Students from the Strings area rehearsing

The string program at California State University, Fullerton offers a variety of opportunities for the developing string student at both the bachelor’s and master’s level. Students receive a specialized yet comprehensive education while participating in numerous chamber ensembles and the University Orchestra at California State University, Fullerton. State-funded lessons are available as are a variety of scholarships. Graduates from the program are currently active in both educational and professional settings.

Master classes have been regularly offered by artists in the region and by internationally acclaimed performers. Previous, Robert McDuffie, Almita and Roland Vamos, Yfrah Neaman, Eleonore Schoenfeld, Andrew Schulman and Fredell Lack. Sessions have also been held with members of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic.


Mindy Ball* - harp
Michael Chang - viola
Ellie Choate* - harp
Brian Johnson* - double bass
Bongshin Ko - cello
Ernest Salem - violin

* denotes part-time faculty





Degree Programs
Bachelor of Music: Instrumental Performance
Bachelor of Arts in Music: Liberal Arts & Music Education
Master of Music: Performance
Master of Arts in Music
Minor in Music
Artist Diploma (non-degree)

All students wishing to study strings at Cal State Fullerton must audition. Both scholarship and regular auditions for incoming students are scheduled in the spring of each year. Students who hope to begin study in a spring semester may make special arrangements for an audition through the area coordinator.

Ernest Salem • (657) 278-3552

Repertoire and Other Audition Information for the BM and BA in Music

Repertoire requirements  Violin, Viola, Violoncello & Double Bass please prepare:

  1. Two contrasting pieces or movements from the standard repertory

  2. Major and minor scales of your choice

  3. A standard etude

Harp please prepare:

  1. First Movement from Handel's Concerto in B-flat

  2. Cadenza from the "Waltz of the Flowers" from Tchaikovsky's

    Nutcracker ballet

  3. A piece of your own choosing


  1. Audition length  15 minutes. Sign up instructions 
  2. Audition location  Clayes Performing Arts Center, East Lobby. See directions below. 
  3. Parents meeting  Each audition day includes an informational meeting for parents. This is normally held at 12:00pm in CPAC 257. Look for confirmation of this time and room in an email you will receive before the audition weekend. 
  4. Your university admission  Sign up for and complete your audition regardless of the status of your university application and admission. Even if you have been denied admission to the university, the School of Music may advocate that you be granted admission based on your musical talent.
  5. Directions and parking  When you arrive at the CSUF campus PDF File Opens in new window , park in the Nutwood Parking Structure (NPS) (at Nutwood Ave. and State College Blvd.), using either entrance 3 or 4. Parking is free. Walk toward the elevators and out onto the performing arts walk, and you will see signs directing you to the East Lobby of the Clayes Performing Arts Center (CPAC). CSUF music majors will be awaiting your arrival in the East Lobby outside our Recital Hall, and are there to assist you throughout the day.
  6. More information  Contact the String Area Coordinator Ernest Salem (657) 278-3552

Master of Music in Performance
Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass
Audition Requirements and Other Essentials 

The birthplace of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, the CSUF School of Music has a longstanding commitment to the study of string instruments. The CSUF student orchestra, reformed in 2001, continues under the direction of Prof. Kimo Furumoto, and performs several concerts each semester.

The Master of Music degree in Performance is an applied-based degree, requiring 30 units of study in private lessons, orchestra, chamber music, string techniques, history and theory. Cal State Fullerton School of Music faculty include nationally and internationally recognized performers. Students thrive in an environment large enough to engage in challenging, vital music-making, but intimate enough for specialized individual attention. For those intending to pursue doctoral studies, the Master of Music degree normally leads to the DMA.


Auditions and Scholarship Auditions for the Master of Music in Performance are held in Spring (for Fall semester entrance) as well as each semester (Fall and Spring) during Registration Week, just prior to the start of school. It might be possible to arrange an audition at another time convenient to the student; however, this is unlikely to include scholarship consideration. Under certain circumstances, a video recording audition may be used for preliminary assessments of ability; however, a live audition is always required.

The student should be prepared to perform one standard etude and three contrasting pieces or movements of their choice, representative of the major solo repertoire, from different style periods.  Ideally, one piece should be a concerto or concerto movement, one work should be an unaccompanied work such as Bach, and one work should be a type of concert piece or sonata. Major and minor scales, double-stop scales and arpeggios may also be heard.

Letters of Recommendation
Arrange to have letters of recommendation from three music professionals familiar with your preparation for graduate study sent to the School of Music graduate program adviser.

Entrance Exams
After being admitted, all entering graduate students take entrance exams in music history and music theory. The exams cover undergraduate level material and are given Thursday before the first week of classes.

More Information  
University Catalogue Opens in new window
Audition Dates
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Submission of Supporting Materials

Contact Information  
School of Music Graduate Program Advisor   Dr. John Koegel  (657) 278-7658
School of Music String Area Coordinator  Dr. Ernest Salem  (657) 278-3552



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Last Published 11/26/18

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