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Thread: NC All-State Audition

  1. #1

    NC All-State Audition

    Hello all! I'm very excited for my audition that is coming up this weekend for the NC All-State honors band, and I would like a few tips going into it. This is my first time qualifying for a state audition;however I have had alot of experience in honors band auditions in the past. My only question would have to be what kind of mindset should I have going into this kind of audition?I've also noticed over the years I have a bit of audition anxiety; any tips to help with that?

  2. I don't like to think of auditions as auditions. That's what used to give me audition anxiety. I think of it more as a chair placement test or just normal practice than an audition. (Note: This may or may not work for you.) You could also try Google searching tips on performance anxiety, or stage fright, or even what causes it. If you have any ACT or SAT study books there could be stuff in there about performance anxiety.

    As for the mindset-
    Confidence. Duh. But not overly-confident to where you're in over your head. Don't worry about making mistakes. You've practiced this material enough. Stay calm, control your breathing, think about other stuff throughout the day, and have fun. You're playing euphonium for crying out loud! Show 'em what it's all about.

    Also- Too much confidence has the same effect as no confidence whatsoever (or not enough confidence).

    And if you're up for it, do a mock audition. For yourself, a friend, section mate, parents, the people next door, whoever you want, really.

    Hope this helps


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Excellent suggestions by 'daviste' above. One thing I found helpful is try eating a banana 20 or 30 mins before the audition if you can. It helps relax you. When I have to play a solo in front of the band I have 2 bananas instead of dinner. Also, avoid anything having caffeine. Good luck with the audition.

    20 mins to less stress
    Rick Floyd
    Miraphone 5050 - Warburton Brandon Jones sig mpc
    YEP-641S (on long-term loan to grandson)
    Doug Elliott - 102 rim; I-cup; I-9 shank

    "Always play with a good tone, never louder than lovely, never softer than supported." - author unknown.
    Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches
    Russian Christmas Music (Alfred Reed)
    El Cumbanchero (Rafael Hernández) cell phone video

  4. #4
    Here are some thoughts:

    Nerves are tough. The article has advice about that, but it may be a bit too close to the time in this case. However, one thing you can do is mentally prepare for "the day." I saw an article recently that said it may not be possible to get yourself to calm down. Instead, turn the emotions into excitement:

    Otherwise, in the next few days you can do a few things:
    • For technical passages, play through them once a day at half speed and pay close attention to making quick, accurate finger motions and also to keep good air support for all notes. Then go back to normal tempo.
    • Practice each piece/excerpt at slightly slower and slightly faster tempos. You MAY be asked to do a piece at a particular tempo during an audition.
    • Once a day go through your pieces (some or all, depending on how many you have) in front of the TV with the volume up pretty loud (enough so you can easily understand words as you play). This will show you if you can play well even with distractions, because during an audition you mind may go a few "new" places or you may hear noises that distract you.
    • Above all, try to say something with each piece (musically). Have a concept of what the excerpts are about and really focus on putting into them what the composers intended. Your success will be better when your overall focus is on making music. You should be sharing those ideas with yourself and on "the day" with your panel of judges.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams Artist (Adams E3)
    YouTube: dwerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    Twitter: davewerden
    Instagram: davewerdeneuphonium


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