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 an audition piece: a lyrical piece, or a technical piece?
Author: loverofclarinets 
Date:   2010-06-21 20:42

I have choice A or choice B. Choice A is not technically note/rhythm wise hard, but definitely is very challenging on the lyrical, musicality aspect, and I feel more comfortable playing this. The other is a Ticheli piece, technically very very challenging and impressive when played well but I feel as if I will be more worried about moving my fingers and counting the beats than actually "feeling" the music.

I feel as if I should go with "A", but is "B" a wiser choice for an audition? What makes a good audition piece? It is an audition for a honors band.

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 Re: an audition piece: a lyrical piece, or a technical piece?
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2010-06-21 21:08

Personally I would play to your strength. Your rhythmic accuracy will be evident in the lyrical piece AND you can also showcase your ability to draw the music out of it as well.

The problem with the technical piece is that you need to have it rock solid to make it work..........and it might not. I recall an audition I began (my choice) with the second mvt of Stravinky's Three Pieces after hearing the words "Impress us," from behind the blind. I was not "on." It sounded like a cat fight. End of audition.

.................Paul Aviles

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 Re: an audition piece: a lyrical piece, or a technical piece?
Author: JJAlbrecht 
Date:   2010-06-22 01:56

I agree. Do the piece that you can perform at its best. You are short changing yourself if you go into an audition, having prepared something not quite up to standard.


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 Re: an audition piece: a lyrical piece, or a technical piece?
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2010-06-22 12:04

You haven't said what you will be auditioning for. I assume, since you didn't say so, that no specific requirements were given to you. In that case I'd agree that you're better off playing to your strength. But whatever happens at this audition, I'd suggest for future occasions having both a lyrical and a technical piece prepared that you're comfortable with. There's no sense in playing a difficult piece that you aren't confident about if you don't have to, but many auditions specifically require one lyrical and one technical piece. Without knowing the Ticheli piece you're writing about in this post, I'd guess there are lots of other pieces around that will sound suitably flashy but lie better under the fingers and are less rhythmically intricate than your choice B.

Good luck,

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 Re: an audition piece: a lyrical piece, or a technical piece?
Author: Ken Shaw 2017
Date:   2010-06-22 17:17

The judges are going to want to hear both technique and lyricism. If this is for a high school all-city band, they'll be looking for technique first. At the all-state level, the balance will be closer to 50/50.

I advise choosing the technical piece. Practice it with a metronome to get the rhythm really solid. You lose more points for unsteady rhythm than anything else. Then, play it a little slower than your maximum speed and put some lyricism in it. That way you get both.

Ken Shaw

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 Re: an audition piece: a lyrical piece, or a technical piece?
Author: William 
Date:   2010-06-22 21:56

Play what you play best--downplay your weaknesses. And dress sharp--don't dress like a slob. Stand up straight, be confident and polite. Beyond all that, auditions can be the "most fun".

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 Re: an audition piece: a lyrical piece, or a technical piece?
Author: Jack Kissinger 
Date:   2010-06-23 16:18

The conventional wisdom for auditions is "play the piece you play the best" to show your strengths and hide your weaknesses. What goes unsaid in this advice is that, in a competitive audition, the peace you play best had better carry a fair amount of technical difficulty if you want to win. It's not clear from your original post whether choice "A" and choice "B" are your choices or the Honors Band Selection Committee's. If they are your choices, you might want to consider additional options. If they are the Committee's, you're stuck but the good news is that if they are the only options available, the Committee may consider them equally challenging. If you want to win, consider who your competition will be and make sure the piece you choose is competitive.

Best regards,

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