U.S. Army Field Band Audition?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Meldog, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. Meldog

    Meldog Pianissimo User

    Age:
    38
    69
    0
    Nov 24, 2004
    Blaine, ME
    I'm thinking about doing an audition for the group and they would like a CD submitted. Before I emailed them I just wanted to see if anyone here knew. Do they want it with accomp or without. Also I wanted to ask, how hard is it to get into a group like this. What do they look for other then a great sight-reader. Thanks!!
    Adam Metzler
     
  2. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    6,791
    3,552
    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    Not only do you have to sight read your butt off, but you have to do it and be musical too! :shock:

    I personally have never taken an audition for a premier military band, (not one of the REAL ones anyway) but I have friends that have (and have made it) and I know a few guys out of those bands here and there. There are some fantastic players in those bands. World class players. There are incredible musicians that are there for the sole fact that it's one of the few places that you can go, make a decent living, have great job security and fairly decent benefits.

    I knew a guy when I was at the School of music who was the principle trumpet player for an orchestra in Venezuela that folded and he joined the Navy band program simply to have a steady job. He was insanely good. Julliard educated. The works. I would sit next to him in concert band rehearsals to sort of pick his brain. The first run through, he'd play what was on the page. Perfectly. The second run through, he'd play it again, but he was already bored. The third run through he would start to improvise counter melodies and harmonic lines. Perfectly. I used to ask him how he could do that. To him it was elementary. Simple.

    Anyway, back to the subject, I think that you would be better off sending in a polished, accompanied CD, but I don't think that it is necessary. As for your playing, technically, you can't be weak in any aspect of your playing. You need to be a total package player. Solid sound, great technique, good musicality and interpretation, good intonation, and you have to be able to blend with the section if they ask you to play with the ensemble. It's also a good idea if you look like you can make it through basic training and don't have any height/weight issues.

    Other than that, you will probably be interviewed as to what kind of a person you are. If they think that your personality might be a problem, it significantly reduces your chances. Many of the premier band musicians are there for 20 plus years so they have to be able to get along with you over the long haul.

    If anyone has any information about this that is more recent than what I "know" feel free to correct me. Things can and do change in the premier military bands and I have been out for 5 years. (I was in the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps which is considered to be a "premier" military band - same MOS, 02S - but at the time I auditioned, as long as you could play decently, could march and didn't look like you would get fat, you were pretty much in.)
     
  3. davtpt

    davtpt New Friend

    Age:
    50
    10
    0
    Jan 14, 2005
    Connecticut
    Military Bands

    On March of 2004 my National Guard Band Unit went to Germany for 2 weeks so we could get a feel for active duty band, the first thing LT Palmatier ( the full time bandmaster ) said was " I hate trumpets, & I hate trumpet players".
    This was before we even took our instruments out of the cases, I knew it was going to be a long 2 weeks...
    As the lead player & section leader I told my 3 member trumpet squad to bite their lip, take the insults, and we'll be out of there shortly..
    This small trumpet section we have is the cleanest this unit has ever had, it's sad because this specific individualhas a negative view on ALL trumpet players that he didn't get the full potential of our playing, we did walk on egg-shells for that period of time and I'm glad to say I have less than a month in the military, far too many bandmasters out there with that view!!!!
    As for the full time trumpet players in that band ( USERRA ), my heart goes out to them, they exist in constant fear as long as their under this tyrant!!
    Good luck with your military career!!!
     
  4. FreshBrewed

    FreshBrewed Mezzo Piano User

    520
    1
    Nov 11, 2003
    Houston, TX
    Davtpt,

    LTC Palmatier can be a rough one to handle. I am stationed in Germany not too far from his band and went over there for a Bobby Shew clinic last year. His trumpet players do not live in fear. The SGM that just left that band is a trumpet player and an up front guy. I am sure what the LTC meant was partly in jest. The best advice I could give you is to not take the comment personal. He said he hated trumpet players, not that he hated Davtpt. I will tell you that Palmatier favors his concert band heavily and if you guys are jazzers, that was the problem he had with you. You say there are far too many bandmasters with the view of a tyrant but how many have you actually served under? The rumor mill is crazy in the active duty bands so don't just assume someone is an ass because that is what you heard. By the way, I have enjoyed my military career very much over the last ten years. Best of luck to you in the future.
     
  5. davtpt

    davtpt New Friend

    Age:
    50
    10
    0
    Jan 14, 2005
    Connecticut
    LTC Palmetier

    Hey thanks for the update, I guess it was my impression for those 2 weeks as to how Tommy boy ( Palmetier ) treated his own people..
    He did give us a little lecture on the last day we were there & he told us he's a classical tuba player, he did mention again how he wished the symphonies would omit the tpt players!!! ugh!
    Anyways when I returned to the states & went on their website I saw the new jazz cd, I e-mailed them & believe it or not, 9 months later ( 2 days ago ) they sent me a free cd :)
    Well to all my brothers in the service, good luck & have fun.
     
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    6,791
    3,552
    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    I was reviewing this thread and I realized that when I first wrote my post about the phenomenal Navy trumpet player, I couldn't remeber his name. I do now. His name was Paul Lindsey. He might not be well known, but I can tell you that he really is a great player, or at least he was at the time.

    Freshbrewed, what was the name of the Sergeant Major you were refering to?
     
  7. bachstradivarius

    bachstradivarius New Friend

    Age:
    36
    34
    3
    Sep 27, 2012
    KY
    Probably SGM Woody English
     
  8. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    8,040
    2,035
    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    SGM Woody English has now retired from the Army.

    He was an Army sounder of TAPS at Arlington National Cemetery, and did the recording for the electronic ceremonial bugle.
     

Share This Page