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Next Level Journals Strings Summer 2015

10on pieces of paper

10on pieces of paper which she then drew randomly from a bag.• Before beginning a dry run, close your eyes for a good solidminute and visualize being in an actual audition environment.Begin playing from dead silence, as will be the case. Envisionplaying into a screen (or better yet, secure a screen) for yourorchestra audition or, for a college audition, facing a long tableseated with faculty members. Is the power of imagery resultingin an increase in adrenaline flow? Repeat these images oftenenough and by audition time, the actual event will seem lessintimidating and perhaps even like a familiar feeling as you havealready mentally transported yourself there many times before.• The effectiveness of a performance is strongly coloredby your emotional commitment. Think of great orators and theirskill sets which hypnotically draw audiences in. Your passionand zeal for the material being presented should be distinctlypalpable, even from behind a screen. A lack of true engagementspeaks louder than a finely crafted performance.• Think of the old proverb “Different strokes for differentfolks.” Be prepared to play passages from such excerpts asSchumann’s Scherzo or Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’sDream with varying tempi and bow strokes. Committees areknown to make these requests to applicants of interest.• No cell phones, texting, or Facebook while performing mockauditions (self explanatory!).10 KNOW THE SCORE/WEAR MULTIPLE HATS• Unless playing a solo work, it is incumbent to understandthe full context of concerti, concert pieces and orchestralexcerpts. Rehearsing a concerto or concert piece with a pianoreduction of the orchestral score offers a basic understandingof how the solo part intersects with the whole. Study of theoriginal orchestration provides the most complete insight intothe work’s intended presentation. When taking orchestralauditions, understand that committee members are intimatelyfamiliar with the excerpts being played; they have alreadyperformed the works countless times over the course of theircareers. Therefore, it is readily apparent to them if the applicantunderstands the full context of the excerpt. It is not unusual foraudition lists to contain works that an applicant, particularly ayounger one, has never encountered. If this is the case, and anopportunity to perform the work is not on the horizon, try playingalong with recordings. While a highly artificial situation, it stillmight provide enough of a glimpse into how the excerpt fitsinto the whole, and perhaps even allow for a slightly improvedcomfort level.• Are concerti being approached with the identical mindsetas the excerpts? Do they have similar dynamic scopes? Oneshould remain mindful that the concerto is the time to don asoloist hat and shine like a star; the presentation has to representan ability for, and understanding of, the skill sets required to soarabove a 90 piece orchestra, even if the audition is taking placewithin a small space. After all, why would a concerto be includedas part of the process if solo skills were not of interest to thecommittee?

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