Texas 2014-2015 All-State Band Audition Material for Soprano and Low Clarinets

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Today, the official audition materials for the Texas 2014-2015 All-State Band Auditions were posted at TMEA.org. The materials for all band instruments (including soprano and low clarinets) are available HERE.  BELOW I have re-posted the audition information for soprano and low clarinets.

According to the TMEA.org site, “The TMEA website is the official location for errata postings. Please check back as it will be updated as needed until September 1.
No errata changes will be made after September 1.”

I’ve already started to break down the audition music for private lessons, all-state clinics and such. Here’s a couple of very quick practice tips to get started:

Work on tonguing every day. Check out my “Betty” post.

Practice counting in eighth notes, i.e. twice as slow, where one eight note gets one beat, one quarter note gets two counts, etc.

Go slow and learn the rhythm correctly the first time and every time.

Dynamics, dynamics, dynamics every step of the way! Check out my ADD BOLD DYNAMICS! post.

Always practice and perform with your very best tone.

ClarinetMike says, “Challenge yourself to pursue genuine excellence every day! Have fun and ‘Get Into It!’”

Soprano Clarinets

Artistic Studies, Book 1 – From the French School, David Hite, Southern Music Company, Edition B362

Selection 1

Etude Title: 32 Etudes, 20, Page 65
Key: G minor
Tempo: Dotted Quarter Note = 50-60
Play from Beginning to end.
Errata: mm 17 through 31 should not be repeated.

TMEA Performance Guide: This selection should be performed using one beat to the measure. However, in the beginning a slow study is recommended using the eighth note as the pulse. Be careful to keep the articulation light and crisp. Strictly observe the mixed articulation of slur 3, tongue 3. Carefully observe the change of articulation in mm 23 and 24. Look for all the passages that use portions of the g minor scale and arpeggio as their foundation. The trills followed by grace notes in M. 17-20 are typically played as one group of five notes. Using side C (throat tone Bb plus top two side keys on the right) is the best way to play this figure. Observe the poco piu mosso (slightly faster) in M. 65.


Selection 2

Etude Title: 40 Studies, No. 32, Page 34
Tempo: Eighth note 100-112
Play from Beginning to downbeat of ms. 49.

TMEA Performance Guide: This is a great etude for musical expression. One should practice this etude very slowly thinking the eighth note and gradually speeding it up to the suggested tempo of eighth note = 112. This slow etude can be played with great energy and zeal. The note endings are very important to set-up the next phrase. In measure 8, one can leave the right hand down for tuning, color and easy of playing over the break. The turn in m. 8 is on the up beat of 8. In mm. 10 and 42, the grace notes are play on the up beat of 3. In measure 12 and 44, subdivide carefully, with only two shakes (at the most) on the trilled A in m. 12. Once again, one can leave the right hand down when you know you are going over the break i.e. in m. 12 the 8th beat. The articulation should be very connected, with the staccato sixteenth notes in mm. 22 and 47 not too short.


Selection 3

Etude Title: 32 Etudes, 26, Page 71
Tempo: Quarter Note = 100-112
Play from Beginning to end.
Errata: Extend the slur in m. 25 to the downbeat Ab sixteenth note in m. 26.
Begin the next slur on the second Ab sixteenth note in m. 26
m. 8 – Remove slur from last two sixteenth notes of beat two
m. 9 – Extend the slur to the f natural at beginning of beat three
m. 10 – Extend the slur to the Eb at the beginning of beat three
m. 19 – Slur extends over beats 1 and 2 similar to beat 3 and 4 in the same measure
m. 25 – Extend the slur to the downbeat Ab in m. 26
m. 26 – First note should be an Ab
m. 26 – Begin the slur on the second sixteenth note Ab.

TMEA Performance Guide: Strive for evenness, shape, and direction of the musical line during the mixed articulations, especially in measure one, two, and four. Observe the left pinky C fingering indicated in measure 2 and other approaches from Eb to C, such as mm 3, 10, 15, 20, and 34. Use chromatic F# in measures 4, 28, 36 and subsequent chromatic measures involving the half-step from F to F#. Chromatic B natural should be observed in measure 5 and subsequent measures involving the half-step from B to Bb. In measures 7, 10, 13, and 29, use right pinky B natural for evenness and economy of motion. The grace note in measure 17 should be played before the beat. The accents should be observed to give musical drive and direction of the melodic line.


