Policy for auditions
Birmingham Music Service organises annual auditions in order to:
- provide the opportunity for pupils with appropriate abilities to audition for entry into Central Ensembles
- to offer advice and guidance to pupils and to encourage them to develop their full potential
The Conduct of Auditions
All auditions are held after school hours, during the Summer Term, at a variety of venues within the Central, North and South areas of the city.
- Schools and private teachers are sent an information pack, giving details of the forthcoming auditions, at least 8 weeks before the commencement of the audition period. Schools and private teachers are informed of the results within 3 weeks of the end of the audition period.
- Two auditioners are present at every audition. Where possible, at least one auditioner remains constant throughout the whole audition period. A departmental colleague assists members of the Music Service staff responsible for the auditions. In the case of Guitar, Keyboard and Percussion auditions, the panel includes a specialist instrumental teacher for each discipline.
- Auditions normally last no longer than 10 minutes. Instrumental auditions require candidates to perform two contrasting pieces, from a current grade examinations syllabus of a standard commensurate with the entry requirements for the particular ensemble. Candidates should arrive early to allow sufficient time for warming up and tuning.
- In addition to 4 above, auditioners will:
- confirm the availability of each auditionee for the ensemble they wish to join;
- confirm their membership of any other Central Ensembles and ascertain if pupils will remain in their present ensemble, if unsuccessful in the present audition;
- enquire if pupils would consider entry to an alternative ensemble, where the auditioners felt this would be appropriate;
- ask each candidate if they have any questions regarding their audition;
- ascertain, where appropriate, that candidates have the ability to read from appropriate notations.
- When all candidates have been heard, the auditioners compile a rank order of candidates. They use this rank order to fill up the vacancies in each ensemble. Where two or more candidates are of exactly the same level of attainment, auditioners use their professional judgement, and take into consideration whether any of the candidates are current members of another ensemble. If so, the place goes to the candidate who is not. If they still remain equal, the older candidate is offered the place.
- The auditioners compile a reserve register of pupils for each ensemble. Should vacancies arise during the academic year, the Assistant Head - Ensembles organises replacements on the basis of this register.
- Pupils who are unsuccessful in obtaining a place in the Central Ensembles are invited to join or remain in an Area Ensemble, where appropriate, details of which are sent to each school / private teacher with the audition results.
- Auditioners keep an audition report for each candidate to be filed at the Music Centre.
- After the audition results are announced, the Assistant Head - Ensembles processes all correspondence pertaining to auditions. Correspondence normally takes place through those agencies that entered the candidate for audition, ie: schools and private teachers.
- Every member of a Central Ensemble (except those who are members of a senior ensemble that appears in the far right column of the progression chart and CBYV) is required to attend an audition during their second year in that ensemble.