First off, when picking a college audition piece, you should do some research on the college (especially the music school) that you're applying to. Doing this research will give you a better sense of the competitive atmosphere of the school, the pros and cons, and the agenda/goal of the institution and the music school. Based on those factors, making decisions about audition music should NOT be a very stressful ordeal. This is very important, and it can affect your performance in the long run if you stress yourself too much. Way too many high school students are victims to this, and therefore they don't audition as well as they wanted to.
I'm assuming since you're going to audition at a music school, then you must a have a private teacher. That should be the first person to go to for help. She/he will be your most reliable and important asset because they have an extensive knowledge of the college audition process, the trumpet repertoire in general, and serves as an important contact for writing recommendations. Talk to them and explain how you want the audition to go and the music along with it.
I don't know which college (music school) you're applying to, but if they have ANY prepared material, be sure to get that out of the way and ready for auditions, primarily because it will make your music search less stressful and so you can focus on college applications (if you didn't finish them already).
First rule of picking college audition music: DO NOT pick anything that is completely outside your technical capabilities, ever! If you can't learn it well enough to the point of at least decently playing it, then don't even bother. You will be wasting your time and energy that you would like to have later. Second rule: DO NOT pick anything that will mostly be deemed as too easy! That will give the audition panel a bad first impression and an implication that you don't work hard, you don't challenge yourself, etc, etc. And thirdly: DO pick something that will bring out as much musicianship as possible, with making less errors. College band directors expect a high level of consistency with everyone, so to show that consistency from the get-go will make your 4-5 years an enjoyable one (which could open many doors!).
A typical college audition consists of etudes and/or solos, and they both contrast appropriately. Technical pieces, with the appropriate research, will probably be the first thing you will decide on. That ranges from: the Haydn, Hummel, Arutunian, Chaynes, etc, concerti, to etudes from Charlier (#1 is a good technical etude; a challenge but totally feasible, and #11 is also acceptable) to Bitsch #1, to Gekker #25, etc, etc. Clarke solos are also good technical pieces; some more challenging than others. Look into "Maid of the Mist", and if it's too easy for you, then look up "The Debutante". There is a multitude of options for lyrical as well. A lot of them will come out from etudes (Charlier, Bitsch, Gekker, etc, have very good and beautiful etudes), but you can use a solo as well. "Arioso" (transposed for trumpet) by Bach is a very good lyrical solo, and also "Ave Maria" by Bruckner, but research must be done as well as collaborating with your private instructor. And one last thing, be sure to try to listen to recordings of the pieces you will pick to play. With enough active listening and conviction, you will be able to master your material much faster and effectively.
As you can see, this is not an easy or simple issue to solve. I recommend talking with other musicians (on Facebook, Twitter, 8notes, etc) and seeing what their opinions are and what they did to succeed, and how they did it. Go listen to other auditions on YouTube, performances, etc. The internet is one of your greatest resources, so use it to your advantage as much as possible. It's not totally certain, but you can email your future band directors/staff and ask them question about the program and what kind of students/performers they need for the program, and most of the time they should give you a pretty good reply.
Hope this helps! Good luck!
Re: trrumpet auditions 12:29 on Thursday, May 09, 2013