by Helen Newell
Auditioning requires a certain mindset and focus to execute, and puts people out of their comfort zone. On October 19th, 31 band and 49 choral students from Lincoln Academy piled into busses at the end of the school day and travelled to the Oak Hill High School in Wales, Maine to audition for the District Three Music Festival.
The students had been preparing their pieces since the beginning of school, and their intensive work paid off at the audition. The band students prepared “Hornpipe” theme from Water Music, while the chorus students sang Sebben Crudele by Antonio Caldara. In addition to their main piece, the band students also prepared major scales, a chromatic scale, and sight read a piece of music at the audition in front of a judge. The chorus students prepared their piece, a scale, and sight read solfege for the judges. The students were all scored on different aspects like technique, accuracy, tone, intonation, and musicality in their pieces.
Liz Matta, band director at Lincoln Academy and manager and saxophone judge of the auditions, commented “Auditioning is great because students have to go into a room by themselves and play for someone they don’t know, and it takes a lot of bravery and confidence to do that”. She added that “Auditioning helps the band program because we have kids taking that extra step and putting themselves out there.”
Auditioning does produce results, especially in the classroom, as the students use the skills they develop and apply them to their band and choral programs. Phoebe Pugh, a sophomore at Lincoln and soprano in the LA Concert Choir, said “Auditioning is really fun, and you learn a lot about music, but going into the audition, I was kind of scared and nervous because there’s always a fear of failure that everyone has. You always want to do your best, for both yourself and others, so whenever you go to audition you want to focus on remembering to both have fun and perform the greatest that you can, which is both terrifying and empowering for many.” Pugh auditioned and attended the festival last year, and auditioned again this year.
After the judges score the students, the top scoring kids will be accepted into the festival. They find out their scores about two weeks after auditions. The students that made the cut will attend the District Three Music Festival this spring. Last year 48 students (16 instrumentalists and 36 vocalists) qualified for the District Festival.
Regardless of their score, every student that auditioned took a step of bravery that shows their inexplicable confidence and musical talent, and bravery that will help them further their musical knowledge and experiences in life.
Helen Newell is a sophomore at Lincoln Academy, where she is a Communications Intern. She auditioned for the District III Music Festival on the clarinet.