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Miltary Band Audition Questions



 
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richj50
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Joined: 02 Dec 2001
Posts: 363

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can someone who has gone through the process give a sense of what a military band audition is like, especially the process for the D.C. based groups. I'm hoping to get a live audition after sending in a tape for the currently advertised Army Ceremonial Band opening. I know that you are asked to play a solo of your choice, major and minor scales (2 octaves) and site reading.

What sort of difficulty would be required on the solo to make a favorable impression (assuming you do a decent job on whatever you choose). Would something like the Kennan Sonata be acceptable or are they expecting Haydn/Hummel?

As far as scales, how high are they expecting you to go on 2-octave scales? I assume that you should at least be able to do a C scale two octaves, but what about higher than that? If they ask for D major, should that be 2 octaves? Eb?

What sort of site reading do they throw at you? Would it be more the difficulty of a typical 1st trumpet band part or could it be something closer to a Charlier etude?

Finally, what sort of room do you generally play in? How many people usually listen? Are they taped? Are there there multiple auditions for semi finalists, finalists, etc.?

Also, assuming that you win the audition (a BIG assumption I know), what determines which seat you will fill? Do you just take the place of the person that left or is there reshuffling when a new member comes in?

Thanks,
Rich
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fuzzyjon79
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done an Army and Marine Corps band audtion before and you are right on everything that you are preparing for. They will probably ask for ALL scales, major and minor. I was asked for a 3 octave G scale, but I thought the guy was kidding, evidently he was not. Anyone else had to play in the extreme upper register for a military audition? You will be sightreading a lot of different styles of music also. I sightread a couple marches, some slow lyrical stuff, and then a samba. It was laid back, but it was not easy, but if you know your stuff, you will do fine. JGulyas will be able to further help you because he is still in the Navy Band. Good luck!!
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308WIN
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Joined: 18 Jan 2002
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Location: Waldorf MD

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2003 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well,
They're all different. I'll be taking the Army one too. I did it last year as well. After talking to guys running the audition it should be the same as last year.

The solo is NOT your choice. It's assigned with the rest of the music. Army doesn't require scales. The only one that I know that used to was the Air Force, but since their old commander left they don't anymore. The Army list is a bear. Marches, Charlier, Fanfares, Lyrical-cornetty stuff, screamer stuff. Not fun.

In some respects the Marine band is the easiest audition. Don't get me wrong, it's still hard. You know what you have to play, when you have to play it. The Marine Band almost NEVER hears the solo (last couple years it's been Norma). I was runner up for the last audition there, and never touched Norma.

Most important is be solid with your rhythm and be able to SIGHT READ....ALOT.

Good luck,
Rich
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Sgt B
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Joined: 20 Jun 2003
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Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2003 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey there
I'm a member of "Pershing's Own"--ceremonial/herald trumpets.
About the audition, I'm not in on the audition process so I'm not sure what will be on the list. I can't say with certainty but I shouldn't think that scales would be a part of an audition for a DC military band. At this level we figure you know your scales.
My audition (if I remember correctly--long time ago) was sight-reading and a bit of my prepared solo (Bozza Caprice, I think). They also asked me to play a jazz tune (something like Stardust, Misty,etc.)
Sight-reading material could be anything--marches, fanfares, concert band literature.
You should probably select a solo that makes the best use of your particular strengths.

The audition will take place in a medium sized hall that is used for small group rehearsals and recitals. The audition will probably include 2 rounds with around 3-4 people listening.

Seats? That would be nice. We mainly stand
For most ceremonies we divvy-up the parts so that nobody has to kill his/her self playing first on everything.

Good luck
James
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308WIN
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Joined: 18 Jan 2002
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Location: Waldorf MD

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2003 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

James,
How long have you been in? I spoke with Allyn Van Patten (sp?) and he said that the list would pretty much be the same as last year. Last year everyone had to play the same solo piece (Halsey-Stevens).
BTW, say hi to Robert Goodner for me. I went to school with him at UMD.
Later,
Rich
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Sgt B
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Joined: 20 Jun 2003
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Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2003 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Rich
I joined the band in '86.
Yep, Allyn would know better than me...
I'll say hello to Robert for you.

Take care,
James
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JGulyas
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Joined: 24 Apr 2002
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2003 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi James,

Please tell Denny I said hello and to please email me if he can. Also, if you know what happened to Ken Holdsworth (other than retiring), or if he's still in the area, tell him I said hi as well.

