Audition preparations kick into high gear

On December 1st, I mailed in my application to the Glenn Gould School.  And in a week or two, I’ll get the application process started for UofT (it’s a freakin’ complicated process).  Beyond needing to get a CV ready, repertoire list, reference letters, transcripts, etc, I need to put a huge emphasis on my audition material for the next two months.  After all, there’s only ever one tuba allowed in the GGS at a time.

I have been working on rep intensly for a number of weeks.  On my C, I’m working on the Ride [of the Valkyries] and the Dragon solo from Das Reingold.  The Dragon solo is specifically required for the GGS audition.  It’s low and quiet.

The Dragon Solo from Das Reingold - there are so many ledger lines that the dynamics have to go above the staff.

I’d like to include another excerpt on my C – maybe the Dance of the Knights from Romeo and Juliette – the one from Suite no.2 (i.e. the one in f minor).  On my Eb, I’ll want to include some kinda Berlioz (Hungarian March; Symphonie Fantastique; one of the overtures; …).  I’ll look into a few other things too.  Perhaps the Bear solo from Pétrouchka by Stravinsky.  Maybe the Bydlo solo … but I dunno … that’s pretty delicate, especially if they wanna hear the final high G# in pianissimo.  I’ll work on it though.  Heck, I’ve been surprised at my upper range on my Eb lately – high Bb is noticeably easier and cleaner.  On my C, the high-high C is sounding too.  How awesome is that???

Then, obviously, there’s the Vaughan Williams Concerto for Bass Tuba.  That’s needed for both the GGS and UofT.  I’ve been working on that for a few weeks too.  It’s gonna be fantastic.  That’s worth a blog post on its own (or two or three).

For UofT, they don’t request orchestral excerpts, but they want a contrasting solo.  Two years ago, I played Air and Bourrée.  I distinctly remember getting a look and being asked about playing it on my Eb – it’s intended for Bb tuba (so that higher Bb is a challenge) – so besides the low G, it’s easier on Eb.  I feel though that I should come to the UofT audition with something new – I’ll take a gander at my solo library and see what I’ve got.


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