Why are audition lists getting so long? I’m talking into the hundreds of ”spots”. the amount of repertoire a committee will request to hear is the same as it’s always been, and they might only hear half of the list? the idea that they would like to hire a complete musician- so amongst other reasons they better be able to play all that rep (especially if it’s standard) - is understood. But it feels out of control and a little inhumane…the audition test is already not a perfect way to show how someone fits into an ensemble so why make it more ridiculous? Would love to hear thoughts in defense of requiring auditionees to prepare 120 excerpts to prove their worth.
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For percussion it's gotten pretty absurd. Especially among the more prestigious orchestras, it seems kinda like a contest to see who can make the longest and most obscure list. And to the candidates it feels like the message is "don't even bother applying, we know you can't learn all these notes" ... while most experienced players will tell you they can tell from the first few measures of a standard excerpt whether or not they're interested in a candidate.
I do agree that new music is super important though. There should be 1-2 excerpts on each list (speaking specifically about perc) that are brand new to all the candidates, like something from a tricky recent commission. It's a good way to evaluate how well a player can prepare something that has no related performance practice and all that baggage/context that comes with the standard rep.
But overall yes the lists are getting way too long. Imagine preparing 6 bass drum excerpts, bringing 4-6 different bass drum sticks with you to the audition, and then playing all the rounds but never once playing a single bass drum note on stage. It's happened before.
I don’t have an issue with asking more excerpts from the same repertoire standards. My issue is asking for excerpts from obscure pieces of music that the orchestra have maybe played once ever.
just an opinion, but I think you hear more from a candidate by asking fewer works, but to prepare full parts instead of excerpts. This way you can also add some section playing in the final round based on less excerpted passages from the full works. That and solo playing, but the solo I really feel should be candidate’s choice as they can show their strengths this way on a piece they know they have a mastery of.