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As I mentioned in a previous post, I'll be auditioning for Sax Performance and Jazz Studies in Jan/Feb of next year. I think I've selected the pieces I'd like to play, but I was hoping to get some advice from those more experienced than myself.

I spoke to Dr. Sampen at BGSU, and he said that he does allow bari sax majors in his studio. I would like to do one tune on bari sax, and the other on alto. I would really love to do Rachmaninoff's Vocalise on bari sax. I've been studying this piece off and on for a number of years on string bass, and I'd really love to finally put it to some use. I'm pretty familiar with the piece, so it shouldn't take long to get it perfected.

The piece for alto is what's bugging me. I'm wavering between doing the 2nd and 3rd movements of the Maurice Tableaux, or the 3rd movement of Scaramouche. I really love the imagery of the Tableaux...I just fell in love with it the first time I heard it, especially the 2nd and 3rd movements. They just capture me in a way few pieces ever do. The Brazileira movement of Scaramouche is just fun as all get out to listen to and play, but I don't have it quite to the level of the Tableaux...that middle part is pretty tough with the 16th and 32nd note runs. The song is just so happy and I love the latin vibe, plus it really gets stuck in your head :) The audition requirements for BGSU ask for 2 movements or pieces of contrasting style and tempo. Vocalise and Scaramouche would definitely fit that, but would playing 2 movements of the Tableaux be appropriate? I've always felt that an audition should reflect the player him/herself as much as his/her ability, and both pieces really speak to me personally. I feel like I could probably get both pieces up to snuff in the amount of time that I have. Any advice?
 

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I did all of my college auditions on bari sax. Most schools allow you to audition on any saxophone, with the understanding that you will probably be studying on alto. However, there were several that told me I would have to audition on alto.

I auditioned on baritone at:

Ithaca College
Indiana
USC
UCLA (where I am now)
U. of the Pacific
Sacramento State

I believe Sinta, at U. of Michigan was the only one to tell me I would have to audition on alto. At that point I wasn't very comfortable on alto, so I didn't apply there.

I know this wasn't exactly the point of this post, but I hope it helps...just ask the individual professors about the audition process- some may not want you to play more than one in your audition for the sake of time.

Good luck!
 

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I wouldn't worry too much about technique. Unless Dr. Sampen has changed a lot over 30+ years, he will be listening for sound concept, accuracy, and musicality, passion for the art/craft, and maybe a little technique. He accepted me (albeit he was quite young at the time), and I had very little technique.
 

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I would think both of those would be good choices. Although if you're set on doing Vocalise (I'm unfamiliar with the piece) I would do the Scaramouche since the Tableaux movements are really better suited to contrast with each other and then there would be nothing to contrast the Vocalise. Just my opinion though.

I would also second that Dr. Sampen looks for much more than technique. From what I've heard technique and counting are his weaknesses and he primarily looks for the things listed above.

Also, do you live near BG? Just out of curiosity since I live right near there.
 
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