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Audition question - just curious

Postby proam » Sun Dec 02, 2018 2:39 pm

I was looking over the Utah Symphony audition list and was just curious, if you all can stand a question born of ignorance -- what key instruments would you take? Or can (should?) you play everything from Bydlo to "Ride" on the same horn?

Also, I read about playing Berlioz on ophicleide and Verdi on cimbasso, for example. Do they ever encourage the use of exotic instruments for a standard orchestra audition or is that limited to the more specialty, authentic groups?

The list is probably standard and may be found here: ... 201812.pdf" target="_blank
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Re: Audition question - just curious

Postby hockeyched » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:28 pm

For most orchestra auditions you would bring a bass and a contrabass tuba. Some people do these in different keys but I would say the majority of players in the US are using C and F tubas. Several military bands ask for everything played on the contrabass tuba and some opera auditions require cimbasso, but not always. At least in my experience, in the US, this is standard. Now for auditions elsewhere, you'd have to ask someone else.
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Re: Audition question - just curious

Postby Steginkt » Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:36 pm

97% of orchestral auditions (perhaps more) in the US will be taken on a CC for contrabass excerpts. Which size and valve style is and will remain a topic of spirited debate.
Bass tuba exerpts and any solos will be played on an Eb or F horn. For the last 40 years, F has been about as prominent as the CC, but there seem to be quite a few now who prefer the Eb. I know a handful of regional orchestra players who use one, and I think more will join. I find that a lot of excepts really lay well on Eb, including Petrouchka, Brahms 2, Mahler 1, and most of the Berlioz offering.
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Re: Audition question - just curious

Postby Jim Andrus » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:24 am

Just to add to what’s already been said: in relation to the Utah list since that is what you are looking at, all the Berlioz excerpts, Mahler 1, and Bydlo, and the Vaughan Williams concerto would be played on F tuba, and the rest on CC tuba. However there are a few excerpts on that list that could be and are played in auditions on either horn by different players. For instance some would play the soli section of Meistersinger on CC and some would play it on F. Or in Till Eulenspiegel some would play the opening ascending arpeggio on F and some would on CC. It boils down to preference and ultimately what sounds better. In my experience, decisions to use F or Cc should never be made in an egotistical way (jock mentality of playing EVERYTHING on CC tuba) but should be informed by the music, composer, style, and ultimately which instrument can help you as a performer produce the best product.
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Re: Audition question - just curious

Postby bloke » Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:49 pm

If you have to ask...
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Re: Audition question - just curious

Postby Casca Grossa » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:51 pm

bloke wrote:If you have to ask...

This post should probably go into the ask Ask Bloke thread.
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