A private orchestra audition is performed at a location of the musician’s choice. This audition procedure is unique to orchestra musicians because it requires sight-reading skills.
First we’ll set up a time and a date for the audition. On the day of the audition, you’ll receive the music you need via email 30 minutes ahead of time. The music consists of sheet music in the form of pdf files, and an audio file in mp3 format. You’ll have 30 minutes to download the files, print the sheet music and prepare the audio for playback. Come audition time, we’ll call you on the phone, talk you through the procedure and you’ll record the audition using a digital camcorder or camera. After the audition you’ll send us the video of your audition by uploading it to our site, and we’ll evaluate your performance based on that video.
Equipment you’ll need: Computer with internet access, printer, phone, camera or camcorder. Please refrain from using a webcam as they tend to cause too many technical problems. Any camera that can record about 30 minutes worth of video with decent audio and video quality should work fine.
In addition to the music that you sight-read, we’ll also ask you to prepare some music ahead of time: one technical étude that shows off your finger technique, range, tone etc. (sax players need one étude each on flute, clarinet and sax) and one jazz standard with improvisation (ideally a medium-tempo jazz standard with a play-along such as Jamie Aebersold).
Guitar players should also prepare a couple of chord/melody pieces that they can play solo. These can be from classical or popular repertoire. Guitarists must be prepared to quickly switch from a clean to a distorted sound.
Drummers don’t need to prepare any étude or jazz improvisation. Instead, we’ll ask them to play several grooves with their respective fills, and we’ll make them read a big band chart as well as a part of a production show along to click track and audio track.
General audition notes:
The production shows that are played on most cruise ships typically include many different musical styles and many tempo changes. Being able to play to click track is thus imperative.
We are often asked to provide samples of typical charts that are performed on ships. We do not believe it is possible to provide one sample that represents all the various types of charts you’ll be asked to play on a ship, as there are many. We have thus decided not to make any such samples available, since we ultimately need musicians that can read whatever chart is put in front of them.
Drummers must be able to read and interpret the charts they get. Drummers that have had some Big Band experience tend to be more comfortable with the charts they’ll encounter on ships.
Piano players should be comfortable reading classical music as well as all styles of modern music such as jazz, rock, pop, etc. They should be able to accompany singers well, and know how to operate keyboards. They should also have a good ear, as they are often asked to come up with chord changes to songs when charts are not available.