Is this a sign of a bad audition?

Edited: June 19, 2018, 12:32 PM · Hi,

I recently had an audition for a local youth orchestra. Usually, we have to prepare a solo piece, excerpts and be ready for sight reading. However, in my solo and some excerpts they cut me off, and they skipped sightreading altogether. Is this a bad sign that I maybe didn't do so well and won't get into the orchestra?

BTW, I haven't had much experience with auditions, so sorry if I don't know much.

Replies (15)

Edited: June 19, 2018, 1:23 PM · How about this for an answer: It's either good or it's bad or it's neither. I'm sure you've gone over all the arguments for each of these three options in your mind already. One possibility is that they got behind in their schedule or had more auditions than they expected so they had to truncate whenever possible. Only you can say whether you demonstrated your full ability (apart from sight-reading, obviously). And remember you are gaining experience, which is a good outcome at your stage.
June 19, 2018, 3:28 PM · I have *never* cut off a student early because they were playing badly. In fact, I always give those students their minimum allotted time to avoid any sort of accusations of discriminatory treatment.

Students who blast through their first page of their concerto in great shape? We're stopping after the first page. Students who demonstrate the required technical mastery of the excerpts before reaching the end? We're stopping to save time.

I only do sight-reading if the student has played so badly that it is the one thing they can do to salvage their audition...after all, part of youth orchestra is teaching sight-reading skills so I don't feel that it is mandatory.

June 19, 2018, 3:42 PM · They were probably really short on time. You did your best, and overthinking about it won't change the results. :) Hope things turn out well for you!
June 19, 2018, 9:22 PM · I am positive they were just short on time.
June 19, 2018, 9:35 PM · Most of the time, you don’t play all the way through anything, especially not the solo repertoire.
Edited: June 21, 2018, 2:57 PM · I imagine an experienced audition judge will have a fairly solid idea of the auditionee's capabilities within a couple of minutes, starting with tuning up. For the record I should perhaps add that I've never been auditioned in my life.
Edited: June 20, 2018, 5:25 AM · Assuming this is for a youth orchestra, what Gene says is what I experienced in high school. I was stopped after playing two lines of my solo piece (1 minute), with no sightreading or excerpts. I was asked to be assistant concertmaster. In another audition where I was unprepared, they had me play all the way through a concerto movement, and my result was quite different.

Those are two extremes. It's pretty common to be stopped.

June 20, 2018, 6:48 AM · Ask yourself, how well did you play? It's kind of rude to cut you off too soon, but truth is, you can get a pretty good assessment of a player sometimes in 30 seconds -- intonation, rhythm, musicality, tone color. It doesn't take long.
June 20, 2018, 6:59 AM · I would look at it as a positive. They didn't feel like they needed to hear it.
June 20, 2018, 11:28 AM · Thank you to everyone!
July 1, 2018, 4:21 PM · UPDATE: I got into the highest level of my orchestra as concertmaster! Thank you everyone for easing my nerves and providing some great advice.
July 1, 2018, 4:32 PM · Congratulations!
July 1, 2018, 4:49 PM · That's wonderful! Congrats!! Dreams coming true!!!
July 2, 2018, 5:27 AM · Oh wow! :-) I was hoping you would report back. Congrats! Clearly, they were wowed and didn't need to hear more! :-)
July 2, 2018, 10:17 AM · Great!

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