At the conclusion of “Get Back,” the last song on his band’s final studio release “Let It Be,” John Lennon of The Beatles says sardonically, “I hope we’ve passed the audition.”
His comment was a reference to the times when what became one of the most influential rock ‘n’ roll groups failed auditions while trying to gain a recording contract, in the days before “American Idol” and “The Voice” could jumpstart a successful career in music.
Auditions continue to be part of the music profession – from pop and rock to jazz and classical genres – including UConn’s annual Concerto/Aria Competition which provides the opportunity for students in the music department to perform as soloists in concert with the University’s Symphony Orchestra.
This year’s concert takes place at 8 p.m. on Dec. 10 at J. Louis von der Mehden Recital Hall, featuring performances by graduate student Hyejin Bae, who plays flute, and undergraduates Samantha Lake ’16 (SFA), a tuba player, and Myles Mocarski ’16 (SFA), a violinist.
“It’s a real celebration of the achievements of these particular students,” says Eric Rice, head of the Department of Music. “For all of their professional work as performers, they will have to perform auditions, which can be very stressful. The students who learn not only how to overcome that stress but to perform exceptionally well have the potential to do well in the music business. Our Concerto/Aria Competition audition is a fairly high pressure environment, with three judges sitting in the audience listening to them.”
Twenty students participated in the auditions held in von der Mehden Recital Hall on the afternoon of Halloween, ranging from mezzo-soprano and baritone vocalists to various instrumentalists performing on the piano, trombone, tuba, flute, and bassoon. Each prepared a solo work no longer than eight minutes in length to perform, and could have an accompanist. Often students select a familiar work, one that they have performed for many years.
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