Audition Process and Expectations
The audition will include evaluation both within the ensemble as well as individually. You will have the chance to get comfortable on our instruments before the process starts. For the individual portion you will be expected to perform a solo that showcases what you can bring to the group. Mallet players should prepare a 2-4 minute solo on either marimba, vibraphone or xylophone. Those auditioning for synth positions should prepare a 2-4 minute piano solo. Drum set auditions will include a solo excerpt of your choosing as well as playing through various styles and tempos. For auxiliary auditions we’d like to see a snare drum etude that showcases your rhythmic and musical abilities.
During the auditions you will be evaluated in these areas (listed in order of importance):
- Attitude towards learning & performance
- Ability to make corrections and adjustments
- Tone quality and technique using 2 and 4 mallets
- Learning & mastering warm-up exercises & short pieces
- Rhythmic interpretation and control
- Front Ensemble Audition FAQs →
Recommended Skills and Knowledge
(Your audition packet is free at our Virtual Studio Library. See below)
- Scales in octaves
- Scales in sixteenth notes alternating sticking
Four-Mallet Technique (We use Stevens Grip)
- Major chords ascending and descending chromatically
- Four-mallet independent strokes
- Basic alternating stroke permutations
Online Private Music Lessons
We offer 45-minute private lessons, that you can use to help prepare for your audition. If you live in Los Angeles County, you may qualify for up to four free lessons thanks to a grant from American Century Investments Foundation.
Virtual Studio Library
Your online educational resource that includes audition packets and technique manuals. You will find more than 70 videos and demonstrations for brass, percussion, color guard, visual/dance, and field conducting.
Video auditions are reserved for applicants who may be too far away or otherwise unable to attend a rehearsal camp. Pacific Crest does not typically accept students based upon the video audition. If accepted by video, your staff will let you know, and you will receive your onboarding documents via DocuSign. If the staff believe you show promise, we will invite you to the next rehearsal camp to complete your audition in-person. The fee to submit a video for review is $100.