High school audition questions
We live in a big city, and the only way to get into a good public high school is to either take an academic test or audition into an arts program. My son will be doing both, and received his audition information, and I have questions, of course!
The audition level is much lower than what my son is used to, so he isn't sure how to handle it. For example, they ask for 4 major 2-octave scales. Is it best to play exactly that, or should he play 3-octave scales since that is what he normally plays? Would that be perceived as showing off or is that appropriate?
Next, they are "expected to perform an unaccompanied solo or etude that is written specifically for your instrument...." In my son's world, this would be interpreted as solo Bach or a Paganini Caprice since it says unaccompanied. But I think they just mean the audition is unaccompanied and you can play any solo you want. Since you only get to play one piece, I think a concerto movement would show more breadth than solo Bach or a Paganini Caprice. He has two concerto mvmts, three Bach movements, and a Caprice in good shape, so it is just about picking the right piece.
Unfortunately there is no one to ask questions to, and his teacher isn't familiar with our school system at all. I hope someone here has some ideas.
I would think they are asking for 4 two octave scales do determine if students have the minimum skills that are required. Prepare 3 octave scales and at the audition, just check quickly that it's okay. Right before he plays, just say "I'm doing 3 octaves, is that okay?" They'll almost certainly say it's fine. 3 octave scales are pretty standard for high school players.
I agree. Prepare both the 2-octave and the 3-octave (you don't want to screw up the easy scale just because it feels unexpected) and say, "I prepared 3 octaves also, would you prefer if I played 2 or 3?"
Thank you for the advice, especially regarding the scales. That sounds like a good plan.
I agree with Lydia.
Thank you, Mary Ellen. I am working on talking to some other families. The level of the average student is actually pretty low in this program (probably Suzuki book 3-4). There is only one other 8th grader in the city close to my son's level. Most of the higher level kids live in the suburbs. He wouldn't be going there for the strength of the arts program -- it's just an easy way into the door of a good high school.
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