The Patriots

Auditions Page...

Audition Requirements

THE FOLLOWING APPLIES TO ALL THOSE AUDITIONING FOR Concert Junior, Concert Senior, or Symphonic Band

Beginners (known as Cadets) need not audition. Click on Cadet Requirements at the bottom of this page.
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WSHSB Patriot Marching Band

For marching, the WSHSB is also known as "The Patriots." Patriots attend marching camp in June and average five parades in the summer.

WSHSB Winter Concert

With two concerts per year, our winter concert is usually held at the end of January. Concerts are FREE admission with open seating. Check our Music Resource page to listen to past concerts.

WSHSB Patriot Marching Band

Marching trimester is voluntary and open to current WSHSB members and NON-members. This includes experienced musicians who are welcome to join us for the summer marching trimester. For more details see our Summer Marching page.

WSHSB Spring Concert

Our second concert of the year is generally held mid to late May. Come hear our Junior, Senior, and Symphonic bands separately and combined.

West Suburban Home School Band

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About WSHSB

The West Suburban Home School Band, or WSHSB in short, follows the model of a community band and includes all wind instruments, woodwinds and brass, as well as a full percussion section. There are no stringed instruments ...more

WSHSB Member's News

Member's News has the link to the weekly Rehearsal Notes PDF and for quick reference, Important Dates and Deadlines and the Sectional Chart are included. Download  the weekly Rehearsal Notes for the week's practice assignments and more.

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Join WSHSB

To join the WSHSB a student must be home schooled. Those interested in joining the WSHSB, at any level but Cadet, must submit an audition video. Recommended minimum age for any level is nine. There are four skill levels to consider...more

 2016-2017 Audition Requirements

NOTE: In order to keep life simpler, with fewer interruptions for the director and her family, there are rules for picking up audition music as well as a firm deadline for submitting auditions. 

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03/2017 NEW RESOURCE FROM THE DIRECTOR

Link to Suggested Strategy for Auditioning

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016, 9AM – 9PM, is the date Concert Senior and Symphonic audition sheet music is released. It must be picked up this day. (Junior auditions DO NOT require any extra music but come completely from the gold Essential Elements 1 book.) Senior and Symphonic sheet music will be available at the director’s home in Winfield, not far from the intersection of Roosevelt and Winfield Roads. Contact the director if you need the address and/or directions. Under no circumstances will audition sheet music be mailed or released early to accommodate vacation schedules. IMPORTANT: If you are not able to come on July 6 it is your responsibility to make arrangements with another band member, (not the Borows) to pick-up your music on July 6. All audition music pick-ups are to be completed on July 6.

Also, you may not simply “show-up” at the director’s home on this day and expect to receive audition music. Current members must have previously filled-in the Band Commitment form. New people should have had prior contact with the director to let her know for which band(s) they intend to audition.
Without the Band Commitment from current members or prior contact from new people, no music packet will be prepared for you and you will have to arrange with the director for pick-up at a later time.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016, 9AM 5PM (note new, earlier end time)all Concert Junior, Concert Senior and Symphonic Audition videos are due by 5pm at the latest. IMPORTANT: Auditions received after 5pm on August 2 will be considered late and you will be placed at the end of the roster for your instrument. This applies to all media formats. We are aware YouTube uploading can take as much as 48 hours or more. There may be power outages, computer failures, equipment issues or other unforeseen problems. To avoid missing the deadline, do not wait until the last days before auditions are due to finalize your recordings.

August 2 is also the 2015-2016 Winter REGISTRATION DEADLINEFully completed Winter registrations and rentals - forms and fees - must be received by this date. Booster jobs will be released Monday, July 18 at 7pm. Registration includes a parent signing-up for the required Booster hours on the WSHSB Sign-Up Schedule AND indicating those hours on the registration form. (See complete Booster instructions on the registration form.) It also includes a completed and signed Commitment page along with all fees and a rental form and fee(s) if applicable. Late fees are applicable after this date.

 

JUNIOR, SENIOR AND SYMPHONIC
MEMBERSHIP IN WSHSB BY AUDITION ONLY
Note: No audition is necessary for beginners (Cadets). See link to Cadet Requirements at the bottom of this page.

Our Concert Season runs throughout the school year; fall through spring. Those who wish to be part of the WSHSB Annual Summer Chair Competition must submit an audition video by the deadline, August 2.
AUDITIONING FOR A PARTICULAR BAND DOES NOT GUARANTEE ACCEPTANCE IN THAT BAND. There may also be limits in instrument sections within each band level. The Concert Season roster is set by the end of August.

However, once the summer audition video deadline has passed you are still able to join by submitting an audition video with the following understanding. You will be placed in the band where we feel you fit best and you will be at the end of the roster for your instrument.
Those who do not submit an audition video will not receive music and WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED A MEMBER OF THE BAND.

AUDITION CLARIFICATIONS
While you may audition for more than one band, you must audition for each band on the instrument you intend to play in that band. Every audition must be COMPLETELY NEW for 2016-2017 including ALL REQUIRED ELEMENTS as defined within each audition. This audition video requirement applies to all new applicants, as well as all returning members.
 

