For your audition, you should choose two contrasting pieces (i.e., lyrical and technical) that represent your playing at its best. Ideally, you should choose pieces that are part of the standard bassoon repertoire. Suggestions include, but are not limited to, a movement or two from almost any Baroque sonata such as:

  • Telemann – “Sonata in F minor”
  • Galliard – any of the six sonatas
  • Boismortier – many options available
  • Senaille – “Allegro Spiritoso”
  • Mozart – “Concerto for Bassoon” (movements two and three are most commonly played)
  • Weissenborn – an etude from “50 Advanced Studies”


Be prepared to perform any of your major scales upon request. You will be asked to play two major scales at the beginning of the audition. Minor scales, thirds, arpeggios and other patterns are also great to know, but will not be a part of this audition.


You will be asked to sight-read a passage as part of your audition. You will be given a few moments to look it over and then we will ask you to perform it.

Preparation tips

Be sure to bring at least two reeds that you feel comfortable playing. Rotating reeds will not only extend their life, but also ensure that you have an adequate backup reed in case of emergency.

Check through your instrument for loose screws that may fall off at an inopportune time.

Cover one end of your bocal and blow air through the other end. Air should emanate from the whisper keyhold (the dimple on the side of the bocal). Past students have struggled through their audition because this small but important hole was plugged.

Practice playing through your audition pieces in the clothes that you intend to wear for the actual audition. Suit jackets can interfere with the fingers of the right hand if not properly secured. Dress comfortably so you can play your best.

If you have any questions, contact Bruce Hammel, professor of bassoon.