Celebrating Excellence
Dr. Aho (614) 562-4189

Audition Results – Seating

After the audition, how do we assign seating? How will you learn your audition results?

Following auditions, successful nominees are contacted by telephone with a band assignment only.  We will give you this minimal information of your audition results so that is clear what time you should report for the first rehearsal.

When contacted with a band assignment, we will not share your seating position.  Our policies follow years of tradition — you will discover your seating assignment upon arrival at your first rehearsal. You will look for your named folder on a music stand and then retrieve your assigned instrument and part.

The bands are seated competitively, and our strongest and veteran players are usually put in leadership roles – those most likely to be soloists.  However, every place in a brass band is vital and is a critical component in achieving the unique British brass band “sound.” During the audition our skilled staff look for specific traits and we often make decisions to shift a musician to a slightly diffrent instrument than they might anticipate.  There are numerous reasons for our actions.  First of all, in seating a brass band we are looking to fill all the key instrumentation needs, and outside of veteran players, it is rare to find students who have experience playing some of the exact instruments found in a brass band.  Secondly, we might realize during the audition that although a student plays well, their instrument fit might be improved if we assign to an instrument that fits their embouchure better.  Many of our instruments use the same fingerings and music – so the transition is quite painless and fun.

In the high brass section, we have many different types of cornets with a myriad of possibilities:

  • A player with a really high buzz and strong high range might be ideal to play Soprano (Eb) Cornet
  • A player with an expansive range, strong technique and sight reading skills might be assigned to Repiano Cornet – they often double with the Solo cornets, play solos or team with other parts
  • Sometimes we intentionally put a strong player in a seat that makes them tackle a different range than what they’ve done before. Our strategy may be to build range, technique and prepare for future roles in subsequent years. There is usually a method to our “madness” and we especially appreciate when students are open and cooperative.

Newer players, or those who feel a bit tentative, might go to the Third or Second Cornets. Just because we seat in the back row, do not think those parts are not important! They are!  Third trumpets in a traditional school band may not see many playing opportunities or difficulty in most literature.  However,  one cannot always make those assumptions in a brass band.  The back row is the literal heartbeat of the band . We can look back today and see that some of our strongest veteran players started in the last seat of the Third Cornets and worked their way up to Concert Master through a variety of seating assignments! Take it an opportunity to learn, challenge yourself, and grow as a musician.

It’s not unusual for us to assign a trumpet player to another instrument other than cornet alltogether. We are experts in recognizing that a student who has been playing one instrument at school might actually be a perfect fit on a different instrument that is unique in the Brass Band. Fingerings are often the same.

Low Brass players will be challenged to learn Treble Clef – we’ll work with you! Don’t worry! You do not have to know Treble Clef to be accepted for membership, but you will have to be very committed to getting the new skill under your belt.