Students wishing to participate in one of our Junior School Instrumental Music ensembles or High School Choir, Concert Band, Jazz Band, or Orchestra courses must submit a brief placement audition recording via email or shared file. Please carefully read the following information describing the placement audition requirements. Students who play more than one instrument should submit an audition for each. Recordings should include both video and audio; please listen through your recording to make sure you are clearly audible in the video.
Your placement audition is meant to give the teacher an idea of what you’re comfortable playing and to help us find the right ensemble setting for you. Though we try to place all students who audition, we may have to limit certain instruments in our ensembles due to space and balance requirements. If you do not get your first choice ensemble, another music option will be made available to you.
Instructions for Grades 9–12 Voice Placement Auditions
Please sing a piece of your choosing, no more than 3 minutes in length. If you do not have a piece prepared, we will also accept a scale of your choice. Note that Choir placements are not necessary for incoming 7th and 8th graders.
Instructions for Grades 7–12 Instrument Placement Auditions, non-Jazz
Part 1: Prepared Piece
To help us understand your technique and musicality, you are asked to record a piece of music that you have prepared. This piece can be a solo, etude, or other music selection of your choosing that features your instrument. Please record yourself playing about 1-2 minutes from your prepared piece that best shows your skill. Keep in mind that your selection shouldn’t be something that you consider very easy, nor should it be difficult for you. Rather, it should show your current technical and musical ability.
Part 2: Scale
To help us understand your sense of pitch and note relationships, please perform a concert B-flat major or D major scale on your instrument. Students may choose to play one or more octaves and may also choose to play arpeggios, though arpeggios are not required.
Instructions for Grades 9–12 Jazz Band Placement Auditions
Students interested in auditioning for Jazz Band must prepare the following selections for their audition video:
1. All - Play both the Concert F Major scale with arpeggio.
2. All - Play the Concert Bb Chromatic Scale.
3. Download “Yardbird Suite” for your instrument HERE
. Note that drummers can download any of the parts and follow along as they perform to the recording.
Saxophone (Eb or Bb), Trumpet (Bb), and Trombonists (bass clef):
Play the main melody of "Yardbird Suite." You may play this without accompaniment, or can play along to the recording below.
Guitarists and Pianists (treble clef):
Play the main melody of "Yardbird Suite." You may play this without accompaniment, or can play along to the recording. Then, play through the song a second time only playing the chords as they fit in the progression. You may play in whatever rhythm you like for the comping pattern. You may play this without accompaniment, or can play along to the recording.
Bassists (bass clef):
Play a walking bass line over the entire form of "Yardbird Suite." You may play this without accompaniment, or can play along to the recording. After you have completed 32 measures of a bass line, play the first 8 measures of the melody and you may stop. If you wish to play the entire 32 bar melody, please feel free to do so. You may do this without accompaniment, or can play along to the recording.
Play along to the recording of "Yardbird Suite" showing that you know how to play a standard swing feel at that tempo. Then, without playing to a recording, please submit two recordings in the following two styles and tempos. A latin groove for 16 measures (bpm = 172) and a 3/4 swing feel with brushes for 16 measures (bpm = 84).
4. (OPTIONAL) Improvise over "Yardbird Suite." Solo for one chorus (32 measures) after you play the main melody. Do your best to make sure we can hear the backing track in the video as well.
Click HERE for the backing track play-along of "Yardbird Suite."Submitting your Audition Recordings:
Please submit your placement audition recording by 5/19/23. You may do this via email, though file size may prohibit this. You may also consider sharing a file through Google Docs, DropBox, Youtube, or another file-sharing service of your choice. Recordings are kept confidential and will only be shared with Hopkins music faculty.
For voice placement
auditions, please send a file or video link to Ms. Erika Schroth. email@example.com
and all jazz
auditions, please send a file or video link to Mr. Erik Elligers. firstname.lastname@example.org
auditions, please send a file or video link to Mr. Bobby Smith. email@example.com
Hopkins Music Program Accepted Instruments:
Bass* (upright or electric)
All instruments should be familiar with reading music notation.
* High school students who play these instruments may audition for the Jazz Band.
+ Due to equipment and space considerations, we can only accept a limited number of pianists and guitarists.