Brass FAQs and Tips

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What will the audition day be like?

You will check in and start with a group meeting. You will have enough time to properly warm up. You should come in comfortable but form fitting athletic wear with your own instrument. We will not be providing instruments. You will have a music audition and a visual audition. We staff our auditions with those responsible for ultimately casting the membership and offering contracts. The music audition will consist of performing the prepared audition material (your solo and the assigned exercise) for the BAC brass caption head or a full time BAC brass teacher. The visual audition will be administered by the BAC visual caption head or a full time BAC visual instructor. The visual audition will consist of basic marching concepts: posture & body control; forward and backwards marching at slow-moderate tempo; forward and backwards marching at moderate to fast tempo; slide positions. You will receive choreography and a visual warmup to prepare for the callback camp, as our visual auditions are extensive at the full weekend callback camps.

What should I prepare for my individual music audition?

1. Exercise 4 (Found in 2020 Audition Packet). Please be prepared to play this exercise at Quarter Note = 172
2. A 1 to 2.5 minute technical solo, etude, or characteristic study of your choosing.

*Below you will find a list of suggested solo literature. Please note that these are
suggestions only and you do not need to choose from this list.

What should I prepare for my individual visual audition?

The Boston Crusaders 2020 visual/technique guides will be sent to you after registering.

What is the evaluation process?

You will be rated musically and visually: 3 (not callback ready), 2 (callback camp invite),
1 (callback camp invite & contract trajectory). We often use “+ and/or -”; i.e. 2+ to give
an indication of your range.

Will I know if I received a callback before leaving the audition?


What should I bring?

You must bring your own instrument, as we will not be providing instruments. You will not need to bring a music stand, as one will be provided for you in the audition room. Bring water, comfortable clothes, and whatever else will allow you to have the most successful audition.

7 Tips

  1. Practice, practice, practice!
    • Preparation is the key to success in any audition process. The more you prepare, the better you will exhibit your skills and abilities at the audition. Do not try to cram before the audition! Include your audition material in your daily routine. Also, make sure to practice your entire required repertoire periodically.
  2. Finger dexterity or fast fingers aren’t everything!
    • Even though playing fast and technical is part of the audition, there are other important components to consider. Be sure to perform with attention to intonation, integrity of rhythm, thoughtfulness, musicality, and beautiful tone.
  3. Don’t apologize for mistakes!
    • No one likes making mistakes, but it is a part of the audition process and playing a brass instrument. Number of mistakes will not be counted during your audition, but rather how you navigate around your instrument with effortlessness and ease will be observed. If you make a mistake, recover and move on. You will always be your worst critic!
  4. Do not worry about the length of time you spend in the audition room!
    • If you are stopped early in your piece and materials, it simply means that you have offered a full representation of your playing.
  5. State of mind!
    • Being nervous is completely normal, but the more you feel prepared, the more your nerves will subside. A great way to work on controlling your nervousness is by engaging yourself in high-pressure situations. When preparing for your audition, perform for as many people as possible!
  6. Know what is expected!
    • You will be evaluated on tone quality, ease of interval control, well-coordinated fingers and finger speed, evenness and effortlessness of flexibility, maintenance of rhythmic control, consistency of tongue placement on tonguing passages, center of pitch, and musicianship through the use of various dynamics and phrasing.
  7. Lastly… remember to relax, breathe, and enjoy the experience!

Suggested Audition Literature

Below you will find a list of solo literature and method books that correspond with your instrument. You may use one of these solos or a piece from one of the method books for your individual audition, but you do not need to choose from this list. This list is only meant to provide suggestions to help steer you through the overwhelming amount of music available and to help make your audition preparation easier.

Trumpet Solos

  • Alexander Arutunian: Trumpet Concerto
  • Halsey Stevens: Sonata for Trumpet And Piano
  • Paul Hindemith: Trumpet Sonata
  • Johann Nepomuk Hummel: Trumpet Concerto
  • Franz Joseph Haydn: Trumpet Concerto
  • Georges Enescu: Legend
  • Henri Tomasi: Concerto
  • Kent Kennan: Sonata for Trumpet and Piano
  • Eugene Bozza: Caprice
  • Jean-Baptiste Arban: The Carnival of Venice
  • H. Stevens: Sonata for Trumpet & Piano
  • K. Kennan: Sonata for Trumpet & Piano
  • G.P. Telemann: Concerto in D
  • H. Tomasi: Concerto in C

Trumpet Method Books

  • Arban: Characteristic studies-solos
  • Herbert L. Clarke: Characteristic Studies
  • Edwin Franko Goldman: Practical Studies for the Trumpet
  • Marcel Bitsch: 20 Etudes
  • Eugene Bozza: 16 Etudes

Mellophone/French Horn Solos

  • Mozart: Horn Concertos (any of four)
  • Beethoven: Sonata
  • R. Strauss: Concerto No. 1
  • Saint-Saens: Morceau de Concert
  • Gliere: Concerto
  • F. Strauss: Nocturno
  • Gliere: Romance, Valse Triste, Intermezzo, Nocturno
  • Saint-Saens: Romance
  • Dukas: Villanelle
  • Bozza: En Foret
  • Hindemith: Sonata
  • Heiden: Sonata

Mellophone/French Horn Method Books

335 Selected Melodious, Progressive, and Technical Studies for Horn Kopprasch: 60 Selected Studies Kling: 40 Studies Reynolds: 48 Etudes

Baritone/Trombone Solos

  • Barat: Andante et Allegro or Introduction and Dance
  • Capuzzi: Andante and Rondo
  • Clarke: Bride of the Waves or Maid of the Mist
  • Corwell: New England Reveries
  • Curno: Rhapsody
  • DeLuca: Beautiful Colorado
  • Galliard: Sonata No. 1 (any movement)
  • Alexandre Guillmant: Marceau Symphonique
  • Haddad: Suite for Baritone
  • Handel: Concerto in f minor
  • Horovitz: Concerto (any movement)
  • Marcello: Sonata No. I in F Major
  • Sparke: Song for Ina
  • Telemann: Sonata in f minor (any movement)
  • Sulec: Sonata for Trombone
  • Hindemith: Trombone Sonata- The Swashbuckler
  • JE Barat: Andante and Allegro
  • Galliard: Sonata (any)
  • Greg Egan: Arrows of Time

Baritone/Trombone Method Books

  • Arban: Complete Method for Trombone/Euphonium (Characteristic Studies)
  • Bordogni/Rochut: Melodious Etudes for Trombone Vol. 1

Tubas-Method book

  • Bordogni (the tuba version of Rochut): Lyrical
  • C. Kopprasch: 60 Selected Studies
  • Blazevich: 70 Studies for Tuba