Music Department Gives Students an Advantage

Prospective majors can audition for full tuition

The UM Department of Music will conduct auditions for Music Major Advantage Scholarships the weekend of April 3-5. Photo by Megan Wolfe/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – Auditions are a part of life for any music student, but the stakes will be high for students auditioning the first weekend in April to be admitted into the University of Mississippi music program.

“This year, we are awarding as many full-tuition scholarship packages as possible through our new scholarship initiative, Music Major Advantage,” said Nancy Maria Balach, interim chair of the Department of Music.

Auditions for the scholarship program will be held the weekend of April 3-5, but prospective students can do much more than just audition that weekend.

“We’re offering students the chance to get to know our exciting department and vibrant campus,” Balach said. “On Friday, April 3rd, students will get to sit in on classes, meet professors, talk with students, take a tour and audition. Activities will continue through the weekend with clinics and recitals.”

Besides the auditions and academic activities, prospective students can take in Ole Miss Rebels baseball games, an Ole Miss Theatre productions and other campus activities for a taste of what student life is like at the university, she said.

“We have so many committed, talented students who come here to work with our outstanding music faculty, and through this initiative, we want to help more great students overcome the financial barriers of college as much as possible,” said Andrew Paney, the department’s assistant chair.

Majoring in music gives students an advantage because studying music develops critical skills for being successful, no matter the career, Balach said.

“We have a strong alumni network of people with careers in all major economic sectors,” she said.

Alumna Portia Davis, who received her bachelor’s degree in music with an emphasis in piano performance in 2013, remembers, “At my audition at UM, I visited with faculty and knew I had found my home away from home, a place that could allow me to express myself.”

Interested students can apply online at to arrange for an audition and see the range of activities available through the weekend.

Besides a handful of full-tuition scholarship packages, the department also will offer several smaller scholarships. Once the weekend auditions are over, music faculty will move quickly to make offers.

“Within seven days of the MMA weekend, students will receive notification of a scholarship award,” Paney said.