Horn Repertoire Week 1: The Resume, What to Prepare for Professional Auditions, and Your Audience


One of the projects this semester is to develop a great, professional resume. To prepare this document there is an excellent guide put out by the American Federation of Musicians (available to members only) and I would also point to this reading in the great Douglas Yeo trombone website as our first assigned reading of the semester:

universityHM-logo-improvedAs to what to practice to prepare for auditions, besides cross training your technique in every way possible (solos/etudes/etc) I have developed two different lists that will be of use for reference. First up are the

These would serve well to guide basic horn study toward the goals of reaching the next level for the advancing student. Next up we have the

This list of excerpts for study are based on the results of a recent survey of major orchestra audition lists; for the complete results see John Ericson, “A New ICSOM Audition List Survey,” The Horn Call 33, no. 1 (October, 2002), 53-55. In short, if you know every major excerpt in every work on the left side of this list very well you are getting towards where you need to be to win a job.

Horn Matters has a large online resource of orchestral horn parts, keyed to the list above, here:

For initial learning of excerpts, excerpt books are very popular and practical materials. A few brief notes on these may be found below.

Mahler-1-snipWhile you are at it, if you are serious about playing the horn at a high level you must know what the foreign terms in the music mean! Below is a handy checklist that was also referenced last semester, with terms that are especially worth learning as they show up often in real life. Never ever walk into a lesson or rehearsal not knowing what the foreign musical terms in a work mean.

As to who your audience is and that part of the topic for this week, as I lay out in this brief article,

your audience changes over time and ultimately you are playing for conductors to win an orchestral job. Related to that thought, the final two articles in the Hornmasters series are the last required readings for this week.

For some flavor as to what you will read in the above links, I offer this from the second article above, a favorite quote from the Hornmasters.

The eminent violinist, Isaac Stern, said jokingly, “There are only six conductors in the world. All the rest are bums!” An exaggeration of course, but we all know what he meant.

And to close out the first week, we have one final bonus article to read, related to resumes and thinking big:

Next week the focus is on Orchestral Auditions.

This is week 1 of a fourteen week course in horn repertoire, the second semester of a broad overview of horn repertoire, performance, and pedagogy. The introductory article is here, and the series is presented for the educational purposes of our readers.

Continue to Week 2 of the Repertoire Course

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