Music Auditions

2024–2025 Instructions

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.  Placement decisions will be ongoing up until the end of May.

Instructions for Grades 9–12 Voice Placement Auditions

Please sing a piece of your choosing, accompanied or a cappella, 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 a Concert F Major scale (1 or 2 octaves) with arpeggio.

2. All – Play a Concert Bb Chromatic Scale (1 or 2 octaves).

3. Download “Au Privave” for your instrument HERE. Note that drummers can download any of the parts and follow along as they perform to the recording. 

Saxophone (Alto, Tenor, or Bari), Trumpet, and Trombone:
Play the main melody of "Au Privave" two times. You may play this without accompaniment, or can play along to the recording linked below. 
Guitarists and Pianists:
Play the main melody of "Au Privave."  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.
Play the melody of “Au Privave.” Then, play the walking bass line provided over the next 12 measures. If you would like, please play another 12 measures of your own walking bass line that follows the form of the song. You may play this without accompaniment, or can play along to the recording.
Drummers (Play along to any of the melodies):
Play along to the recording of "Au Privave" 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 "Au Privave." Solo for one chorus (12 measures) after you play the main melody. Do your best to make sure we can hear the backing track in the video as well. 

HERE for the backing track play-along of "Au Privave."

Submitting your Audition Recordings:
Please submit your placement audition recording by 5/17/24. 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.

For wind/brass/percussion and all jazz auditions, please send a file or video link to Mr. Erik Elligers.

For strings auditions, please send a file or video link to Mr. Bobby Smith.

Hopkins Music Program Accepted Instruments:
French Horn
Piano* +
Guitar* +
Drum Set*
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.
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