I'm currently a Junior in High School and I'm planning to become a music performance major in a little less than 2 years. My private lesson teacher suggested I start looking for audition pieces now which makes sense since it takes time to learn them and you don't want to miss the audition because you started too late.
I would appreciate if a few people could list a few pieces at college level. I'll be auditioning for schools such as New England Conservatory, The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, and Oberlin so I'm looking for top of the line audition pieces, not high school band pieces.
Also, if you know a book that has more than one piece at that level, that'd be considerably easier than buying like 5 individual pieces, but if not, I'm not against buying individuals. It is college after all, making it worth it.
Mine was the Rimski-Korsakov concerto, which I do not recommend. Audition judges hear it all the time and this can go against you. Guilmant's Morceau Symphonique is a good audition piece, shows a bit of everything the judges want to hear from you.
A few other pieces about that level that I can think of : Saint-Saens' Cavatine, Barat's Andante and Allegro, Blazhevic concertos, Hindemith Sonata (maybe a bit tougher). There are also a couple of transcriptions of cello or bassoon pieces that can be interesting, maybe that Frescobaldi sonata or Galliard's 6 sonatas.
A good thing to do is to visit the schools' websites, they generally have a section with a list of audition requirements for each instrument. For example, for undergraduate auditions, the NEC suggests Hindemith, Saint-Saens, Bozza's Ballade, Grondahl concerto (thats tough though and they also list it for graduate auditions) or similiar level pieces. They also list the etudes and orchestral excerpts they'll want you to play.
What is true about the Rimsky-Korsakov could be said about many of the pieces listed. It's doubtful you are going to come in with a solo no one has heard. It doesn't really matter what you play as much as how you play it. Even if you play one of the simpler pieces, they are listening just as much to see what kind of musician you are, not just what kind of trombone player you are. Dazzle them with musicality.
True, this does apply to most of these pieces. However I did talk with judges after winning auditions who told me they heard the Rimsky-Korsakov simply too often and when they hear you start they go like ''oh not again....''. In an ideal world, it should never happen, but it did happen to me to notice that reaction from the judges when I told them what I was about to play. This can be quite disturbing, especially since the only situation of being at an audition puts most people in a state of stress and psychological vulnerability, where even such a stupid thing can make you loose control. This can ruin an audition. Then again there are so many other things that can make that happen...
Have you heard of Carl Lenthe's "The Audition Window" CD? It (from what I've heard) has most of the over played songs on it; Andante et Allegro; Concertino in E flat (David); Galliard's Sonata III; Rimsky-Korsakov's Concerto; Morceau Symphonique; The patriot; Ricercar 7; Canzonetta. I'm playing the David Concertino for my college audtions. But looking back on it, I somewhat wish I would've played Sonata 'Vox Gabriell' from Joseph Alessi's CD "trombonastics."
Just look around on Cd's...since you're looking so early, if you get started within the next few months, make sure you pace yourself so that you don't get burnt out on it. That could cause more harm than good when it comes to auditions...just something to keep in mind.
Hey, I'm also a junior in high school, I talked to a professor at a local university, he recomrnded the morceau synphonique. I've been working in it for a while, it's a solid piece which isn't ridiculously hard and shouldn't be a problem to pull off by an audition date. I actually did it at a brass fest this year and starred on it- I honestly believe it's a good choice but do you know of anything tougher or better suited for a college audition?
Well, it would be quite a feat if you could pull off "Carnival of Venice" in the back of Arban's book on trombone...particularly the fourth variation...probably not what professors want to hear though.