Classical Voice

Undergraduate Audition Requirements

The Department encourages classical voice candidates to have at least one year of private vocal study.

Undergraduate applicants in Classical Voice should prepare two contrasting selections. Your selections must have piano accompaniment and they must be performed by memory.

  1. First Piece: Foreign Language Selection
    • The foreign language selection must be an art song from the standard classical repertoire.
  2. Second Piece: English Language Selection: Please choose one. 
    • Another art song from the standard classical repertoire
    • A folk-song arrangement with piano accompaniment
    • An African-American spiritual with piano accompaniment
    • A musical theater song composed prior to 1965
The following is a list of audition repertoire examples to use as a guide:

Repertoire Guidelines for Classical Voice Auditions – University of Rhode Island

Please note: the following examples do not represent an exhaustive list. If you have any questions about appropriate audition repertoire, please contact the voice faculty.

Italian songs and arias from the Baroque era by composers such as: Giulio Caccini, Antonio Caldara, Tommaso Giordani, Claudio Monteverdi, and Alessandro Scarlatti (found in collections such as Twenty-four Italian Songs and Arias, and Twenty-eight Italian Songs and Arias of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, published by G. Schirmer) as well as post-Baroque Italian art songs and arias.

French, German, and Spanish art songs from the from the western classical canon by composers such as: W.A. Mozart, Franz Joseph Haydn, G.F. Handel, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann, Pauline Viardot, Gabriel Fauré, Henri Duparc, Ernest Chausson, Enrique Granados, Manuel de Falla, and Joaqauin Rodrigo 

English art songs from the from the western classical canon by British and American composers such as: Henry Purcell, Roger Quilter, Benjamin Britten, John Duke, Amy Beach, Rebecca Clarke, Lee Hoiby, Lori Laitman, and Jake Heggie. 

(Specific song lists for both foreign-language and English art songs can be found in anthologies such as Song: A Guide to Art Song Style and Literature by Carol Kimball, published by Hal Leonard). 

African-American Spirituals arranged for voice and piano by composers such as: H.T. Burleigh, Florence Price, Hall Johson, Richard Walters, and Roland Hayes

American Folk Songs arranged for voice piano and found in collections such as American Folk Songs: Thirty-five Arrangements for Voice and Piano published by Hal Leonard, and American Folk Songs for Solo Singers, arrangements by Jay Althouse, published by Alfred Music Publishing.

Pre-1965 Musical Theater: songs from the “Golden Age” of Broadway and musical theater by composers such as: Richard Rodgers, Frederick Loewe, Leonard Bernstein, Frank Loesser, Irving Berlin, and Cole Porter.


The music department requires an accompanist for classical voice candidates. You may bring your own accompanist for an audition or use a pianist provided by URI. 

If you’d like us to provide an accompanist, the music that the accompanist will be playing must be received two weeks before the audition date. Please email, or deliver the music; do not send copies by fax.

For more information contact Mark Conley, Caroline O’Dwyer, or Devon Russo.

Did you know? 

URI currently offers two vocal tracks: Classical and Amplified Voice. The Amplified Voice track studies Jazz, R&B and Gospel music. If you think that might be right for you, please click here to see the audition requirements.