Low Clarinets

Artistic Studies, Book 1 – From the French School, David Hite, Southern Music Company, Edition B362

Selection 1

Etude Title: 40 Studies, No. 36, Pages 38-39
Tempo: Dotted Quarter Note = 52-66
Play from Beginning to end of ms. 59.
Errata: M. 35 – lower the second sixteenth note f one octave lower and legato articulate it

TMEA Performance Guide: Work on this etude should start with slow, steady playing using the eighth note as the unit of beat. Later, for more advanced players, the marked tempo is preferred. This etude displays the performer’s ability to use both legato and staccato articulation in all registers. I suggest using a “dah” tongue stroke for the dotted notes under slurs and a “tut” stroke for notes marked with dots not under slurs. The bass clarinet has a rather large reed, and I recommend tonguing slightly below the reed tip for clear articulation in all registers. The high d naturals in measures 25, 34, and 37 should be played by adding the register key to open g for ease of response on the bass and contra bass clarinet. Start all trills on eighth notes slowly with just one upper neighbor note, and add a second one when the performer is comfortable with the etude. Be sure to time properly the use of the register key when playing octave passages. Also, a slight lift of each second slur note in measures 38-40 and 52-56 will help the response of the lower octave notes.


Selection 2

Etude Title: 40 Studies, No. 32, Page 34
Key: E Minor
Tempo: Quarter Note = 48-60
Play from Beginning to downbeat of ms. 49.

TMEA Performance Guide: This beautiful etude helps the bass clarinetist to appreciate legato note connections. It also is challenging technically in places! I would advise the use of eighth note subdivision as a general rule for a more accurate rhythmic performance. The trill in measure twelve is ok with one single upper neighbor note and this passage can be played with a bit of relaxation rhythmically. The same thought is true for measure 44. The initial response of the high b in measure 25 can be aided by using a “ha-tah, air first, followed by tongue start approach. I use this air first followed by tongue start approach constantly in professional playing situations for security and peace of mind! This etude also contains a number of beautiful musical moments utilizing appoggiatura figures such as in measure 3-4, 7-8 10-11, etc.


Selection 3

Etude Title: 32 Etudes, 28, Page 73
Key: E Major
Tempo: Dotted half note 56-66
Play from Beginning to end.

TMEA Performance Guide: The key of this etude is challenging, particularly to younger bass clarinetists. A good idea is to use a standard clarinet technique book with pages of scales and arpeggios in this key to help the student become more familiar with the key. I do suggest that particularly in measures 18-19 and 35-38 that the students learn the printed note names instead of the more familiar enharmonic spellings. Knowledge of chord structures is helpful for a successful performance. Practice slowly in quarter note values with a metronome and slowly increase the speed until the suggested tempos are reached. The best way to approach measures 22 and 59 is to use the “slide” suggestion, fingering both the written d sharp and following c sharp on the right.

About ClarinetMike

American Clarinetist Michael Dean “ClarinetMike” performs and teaches internationally and across the USA to consistent praise such as, “world-class clarinetist and pedagogue,” “consummate performer,” “inspirational,” “outstanding teacher,” “super,” “brilliant performer,” and “one of the best clinicians I have ever seen.” Dr. Dean’s career is headlined by appearances at Carnegie Hall, ClarinetFest, NACWPI, Royal Northern College of Music, and Eastman School of Music, with recent recitals and master classes in Italy, Spain, Canada, Michigan, Ohio, Kansas, Iowa, Louisiana, and Texas. He recently returned for a fourth summer to the beautiful Italian Alps of Vipiteno, Italy as Clarinet Artist Faculty in Residence at the international Orfeo Music Festival. He is featured on 6 commercial CD’s including his soon-to-be-released new CD, Postcards from Silver Lake. He is also prominent on New Media, such as YouTube. He was clarinetist with the Paducah Symphony Orchestra for 11 years and he’s also performed with the Southwest Symphony, Nevada Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Southeast Chamber Players, Red Mesa Trio, and Duo 35. He has given more than 500 master classes, clinics and performances at universities, conservatories, conferences, festivals, high schools, junior high schools, and a diverse array of venues. As “ClarinetMike,” he writes for his noted and widely-read ClarinetMike Blog – viewed in 150 countries on 6 continents, clarinetmike.wordpress.com. His blog is the #1 clarinet blog on the Internet according to Google Search and a recent ranking on Feedspot. His articles also appear in professional journals such as the Southwestern Musician, The Bandmasters’ Review, WINDPLAYER, and NACWPI Journal. He is a past president and former officer on the National Board of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI). After a successful 20 years of teaching clarinet at the university level, he relocated to his native Texas due to family concerns. He is currently an active clarinet and woodwind performer, teacher, clinician, blogger, and consultant based in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. Dr. Michael Dean studied clarinet performance at Texas Tech University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Colorado at Boulder, and University of Texas at Arlington. His teachers include Robert Walzel, Phil Aaholm, Carol Jessup, Bob Ackerman, and Jess Youngblood. He is a BG France Performing Artist and his professional website is clarinetmike.com. Mike and his family live in Hurst, Texas. His family’s new Golden Retriever, Nimbus, is a relative of Andy.
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1 Response to Texas 2014-2015 All-State Band Audition Material for Soprano and Low Clarinets

  1. Pingback: Texas All-State Clarinet Music: ClarinetMike’s Preparation Guide and Template | ClarinetMike Blog

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