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Music

FAQ about the ECHS Music Auditions

Frequently asked questions
Question: When and where do I show up for my audition?
Always show up to auditions early and if possible, show up at least 20 minutes prior to the audition. Arriving early allows you to warm up and be fully prepared. Auditions will be held in the ECHS Band Room of the Little Theater building.
Question: What do I do when I get to the audition?
Check in at the band room and sign in. Take your instrument out and begin warming up.
Question: What happens during the auditions?
When auditions begin you will be taken in the order that you signed up. If you are auditioning for Symphonic Band you will audition alone. Students auditioning for Jazz Band will have a rhythm section to accompany. Only the band director and two or three other assistants will be in the room with you. Parents are welcome to stay for the audition. The audition can take  10-15 minutes.
Question: What happens after the audition?
A list of placement for all students who auditioned will be placed in the band room glass cabinet at the end of the week.
Question: What ensembles are offered at El Camino?
Symphonic and Jazz Band are the top bands. Concert band is the apprentice band for Symphonic Band and is the class where the music fundamentals are established. Lab Band I and Lab Band II are small jazz ensembles (combos) that meet during 0 period. For new students: when the counselors come to sign you into band you will sign up for Concert Band. After, if you pass the auditions we will make the change with the counselors.
Question: Am I required to be in Symphonic or Concert Band if I make it into one of the Jazz Ensembles?
Yes. However, you are not required to be in the class. What this means is whichever jazz ensemble you make it into will be your class on your class schedule. At the same time you will be expected to learn all the music to either Symphonic or Concert Band depending on what group you are in.
Question: What if I do not make it into the higher bands?
Enroll into our apprentice ensemble Concert Band.
Question: How should I prepare for my audition?
Take the audition materials to your current music teacher(s) and ask them to help you with practice strategies.
Here are some additional audition preparation suggestions:
Scales: practice slowly and make sure you focus on sound quality and intonation. Only when you can play with great sound and intonation should you begin to practice at a faster tempo.
Prepared piece: for jazz band try for a great jazz feel. For symphonic band try to emulate a pure tone. Pay attention to dynamics and articulation marks as you prepare your piece.
Sight-reading: see if you can get your hands on some music to sightread. If you are not good at reading rhythms, find some music and go slowly until you are sure you are playing the rhythms correctly. Use a metronome. Make sure you pay close attention to the key signature, and try to look through a tune before you start playing it, to anticipate difficult spots.
Soloing: Listen to great jazz masters playing solos on the same tune you are learning. If possible, learn their solos. Not so you can copy them note for note, but so that you learn the jazz vocabulary they are using. Ultimately, jazz musicians sound like a mixture of all the musicians they have listened to and studied – plus a little bit of their own personality mixed in. Use this audition as an opportunity to get started on this great, lifelong project.
● Classical Solo: Listen to great musicians on your instrument and imitate and emulate their tone and phrasing.