taking an audition

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 of us. 

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. 

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 appearance. 

8.  Bring in your most positive attitude.  Be pleasant, courteous and up-beat (even if you have to fake it). 

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 now. 

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. 

If you are joining TJS for the first time and auditioning for one of the Chamber Orchestras, you need to do the following: 
1.  Browse this 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 great aid. 

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. 


  Tucson Junior Strings 
Dennis Bourret, Director
6426 East Eli Drive
Tucson, AZ 85710-8741
Telephone (520) 465-1334
e-mail: dennisbourret@gmail.com


copyright 2000-2012 © Dennis R. Bourret
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