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 tuba repertoire. These include, but are not limited to:
- J.S. Bach – “Air and Bourée” (arr. Bell)
- Don Haddad – “Suite for Tuba”
- Catozzi – “Beelzebub”
- Walter Hartley – “Sonatina”
- Alexander Tcherepinin – “Andante Op. 64”
- Franz Strauss – “Nocturne for Tuba and Piano”
Please note that these are only examples. Solos should be chosen to suit the individual.
Be prepared to perform at least two octaves of any of the major scales upon request. Preparation of minor scales is encouraged but not required.
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.
The audition committee will be evaluating you in several areas including:
- A representative tone on the instrument – listen to examples of professionals to hone this skill
- Technical facility on the instrument – develop this through study of Arban’s “Complete Method” for trombone, euphonium or tuba
- Goal-oriented music playing – develop this through study of Rochut’s “Melodious Etudes”
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 Ross Walter, associate professor of low brass.