How to Prepare for an Orchestral Audition

Prior to your big day at an orchestral audition, it is normal to feel tensed and anxious. Though these feelings are acceptable, it will not get you anywhere good. An orchestral audition is a basis for whether or not you get to be accepted to join their group. And trust me, you do not want your jittery emotions to get ahead of you. So here are five things you can do to prepare for your upcoming orchestral audition.

prepare for orchestral audition

1. Practice weeks or months beforehand

As the famous saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.” A few weeks or months before the D-day, practice your execution. This includes your piece, posture, the instrument you intend to use, how you will progress on stage — everything that covers your performance. 

Besides the audition piece, train your mind physically, mentally, and emotionally. Be prepared for both the foreseen and unforeseen events that may happen. Practice does not totally make the entire performance perfect, but perfect practice makes it one. Always be ready.

2. Know How, When, and Where to get there

Orchestral auditions are usually conducted in various famous locations and mostly these places will be foreign to you. Check and know all the details in your invitation (if there is one) and take note of the location, date, and addresses and nearby landmarks. By doing these, you get to be familiar with the area where you are going to perform. It is an advantageous thing to do just in case you need to buy something near the area, look for a powder room, and more that will be essential on the day of your performance. 

3. Clothing for the first impression

Although the criteria lie on your presentation, it is never wrong to impress the judges and audience with a simple piece of clothing. Wearing something that gives a message, is simple, and comfortable. You need to be able to move freely with comfortability, poise, and elegance. Do not attempt to dress up loudly. Meaning to say, those clothes that might distract the judges and audience. Avoid bright and neon-colored clothes, sequins and diamonds, or anything that is louder than your piece.

4. Make sure your instrument is in top shape 

Similar to practice and preparation, making sure that your instrument is in its best condition should be your top priority. Your instrument is your key to acceptance so taking measures to attain that it is in its best shape should be given importance.

For instance, if you are going to perform with a viola, you should be mindful of the sound it generates. Does it produce subtle and rich sounds? Another thing is the bow hairs. Is it loose? Is it slicking already? If that is the case, have it rehaired immediately. If possible, do a dry run with a variety of violas. There are instances that auditionees are required to play the instrument already given in the set to avoid hassle. 

5. Create a playlist for music you’d like to play

There is a lot of music that is suitable for an orchestral setting. Not to mention how broad genres are. If you have several ideas in mind, keep a playlist. You can do this by creating one on Spotify, Youtube, Apple Music, or any other music streaming software that allows you to add and remove chosen music. By doing this, you get to summarize the music you want to play, which leads to easier and better decision-making. 


Auditioning for something, may it be a grand or small opening, can be really stressful. You have to be in your greatest state as well as the instruments you will play.  Besides this, you get to deal with your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. But everything is worth the risk once you get accepted. 

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