Desire to move up a band level? In order to be considered for a band level promotion, members need to prepare and perform BOTH the audition for the band they are in as well as the one to which they are aspiring.

Registration includes Commitment Page - Due to increasing conflicts with other activities, all members are required to complete the Commitment page which is the third page of the Registration Form. You will need to list known conflicts/absences and a parent's signature is required. Again, the deadline for both auditions and Registration Forms is August 2, 2016 and auditions will not be accepted without the necessary forms completed and fees paid.

Commitment for Concert Season - We would also like to impress upon you that the band(s) for which you choose to audition has a direct effect on planning for our next concert season. The balance and number of instruments affects the composition of each band as well as the selection of music. We will not be able to accommodate changes once you choose an instrument and band level. Any requests of this nature will be considered for the following concert year.

First Chair Expectations
- Earning first chair/principal confers upon a player an important title. But there are responsibilities that come with the position. The director and band rely on each principal to take on leadership for his section. These expectations increase commensurately with each band level. As lead he is expected to -

  • Attend band regularly with minimal to no absences

  • Be the most skilled performer and an example of "how to do it" to the rest of the section

  • Play most if not all the solos

  • Be called upon to "model" a difficult passage for the rest of the section

  • Be responsible for leading sectionals as needed

If a student is not prepared or willing to accept such a degree of responsibility, he should state on his video that he would rather not have 1st chair.

No member has the authority to bypass the audition process by acquiring another band’s/instrument’s music or inserting themselves into a band they never auditioned for. This is different from being a (director-approved) helper on your primary instrument in another band, which does not require an extra audition to fulfill that role. There are also times when the director may request a member's help, crossing the band lines, but these kinds of situations always require the director’s knowledge and approval.

AUDITION VIDEO FORMATS
Both VHS videotape and DVD-R formats are acceptable.
(Use DVD-R format only, do not use DVD+R or DVD+/-RW for recording.) Because of the large number of auditions, it has become too cumbersome to have more than one audition on a tape or DVD. Each COMPLETE audition must be on ONE separate, brand-new, fully rewound VHS or new DVD-R.

YouTube Option
Increasingly, more and more auditions are submitted on YouTube. WARNING: Know that uploading can take 48 hours or more so you need to plan ahead. If you choose to use this method there are three conditions that must be met:

  1. Do not set your YouTube to private

  2. You must email the YouTube link(s) to the director using the special link for submitting Auditions located at the top or bottom of this page  DO NOT USE the form at Contact Director or the director's regular email address or you will have to resubmit using the special link.

Recording their audition in the comfort of their own home allows students to record their best playing or go back and re-record something with which they are not happy. Even if you feel that your video is not very good, submit it anyway - you have nothing to lose. Having a video allows the director to go back and re-listen to a student. If you do not own a videotape or DVD recorder, you will need to borrow one from a friend or relative, or perhaps record on your Smartphone. The director is not able to assist in making your recording.

        DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO RECORD OR TRANSFER!

        See the IMPORTANT note above about the consequence for late auditions.


TEST DVD BEFORE SUBMITTING

This applies only to those submitting their audition on DVD. For various reasons, we have had considerable problems with DVD’s that will not play on a commercial (for home use) DVD player. In order to be sure your DVD will play properly it must be “finalized” when created. Before submitting your video you need to give it a test run on a commercial (for home use) DVD player, not on a computer DVD drive.

LABEL THE VIDEO
Clearly label the videotape or DVD and its case with the student’s name, instrument, and the band for which the student is auditioning.

RECORDING
Stand on the floor or sit on a solid chair, and use a music stand. Do not set the music on a table or in your case, or have another person hold it while you perform. Do not sit on a sofa, soft chair or bed.


Record your audition from the side and NOT from the front. Playing directly into the microphone can distort the sound. We also want to be able to see your embouchure and finger or hand technique. Tubas, be sure to film on the side that we can see your face.

Use a new DVD-R or video-tape for each individual audition. Tapes should be brand-new and fully rewound so the recording starts at the beginning of the tape.

For recording (Note - These steps are also included within each band's audition requirements.)

  • Every audition must be COMPLETELY NEW for 2016-2017 including ALL REQUIRED ELEMENTS as defined within each audition.

  • At the beginning of the recording clearly state your first and last name and announce for which band and instrument you are auditioning.

  • If you are not interested in being 1st chair, assuming a leadership position and playing solos, please say so at the beginning of your recording. There is much expected of a principle player

  • Announce each selection before playing e.g.; Bb chromatic scale, passage name, etc.

  • Everything must be played with a metronome at the designated tempo where specified

  • VERY IMPORTANT – You may choose to record parts of your audition on different days or at different times. However, there is to be no break or editing within any passage/exercise/scale. If you make a mistake or stop within a passage, etc., leave the video running and pick-up where you left off. Points will be deducted for breaks in the recording, other than at measured rests. One or two measures of rest should be counted out on the video. Where there are three or more measures of rest, leave the video running, pause playing and announce, “I am continuing at measure ___.” Resume playing at that measure. While making your audition video if you record any passage/exercise/scale more than once you must edit that video to a final video with only one take of each audition requirement.

