Summer at St. Mary's


Professor Jeffrey Silberschlag conducting the Chesapeake Orchestra at the River Concert Series.

Study abroad in Italy

Choir and Orchestra in Alba

You can participate in the Alba Music Festival, two weeks of intensive music making in the north of Italy.


Piano Proficiency Requirements

The piano proficiency exam takes place twice each semester, in the middle and at the end.

The piano proficiency requirements consist of four components:

Prepared piece
Harmonization and transposition of melody
Sight reading

You may attempt as many of these components as you wish during any single exam

1. Scales

2 octaves, hands together, ascending and descending, from memory
All major keys
Harmonic and melodic minor, keys of C, G, D, A and E

Suggested tempo: mm 72 per note

2. Prepared piece

Select one of the following, scores for which are available on the links below:

Bach Prelude in C Major from The Well Tempered Clavier Book 1
    Suggested tempo: mm 60 per eighth note
Mozart Minuet in F Major
    Suggested tempo: mm 72 per quarter note
Chopin Prelude in C Minor (#20)
    Suggested tempo: mm 60 per eighth note

If you would like to play a different piece you must get approval from your piano teacher or the faculty, and must bring four copies of this piece to the exam (one for each examiner).

3. Harmonization of a hymn melody with transposition:

  • Your harmonization must include an applied/secondary dominant;
  • You may prepare your harmonization ahead of time - the melody will be e-mailed to you at least 24 hours before the exam
  • You may use only the melody – not a written out harmonization (although you may have written it out to prepare and practice it). A clean copy of the melody will be given to you at the exam.
  • You will be asked to transpose your harmonization up or down a semitone or a whole tone, so it will be in your best interest to learn the chords in these keys so that you can transpose with chord function in mind.

Suggested tempo: mm 60 per quarter note

Your harmonization should contain only the bass in the left hand, with all remaining notes in the right hand. Do NOT keep the melody alone in the right hand, with all remaining notes in the left.


4. Sight reading:

four‐part arrangement from a hymnal. You will be given a standard 4‐part setting of a hymn to sight read. Suggested tempo: no slower than mm 40 per quarter note.


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