Does your community band require audition for a seat?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Daff, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Grade levels for music? Based on a 6 level scale in which Gr 5 would be University level bands and Gr. 6 the top playing level for professional playing. I found this page...related to strings but appropriate:

    I believe that the UK has a different "system" going to a higher number of grade.... 8? 9? as does the Royal Conservatory of Music out of Toronto (probably based on the UK system).
  2. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    I can only speak to what I know so far.

    I moved to the Columbus, Georgia area back in June 2005. I was pleasently surprised to find out that they had a community band. The Bob Barr Community Band, a tribute to Mr. Bob Barr who was one of the first band teachers in this area.

    Their are a lot of 50+ year olds in the band that actually were taught by Bob Barr at Jordan High School in Columbus, Georgia.

    Anyway, I contacted them via their website and was contacted by the band director Dr. George Corradino. After a quick review of my background, I played from 5th grade to 12th grade, drum and bugle corps, and have been playing on and off ever since.

    He told me to come to practice and I was introduced to my section leader who asked if I would be offened if he asked me to play 3thd trumpet. I laughed, and said,"I get to play right?" No, I'm not offended.

    So that was it, we have about 7 to 8 trumpets on a good night and everyone gets along very well. I get a lot of ripping as I'm a yankee, being originally from the metro Detroit area, but we have fun and that's what it's all about.

    Interestingly enough it's very challenging to play 3thd part. I find myself scrambling for fingering charts as I don't know off the top of my head what that fingering for low F# through the low Bb is as I've been working on building my upper register. I play about the D above high C right now and am working for more. I've spent most of my time playing over the years well above the terrirtory I'm responsible for now. I sat 1st chair lead trumpet from Jr. High through High School.

    So it's been educational as well as fun. I am about the youngest member of the band at 36 so I guess it's good to be a kid again.

    Sorry that the original poster is not deriving the rewards from his expirence that I am.

    Keep tooting!
  3. Larry

    Larry New Friend

    Sep 21, 2005
    I seem to be reading several comments here that suggest that playing the lowly 3rd trumpet parts is not cool. I love playing 3rd trumpet parts. I can play 1st or 2nd just as well. All the parts are important. In mean, if you played piano would you leave out the lower notes by concluding that they’re less important? The idea of stacking the deck in such a way that all the best players are on the top end has never made any sense to me and, in my opinion, is strictly a high school/college concept. In our community band we work hard to disperse the talent throughout the entire section. In fact, in all of the sections.

    As for auditions, I can’t think of anything that will chase away community participants more than the word “auditionâ€. Community members don’t participate in community bands to be competitive (another school concept). They get (or have had) enough of that crap at work. Although there is no formal audition in our band all new participants know going into it that they are trying out the band and the band is giving them a trial as well. Sometimes there is a moratorium in some sections so as to maintain sensible balance issues. Flutes, for example, immediately comes to mind. Will the world ever see the time that there are too few flutes? I don’t think so. But I digress.

  4. camelbrass

    camelbrass Mezzo Forte User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Dubai, UAE
    A lot of this sounds very familiar.

    Sometimes we audition players but mostly not. The band has a hard core of older players who are the same guys and girls that play in most of the ensembles around the place and also teach. Probaly 2/3rds of the band is school aged it's a small community most of the 'old hands' know the kids before they're invited to play. Minimum levels are about grade 3 ABRSM standard..competent in straight speaking. ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) student levels go from 1-8 and then go into Associate Diplomas and Diplomas. 8 is a very, very competent player and Diploma standard is quite difficult.

    The section leader (who plays 1st) places the parts and although I mainly play 1st I tend to float as the need arises. I love playing 2nd and 3rd parts and if there is a good young colt who needs a bit of encouragement in the band I'll gladly sit next to him or her to give them a push up the ladder. Some of the new buddies need help in playing in ensembles..this may be their first real experience and having a guy who isn't struggling to play a note outside the staff sitting next to them I think helps.


  5. ustacouldplay

    ustacouldplay New Friend

    Jun 14, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    I'm lucky to be in Atlanta. We have so many community groups that I probably haven't even heard of all of them. Of the ones that I have heard of, they run the gamut from completely open to strictly audition to somewhere in between (auditions for certain instruments).

    The band that I play in is completely open to adults and we take on HS-aged kids on a limited basis...mostly home-schooled kids or students of other players. The skill level ranges from people who sub with the ASO all the way down to people like me. :oops:
  6. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.

    If you don't audition how do you decide what part everyone should play. Usually in a situation like that you get the strong players on first.

    In our band the strongest player would be on first and the second on second and so on. Somewhere in there the trumpet parts are figured in.

    We also don't want just anyone to sit down and play. That wouldn't be fare to the musicians that are working hard on their instruments.

    I wonder what would happen if some one like Manny came to band and there wasn't a trumpet opening. Theoretically we should turn him away.
  7. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    You wouldn't have to "theoretically" do that. Manny (and most other pros) would be equally happy no matter what part they were handed or who they were asked to sit beside. If you are "sitting in" you are doing it for the love of music, not the prestige of "1st chair".

    Just my take on it.
  8. 11thchair

    11thchair Pianissimo User

    Jan 27, 2005
    Evansville In
    And if Manny sat by me - I would be content with that! :D
    Or Nick, or Felix or anyone actually. I may draw the line at a trombonist though.
  9. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.

    Well you didn't answer the question. (I probably didn't pose it well)

    What if Manny came to play with the band and we didn't have a trumpet opening. Would we let him play even though we audition and have a limited number of trumpets.

    It has nothing to do with where Manny wants to sit.
  10. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    I reckon that depends on your band and what the event is... a rehearsal, an informal concert, or a full-blown "production"?

    It also is dependant upon what your band's policy is. In my case I'd think it would be foolish to turn down a chance to have Manny "help out" but there are some groups who rigorously "attend to the rules" no matter what.

    What is YOUR group's policy? I know what ours is... (posted in a previous on this thread) and is based on the Society's motto "We Love Music".

Share This Page