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Doctor of Musical Arts in Woodwinds

Major code: D735

Prof. Rod Ackmann
  • Bassoon, Area Chair
Dr. Jonathan Nichol
  • Saxophone, Interim Director
Alexis Seah
  • Interim Saxophone Instructor
Dr. Suzanne Tirk
  • Clarinet
Dr. Valerie Watts
  • Flute
Prof. Shawn Welk
  • Oboe


Application Deadline

For Fall admission, prescreening materials should be submitted to the online application by December 1, and the application should be fully completed by January 1.



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.


Application Procedure

1. Applicants are encouraged to reach out to the appropriate faculty in advance, to discuss their proposed audition repertoire. Pre-screening of applicants by the appropriate faculty may take place. Students will need to begin the online application process (see the Graduate Admissions page) and potentially submit the prescreening materials described below. Applicants will be contacted by woodwind faculty with the results of prescreening. The rest of the application materials should not be submitted until prescreening results have been received.

2. After an applicant passes a potential prescreening round, they will need to submit all remaining application materials described below by January 1.

Note: applicants to graduate woodwind programs do not need to provide the following item that is requested on the online application:

List of specific coursework or pre-requisite coursework that is applicable to this graduate program and has prepared you for graduate study.

3. Schedule an audition by contacting the Coordinator of Graduate Woodwind Auditions, Dr. Jonathan Nichol ( More details about the audition can be found at the bottom of this page.


Prescreening Application Materials

If the appropriate faculty member asks you to submit pre-screening materials, the following items must be submitted to the online graduate application system

  • Repertoire list of significant solo and chamber repertoire
  • Performance videos or audio recordings of at least 30 minutes of music. See the audition requirements at the bottom of the page for repertoire guidelines.
    • Audio or video files or links to online recordings may be submitted to the online application under Digital Portfolio > Upload Media.


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
    • Why do you want this degree, and why do you want it from OU?
    • Include your reasons for applying, personal statement, and what you have learned about yourself and the field that has further stimulated your interest and reinforced your conviction that you are well suited to the field.
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • Submitted to the online application under Recommendations tab
    • While all three of your letters of recommendation should be from someone who can speak to your ability to be a successful graduate student in a music program, we ask that you consider the following when requesting your recommendations:
      • One letter should be from a person who has considerable knowledge about your abilities as a performer, conductor, or composer (e.g.:  studio professor, ensemble conductor, chamber coach, etc.).
      • One letter should be 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
  • This sample should not be more than 3 years old.
  • Minimum of 5 pages of double-spaced text, not counting bibliography.
  • Should represent your best scholarly writing and researching skills in music.
  • Should present a complete argument supporting a clear thesis.
  • Should feature a consistent method for citations.
  • Examples include but are not limited to a critical analysis, a research paper in musicology, music in culture, or music pedagogy, or an article suitable for publication in a recognized scholarly or professional music journal.


Audition Dates

Most DMA auditions will take place on the following dates. See the following section for more details.


Graduate Woodwind Audition Dates
January 28, 2022
February 5, 2022
February 26, 2022


Audition Details

After you have passed a potential prescreen round and submitted all remaining application materials, you will coordinate an audition by contacting the Coordinator of Graduate Woodwind Auditions, Dr. Jonathan Nichol (

The Woodwind area will offer both in-person and virtual DMA auditions, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Virtual auditions will take place via pre-recorded, unedited live take YouTube video submission and subsequent Zoom audition/interview. Applicants who are auditioning virtually should submit a link to their video recording no later than 24 hours prior to their scheduled audition, to At that point, details and credentials to a Zoom audition/interview will be forwarded to the candidate.

Audition Requirements

  • Applicants to the DMA in any woodwind instrument should prepare approximately 30 minutes of music.
  • The pieces recorded may be submitted in multiple videos.
  • The repertoire should consist of music appropriate for graduate level study and may include orchestral excerpts and/or jazz.
  • The audition should represent a broad breadth of styles/periods and, if appropriate, use of different instruments. The woodwind faculty encourages applicants to include music of underrepresented composers, if possible.
  • The audition does not require accompaniment or memorization.