Orchestra students set to audition

Lucas Barr, Staff Reporter

Orchestra students are gearing up for auditions Thursday and Friday that determine orchestra placement for the 2017-18 school year.

“Every student in orchestra, with the exception of the students in the top group have to re-audition at the end of the school year for placement for the following year,” orchestra director Julie Blackstock said. “That includes the incoming middle schoolers.”

There are two levels of audition music with students trying out with the advanced level music  eligible to be placed in the top two orchestras.

“The students that are auditioning for the advanced level have to learn two to three full length excerpts of professional symphonies, and about five three-octave scales,” Blackstock said. “Students for the intermediate level have one or two excerpts at a slower tempo, and then just two-octave scales.”

With the orchestra directors stressing preparation for the audition should not be rushed or done at the last second, freshman violinist Caroline Attmore says she has been practicing for at least an hour every night.

“To prepare for auditions, I look at the music with my teacher and play it repeatedly each night for about an hour and a half,” Attmore said. “I [do this] every night until the day before the audition where I relax and prepare myself mentally. I usually hope I get the position in the orchestra that I worked hard for.”

Blackstock says the orchestra directors are looking for various qualities in each student’s audition.

“A good audition would include good tone, good intonation, correct rhythm, musicianship, a well prepared audition that the judges can tell was prepared,” Blackstock said. “Regardless of where you’re placed, you’re still in orchestra and we’ll have a great time and a great school year.”