Why I’m on my way to an audition not quite knowing what I’m going to play yet.

Audition number 2 of 2017 is only hours away, and yet, although I’m already on the train to the audition, I still don’t know what I’m going to be playing. 

Is it because I am disorganised? No. It’s actually the complete opposite.

As I’m sure many other musicians understand, some days some things just work better than other things. Most days my tone is pure and clear straight off, but sometimes it takes a bit longer for me to sound like ‘me’. More often than not, my double tonguing is brilliant, but sometimes it just doesn’t quite work the way I want it to.
I have my off days. I have my bad days.

But then, that’s not really a musician thing, it’s a human thing. Our bodies can be unpredictable, sometimes co-ordination is just better than other times, and that’s not something that can be helped. Yes, we can improve the likelyhood of good co-ordination through thorough practice and discipline, but we can’t stop those off days completely.

So, why don’t I know what I’m going to be playing?

I was up early this morning, and so couldn’t warm up or practice before leaving to catch my train (I’m not sure my sister would be too happy if I woke her up with my practice at 5am), and instead I am listening to and looking through my pieces on the train. Because I’ve not yet had a chance to run through pieces this morning, I don’t know whether my double tonguing is going to be amazing today, or if my tone is going to be as perfect as I would like it to be for an audition.

If I don’t know if everything is working the way I want it to today, how can I know what I should play? Do I turn up to the audition with only the 10 minutes of music that they ask for prepared, and risk a dodgy audition because my tone isn’t quite perfect enough today for Danse de la Chèvre, or my double tonguing isn’t crisp enough today for In Ireland, or do I take more pieces than I need and see what works best today when I get to the venue and practice?

For this particular audition, the university have asked for 10 minutes of own choice music. I have just over 30 minutes of music with me, all prepared for auditions. This way, I can decide what is working best when I have warmed up and played through a few things, and I can audition confidently, knowing that I am playing pieces that play to my strengths today.

The pieces I have with me today are:

  • Mozart – Concerto in G, mvt. I and mvt. II
  • Reinecke – Concerto in D, mvt. I
  • Gaubert – Sonata no. 3, mvt. I and mvt. III
  • Honegger – Danse de la Chèvre
  • Harty – In Ireland

These are all pieces I am comfortable with, and can play well (and have used for auditions before), so I’m not exactly walking into my audition blind, with not a clue what I’m doing, I’m very well prepared.  I just don’t know exactly what I’ll be playing.

Please let me know what you think of this post, and my audition preparation! How do you all pick your audition repertoire?

Hopefully, I’ll be able to post more blog posts like this (I’ll aim for once a month to start off with) in the future, and keep you all up to date with what I’m doing!

Emily Louise


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