JR Santiago is a flute student at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music, studying under Jennifer Olson.
Hi! My name is John Robert Santiago. I am a flute student at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music, studying under Jennifer Olson. In addition to helping me discover a lot about myself as a musician and a person, my time at PCM has helped me prepare for—and survive—a number of nerve-wracking auditions.
This year I got into the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, one of the best and most prestigious arts high schools in the nation. Here are some audition tips that worked for me at my recent LACHSA auditions:
- Compare yourself to you. ONLY YOU. Listening to someone and degrading yourself is not the way to go, as when you walk in that audition room, you will feel very bad about yourself, and you will probably not play your best.
- Don’t play your entire repertoire, especially not over and over, as this is energy-consuming, and by the time you are called, your thunder is gone. What I do to warm up at auditions is some gentle long tones that aren’t really fatiguing. I don’t do double-tonguing or any fast passages, as this uses lots of energy you want to save for the real deal.
- Lastly, be prepared! The audition panel can throw anything at you (not literally, of course!). They can ask for you to play a three octave chromatic scale, a minor scale you don’t know, an arpeggio you have not learned or memorized, or you can be asked to sight-read the hardest piece of music you have seen in your life. Also, taking advantage of your resources, from a scale book to your teacher, is a good way to prepare for an audition.
Hope this helps and good luck at your next audition!