Dear Young Artist,
Never forget that playing music should be fun! Keep these “big ideas” in mind as you prepare for your All-State audition.
- Make sure to highlight the characters and moods of each solo.
- Strive to play each solo with the greatest amount of variety and range.
- Always think about playing vocally. One can do this by asking, “How would a great singer sing this melody?”
- Always keep your melodic line perfectly intact. This means making sure that every note you play creates a continuous musical line with no notes sticking out and every note contributing to making melodies both beautiful and soaring.
- Ensure your interpretation fully tells the “story” of what you are trying to communicate
to the listener.
Junior Oboe: Audition Solo 1B, Moderato
- This solo is marked quarter note= 92, so make sure not to play too slowly.
- Pay attention to dynamics and articulations. Be sure mf is louder than mp, and f is the loudest of them all.
- Follow the ups and downs of the melody to make an interesting musical line.
- Make sure to put some “heat” on the G-flat in m. 15 to create greater musical interest.
- In m. 17 and m. 19, make sure to go for the accents while holding the overall forte dynamic through the phrase.
- Finally, make sure to “overdue” the diminuendo in the final measure to ensure the listener does not miss it.
Clinic Oboe: Audition Solo 2B, Moderato
- The opening melody of this solo should be played dolce with a round singing tone.
- In m. 4 and m. 5, make sure to “lean” on the D-flats to keep suspense and tension in your melodic line.
- In m. 7, trying to decrescendo an ascending melodic line can be tricky. To make this easier, start loud, lose volume gradually, and end quietly.
- In m. 8, have fun with the interplay between D-natural and D-flat.
- The 6/8 section that starts in m. 9 should sound animated and light.
- PRO-TIP: Don’t forget to use vibrato in the fast music!
- Play the figure in m. 16 and when repeated with a sense of “sneakiness.” Here you should try to charm your listener and make them smile.
- In both endings, make sure to regain the calm composure of the opening moderato theme. In the “b” ending, use the ritardando in the final measure to create a charming “farewell” to your listener.
Senior Oboe: Audition Solo 3B, Allegretto
- Make sure to check the tempo of this solo with a metronome. The tempo is slower than you think!
- Keep the opening material light and playful.
- In m. 5, make sure to come in on the second eighth note of the bar.
- The Andantino section that starts in m. 9 should sound romantic, broad, and showcase a wide dynamic palate.
- PRO-TIP: Tongue the first of every grace-note grouping so that they can be heard clearly and well.
- Make sure to advance the volume from the crescendo marked in m. 13 until the end of m. 14
- Use the chromaticism in m. 15 and 16, to create musical interest and suspense.
In m. 18, take your time on the downward slur.
- Make sure to bring out the accents in both endings so the rhythm can come alive.
In closing, I do hope that you find these comments helpful. Finally, wishes of great success in all your future endeavors.
Assistant Professor of Oboe, University of the South Carolina
Download these performance notes [PDF].