Steven Mauk

Professor Emeritus, Music Performance




Scheduling Auditions
Students wishing to schedule a saxophone audition at Ithaca College should contact the Dianne Zamoiski (, 607-274-3366) in the Office of Music Admissions as soon as possible. There are several on-campus audition days scheduled each year, as well as a few off-campus ones in selected cities. These audition days allow the students and their families a chance to meet with and perform for Dr. Mauk, hear performances by some of the College ensembles, meet with School of Music administrators, take a campus tour, and get familiar with the new, "state of the art" James J. Whalen Center for Music.

Audition Requirements
The main goal of the audition is to demonstrate your highest level of performance ability. It is more important how you play than what you play, so select etudes and solos that show you at your best.The following are the listed undergraduate audition requirements for saxophone:

1) Requirements for B.M. degrees (non-jazz)

  • At least two movements of a multi-movement work from the standard saxophone literature
  • One shorter work in contrasting style (e.g., a movement from a larger piece, an étude, or a shorter piece)
  • All major scales
  • Sight-reading

(Note: Students auditioning for a performance degree must demonstrate a higher level of proficiency than that required for the other B.M. degrees.)

2) Requirements for Jazz Studies degree:

    Students should read the requirements for the jazz audition here.

The Ithaca College School of Music has a long tradition of graduate education and offers a Master of Music (M.M. and M.S.) degree in several areas. Students interested in auditioning for one of these master's degrees should contact Dr. Mauk (, 607-274-3223) regarding specific audition requirements. (Note: Orchestral excerpts are NOT required for saxophone auditions.)

Audition Instruments
Students may audition on any saxophone they choose (soprano, alto, tenor, or baritone). The main concern for the student should be to demonstrate his or her best playing. DO NOT plan to bring more than one saxophone to play in the audition, as this will slow down the process for those coming later in the day. The audition performance should be on the highest quality instrument available and on the instrument which the student plays best.

Students primarily study alto repertoire in the private lessons. This is because the bulk of the "standard repertoire" for saxophone has been written for the alto. Students are encouraged to specialize on other instruments (soprano, tenor, and baritone) where they feel a particular affinity and skill. However, Dr. Mauk does not allow soprano, tenor, or baritone "majors," since this will severely limit the amount and quality of available repertoire to study. Students will perform on most of the four saxophones during their course of study (in bands, jazz ensemble, quartets, private lessons). 

How to Prepare
Many students need guidance in preparing for a college audition. To read Dr. Mauk's article, How to Prepare for the College Audition, merely click on the title or go to the "Documents" section of this web site. Take a look at his article to help you prepare for this and other entrance auditions.