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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have some really important auditions coming up in March, and I need two contrasting classical alto pieces(or a single if it "demonstrates my ability" pretty well), but the thing is, I'm not allowed any accompaniment. And I've looked at the standards, but almost everything really needs accompanied by piano or something. Anyway, this is for a summer program, and if you make the cuts, you're guaranteed a full scholarship to any state university so long as your grades don't suck, and I kind of really need it. I'd like something difficult but not overly so. Something I could be comfortable playing with a solid two months or so practicing. So if you have any recommendations let me know? Also, are there any books that you know of that would help my playing? Like, daily exercises. something that would help me to gain better articulation, faster keywork? I don't suck or anything, but there's always room for improvement. Cheers
(If you have any questions regarding my ability or what I've looked at, just ask.)
 

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The Ferling etudes are pretty much the standard for high school classical saxophone auditions "in contrasting styles." That'd be a good starting place if you haven't been there already.

Otherwise, Couf's "Introduction, Dance, and Furioso" immediately comes to mind as an unaccompanied solo that may be within reach. Good luck!
 

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Hi, typically when you audition for collegiate program, you don't necessarily need an accompaniment part. In fact, I only used an accompanist for my DMA audition. Have you checked whether the school requires it or not? Unless the school requires an accompanist, you can usually just do the audition solo. You don't need to pick special unaccompanied repertoire for this.

I have some really important auditions coming up in March, and I need two contrasting classical alto pieces(or a single if it "demonstrates my ability" pretty well), but the thing is, I'm not allowed any accompaniment. And I've looked at the standards, but almost everything really needs accompanied by piano or something. Anyway, this is for a summer program, and if you make the cuts, you're garunteed a full scholarship to any state university so long as your grades don't suck, and I kind of really need it. I'd like something difficult but not overly so. Something I could be comfortable playing with a solid two months or so practicing. So if you have any recommendations let me know? Also, are there any books that you know of that would help my playing? Like, daily exercises. something that would help me to gain better articulation, faster keywork? I don't suck or anything, but there's always room for improvement. Cheers
(If you have any questions regarding my ability or what I've looked at, just ask.)
 

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P.S.- Any chance you can post the requirements for the program for everyone so we can help better?
 

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While not originally for saxophone (they were written for solo oboe), the Benjamin Britten "Six Metamorphoses after Ovid" are really effective on sax, quite beautiful, and worthy of study.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
"We suggest that your solo be three to five minutes in length. You should prepare a piece that best reflects your ability without being excessively simple. You must furnish the judges with one original copy of the solo you are performing, even if your piece is an original composition. We do not allow accompaniment (recorded or live) for any instrumental soloist." That was the only detail given; it came straight from the Kentucky Govornor's School for the Arts website.
 

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"We suggest that your solo be three to five minutes in length. You should prepare a piece that best reflects your ability without being excessively simple. You must furnish the judges with one original copy of the solo you are performing, even if your piece is an original composition. We do not allow accompaniment (recorded or live) for any instrumental soloist." That was the only detail given; it came straight from the Kentucky Govornor's School for the Arts website.
When in doubt, call and ask. Or email and ask. There's a big difference between being required to play a piece that was written as an unaccompanied work, and being permitted to play any solo work as long as you forego the accompaniment.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I asked a friend of mine who went last year. You can play pretty much anything, so long as you don't use the accompaniment. And any super long rests in a normally accompanied piece simply need to be marked out on the copy you give the judges.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
But anyway, I don't want to show up and play a Ferling etude, or Eccles' Sonata or something like that. I don't want to be just another decent player: I want to be THE player. And I'm willing to work as hard as I need to to get there, but I honestly have zero resources. I don't have a lessons teacher; I live in a place where no one gives lessons, save for this one lady who is more of a jack of all trades type person than an actual sax player. That's why I came here to ask.
 

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But anyway, I don't want to show up and play a Ferling etude, or Eccles' Sonata or something like that. I don't want to be just another decent player: I want to be THE player. And I'm willing to work as hard as I need to to get there, but I honestly have zero resources. I don't have a lessons teacher; I live in a place where no one gives lessons, save for this one lady who is more of a jack of all trades type person than an actual sax player. That's why I came here to ask.
The biggest piece of advice I could give you is that it is not about what you play, but HOW you play it. Every professor I have met and studied with agree they would rather hear something played musically and meaningful over some unique piece of music. Keep in mind these auditions are for the professor to see how you play, not your repertoire selection.

