Jazz and Commercial Music Composition

Graduate Audition Requirements

Graduate Applicants to the Jazz and Commercial Music Composition program must submit a portfolio of their compositions. These scores and/or tracks should display an advanced level of proficiency writing for instruments and voices in a variety of styles and/or genres. Although original works are preferred, arrangements will be considered (see below).

In addition, all applicants must complete the online Audition Form. A performance audition is not required for admission.

Scores and Submissions

Typical score submissions include, works for small jazz formats (e.g. 2-5 horns or voices and rhythm section), works for larger jazz formats (e.g. Big Band), works for film and game music, and other commercial genres. Lead sheets of original compositions may be included for only two (2) of the required submissions. Candidates with a background in classical composition are encouraged to submit one example of original non-jazz works.

Please choose one, or a combination of the options below to upload along with your application – must include a total of five (5) submissions:


  1. Five (5) representative samples of music scores that you have composed in PDF format, including audio and/or audiovisual material (in .mov, .wmv. .wav, or .mp3 format). Audio MIDI realizations are acceptable, while real audio is preferred.
  2. Five (5) representative samples of tracks produced exclusively by you, showing dramatic range, and ability to use instrumental samples in a current DAW (Logic, Digital Performer, Cubase, ProTools, etc).
    • For each track, please include a detailed explanation of the production process, including overall concept, DAW/software used, and the mixing process.


Arrangements of existing compositions and/or songs (vocal or instrumental) will be considered only if notated scores and audio files of arrangements are included.

List of Works and Performances

This should be a comprehensive list of compositions and/or arrangements, dates of completion, and a brief description. Please include information about any live performances of these compositions that have taken place. The list should be in reverse chronological order (most recent first) and the information included in this list should be:

  • Date of Composition – Title – Duration – Instrumentation

For each work, also list the following information for any live performances:


  • Date of Performance – Ensemble/Performer(s) – Venue – Location 

Personal Statement

In your personal statement, please describe your musical background, your experience as a composer, goals and objectives, future career plans, and why you are interested in studying composition at URI. Please feel free to include any information that you feel would be helpful to the Department of Music in making our admission decision. Limit your statement to 300-500 words.


Audition Day Interview

All composition applicants will be scheduled for an interview with the Composition faculty on audition day. The interview is typically a meeting to discuss details relating to your application, to demonstrate basic musicianship skills, tour the URI campus and facilities, and provide an opportunity to ask questions. You will be asked about composers you are interested in, to discuss select scores from your portfolio, and to share excerpts of any new/additional compositions.

For more information contact Zaccai Curtis.