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High school seniors who meet the criteria for admission to Kenyon College are welcome to submit applications for this competition. Those who want to be considered for music scholarships must submit their form by January 20. Candidates who are invited as finalists will audition on campus with the Music Department faculty in February. Kenyon will cover the cost of travel to the College. Students are not required to major in music but will be expected to take private lessons on their major instrument, participate in department ensembles each semester, and present a senior recital. Each scholarship is $25,000 per year and is renewable for four years as long as the student maintains an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher, meets the requirements for lessons and ensembles, and serves the needs of the department through exemplary musical leadership. Subsequent auditions will not be necessary to renew the scholarship. All first-year applicants are eligible, including Early Decision applicants. Transfer students are not eligible.


Applicants must submit recordings of two pieces for the scholarship. We strongly encourage students to choose two contrasting selections. Accompaniment from a piano or other instrument(s) is suggested but not required. Vocalists will be allowed to audition music from classical, musical theater, or popular genres, but the inclusion of one classical song is recommended. Instrumental jazz musicians should include recordings that include the original melody of the song as well as two to three choruses of improvisation. Jazz rhythm section players should demonstrate comping (piano, guitar) or basic groove (bass, drum) for two different styles. Students are encouraged to select works that demonstrate their highest level of technical skill and overall musicianship.

The Music Department faculty wants you to look and sound the best you can! To make your video recording, it is recommended that you consider the following guidelines: 

  1. Find a relatively quiet room with a minimum of distractions. This will help you focus on performing your piece and will produce a clean recording.
  2. If you are using your phone to do the recording, be sure that your head and upper torso is comfortably contained in the viewing frame. You may need to experiment to get a good shot that is neither too close nor too far.
  3. Take note of how much light is in your shot. Too much light will create a washed out effect, while too little light will produce a shot that is too dark. Both scenarios might prevent the Music Department faculty from seeing you clearly. You may need to experiment with different light sources at different distances and locations.
  4. Be sure that your audio levels are neither too loud nor too soft. Do some test runs to determine a good level. You may need to move your recording device closer or farther away from your instrument or voice.
  5. In your phone's Settings menu, be sure that your video settings are set to a minimum standard of 1080p HD at 30 fps (or faster). Your phone will probably default to this setting but it wouldn't hurt to check to be sure. Also, check the Settings menu to be sure that Record Stereo Sound is selected.
  6. If you can, edit out everything but your actual performance. If you do not have access to software tools to do this, no worries, just try to minimize the before and after moments, before and after your performance.
  7. Save your completed file in a standard format such as mpeg or mov. 

If you need any repertoire suggestions, please feel free to contact Professor of Music Ben Locke. He will connect you with the professor in your area of musical talent. You can reach him at 740-427-5200 or With questions regarding the scholarship, application, or uploading of materials, please contact Chris Renaud in the Office of Admissions at

Dates to Remember

  • January 15: Submission of Common Application or Coalition Application.
  • January 20: Submission of scholarship form and audition material via upload.
  • End of January/Early February: Students will be notified if they are selected to audition on campus with the Music Department faculty.
  • February 11, 2024: Audition Day; finalists will participate in on-campus auditions with the Music Department faculty.
  • Late March: Notification of scholarship winners.

To be considered

Students must complete the music scholarship form. All audition materials and the scholarship form must be uploaded to the Kenyon Admissions Portal. (Applicants will receive their username and password within two days after submission of the application for admission.)

Students performing on more than one instrument/voice should submit one portfolio upload for each instrument/voice.