I auditioned for my undergraduate career with two contrasting Ferling etudes and was given a spot in the studio. Others that year auditioned with the Glazunov concerto and Creston sonata along with other standard pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I considered the Ferlings for a bit but then I realised every good player here knows them, probably better than I do. They're our All State audition music, so I don't doubt that quite a few people will use them. I'm not trying to find some unheard of song, I just want something that I know I'll love playing, you know.
 

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At the risk of coming across as self-serving I will encourage you to look at my brand-new piece for unaccompanied saxophone, Václav's Dream (a Balkan Hoedown).
In short, Václav is a joyous romp through an imagined Bulgarian-Romani-Klezmer musical world.

It has been extremely well received by saxophone professors at several major universities, all of whom encouraged me to get this thing published ASAP.

Here's a performance of it:

If you're interested in finding out more (i.e. taking a peek at the sheet music, perhaps even purchasing the music), you can do so here:
http://www.hirschmusic.com/solo-sax/vaclavs-dream

Best of luck on your audition!!
~ Rick
 

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But anyway, I don't want to show up and play a Ferling etude, or Eccles' Sonata or something like that. I don't want to be just another decent player: I want to be THE player. And I'm willing to work as hard as I need to to get there...
Playing a Ferling Etude or the Eccles' Sonata does not put you in the "just another decent player" category; they're part of the classical saxophone canon for a reason. As others have already said: you set yourself apart from other players with your beautiful tone (you've been practicing long tones, right?) and musicality. I would rather hear "Mary Had a Little Lamb" played with maturity and meaning, than the "Fuzzy Bird Sonata" that sounds like it was cobbled together.

I considered the Ferlings for a bit but then I realised every good player here knows them, probably better than I do. They're our All State audition music, so I don't doubt that quite a few people will use them.
Again, there's a reason why the Ferling's are all-state audition music and everyone knows them. If you want to be THE player, as you say, you have to be better than all of the other saxophonists (obviously). Instead of looking on SOTW for obscure, unaccompanied sax solos, why not pick out 2 contrasting, old, boring Ferlings and get to practicing so that you can play them better than anyone else? Precious practice time is wasting! The kids you're up against have been shedding their etudes since before Thanksgiving and you're still looking for music!

Finally, you are already behind because of your limited resources. Don't put yourself in a more difficult position by selected a piece that you're not familiar with and then trying to effectively teach it to yourself. That's not a recipe for success, and we all want to hear/read about you doing well. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have two of the Ferling etudes that I like, 3 and 6. Do your think those will do it? I can already play them both fairly well. But I'm worried about the time thing, what if they aren't long enough? 6 is only about a minute, and it's not even entirely up to speed
 

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If you are worried about time, then work up another technical Ferling etude. Better yet, ask the professor what they would like to hear out of those etudes you mentioned and have another technical Ferling ready just in case.
 

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"We suggest that your solo be three to five minutes in length. You should prepare a piece that best reflects your ability without being excessively simple. You must furnish the judges with one original copy of the solo you are performing, even if your piece is an original composition. We do not allow accompaniment (recorded or live) for any instrumental soloist." That was the only detail given; it came straight from the Kentucky Govornor's School for the Arts website.
Ok, this definitely sounds like pretty much every other undergraduate or pre-college type of audition requirements, which is to play a piece that demonstrates your musical and technical abilities. You can definitely pick something that is a piece that normally has accompaniment and play it without. I wouldn't worry about that at all. For being pre-college, and considering your time to prepare, I'd suggest:

Tableaux de Provence, Maurice
Ballade, Tomasi
Sonata, Lunde (Mvt. 1)
Sonate, Heiden
Etudes, Koechlin (original for saxophone, many good ones to choose from)
Scaramouche, Milhaud (movement 2 and 3)
Caprice en forme de Valse, Bonneau (not a lot of lyrical sections, mostly technical showpiece)

My suggestion is to always try and find original works for saxophone 1st, before trying to resort to any transcriptions or arrangements. There's nothing wrong with those, but if we can try to find ways to positively promote our repertoire, that's always a good thing. Hope this helps!
 

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i guess that debussy one also works, as accompany is not.in a very strong position
 
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