Military Band Auditions

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Jimi Michiel, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. Jimi Michiel

    Jimi Michiel Forte User

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    Can anybody out there shed some light on the process by which one wins a job in one of the top military bands? What kind of repertoire are they looking for? Solos? Are auditions primarily on Bb trumpet?

    Thanks,
    Jimi
     
  2. RG111

    RG111 Piano User

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    Nov 12, 2003
    Jimi,

    Most of the DC Bands advertise in the International Musician, and there would be contact info listed. The other possibility would be to go on line and look up the webs for the various bands. Also, you could just call the band offices.
    Hope this helps!
    Roy
     
  3. tpter1

    tpter1 Forte User

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    As Bb is the primary horn of use in symphonic bands here in the US, I would assume Bb is the horn used there as well. Pat took one last summer; he'll be able to tell you a bit more. The only time I ever used a C with NSW was in Revueltas's Sensemaya, although a few other works do call for it, I'm sure.
     
  4. Jimi Michiel

    Jimi Michiel Forte User

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    I guess what I'm really looking for is an overview of the process... I know there is usually a lot of site reading, but are there entire rounds devoted to site reading? In an orchestra audition, I would imagine you would play a few movements of Haydn or Hummel... What kind of solo stuff would you expect to find on a big military band audition? Screens?

    I've seen listings in the IM, but I feel a lot more comfortable asking people around here than emailing the contact people for the auditions. At this point, I'm kind of just trying to get a general idea, not going after a specific job.

    Thanks,
    Jimi
     
  5. RG111

    RG111 Piano User

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    Nov 12, 2003
    Jimi,

    I have been retired from the Marine Band since 1994, so I am not in the loop. I do know that auditions there are behind a screen, and they mail a packet of music to auditionees. As I recall they do have a required solo, but it might well change from time to time. I assume they still have sight reading.
    I wouldn't be at all hesitant to call or write for the requirements.
    Good luck,
    Roy Griffin
     
  6. FreshBrewed

    FreshBrewed Mezzo Piano User

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    Houston, TX
    jimi,

    A few of our guys have recently auditioned for some of the DC slots. I do know that you will have to send in a tape/CD. If they like what they hear, then you get a call to come for a live audition. From there, it is on to the elimination rounds. Not sure about the current audition requirements but you may be able to find them at http://www.armybandsonline.com. The auditions are held on Bb. Hope this helps a little.
     
  7. Jimi Michiel

    Jimi Michiel Forte User

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    Thanks everyone for the responses. I have one more question: were any of you that played in a band trained primarily as orchestral musicians? If so, was the switch to playing in band a difficult one?

    Thanks so much,
    Jimi
     
  8. RG111

    RG111 Piano User

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    Nov 12, 2003
    Jimi,

    I spent ten seasons playing in an orchestra prior to coming in the Marine Band. However, the orchestra had a 30 week season, and I preferred to not have to rely so heavily on teaching to make ends meet.
    I found no problem playing in the band vs. the orchestra. I continued studying with Lloyd Geisler while in the band (until he retired), and we worked on orchestral stuff.
    It was an interesting career, and I had time to a lot of quintet music when I was off duty. Also to teach privately.
    I don't believe the Marine Band requires a tape. At least they did not used to do so.
    Again, best wishes,
    Roy Griffin
     
  9. robertwhite

    robertwhite Mezzo Piano User

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    Jimi, I feel like I could fill you in a bit on the audition process for the Marine Band, as I made the finals for the President's Own once (1999). It came down to me and one other person, Mike Mergen, who was hired.

    It was 4 rounds, the last of which was sight-reading duets with one of the principals - Kurt Dupuis, and included the solo - "Norma". The screen was up the first and second rounds, and down for the 3rd and 4th. I switched between Bb and C throughout the audition. The audition was basically just like an orchestral audition, except for the sight-reading duets part. It's my understanding that now they even tell you which excerpts are on prelims and which are on semis, which is nice.

    I have no idea how any of the other bands run their auditions, but I thought I'd chime in on this since it happened not too long ago.
     
  10. tombrown1

    tombrown1 Pianissimo User

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    Feb 22, 2005
    Jimi,
    The U.S. Coast Guard Band has the first round behind a screen. Each additional round (as many as it takes) is not screened. Auditioners can feel free to play whichever horn they like. The repertoire is a mix of solo, band and orchestral excerpts, and sight reading.

    As far as playing in the band, I play about half C trumpet and half Bb. As far as adjusting from my orchestral training - in a band you play a lot more, so I have learned that it is far more important to have my general playing at a high level - as opposed to in an orchestra where you have to micromanage more.

    Let me know if you have any further questions.


    Tom
     

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