admissions

Applied to the BMUS program? Here’s an update on the process

By Katherine Evans, Admissions Manager

By now, you have probably submitted your general application to UBC and chosen “BMUS” as one of your choices of degree program. You’ve also been directed to submit and pay for the Supplementary Audition Form, and sent a 2019 Reference Form link to your two references for them to submit on your behalf.  

If you are planning on playing an audition in-person, you should have recently received an audition date and time for one of the first two weekends of March. We are not often able to take requests about audition days because the audition schedule is instrument-specific and can depend on faculty schedules, but if you have a conflict with your date or time, please let me know and we will try our best to accommodate. If you live far away and are planning to submit a video audition, you should have received instructions via email about how to upload it. The upload deadline this year is February 25, 2019.

If you are applying for the Composition major, you have uploaded your recordings and sent your portfolio in hard-copy to the Music School and it will arrive by March 1. (If it’s a few days later than March 1st, that’s okay too.)

Haven’t received an audition time? Haven’t received directions to upload your audition video? Having issues of any kind about the audition process? Let us know! We’re looking forward to meeting you on the audition day or watching your audition video submission.

Now, take a moment to sit back — well done! You can imagine having a beautiful experience on your audition day.  The sun is shining, a cheerful UBC student greets you when you check in at the welcome desk, and the faculty are all in a good mood because the Music Undergraduate Association has coffee, tea, and cookies available in the lobby.  You will be able to warm up in a private practice room and bring your best performance level into the audition experience.

What would your life be like as a UBC Music student? You love music, love playing your instrument, and are excited to explore the incredible academic resources of an amazing institution! You will spend lots of time in the Music Building, Roy Barnett Recital Hall, Old Auditorium, and the Chan Centre, as well as the Music, Art, and Architecture Library in the Barber Learning Centre and the AMS Student Nest too. 

We’ve posted some audition advice for you on the Admissions Blog and you may also want to check out UBC’s guide to life on campus.

Why study at the UBC School of Music?

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By Katherine Evans, Admissions Manager


Hello and thanks for visiting the School of Music's Admissions Blog!

We’re delighted that you're here. If you are a prospective student, this is the space to find out everything you need to know about applying to, and studying at, the UBC School of Music — from the different undergraduate and graduate programs we offer, to our fantastic ensembles, to our internationally renowned (and friendly!) faculty.  

Over the coming weeks and months, we'll share tips on how to navigate the application process and prepare for your audition, and we'll take you inside the School to see what it's like to be a part of our community of scholars, composers, and performers. We'll remind you about deadlines and answer some common applicant questions. So please stay tuned!

In the meantime, let's kick things off with a quick tour of the School and what we have to offer.

The University of British Columbia is a big, diverse institution, with every imaginable academic program and a student body of over 60,000. Within UBC, the School of Music gives you the experience of studying at a small school — we are a community of about 300 undergraduate and 100 graduate students — with the resources of a big, top-ranked university.

Our degree programs

For undergrads, we offer a four-year course of study leading to the Bachelor of Music (B.Mus) and — with the Faculty of Arts — the Bachelor of Arts, Major in Music. For students whose first love is music but who are committed to studying science, arts, education, or business, we also offer dual degreesdouble majorsminorsdiploma programs.

For grad students, we offer Master's and doctoral degrees in three broad fields of specialization: performance, composition, and music scholarship.

Career development — while you study!

As much as possible, the School of Music helps students to explore and develop different career opportunities while still studying. That's because unlike law, medicine or engineering, there is no single path for musicians and music scholars, post-degree. So whether you plan to pursue a career as an orchestral musician, a scholar, an educator, or a producer, you can get a head start by:

Check out our huge concert archive to get a sense of just how good our students are. For starters, here's a clip of UBC Symphony Orchestra and Choirs performing the finale of Mahler's Symphony No. 2

Dedicated, award-winning faculty 

All School of Music students, whether performers or scholars, work closely with our award-winning faculty. Our faculty compose music regularly heard on the world’s stages, perform around the globe, publish in top journals, jury international music competitions, and record critically acclaimed and best-selling recordings. Whatever your interests or instrument, our faculty is friendly and engaged in your learning experience.  Here’s just a short list: 

  • Eric Wilson, cellist and founding member of the Emerson String Quartet

  • Jose Franch-Ballester, clarinetist and chamber musician, hailed by the New York Times for his “technical wizardry and tireless enthusiasm"

  • Alexander Fisher, musicologist and author of Music, Piety, and Propaganda

  • J. Patrick Raftery, tenor and performer with the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Royal Covent Garden

  • Dorothy Chang, composer whose works have premiered with the Seattle Symphony, VSO, Pittsburgh Symphony, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra

In the coming weeks, we'll introduce you to more faculty and take you inside the studios where much of your musical education will happen.

Come visit us and attend a free concert!

Katherine Evans

Katherine Evans

Prospective students can meet faculty members by attending any number of concerts on campus from now until April. We invite you to attend our large ensemble concerts, performed by the UBC Choirs, Bands, and Orchestra, Opera productions held in the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts and the Old Auditorium.

Feel free to contact me for free tickets for certain events. A lot of our chamber music, divisional recitals, and student recitals are already free — just come and see!  If you’re applying from a distance, check out our concerts on Livestream and imagine yourself here!

Questions? 

Do you have questions about the application process? You are not alone! Sometimes the application process can seem complicated. If you'd like to talk to someone about the graduate or undergraduate programs here at the School of Music, please do get in touch. 

Juliet O’Keefe, our Graduate Admissions Secretary, is the point person for graduate program information, and I am your primary contact for the undergraduate (B.Mus. and Diploma) programs. Robert Ablenas is our Music Advisor and can give detailed information about certain programs.


Updated from Nov. 17th, 2017

I’ve applied to a graduate program! What now?

By Katherine Evans, Admissions Manager

Congratulations to all those who have pressed submit on their application for graduate study at UBC Music!  Our faculty are looking forward to reading the materials you have provided, and excited to hear performance applicants audition in person or via video upload. Below is a quick reminder of some deadlines, and a few tips.  

Dec. 1st: Application deadline. If you are interested in a late application, please contact Juliet at music.gradadmissions@ubc.ca.

Dec. 15th: Submission of additional documents:  If documents were requested of you in your application that you haven’t uploaded yet (i.e. transcripts or English proficiency scores) you can upload them to your application by December 15th by logging into your UBC Student Service Centre.  When you log in, you will be able to see a list of the possible documents you can upload.  If you know you have not submitted a specific document, but it isn’t on the list as possible to upload, please contact Juliet; she may be able to help.

Dec. 15th: deadlines for references, either eReferences or the arrival of hard-copy letters. Reminder about references: a reference MUST use an institutional email address in order to use the eReference system.  If you need to change one of your references’ email addresses, please email Juliet and she will update it so that an eReference link can be sent out to them.

Jan. 3rd: upload of video auditions for performance applicants | submission of composition portfolios: hard-copy scores must have arrived at the School of Music and audio/video of the associated recordings must be uploaded into CLAS. If you have trouble uploading into CLAS, please contact me at katherine.evans@ubc.ca

*Reminder about references: a reference MUST use an institutional email address in order to use the eReference system.  If you need to change one of your references’ email addresses, please email Juliet and she will update it so that an eReference link can be sent out to them.

Jan. 12th/13th: is the in-person audition weekend for instrumental and voice applicants (except for clarinet)  You will receive an audition date and time via email with instructions. If you have questions about audition requirements or specific selections, you can contact us.

This post was originally published on Dec. 8, 2017. It has been updated to reflect 2018/19 deadlines.