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Doctor of Musical Arts in Percussion

Major code: D735

Dr. Connor Stevens
  • Assistant Professor of Percussion
Dr. Benjamin Holmes
  • Instructor of Percussion
  • Athletic Bands Percussion Coordinator



This degree requires the following profiencies. View the PDFs linked below for more details.


Application Deadline

We are no longer accepting applications for this degree program for Fall 2024.


To receive full consideration for admission and graduate assistantships, the application deadline is December 1. The School of Music cannot guarantee an audition, interview, admission, or graduate assistantship if application is received after the deadline.


Residency Requirement

Per Graduate College policy, "The student must be in residence at OU for at least two consecutive 16-week semesters during the pursuit of the doctoral degree while enrolled and engaged in coursework or research activities as prescribed by the major academic unit."



There is no separate application for assistantship. Unless the applicant indicates otherwise, we assume that all applicants are interested in being considered for assistantships. Please note that assistantships are usually awarded for the Fall and Spring semesters together. We very seldom have assistantships available for anyone entering in a Spring semester. We do not award assistantships for Summer sessions.


Procedure for Applying

All interested applicants should email Dr. Andrew Richardson several weeks or months in advance to express interest and begin a dialogue regarding audition procedures, repertoire, and expectations.

Submit the online application (see Graduate Admissions page) and all application materials described below. Within a day or two after completing the online application, the School of Music will acknowledge receipt of the application by email.

After submitting the online application, the applicant will work with Dr. Richardson to schedule an audition. More details about the audition can be found at the bottom of this page.


Application materials required for all graduate degrees

These items must be submitted to the online graduate application system.

  • Resume
  • Personal Statement
    • Submitted to the online application under the Statement of Purpose tab
    • What aspects of the program attract you to OU? Additionally, please answer one of the following prompts:
      • Why do you want to pursue this degree?
      • How would you describe your professional path to this point and your aspirations going forward?
      • What skills, expertise and experience do you bring to the degree, and how will you use your degree, post-graduation?
      • What is important to you musically, artistically, pedagogically, and intellectually?
  • Three letters of reference
    • Submitted to the online application under Recommendations tab
    • Your three reference letters should include:
      • At least one letter from: your studio professor, ensemble conductor, chamber coach, etc., or a person who has considerable knowledge about your abilities as a performer or composer.
      • At least one letter from: a person who can speak to your abilities as a scholar of music.


Scholarly writing requirement

This degree requires you to submit a sample of your scholarly writing.

  • Submitted to the online application under the Supporting Documents tab
  • Preferably not more than 3 years old.
  • Should be recently revised.
  • Should be a minimum of 5 pages of double-spaced text, not counting bibliography.
  • Should represent your best writing and researching skills.
  • Should present a complete argument supporting a clear thesis.
  • Should feature a consistent method for citations and should contain a bibliography.
  • Please contact the Graduate Music Office ( or the area chair for your program with any questions about meeting these requirements.



After submitting the online application, the applicant will work with Dr. Richardson to arrange an audition. Although live, on-campus auditions are preferred, video recordings will be allowed under special circumstances.

Applicants should be aware that a live audition must be completed before an applicant will be considered for assistantship. Further, applicants submitting recorded auditions should be aware that, if the faculty believes the recording is not an accurate representation of the applicant’s abilities, the applicant may be required to perform a live audition to remain in consideration for admission. Audio or video files or links to online recordings may be submitted to the online application under Digital Portfolio > Upload Media.

Audition Requirements

  • The applicant will audition before a committee of the Graduate Faculty.
  • Applicants to the DMA in Percussion should prepare 30 minutes of music.
  • The repertoire should consist of music appropriate for graduate-level study and should include selections on several instruments such as: snare drum, marimba, vibraphone, timpani, multiple-percussion, orchestral excerpts, and drum set.
  • The audition should illustrate the applicant’s best abilities in musicality, technique, and sound production and should represent a variety of styles.
  • Memorization is required for all keyboard selections.
  • Sight-reading will be required on keyboard and snare drum.
  • The audition will be presented without accompaniment.
  • The campus visit will include an extensive interview with the percussion faculty to discuss various aspects of the applicant’s background, goals, and musical philosophy as well as allow the applicant to ask questions of the faculty.

The applicant is encouraged to spend at least 2 days in Norman to allow time to observe lessons, meet with current students and faculty, and experience OU.

With Dr. Richardson’s approval, a current master's student at OU who plans to apply to the DMA program within twelve months of his/her planned graduation from the master's program may use his/her MM degree recital as the DMA audition if the recital meets DMA audition requirements. In order for a faculty committee to be organized to attend the recital to evaluate it for DMA application purposes, the student must inform Dr. Richardson at least two weeks before the recital.