Please note that we reserve the right to adjust the process at the discretion of the conductor.
Why do we hold seating auditions?
The short answer is that seating auditions assign a seat to each member of the string sections in the orchestras. Seating auditions offer an opportunity for musicians to monitor their individual progress and their musical development. This also gives the conductors the opportunity to monitor the progress of musicians throughout the season and to be better able to respond to difficulties as they arise. Winds, brass, and percussion - we hold seating auditions only when deemed necessary. Most wind, brass, and percussion sections are assigned to their seats based on their initial audition to the orchestra.
How frequently do we hold seating auditions?
We hold seating auditions prior to each concert. This allows musicians the opportunity to improve their seat throughout the season.
When do you hold seating auditions? Do I have to do this outside of rehearsal?
We hold seating auditions during rehearsals. The only portion that needs to be done outside of rehearsal is to practice your excerpts! The exception to this is if your musician will have to miss the rehearsal at which we plan to hold auditions. In that case, check out the information below that outlines what to do in case of absence.
Why are some auditions "blind" and others not?
Generally, the Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestra seating auditions are considered "blind". We record musicians individually as they play the required excerpts. Each recording/musician is assigned a random number and no voices are recorded. The recordings are compiled and given to the conductor to review. Once a seating order has been determined by the conductor, the assigned numbers are then matched up with the names. We believe that blind auditions allow for the conductors to best focus on the quality of the audition without knowledge of who is performing that audition.
Concert Orchestra generally does not do "blind" auditions. We record to a video camera for this ensemble. The reason is that at this level, the development of technique is critical and this can be taken into account during the auditions and individual feedback can be provided if problems are discovered in posture, the bow hand, or with fingerings.
Excerpts will be given out (at rehearsal, via e-mail, and website) a week or two prior to seating auditions. These excerpts will include broad areas in the music that will be performed at the upcoming concert, often some of the most challenging sections. Members should begin preparing this music as soon as the excerpts are provided - and definitely should work with their private teachers on these as much as possible!
Musicians arrive at rehearsal just as usual. Please check in.
One or two musicians will be taken to the recording room (one may wait outside for a minute or two). The adult in the room will handle the recording, provide the musician with instructions, and most importantly is not there to judge.
A recording cannot be stopped once begun. No "do-overs" are allowed. Please play straight through each excerpt once.
Once the recording is complete, the musician will go back to rehearsal and send another musician out to record.
What should I do if I can't attend rehearsal the day of auditions?
Musicians who miss seating auditions are responsible for recording their own audition. This may be done with a computer, a uni-directional microphone, and some basic recording software. If there are no other options, consider recording on a video camera, but (for Philharmonic and Symphony Orchestras) without showing the image of the musician (or speaking on the recording).
~ No speaking on the recording (except Concert Orchestra - please indicate your name)
~ No video (except Concert Orchestra)
~ Final excerpts (see above) will be given in advance to the parents to administer, but the musician is NOT to see these final excerpts until a maximum of 10 minutes prior to recording his or her auditon.
~ No "do-overs"
~ No individual tracks - please record to a single track for better indication that it was recorded in one take
~ Write your name, orchestra, and instrument on the CD, DVD, or other media.
Deadline for submitting an audition: 11:59 pm Sunday (the date of seating auditions for your orchestra.)