The Audition Packet is a resource put together by the Director to help in the preparation of your scholarship audition. This packet includes pages covering general audition information, required excerpts, exercises, and audition piece.
Q: Why should I try out? I KNOW I'll never make it.
A: I hear this question/comment more than you could ever imagine. My advice to anyone who would like to receive a performance scholarship is to GO FOR IT! Like with many things in life, you will never know if you don't try, and there's nothing wrong with taking a chance once in a while.
Q: What should I expect at my playing audition?
A: In a nutshell, your playing audition will last around 5 to 10 minutes and be in a room with just you and one or two members of Marching Band staff. We will ask you a few simple questions such as your age and marching experience to "break the ice" and get things rolling. DON'T BE NERVOUS! Although you will have had time to warm-up on your own before the audition, we will give you another minute to re-warm and prepare for your audition. From there we will ask to hear the "Exercises" which will give us a good idea of your tone, flexibility and articulation style. If you are interested in a lead spot, we will also ask you to demonstrate your range.
Once the basic technique is out of the way, we will listen to you play about 2 minutes of prepared material which will consist of a required solo piece and an excerpt from the Field Show Music, these are included in the packet and are required for the audition.
Finally, we will ask you a few more questions and that's it, painless!
Q: What should I bring to the audition?
A: First of all, BRING YOUR MUSIC! It sounds ridiculous, but you'd be surprised with some of the things that have happened! There is no need to bring a music stand, we will provide one for you. I highly suggest that you bring your own mouthpiece and reeds. You will be able to borrow ours if needed, but my experience has been that musicians are much more comfortable on their own instrument.
- Flute/Piccolo players- I suggest you bring your own flute or piccolo (if you own a piccolo) for the audition. The band will provide flutes/piccolos if you need to use one for the audition and season. I've found it's more comfortable to audition on your own instrument.
- Clarinets- I suggest you bring your own clarinet for the audition. The band will provide clarinets if you need to use one for audition and the season. Please bring your own reeds if possible. I've found it's more comfortable to audition on your own instrument.
- Saxophones- if possible is suggest you audition on your own instrument. We will have instruments available if you do not have one and need to borrow one for the season. Of course we will have alto, tenor , and baritone saxes ready and waiting upon your arrival for you to use. Please bring you own reeds if possible.
- Trumpet players - I suggest you bring your own horn and mouthpiece. You will of course be able to borrow one of ours if needed, but like the mouthpiece comment earlier, I've found it's more comfortable to audition on your own instrument.
- French Horn/Mellophone players - If you plan on playing a French Horn during your audition, you NEED to bring your own horn. Because we perform on Mellophones during the season, we will also ask you to play a few notes on one of our Mellophones as we will need to check your tone and such on that instrument. IMPORTANT! We use Mellophone mouthpieces with our Mellophones and DO NOT allow French Horn mouthpieces with an adapter. If you play Mellophone, it's up to you whether or not you bring your own horn. We will of course have enough instruments available for you to borrow.
- Baritone/Euphonium/Tuba/Trombone players - If you plan on playing a Trombone during your audition, you NEED to bring your own horn. If you play Baritone, Euphonium or Tuba, it's up to you whether or not you bring your own horn. We will of course have enough instruments available for you to borrow. I suggest you use ours (with YOUR mouthpiece) as these instruments are difficult to travel with.
Q: What kinds of things are you looking for with my audition?
A: We look for all of the basic things -- tone quality, flexibility, dexterity and range, but also your ability to control articulation, intervallic control, overall awareness of your horn and MANY other things. Outside of your musical talents, we also look at your personality, work ethic and ability to respond to corrective criticism (like you would have to during the season) as these are just as important.
Q: Do you have any "Inside information" to help me prepare for my audition?
A: The most important piece of information I can give ANYONE auditioning for the Performance Excellence Scholarship is to come prepared! Take the audition as seriously as you would a final exam (or at least the way you SHOULD prepare for a final), otherwise we'll never know your true talent. Remember, you are auditioning for one of the best bands in the marching activity, and although you don't have to be the best player in the world to be a part of our organization, you DO need to have pride and dedication to your instrument.
Q: Will I find out my scholarship status by the end of the audition?
A: One of three things will happen at the end of the audition. 1) We will congratulate you and offer you a scholarship between $250-$750 for the fall semester. 2) We will inform you that you have passed the first step and will offer you a conditional scholarship of $250 dependent upon your growth as a musician over the course of the fall performance season. 3) We will unfortunately inform you that we cannot offer you a scholarship at this time. This is always the most difficult thing for me to do as I wish I could offer a scholarship to everyone that auditions. For most, there will be more audition years left and this one can be looked at as a learning experience to better prepare for the 2013 auditions. Plus, remember that all students in the Marching Band receive a stipend. All are awarded for their participation in the band.
Lastly, if you have any questions or concerns regarding the audition please feel free to contact me at email@example.com. I wish all of you the best and look forward to the beginning of a fantastic season!
James E. Mauck - Director of Athletic Bands