College Orchestra Audition Excerpts

Edited: August 9, 2018, 5:47 PM · Hi, I'm auditioning for a college orchestra in the next few weeks and I have a few questions.

In 76, would 4,1,3,4,3,1 be a viable fingering? Is keeping down 1st finger a good idea in the measure? Also, the transition between the open A and the first septuplet is hard for me because I tend to slam down on the E, is a slight pause okay here?
How is it possible to play this at 132? Particularly the transition on the 2nd line from the D to the D octave and B-flat. When I go fast, I always slam that chord and the notes can't be heard. Also what is a good fingering for the pentuplets and how do I go about practicing them?


Replies (3)

August 9, 2018, 5:51 PM · I am completely confused about your questions regarding the first example. There are no septuplets. Do you mean sextuplets? Are you talking about the transition from 72 to 73? You can't take any extra time there without throwing a monkey wrench into your section ensemble (not to mention the rest of the orchestra). However, there may be more time than you're thinking, i.e. I think it's possible that you're rushing over the bar line. Similarly, I am not sure to which notes your 4,1,3,4,3,1 would be applied in 76. I would keep my 1 down for the first eight notes, fingered 4,1,3,1,4,2,1,2 (crossed over the 1 to the A string) and then shift to 3rd position for the second half of the bar. But I have large hands and am very secure in shifting; that may not be the safest fingering for you.

For the second excerpt, I am 100% sure you are using too much bow and it is slowing you down. Practice it with a metronome but at a much slower tempo than 132, using VERY LITTLE BOW in the middle, then use the metronome to speed up gradually but always using just a tiny amount of bow in the middle. When you say "D to the D octave" on the 2nd line, which bar do you mean? Make sure you are taking an upbow on the last eighth note (doublestop) in the second measure of the second line. Try shifting on the bar lines: jump to 5th position for the 3rd measure of the 2nd line (high F) and play that bar all in one position, then shift to third position (4th finger on the D) over the bar line and play that bar all in one position. You could either stay in 3rd position for the next bar or shift to first, following the shifting pattern from the previous two bars. Good luck!

August 9, 2018, 6:42 PM · Brahms; I agree with Mary Ellens fingerings for bar 76. That's what I've used.

For the Borodin, your tempo depends on whether you can play the quintuplets at the end cleanly. At 132 they will likely just sound like a bagel with too much cream cheese.
In other words, a "schmear."

While I understand the logic behind the first excerpt, I'm not sure what the 2nd one proves. It's fast 16ths, just like the Brahms. Why didn't they pick something that showed some different technique?

August 9, 2018, 9:41 PM · Thanks for the helpful advice Ms. Goree, I'll definitely incorporate that into my preparation.

@Scott Cole there are other excerpts (Brahms 4th 2nd movement and Flying Dutchman, but I had questions for just these two).

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