Today the district I teach in held auditions for its honor groups, and I helped adjudicate the clarinets and saxophones.
I am always interested in the variety of ability levels of the students who audition. Some are very well-prepared and have obviously spent hours practicing and working with private instructors. Then there are the few who are totally unprepared, and the judges are left wondering, “Why the heck did you bother coming if you can’t even attempt the music?!” My hunch is that those students have parents who saw a handout with info about the auditions and told the kid, “You’re going whether you want to or not!”
Do you have thoughts about the audition process, either as an adjudicator or as a teacher? What is your process for preparing your students? What criteria sets apart two players of comparable ability? (I know one teacher who values intonation above all else; others prioritize tone.) Any interesting stories to share?