District Band Auditions
The deadline to register was November 15th, 2019!!!
You get your prepared etude from your director.
There are THREE component evaluations to the All-District band auditions: Scales, Prepared Etude, and Sight-reading.
VBODA State Requirements (navigate to the wind or percussion requirements). The etudes are NOT for the District audition.Before anything else, there is one aspect that is overarching - all-encompassing - ever-present.....TONE!!! TONE!!! TONE!!! TONE!!!
You must have a tone that sounds like the instrument you are trying to play! If it doesn't have a characteristic tone, everything else is pretty much a waste of time...
Although you are responsible for knowing all your major scales, the judges will only ask for two. They will identify the scale both in concert and transposed pitch. Use logic when preparing. They will not ask for your Bb concert scale. They will test your range and look for notes that are inherently troublesome (Db/C# for saxes, trumpets and flutes, A# to B on clarinet and trombone, Db to Eb on oboe, etc.). Scales that include those (and any other) hurdles will surely be in your future.
You are required to play any scale for as many octaves as can fit within the chromatic scale range. Although you might be able to do it, there is no benefit in exceeding the range requirement as the district voted to give anyone playing the minimum perfectly a perfect score. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to demonstrate your range with the chromatic scale and sight-reading portions of the audition.
Each scale is to be legato tongued up and down (quarter followed by eighth notes) at a moderate tempo (mm=100).
See the back of this paper to see the range requirements. This scale is to be played in sixteenth notes at the tempo indicated beside each range description. The truth is that few people actually achieve this tempo requirement. The trick is to go as close to the tempo and still maintain a steady tempo, demonstrate control and pitch/note accuracy. The scale is to be slurred up and staccato tongued down (trombones use a legato tongue ascending). Wind players should make sure (as always) to fill their lungs with air and use it to make a beautiful tone as you play.
You will see one, possibly two, excerpts. One excerpt is going to be easy to moderate; the other, if offered, is harder. While getting the notes and rhythms are important, don’t discount the importance of the articulations and dynamics. Again, as with scales, the judges will try to find your weakness. Look for awkward leaps and range issues in the brass, challenging fingerings (especially in the upper register) for woodwinds, syncopations in the percussion, and efforts to expose your limits. Triplets, syncopations and dotted rhythms will surely be offered.
You will have thirty seconds to study a given excerpt before you are asked to play it. Be sure you have a steady relaxed pulse/beat in your head before you begin looking over the music. Once you have the rhythms locked into the gentle pulse you can adjust the tempo as needed. Again, it’s better to play slowly and accurately than to rush through and miss notes, rhythms, articulations and dynamics.Be sure to check the key signature. I would expect that you won’t see a ton of sharps or flats, nor will you likely see Bb concert.
The district has created an original etude (French for "study piece") for each instrument. It is up to you to prepare this piece of music to show off your skills as a musical artist. Take the note and markings on the page and turn them into the most effective work you can. Play it for other people, ask Mr. N to listen and comment. Make music with it!
You must audition on all of the three instruments available (Snare Drum. Mallets, Timpani).
Don’t freak out if you can’t do it perfectly – no one will, and you don’t have to.
I am reminded of the story of the two men running from the killer bear. One guy said,
”I hope we can run fast enough to escape!” The other guy responded, “All I need to do is run faster than you…”
By design, this audition process rejects most applicants. You don’t need to be perfect to have a chance, just better than most of the others on your instrument.Good luck!