Audition Announcements: A beautiful layout and some nice extra features including a curated library of helpful and funny/time sucking videos.

A nice list of orchestra openings. Includes many international orchestras, however do not rely solely on this source as they’re not always the most up to date.

The International Musician
The Gold Standard. If you are a member of the AFM, their monthly magazine lists auditions in the classified section. You can also subscribe to this magazine if you are not an AFM member (or just peak at it at most libraries).

The is another website that posts auditions for every instrument around the world. They have a nice feature of being able to sign up for email notifications whenever there is an audition for your instrument. Looks like they are no longer active.

muv.acIt stands for: Musical Vacancies. This is the site for European orchestral online vacancy management. It’s a great system, I kinda wish we had this in the US.

Audition Results: forum: “Anybody hear who won the Pittsburgh section cello audition?” And these sorts of posts. Usually pretty accurate results from 1st or 2nd hand sources. And the obligatory rant when there’s a no-hire.

Required Reading:

There are lots of books specifically written for musicians and auditions, but some of the most insightful, and life changing books about the creative process and lifestyle in general. Some of my favorites are:
1) The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles Seriously. So Good.

2) Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

3) The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance

Or listen to an audio version of any of these from

(you can get 1 book for free and start a 30-day free trial here)

Recording Equipment: Portable Options

There are a lot of choices for recording equipment, but one of the most portable and easy to use options, with really great quality is the Zoom H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder. You can throw it in your case and barely notice it’s there. It records either .wav or .mp3, which means you can load the files onto your computer and with little to no editing, have yourself an audition recording that you can either upload to a site, or burn to a CD. If you need a super portable, compact recording option, at around $100, you can’t beat it.

If you want a step up, the bigger brother to the H1, is the Zoom H4N Handy Portable Digital Recorder.The H4N is like having a recording studio in your pocket. It essentially is the mics, pre-amps, mixer, and computer with recording software all in one. It’s no wonder why this is the go to solution for so many musicians and film-makers. It does take a little bit of time to get used to all the controls, but if you can figure out how to pull your bow straight and move your fingers at the same time, you can figure out the H4N.

iPhone, iPod, iPad


One of the most convenient ways to record yourself is just with your phone. The built in recorder app works just fine for that, but if you want some more options, like the ability to control recording quality, check out:iTalk Recorder Premium which costs around $1.99. Or also StudioMini® Recording Studio which has lots of controls such as multi-tracking ($4.99)

Audition Simulator

One of the best things you can do to prepare for an audition is to simulate the audition experience. If you can’t get some friends or colleagues together to listen to you run through your excerpts, use this first-person audition video instead.

You can treat this video like the real thing. In the “audition” you will receive instructions from the proctor backstage and then proceed onstage. You can perform your concerto and excerpts in real time and the panel will cut you off and ask you to move through the excerpts. I filmed this from the point of view as a violinist, but with a little creativity, it could apply to any instrumentalist.

You will have the following amount of time for each section.
Concerto: 1:05
Excerpt #1: 45 sec
Excerpt #2: 38 sec
Excerpt #3: 45 sec
Excerpt #3 (2nd try): 30sec (or Excerpt #4)

Cello Drone:

C Natural

Cello Drone:


Cello Drone:

D Natural

Cello Drone:


Cello Drone:

E Natural

Cello Drone: F

Cello Drone: G-flat/F#

Cello Drone: G

Cello Drone: A-flat

Cello Drone: A

Cello Drone: B-flat

Cello Drone: B