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Advice for College Auditions

The title could be "Any Audition", really. But, after yet another year of auditions here at USC, I felt the need to share a few ideas in regards to auditioning. In no particular order:

1. You need to be on-time. And by on-time, I mean early. Sometimes auditions run early.

2. It's ok to be nervous, but have a smile on your face. A friendly face works magic - not only to the committee, but to the auditionee. Psychologically, its put you in a better place to play at your best.

3. Be confident, not cocky. Being arrogant is a complete turn-off. I want students that will associate well with others in the studio. This is paramount in the education process. Students will automatically push each other and nobody wants a person they cannot get along with.

4. Dress for success. No tennis shoes, no jeans, no t-shirts! Men - dress shoes, nice slacks and a button down shirt tell a lot about someone. Ladies - slacks or skirt (not too short) and a blouse. How would you interview for a job? On the other hand, don't over dress (tux, bow ties, 3 piece suits, pantsuit, etc.).

5. You need to look at the audition requirements WELL BEFORE the audition. Not bringing in the proper literature will not turn out well. Not all colleges/universities/conservatories will have specific requirements, but many do. These requirements are usually published on the school website. If not, then call and ask. If nothing is listed, either consult your private instructor or contact the trumpet professor of the school.

6. Refrain from self deprecating comments during the audition. Actually, its best not to speak unless spoken to. Everything you do/say is being scrutinized and you don't want to get in your own way by beating yourself down.

7. Be prepared to answer some questions, basic questions... like, "where do you see yourself in 10 years"? "What are your golas in life"?

8. Only warm-up, don't sit there and do a run through after run through of your materials before your audition. You will tire yourself out and not play at your highest level.

9. Have a few questions handy, just in case you are asked "Do you have any questions"?

10. Be yourself. Don't try to "fit in". Professor's look for musicality and technique on the instrument, but they also look for authenticity of the person auditioning. Just be yourself.

I am sure I could come up with another 10 items, but these seem to rise to the top year after year.

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