer, approximate timing, date recorded, and any relevant notes or comments. Please submit a résumé and photo with your portfolio.

Your portfolio should consist of a minimum of 20 minutes of material. The only specific requirement for MFA candidates is the performance of one “classical” work (preferably in the experimental tradition) written after 1960. At least one work should highlight your vocal technique and musicianship.

The remainder of your portfolio material may consist of any artistic work, with a preference for experimental and/or interdisciplinary examples. Other possible inclusions are: original compositions; sound-poetry; classical selections from opera, oratorio, art song; jazz; etc. Classical works that are re-contextualized and/or original work are desirable. Creative and experimental work is highly desirable.

Live Audition/Interview

To enhance your application, we highly recommend a live audition/interview. This offers you and the panel the opportunity for greater communication.

Please prepare at least 10 minutes of performance material that best represents your abilities, musicianship, and interests. Materials may be drawn from those submitted in your Portfolio or may showcase new work.

An accompanist will be provided for all auditions on the CalArts campus, or you may bring your own. Taped accompaniments will be allowed only for pieces written specifically for voice and tape medium or for original compositions, and playback equipment must be requested in advance.

  • Bring clear, legible music for all selections in the key in which you will be singing.
  • All music must be memorized.
  • Applicants will be asked to sight-read.
  • You will be given the opportunity to ask questions about the program during your audition/interview. 

Artist Statement

You must include a detailed Artist Statement that outlines your goals as a music artist, your background in studying music, particular interests in studying music at CalArts, and area of Specialization. In your Artist Statement, be sure to also include the following:

Describe briefly your main interests in music right now.

  • Describe other musical interests you are involved in.
  • Describe the materials you will submit in your digital portfolio and how they demonstrate your musical interests.
  • Describe what you would like to learn at CalArts.
  • List any combinations of Specializations that you might like to create for yourself while at CalArts.