Michigan Tech Wind Symphony Audition Information:

If you have any questions regarding the audition or need an excerpt for your instrument, please contact the director (njenz -at- mtu.edu).


Percussionists (Percussion Audition Rubric):

You will be evaluated on tone, sense of rhythm, technique, intonation, musical phrasing, and overall musicality.

At the audition, you will be asked to:

  1. Perform a short snare solo or etude excerpt of your choice.*
  2. Perform a short timpani solo or etude excerpt of your choice.*
  3. (Optional) Perform a short mallet solo or etude excerpt of your choice.
  4. Sight read on snare and mallets.

Woodwind and Brass (Wind Audition Rubric):

You will be evaluated on tone, sense of rhythm, technique, intonation, musical phrasing, and overall musicality.

At the audition, you will be asked to:

  1. Perform a 1 minute up-tempo solo or etude excerpt of your choice demonstrating your technical ability*. Many students choose to play a short excerpt of a piece they took to Solo and Ensemble festival.
  2. Perform Londonderry Air or a 1 minute slower solo or etude excerpt of your choice demonstrating your tone and musical phrasing*.
  3. Perform 2 one-octave major scales that will be selected at random from memory (Eighth notes when quarter note = 80 bpm or faster).
  4. Perform a chromatic scale over the full practical range of your instrument (Eighth notes when quarter note = 80 bpm or faster).
  5. Tune your concert Bb, F, D, and Db to a Bb drone.**
  6. Sight reading.

* You may play a longer solo or etude that does contain both up-tempo, technical passages and slower, lyrical passages.  Follow this link if you need something to play.

** Although this element of the audition is somewhat untraditional I believe it is a very good indicator to how finely tuned the ears are.  This is a lot easier than many people think and a little practice everyday can make HUGE payoffs in just a few weeks.  Follow this link to download the drone and its practice instructions.  If you would like the remaining tracks email me.



Preparing for the audition:

Solo or Etude Excerpts:

These excerpts should best illustrate who you are personally as a musician. Don’t pick something that is too easy or too hard for you. Think of it as a "performance resume."

The technical piece should demonstrate your ability to play fast passages with precision and correct articulation. Rhythmic accuracy is imperative.  The slow passage should demonstrate your tone and phrasing abilities.


Londonderry Air (Danny Boy):

This is an evaluation of your musical intuition.  Only notes and rhythms are given.  I want you to add dynamics, phrase markings, tempo changes, etc.to make this as musical as possible.    


Scales:

Make sure that the scales are played evenly from the lowest note to the highest note.  This shows how much control you have throughout the different ranges of your instrument.  Too often, the chromatic scale is played like this:

Uneven Chromatic Scale


Your goal should be to play every scale with a steady, even beat:

Chromatic Scale Even

Tuning:

This part of the audition examines your ears and your ability to tune unisons and chords.  This may sound somewhat complicated, but many experienced musicians do this naturally without really thinking about it.  If you aren't able to do this easily, the best way to do this is practice.  Instructions and practice suggestions are included with the Bb drone track.

Sight reading:

Take some time to look over the piece.  Watch the key signature and accidentals.  Think about style and articulation.  Your goal is make it appear as though you have been playing this pieces for weeks!  Try not to stop if possible.  

The best way to practice sight reading is to do it as much as possible.   Force yourself to not stop playing.  After you get through it, THEN look at the passagese that were difficult.