Music Scholarship


What if I can't make it on any of the audition dates?

  • Contact Emily Valine; she will work with you to find a separate time when you can meet the music faculty to audition on campus. 
  • If you are an international student or you live far away from Duluth, we will consider setting up a video conference for your live audition.

What will my audition be like?

  • When you arrive for your audition, a CSS music student volunteer will check you in and show you to practice rooms where you can warm up. The student will also be happy to talk with you about their experiences at CSS and in the Music Department and answer any questions you may have.
  • If you requested a CSS accompanist, you may be able to run through your piece with the accompanist before your audition if time permits.
  • The audition room will have a piano, a chair, and a music stand. If you need anything else or need to borrow an instrument for your audition, let us know at least a week in advance so we can make arrangements.
  • At your scheduled time, you'll enter the room to perform for the music faculty. Usually, 4-6 faculty members are present. They will ask you to introduce yourself and the piece(s) you will perform. After you're done performing, the music faculty will introduce themselves and have a short conversation with you to get to know you a bit. You'll have a chance to ask them questions as well!

What pieces should I submit for my application recordings?

  • You should submit recordings of one or two solo pieces that best represent your musical ability on your major instrument or voice. 

  • If you have a specific piece you'd like to perform that you're not sure about, email Emily Valine, who will confirm your selection with the music faculty member in your instrument or voice area.

Should I submit a video or audio recording?

  • Video recordings are preferred and highly recommended, since there is a visual element to a performance as well as an aural component. Create the best quality video you are able to; even a smartphone or tablet works fine.
  • If you are unable to create a video recording, we will accept an audio-only recording.

May I perform the same piece for my on-campus audition?

  • Yes!
  • You may instead choose to perform different selections, if you prefer.

What should I perform for my on-campus audition?

  • You should perform one or two pieces that best show your musical ability in about 5-6 minutes.
  • You may perform unaccompanied, you may bring your own accompanist, or you may request a CSS accompanist to perform with you. Be sure to bring (or email ahead of time) music for the accompanist to use.

What should I wear for my audition?

  • Wear something that looks nice and is comfortable. Formal attire is not required, but we encourage you to dress in a professional manner that will help give a good impression.

What if I have never sung or played a solo before?

  • Since this is a music ensemble scholarship, we realize that many excellent ensemble members often haven't done a lot of solo work. However, the process of auditioning as a soloist (in both the video and on-campus auditions) allows the faculty to observe a student's individual musical ability and how that student would contribute to an ensemble.
  • Your high school band, orchestra, or choir director will be able to help you select a solo that is within your ability and help you prepare it.

May I audition on more than one instrument, or on both an instrument and voice?

  • Yes. This may increase your scholarship; for example, you could potentially receive $1,500 per year to play the oboe in band and another $1,000 to sing in choir. However, you will need to continue participating in both ensembles every semester in order to maintain your full scholarship amount.
  • You may also choose to audition in one area and maintain consistent participation in that ensemble for your scholarship, while also exploring other music ensembles throughout your college career!

May I audition on piano?

  • This ensemble scholarship is geared toward singers, string players, and wind, brass, and percussion players who participate in choir, orchestra, or band.
  • If you are interested in studying piano as a music major or minor, contact Dr. Nicholas Susi for more information about the piano program at CSS and scholarship opportunities for pianists.

I'm a MN All-State student and received a letter about an automatic Sister Monica scholarship. Do I still need to audition?

  • Minnesota All-State Music students receive an automatic award of $1,500 per year. You must register for and continue participating in a music ensemble in order to receive this scholarship.
  • All-State students are strongly encouraged to apply and audition for the Sister Monica Scholarship as well. By applying and auditioning on campus, you may receive an additional scholarship amount on top of your automatic award. This additional scholarship amount is not guaranteed, but is based on your score in the on-campus audition.
  • If you intend to accept the automatic award of $1,500 without auditioning for a potential additional amount, you must contact the music faculty to accept the award by May 30.

I'm a second- (or third- or fourth-) year student. May I audition for a Sister Monica scholarship?

  • This scholarship is designed for and available to incoming first-year students only.

When will I find out the results of my scholarship audition?

  • After each round of auditions, the music faculty and staff will compile scores and determine award amounts. You will receive a phone call with your results about 1-2 weeks after you audition (the timeline varies depending on which date you choose to audition).
  • Soon after this phone call, you'll also receive an email with your results. If you are awarded a scholarship, you must reply to this email within the time specified in order to accept the scholarship.