  • AUDITION VIDEOS MUST BE AT THE DIRECTOR’S HOME BY 5PM, TUESDAY, AUGUST 2,  2016 or they will be considered late. See IMPORTANT note above about the consequence for late auditions. 2016-2017 Winter Trimester Registration deadline is also August 2. No auditions will be accepted without a fully completed registration which includes Booster hours online sign-up and a completed and signed Commitment page along with all fees and a rental form and fee(s) if applicable.

ROSTER PLACEMENT
One’s ability to commit to/attend band will be taken into greater consideration in roster placement. AUDITIONING FOR A PARTICULAR BAND DOES NOT GUARANTEE ACCEPTANCE IN THAT BAND. You will be placed in a band level based on your proficiency and the needs within each section and band. There may also be limits in instrument sections within each band level. After the director has reviewed and evaluated all audition tapes, band assignments will be made and the roster set by the end of August. The SYMPHONIC band will be set first, followed by CONCERT SENIOR and then CONCERT JUNIOR. Assignments will remain for the duration of the concert season and will not change, unless initiated by the director alone. Students will not be allowed to “promote” or change bands during the year, unless invited by the director. For example, this may be done for musical/instrumentation needs.

It is important to remember that each student is placed on their own ability as compared to all of the other students on that instrument. It is sometimes difficult to realize that you are joining a band program with upperclassmen who have continued to practice and study their instruments throughout high school. Some very good players will be placed in Concert Junior Band. This means that the quality of all of our bands is continuously improving.

CONFLICTS WITH BAND
We are asking parents to help guide their students to make prudent, responsible and reasonable decisions about their commitment choices and instilling the importance of following through and fulfilling them to the best of their ability. Students can only do what their parents will allow.

Just as students in traditional school have band during their school day, and receive a grade and credit on their transcript, the same can be done for a homeschooler. If you are not already doing so, you too can give your student a a music grade and a credit and enter it on their transcript. They can be graded for progressing in their musical skills, putting in regular practice hours between rehearsals, and following through with their band commitment by faithfully attending weekly rehearsals, dress rehearsals and concerts.

Since the band was founded almost 15 years ago, in 2001, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of extracurricular activities available to homeschoolers. Some of the activities where we see the most conflicts are with organized sports, youth theater, speech & debate, and outside membership in a local high school band. Wanting to take advantage of and experience a wide variety of things, students are over-committing themselves and are often shortchanging the groups they decided to join. It seems that a minimalist attitude surfaces where the question becomes “What is the least I can do and still belong?” One activity is weighed against the other and somewhere, a group that is counting on you loses out. In the case of band, when a principal misses, a crucial or exposed part may go vacant. If that part is covered by another student then their part goes vacant. That is just one example.

Life involves making choices, being faithful to one’s commitments, taking pride in what we do and doing the best we can. It's not always easy but it's always worth it and builds character.

WHAT YOU DO AFTER THE AUDITION MATTERS
The director reserves the right to change roster positions and/or part assignments as needed to benefit the band. We have had to make these changes in the past and regret when we are left with that difficult decision due to infractions in the following areas. Regular, weekly attendance, attitude, overall behavior and cooperative spirit are all taken very seriously. One’s attendance record weighs very heavily. It is a major factor and catalyst influencing a roster position or part assignment change. This is especially true for those with higher chairs. A student may turn in an outstanding audition, earning them a top chair. However, they need to realize it is more than just a title. Much time, thought and prayer go into making the assignments. By conferring the title, it is expected the student will accept it as a serious personal responsibility and deeper personal commitment to the band, the director and its members. Indeed, we need all students to take their commitment to band seriously and are gratified by all those who do so. The director adds, “We expect good attendance throughout the year. It is crucial to the entire band and to the success of the concert that all 3 rehearsals before a concert are not missed by any percussionist or wind musician. Failure to do so may result in a change in part assignment, roster position, or possible exclusion from a concert.”

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                                        AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

NOTE: Audition requirements are subject to change to a greater or lesser degree every year. In the past, Junior and Senior audition requirements have changed only slightly from year to year. Know that we are always considering new options. Senior and Symphonic audition music, which is required in addition to the exercises, is released about a month before the audition recording deadline.

Musical skills are not best built separately over the summer, or even worse, in just a few days before an audition recording is due. They are built with diligent, consistent daily practice. Students are encouraged to incorporate these audition requirements into their regular practice to be better prepared when audition time comes. It will be time well spent.

 

Click here for the 2016-2017 CONCERT JUNIOR AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Click here for the 2016-2017 CONCERT SENIOR AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Click here for the 2016-2017 SYMPHONIC AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Click here for the 2016-2017 CADET (beginner) REQUIREMENTS

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Rev. March 3, 2017
 
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