Grad School Auditions

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by tpetplyr, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. tpetplyr

    tpetplyr Pianissimo User

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    Dec 15, 2003
    Boston
    Hi Tom:
    I, and I'm sure others, have many graduate school auditions coming up in a few months. The way mine have been scheduled is basically one a week from the last week of January until the first week of March, with one week in February where I have three(!!).

    So I was looking for tips, on two fronts. First the audition itself. I'm preparing the literature, I was looking more for presentation tips. How to dress, what to say, stuff like that. And second on pacing between the auditions. I know that you won two auditions in, what, two weeks? So I was wondering if you had any thoughts on pacing my practice and my concentration during the 6 weeks on nonstop auditions.

    Any other random advice is always appreciated!

    Thanks!
    Stuart
     
  2. thomashooten

    thomashooten Pianissimo User

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    Feb 21, 2005
    Atlanta
    Hi Stuart,

    Sorry for the delay in responding.

    Here are some ideas that might help when preparing for a series of auditions.
    Dress: suit or the like for women.
    Presentation: I would introduce yourself and say what you are playing.

    In terms of pacing:
    Focus on keeping your fundamentals solid throughout this process.
    Make sure your practicing is varied and well-rounded with a focus on what you'll need in your audition material.

    If you can, taper a little the day before you play and mentally practice your music. (sing it, conduct it etc..)
    Mentally practicing really helped me save my chops around audition time, while solidifying my musical ideas.


    Good luck!!
     
  3. Virtuoso2B

    Virtuoso2B New Friend

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    Jan 3, 2004
    Philadelphia, Pa
    Hey Tom,

    Always good advice. I'm getting ready for a few auditions myself. 6 in total. As in usually the case with me I find, I'm really starting to understand and incorporate many of the ideas you gave me in our lessons, and it's making a world of difference. I hope all's well in Atlanta with you and Jen. Take it easy, and happy holidays.

    Matthew L. Thomas
     
  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    Remember, when you show up, your appearance is the first (and often lasting impression). If you tie with someone in playing, but they left a better first impression, guess who wins? (oh yeah, make sure if you are wearing a suit that you have cleaned polished non-casual shoes on. It may look cool to cruise like that, but ....................)
     
  5. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    At the beginning of each audition there comes one of those moments where the entire universe suspends operations just to watch. Our bodies know intuitively when those moments come and react in one of three ways: anxiety, anger or affection. The symptoms are all the same; it can be confusing. We can, however, choose our attitude in advance, and approaching the audition full of love for our music and our craft fits way better than a three piece suit.
     
  6. tpetplyr

    tpetplyr Pianissimo User

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    Dec 15, 2003
    Boston
    Thanks for the advice! My first one is the 21st of January, up in Oklahoma. And then I have one weekend off and one a week after that until March. Except for the one week where I have three... I'm pretty excited about all of it! It feels really good to finally be going after what I want.

    Icing on the cake is Petrouchka this semester in orchestra! It's gonna be a fun ride. I just hope all my professors cooperate on all the school I'm going to miss: tests to make up, labs to move.

    There's some really good advice, thanks! I'm always one to be prepared so it's good to have some things to hold on to.

    One specific question: My conductor told me "Don't leave the room without making sure they know about your work ethic!" And I was just wondering how to do that. Should I just say "I work crazy hard all the time" sometime during the audition? Or should I be more subtle, and how?

    Stuart
     
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    To work "crazy hard" is an oxymoron for trumpeters, we either practice because it is hard work to play trumpet (and if it remains always hard for us it'll burn us out) or because we are crazy (and if we remain crazy we'll get real good and enjoy doing it). We sort of want to be deadly serious and calmly detached at the same time.

    The good trumpet work ethic includes showing up on time (early enough to perform whatever preparations are needed) and prepared. One part of preparing for a graduate program is by asking questions in advance on how it will benefit your interests. Find out about the early music scene, chamber music, jazz, and of course orchestras both at the university and community. After your own research, ask questions like: "I see that your orchestra performed lots of Mozart and Haydn last year, is that representative of your orchestra, or do you plan on many baroque or romantic works this coming season?" This is a very subtle way of showing behind the scenes dedication, and also sends the message that you are choosing them as much as they are choosing you.

    Ideally, you'll find yourself in a mutual buyer's market.

    Good luck!
     

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