Thanks!

John
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John P. Gulyas, MU2, USN
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Jarrett Ellis
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Joined: 14 Jan 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey... in reference to regular military band auditions.. (I think SGT B got the special bands covered. ) You will need a prepared solo... and yes it is your choice, or was when I went through the Armed Forces SOM... anyway, Prepared solo, Know your scales for this one, Maj, min, har, mel, 2 octave. and your going to sightread. That's just about it... it's not hard, and if you just practice how to take the audition you can get a 3.0 pretty easy... in the regular military system your going to meet some really good players and some really bad players... just warning you... not everyone in the military likes to, or wants to play their horn, so as you would imagine some bands can be pretty bad... If you can, get into a special band... if not.. at least go Macom. Anyway if you need anything here's my address.
[email protected]
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308WIN
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Joined: 18 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2003 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jarrett,
The only DC bands that offered you your choice of solo for the actual audition (at least this past year) were Air Force and Navy. Army (last year and probably this year) asked for the first mvt of the Halsey-Stevens. Marines (for the past three years) always ask for Norma (every couple years or so they change it to Fantaisie Brilliante), yet almost NEVER have the finalists play it.
Now, for the "taped round" you can put on any solo you wish.

HTH
Rich
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Jarrett Ellis
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, Maybe I was unclear, I was commenting on the regular auditions into the military band field, you guys probably know more than I about the DC auditions. Thanks!
-Jarrett
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mfan
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Joined: 06 Aug 2003
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Location: Naples, Italy

PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2003 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently auditioned for a spot on the trumpet section in the Navy band in New Orleans. My audition lasted almost an hour. It consisted of a random selection of major and minor scales. They told me what octaves to play. Then they wanted to hear a prepared piece. I played that then there was sight reading. A big book full of different stuff that got harder and harder as we went through it. I remember arban studies, some lyrical excerpts, first trumpet and coronet parts from different marches, and then some orchestral excerpts. I also had to play two lead charts, they picked out two different intros and shout sections to play. I had also prepared my won lead piece to play but they weren't interested in hearing it. Anyway it seemed like pretty standard stuff, no surprises. They offered me a spot and as long as I can get into New Orleans I'm there. What better place to learn to play the horn? I sign my papers next week! Hope this has helped!
-Collin
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JenTrumpet
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Joined: 13 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello
I'm currently in the "President's Own" Marine Band in DC. I'm relatively new, and the audition procedure for my band was pretty straightforward, no huge surprises. I had to play in 2 rounds (prelims and semis), first round I played about 6 of the band excerpts, and next round I did the rest of the excerpts, and sight read duets with the principal trumpeter. I never ended up having to play the Norma, but another guy who was in the finals with me did, but most often you won't have to play the solo.
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trumpetdiva1
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Joined: 22 May 2002
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fuzzyjon79 wrote:
Anyone else had to play in the extreme upper register for a military audition?


This old thread brings back memories. I had auditioned for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine bands one year in the early 90's. It helped that I was playing in six university ensembles and was preparing for a recital at the time.

Yes, I was asked to play the highest note that I could at the end of an Air Force band audition. So, I gave them a good G above high C and I had blisters inside my lip that day.

The sight reading for the Air Force was the most difficult. I sight read alone (for the call back it had like six sharps and the etude jumped around in more than one octave) and with the jazz band and wind ensemble. The Army's was easier (asked for a lot of sight reading and in increasing difficulty to see how high I could score). I scored a 3.4 on my audition and was a comeback player of 2 years. The Navy band loved my solo so much that they had me play it again for someone else. I wonder what life would have been like had I accepted the offer with the Navy band.

All of them asked for scales and a prepared solo. The Air Force band asked for a Charlier etude in addition to the solo piece as well as prepared excerpts and playing with the brass quintet in the call back audition.

Anyway, thought that I would share my experiences.

Janell
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rockford
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JGulyas wrote:
Hi James,

Please tell Denny I said hello and to please email me if he can. Also, if you know what happened to Ken Holdsworth (other than retiring), or if he's still in the area, tell him I said hi as well.

Thanks!

John
Ken Holzworth is retired and living in Ohio. He's on the adjunct faculty at Kent State.
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