by Dennis R. Bourret,
Director of Tucson Junior Strings
At different times in our musical
lives it is necessary to audition for an exceptional situation or honor.
Most of us donít have much experience or expertise at auditioning and we
may be confused, puzzled or just plain ďin the darkĒ about what is expected
Here are some suggestions about auditioning
for TJS that may help:
If you are joining TJS for the first
time and are trying for any of the a Sinfonia Orchestras, RELAX.
You donít have to audition, you simply talk with the director about your
playing and you and he decide upon the orchestra you should start in to
be comfortable for the first time in the program.
If you are already a member of TJS
and you want to audition up to the next orchestra, you do the following:
1. Decide honestly
that you have gotten everything you can out of your present orchestra.
If you are joining TJS for the first
time and auditioning for one of the Chamber Orchestras, you need
to do the following:
2. If you are in Sinfonia III
and wanting to audition for Sinfonia II or in Sinfonia II hoping to make
Sinfonia I, remember that you must have had good attendance at the notes
and counting class, and that you have passed the examination at the end
of the previous semester.
3. Check this
page for the technical requirements for the next orchestra up and go to work
on them. Start early enough so that you have those skills essentially
mastered by the time you audition. Donít wait until the week before
the auditions and scramble to ďkind ofĒ learn them. If you do, your
skills wonít hold up under the pressure of the audition and you may not
achieve your goal.
4. Aspire to an orchestra where
you can be compatible with your level of playing. Strive to be a
positive force in your orchestra ó not a negative.
5. Have enough audition material
ready. It is desirable to have one and preferably two solos prepared
to demonstrate the skills required in addition to at least one etude for
the same purpose.
6. Call for an audition time
during the regularly scheduled time. Donít wait until auditions are
over and then ask, ďIs it too late to audition?Ē It may be!!!!!
7. Arrive for your audition
on time. Look clean and neat ó demonstrate that you care about your
8. Bring in your most positive
attitude. Be pleasant, courteous and up-beat (even if you have to
9. When you play, give it your
best shot. Make a big sound. Donít let a mistake stop you.
Donít apologize before you play or after you make a mistake. Keep
going. Know exactly what you are going to play and go right through
it. Donít ďhem and hawĒ. Be convincing.
10. When you are through playing,
answer any questions the director may ask you as well as possible and donít
be afraid to ask any questions.you may have. Clear up any misunderstandings
11. If your audition is successful
and you make it to the next orchestra, you can then go out and celebrate!
However, if you werenít quite well enough prepared and donít make it to
the next orchestra, donít go away angry. Go home and think about
what you needed to do better and try again next time with the determination
that you will do it right.
page to learn
what the audition requirements are for the orchestra you aspire to join.
Then follow the steps listed above (except that Chamber I auditionees may
not use etudes for audition).
2. Be aware that the level of performance
for the Chamber Orchestras is significantly higher than the Sinfonias and
it is extremely desirable to be studying with a private teacher.
3. Being able to play scales is a
4. Being well prepared is the greatest
aid. Know that you must demonstrate that you can play to the level
of the requirements for that orchestra.
5. Donít expect to get in on your
reputation, your teacherís say-so, or what you say you can play.
Put it all up front and give it your best shot.
Then when you do make it into
the next orchestra, there will be no question about your ability or qualification.
You will have earned it.