For your audition, you should prepare 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 solo trumpet repertoire and/or excerpts from the standard orchestral repertoire. These include, but are not limited to:

Solo repertoire

  • Concertos by J.N. Hummel, F.J. Haydn, A. Arutunian and E. Gregson
  • Sonatas by K. Kennan, H. Stevens and P. Hindemith
  • “Legend” by G. Enesco
  • “Intrada” by A. Honnegger

Orchestral excerpts

  • Copland – “Outdoor Overture”
  • Mahler – Symphonies No. 3, 5, 6, or 7
  • Respighi – “Pines of Rome”
  • Strauss – “Don Juan” or “Don Quixote”
  • Stravinsky – “Petrouchka” or “Firebird”

Don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with these pieces. The most important thing is that you play pieces with which are familiar and comfortable. You will not be penalized for playing repertoire that is unfamiliar to the audition committee and you are better off playing simpler music very well than playing more challenging music poorly.


Be prepared to perform any of your major scales upon request. Keep in mind that we are more likely to ask for challenging scales such as B, D-flat, F-sharp, etc.


We will ask you 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

Choose your solo and/or excerpt music early and work on it carefully with a private teacher. Practice sight-reading — it sounds counterintuitive, but a person only becomes an expert from doing it a lot. Borrow etude books you haven’t seen and read one etude a day. Practice your scales so thoroughly that you can’t make a mistake, even when you’re nervous.

Finally, set up several mock auditions with your parents and friends. If you become familiar with the process of playing your solo pieces, having people request scales of you and having them choose sight-reading pieces, you’ll find all of your college auditions to be a lot easier — you might even enjoy them!

If you have any questions, contact Rex Richardson, associate professor of trumpet.