Army Audition

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by reedy, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. reedy

    reedy Piano User

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    Hi all,

    I've now decided im going to join the army as a musician when I've finished uni at the beginning of next summer.

    I went for an audition before uni to try and get the grant but failed so remember how it was, I played Song and Dance by Philip Sparke and a Jazz piece out of one of the play along books I had, I failed on a few things, my scales went very good and the pieces wernt brilliant either and I was very nervous. Being at uni I have improved so much and overcome my nervous and learnt my scales but my main question is what should I play!?

    I could play something at the standard I am now such as the Haydn or the Hummel and then not being 100% or I could play something a little easier and nail it. Both Haydn and Hummel are grade 8 pieces but the requirements are grade 6-7, so I could play a grade 6-7 piece and pass but then Im not sure if they take the level of music into consideration during selection....

    They have asked for two contrasting pieces so I should play a jazz piece being a jazzer but I wont have an accompaniment, which will make improv quite hard.

    Should I play a harder piece and an easier piece, such as a study in the Arban and the say the 2nd mvt of the Hayden, or should I try and show my jazz skills and risk playing a jazz standard as a solo with no backings and hope for the best? I have around 4-5 months until I audition so I have time to nail a study and possibly get the 1st and 2nd mvts of the Haydn back to scratch. I just dont want to play something that I cant and fall apart, would getting a few pieces ready and then I have the choice be a good idea aswel?
     
  2. flugelgirl

    flugelgirl Forte User

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    If you want to do some improv, take an aebersold in with you. For my Navy audition, I played a classical piece, a Clifford Brown transcription, and played changes using a few Aebersold cds. Pick pieces that you are strong on - they want to hear you at your best! If your prepared pieces are shaky, you just sound unprepared for the audition.
     
  3. reedy

    reedy Piano User

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    That does sound like a plan, however when I was last there they wouldnt let me use a CD....

    just played through the haydn and hummels and im sure theyve got harder! so im going to work on them, also need to keep working on range to get all the way through them!

    Might see if I can dig out girl from ipanema, easier but atleast it will be solid!
     
  4. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Hawaian homey
    As someone who has sat through hundreds of military bandsmen auditions, hardly anyone giving an audition is going to give you full credit or be impressed by your playing something that is at a high level of difficulty if you are making a bunch of mistakes. As a matter of fact, after a while, it becomes somewhat annoying and will work against you. It's much more effective, and less annoying on the auditioners, if you play something that you do well and musically and that you have under full control. But neither should it be too easy so that it's obvious that you chose it just because you wouldn't be making any mistakes on it. Your choice shows more than just musicianship. It shows your ability to prepare well and to size up a situation and do what needs to be done, attributes you will need as a military bandsman.

    Regarding the improvisation, since you can't use a background, you might give more thought to a tune which has a challenging head to it. One that shows strong jazz phrasing on your part. Regarding "Ipanema" as your choice, without the background - how are you on the bridge? Solid?
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  5. flugelgirl

    flugelgirl Forte User

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    I hope you're working with your private teacher to prepare fpr this audition -having heard your audition material before, your teacher can best advise you for your choice of pieces to play. if you want to play jazz but can't use a cd, I reccomend a good transcription. They might not get to hear you improvise, but at least they will get to hear how you interpret the style. Don't play a piece that is out of your reach - you'll just give the impression that you don't know how to practice and prepare properly!
     
  6. reedy

    reedy Piano User

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    Thanks guys and girls! Yeah I'll be speaking to my teaching in a few weeks time when I go back to uni, I think im gonna go for an easier piece that I should be able to play well then a harder piece to try and show what im capable off and will push me over the next 6 months but will risk not being as good, just have to practice like anything!

    thanks for the advice, I think I'll stay away from the jazz for now, well not so much anyway! and play say a concerto mvt and one of my graded pieces that I played a few years ago
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    What keeps a soldier alive? PREPARATION!

    Your question is answered.

    YOU do not decide if you are going to be a military musician. Maybe you WANT to, but I have a feeling that you do not know what you are getting into - otherwise you would have EVER asked about how prepared to be. 30 years ago it was easier to get in because there weren't as many unemployed professionals. The competition is fierce. You have some very serious practice time ahead of you!
     
  8. flugelgirl

    flugelgirl Forte User

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    What Rowuk says is very true! I'm not sure what the competition is like for Army auditions right now, but the majority of new people we are accepting in the Navy have at least a B.A., if not an M.A., and are extremely accomplished musicians. Competition is fierce for fleet jobs - we aren't talking about special bands, just average fleet positions - and lots of these musicians are joining so they can pay back their college loans. Be as prepared as you possibly can for your audition, and that includes working up your sight-reading chops! Also, look into the Army training you will have to do as an Army musician, and make sure you are ready for that comittment as well. Lots of people have problems adjusting to military life, especially in the beginning, so make sure you talk to some Army musicians to see what their daily life is like, and what responsibilities they have besides music. Good luck - let us know how it goes!
     
  9. reedy

    reedy Piano User

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    Thanks, I live in Salisbury plain, which is the biggest Military training areas in the UK and have played with quite a few Army musicians aswel as going on work experience with them and also just done a 3,000 word essay on it for university, so I have looked into it and researched it well, I have around 6 months which is why im starting to think about it now the same with the fitness, so in 6 months time i'll be physically fit enough, mentally and musically ready... I hope! I've worked quite hard over the summer and so back to uni next month and with the help from my teacher and plenty of personal practice im sure i'll get there :)
     
  10. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

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    Hawaian homey
    reedy beat me to the punch, but it's never a bad idea to look at where a poster is from when giving advice. Just something to think about. ;-)
     

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