Berklee College of Music Total Percussion Audition! :) (Very Long and Detailed!)

Berklee College of Music Total Percussion Audition! :) (Very Long and Detailed!)

Berklee College of Music Total Percussion Audition! :) (Very Long and Detailed!)    11:31 on Wednesday, January 05, 2011          

(4 points)
Posted by brittanyseesyou

I spent the weekend in Boston as a friend of mine goes to Wellesley, so I stayed in her dorm for the weekend. My Audition was at 2:00, and my warm-up was scheduled at 1:30. I got into Boston around noon-ish, found the building they were doing warm-ups in, and than went around the city a little. Me and my friend went to the bookstore, the old record shop they have by there, Looney Tunes.
Sooo 1:30 strolls around, so I go back to the building and I wait in that room they have. I honestly thought they were a little disorganized with their !***!, I dunno if they were just having bad day or what, but I ended up going into warm-up around 1:50-ish. So this chick who doesnít even speak English comes up to me and asks me what my name is and what Iím auditioning on. I told her my name, and she led me to this room with about a billion pianos and shows me the sight-reading piece and it says hand percussion, and I only told her about 10 times before that I was auditioning on Total Percussion :P I was getting pretty irritated, but whatever, I just kinda winged it. I think I did pretty well for it, seeing as she never showed me or told me what my sight-reading piece was, sooo ya whatever. :P I didnít really look up on the sight-reading material as Iím very strong at sight-reading and can almost play a piece perfectly just from sight-reading it. I spent most of my time figuring out the hard ones, because I looked at the first ones and could play them perfectly. I TOTALLY forgot my frickení practice pad for my snare piece, but it honestly didnít hinder me much. I would definitely recommend warming up while youíre waiting, get out your sticks and do some exercises, even if you donít do your piece, get your muscles warmed up.
I spent about 10 minutes in the warm-up room, and than I got led to another part of the building, Iím assuming the percussion department, because when I walked in there I just about peed myself from the quality of the instruments (Iím from a very very veryvery small town, I had to teach myself four-mallet marimba, even though technically I played my solos on a very crappy and old xylophone. Before I went to my audition at Berklee, I only had played on a marimba twice before, both for State Solo & Ensemble Competition). I waited around for another 20 minutes. They screwed up when I was supposed to go, because they only have 1 total percussion room, and I was supposed to go before this other guy went (he was auditioning on piano) but I didnít really care. So I patiently waited, had some really awesome conversations with some percussion students there and got some outlook on the school from them.
After that piano kid got done, I went in there, introduced myself. It was very laid back, I wasnít nervous at all. I played my timpani piece first, which was No. II Funk by Todd Ukena. There was a guy and a girl in there, the girl was typing on a laptop and the guy seemed to be focused on what I was doing. I looked up a few times to see him bobbing his head, so I guess thatís a good sign. I went and did my snare piece, which was Three Dances for Solo Snare Drum by Warren Benson, except I skipped the second dance, because that one is horribly boring. Again, I looked up and saw the guy bobbing his head. After that, I played my marimba piece, Rain Dance by Alice Gomez and Marilyn Rife (haha, ya I know, clichť ). This was the one I was most excited about, because right when I walked in they had their 5-octave MarimbaOne out, and it was literally the most beautiful instrument Iíve ever seen in my life!! :P I played my solo, though I messed up a couple times, but I got back on track quickly. Like I said before, Iíve only played on an actual marimba twice before this, so I think I did well.
After that, he had me do sight-reading. He had me do a classical-ish song for marimba, I messed up a couple of times on that one, I didnít have my glasses with me, and I have really bad eyesight, so I couldnít see the frickení music. Than he pulled out Anthropology, which was great because thatís the same piece I had for my Jazz Band audition, sooo it was pretty great.
After that, he had me sight read on snare, which was a piece of cake. The first one was very easy, just basic meter and rhythms with some dynamics, but the second one was a little hard. Meter changes and really weird rhythms, it took me a couple of times to get the rhythms right, but other than that I did great. After I did that, he took me back to the marimba. He played some notes on the piano, and I had to sing them back, thank baby Jeebs I can sing:P He did a few of those, and than he said heís going to play notes on the piano and I have to play back for him on the marimba, and that every one he was going to play was going to start on C. I didnít do it perfectly, it took me a few tries to get the right notes, but I did get them all right. After that, he clapped some rhythms, and I had to clap them back. I was expected for what he was going to clap, very very jazzy rhythms with a lot of syncopation. I Did a little bad on that one D:
After that, he asked if I improvised. I can kinda improvise, but Iím not that good at it, but I was like, what the hell, it couldnít hurt, right? So I said yeah, and he said that he was going to play a blues in C, counted off and played it. After that, they led me up to ANTOHER room where a bunch of people were waiting for their interview. I waited another 30 minutes and than they called my name to sit in yet ANOTHER motherfucking room. I waited for another 20 minutes, and finally got called in for my interview. It was laid back also, very relaxing. She asked me a lot of questions, why Berklee, what do you like being about a musician, what can you bring to Berklee, blahblahblah. I told her that I wanted to go to Berklee because Berklee seems to focus on the future of music, rather than stick to the past. I told her that I wanted to break marimba out of the box and try new things with it like hip hop and techno. She laughed at that, and asked me what my greatest accomplishment was. I told her it was learning all of this on my own, especially the four-mallet technique. She seemed really impressed by that and asked my to elaborate. I told her that I pretty much figured it out on my own, but I did look on YouTube for videos on my solo, watched how they held the mallets and just practiced and played exercises over and over again:P Iíll let you know that Iíve never ever had any private lessons before. Other than basic music theory, like basic rhythms and notes, I taught myself. I taught myself how to play snare (sticking, rhythms, yaddayadda), marimba, piano, guitar and I singgg I was in band since I was 11, so Iíve been in there for around 8 years. Iím not a newbie at this thing, and have been performing soloís ever since I first started my instrument, playing at Honorís Band Concertís and such. My band teacher told me that in his 20 years of teaching at my school, heís never seen anybody play like me :P so I dunno, I think I got inÖwhat do you guys think? :P


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