Reply To: All State Band Auditions

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I am in favor of the proposal made at the January meeting, not because I think the two pre-determined scales is the best option, but because I think the current system is not equitable. I’m not sure on how we implement it perfectly or if it is the most perfect thing to do, but I think it makes the audition process more equitable with every instrument playing the same scales.

At the same time, I like that my kids practice all twelve major scales. Yes, we all have those kids that want to learn all twelve because they are nerds, like the challenge, or truly understand the importance of scales. For others, All-State is the one thing that actually gets them practicing scales, even though I push them in my classes 6-12.

If what we are looking for is a more streamlined scale portion that is more equitable then I think going Db-G, one octave, memorized, plus chromatic scale at full range of instrument (though this would need to be unified for instruments like marimba and trombone where some kids don’t have access to horns with attachments or a five octave marimba) is our best bet. The memorized scales demonstrate musical ability and I think will get us better players in the long run and the chromatic scale demonstrates range. The whole scale portion would only take about a minute and a half, which I tested playing on my trumpet, which I’m bad at.

Once again, this may not be perfect. There can be GREAT players that don’t know their scales, and there are many groups that don’t require scales in their auditions.

Or scratch the major scales entirely and make the etudes harder. Whatever.