Concert Audition Etudes Updates

It’s almost that time again: time to hold auditions to sort percussionists into their concert ensemble for next year!

For the last several years I’ve been using Concert Percussion etudes I’ve composed as the audition material (I’ve posted about that before here). This year I’ve given them and overhaul to make them an even better assessment tool.

Here’s what they look like after the update:

First, there are four separate etudes: Snare, Mallets, Timpani, and Auxiliary Percussion.

The following skillsets are evaluated by each etude:

Snare: repeating and alternating full strokes, dynamic contrast, repeating and alternating accent-tap differentiation, buzz rolls, flams, flam taps, flam accents, paradiddles, sixteenth timing patterns, and triplet interpretation.

Mallet: double stops, full stroke technique, arpeggios, major scales, chromatic scales, rolls, double stop rolls, sixteenth timing patterns, triplet interpretation, dynamic contrast, and has an optional four-mallet section. The mallet etude may be played on standard size marimba, xylophone, vibraphone, and (most) glockenspiels.

Timpani: full stroke technique, sixteenth timing, dynamic contrast, roll technique, dampening, accent tap differentiation, movement around the drums, forte-piano crescendo rolls, and tuning. The timpani etude does require four standard size timpani (but I have plans to create a version that requires only two drums).

Percussion: This etude is written so that one player can play all of the following instruments in one pass. It also gives the the chance to practice – and you the chance to evaluate – how they change from one instrument to another in performance.

The following instruments are used:

  • Hand Cymbals: crashes, dampening
  • Suspended Cymbal: rolls
  • Tambourine: general playing and rolls
  • Triangle: general playing, muted playing, rolls, dampening
  • Bass Drum: general playing and dampening

Some of the BEST features of the etudes include:

  • They are SHORT. Just 45 seconds per etude to evaluate ALL of the techniques listed above. Realistically, you can complete each student’s audition in just 5 minutes.
  • All the etudes fit together to create a percussion ENSEMBLE etude. Meaning you can conceivably rehearse them in class with kids playing snare, mallets, timpani, and auxiliary percussion AT THE SAME TIME! Then after a rep or two have the kids swap which part they are playing. Repeat as necessary.
  • They are FREE! Download them and use them in your program. Enjoy!

BYHERNDON – CONCERT AUDITION ETUDE NO .1

 

 

Audition Etudes

An important part of helping your students grow as musicians is knowing where they currently stand. Holding Class Placement Auditions can help you get a handle on exactly that. By evaluating student’s performance of the same etudes you should be able to group them into those displaying basic, intermediate, and advanced skills.

These Audition Etudes focus on three primary areas of percussion: Concert Percussion, Marimba, and Timpani.

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The Concert Percussion Audition Etude provides an opportunity to evaluate students performing on a variety of commonly used percussion instruments: Suspended Cymbal, Triangle, Tambourine, Hand Cymbals, Concert Bass Drum, and Snare Drum.

This Marimba Audition Etude  samples a variety of skill sets: basic four mallet technique, performing arpeggios, diatonic and chromatic scales.

The students should be evaluated on how they tune the instruments before they perform the Timpani Audition Etude .

Feel free to download and use to help audition your percussionists!

 

2017 Recap

I’m happy to report another exciting year in the world of byHerndon!

  • All The Trees Clap Their Hands  was premiered by the Milton High School Indoor Drumline and received a shout out from Chad Floyd who composed “Summer Treehouse” which was featured in the show as source music.

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  • The Tipping Point (performed by the Milton High School Marching Band) was selected as a BOA Powder Springs 3rd Place Finalist
  • I had three new pieces published by Tapspace:
  • Toboggan was performed by the Creekland Middle School Percussion Ensemble at the University of Georgia Middle School Band Festival

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  • Begin Transmission was performed by the Vandegrift High School Percussion Ensemble at the Midwest Clinic

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I’d like to extend a sincere thank you to everyone who has shared my work with your students and audiences this year and the happiest of New Years to everyone.

Looking forward to 2018!

Toboggan From Above

Continuing a five-year tradition, the 9th Grade Percussion class worked up Toboggan after the Fall Concert to perform at the Winter Concert.

They only had a week to do this! It’s a good example of how “easier” pieces can be appropriate for more advanced ensembles if the timeframe is short.

I was able to catch it from the catwalk in the auditorium.

Enjoy!