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Douglas Yeo's Boston Symphony Orchestra
Audition Tape (April 1984)

In early 1984, I sent a resume and letter to the Boston Symphony Orchestra's in order that I might audition for their bass trombone position. After sending in my resume, I received a letter saying that I needed to make an audition tape. Accompanying the letter were a set of tape guidelines which specified how the tape should be recorded, which type of tape to use, etc.

At the time, I was bass trombonist of the Baltimore Symphony, so I utilized the chorus room in the basement of Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore to make the tape. I used my Denon DR-M2 cassette deck and two borrowed AKG D200E microphones. I used a Maxell UDXL II 60 minute cassette. At the time I was playing a Bach bass trombone with a Schilke 60 mouthpiece with a single Thayer valve (number B6). I spent one session recording excerpts with various setups of the microphones. After listening to those recorded excerpts, I chose the setup which I thought gave the best sound and the next day I went back and recorded the excerpts again. Several days later, I listened to those raw tapes, selected the best takes of each excerpt, and recorded them onto another tape which I sent to the Boston Symphony.

The Boston Symphony audition committee listened to the tapes in April 1984. Of the 88 tapes they received, they advanced one tape to the live round - mine. I then joined 9 other players who had been invited to the live round without a tape based on their positions in other major orchestras or because of their finishing in the finals of a previous Boston Symphony bass trombone audition. At the audition in May 1984, I was the winner but Music Director Seiji Ozawa decided not to hire anyone at that time. I was subsequently asked to play with the Boston Symphony for six weeks at Tanglewood, Symphony Hall in Boston and on a European Tour, and in December 1984, I auditioned again for the position and won (I did not need to make a tape for the second audition).

I joined the Boston Symphony in May 1985, and since then have served on many audition committees. I am often asked, "What makes up a good tape?" I speak quite a bit about the process of making an audition tape in my Resource, Symphony Auditions: Preparation and Execution. However, it is also true that a picture (or a mp3 file) is worth a thousand words.

Below you will find mp3 files for the 9 excerpts which I had to tape for the Boston Symphony bass trombone audition. They represent a good sample of the kinds of repertoire which is still asked on bass trombone auditions. The tape has deteriorated a little since I made it 16 years ago, and because I have used it for a number of master classes on how to make an audition tape, it has suffered a bit of wear from various tape player heads and spindles. Nevertheless, it is a good representation of my playing from 1984, and while I would certainly do some things differently were I to make the tape today (in particular some phrasing in the Bach, the length of the gliss in the Kodaly, and some other musical choices - my playing has changed in some significant ways in the intervening years), I offer these excerpts to you as examples of an audition tape which was accepted at a professional orchestra audition.

Click on the mp3 icon or the titles below to hear or download a mp3 segment of my 1984 Boston Symphony Audition Tape. All selections are (P) 1984, renewed 2000, Douglas Yeo. All rights reserved.

Strauss - Also sprach Zarathustra (excerpt 1) Douglas Yeo, bass trombone. Approximately :17 (272k).

Strauss - Also sprach Zarathustra (excerpt 2) Douglas Yeo, bass trombone. Approximately :28 (444k).

Rossini - William Tell Overture (Storm Scene) Douglas Yeo, bass trombone. See my annotated music and comments for this excerpt in my Bass Trombonist's Orchestral Handbook. Approximately :47 (760k).

Wagner - Ride of the Walkure (major version) Douglas Yeo, bass trombone. See my annotated music and comments for this excerpt in my Bass Trombonist's Orchestral Handbook. Approximately :48 (754k).

Kodaly - Hary Janos ("The Battle and Defeat of Napoleon") Douglas Yeo, bass trombone. Approximately 1:21 (1.2 MB).

Haydn - The Creation (Number 26) Douglas Yeo, bass trombone. See my annotated music and comments for this excerpt in my Bass Trombonist's Orchestral Handbook. Approximately 1:04 (1003k).

Schumann - Symphony 3 "Rhenish" (4th movement) Douglas Yeo, bass trombone. See my annotated music and comments for this excerpt in my Bass Trombonist's Orchestral Handbook. Approximately :34 (544k).

Wagner - Tannhauser Overture Douglas Yeo, bass trombone. Approximately 1:00 (946k).

Bach - Cello Suite 5 (Sarabande) Douglas Yeo, bass trombone. See my annotated music and comments for this excerpt in my Bass Trombonist's Orchestral Handbook. Approximately 2:53 (2.6 MB).

Please note that all of the mp3 files included on this are by the individuals or companies as indicated below. The following mp3 files reproduced from my 1984 Boston Symphony Orchestra audition tape are (P) 1984, renewed 2000, Douglas Yeo. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to individuals to listen and download to private disk all of the files included on this page FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. Permission is NOT granted for any commercial use of the mp3 files on this page, nor may these files be put on any other website, sold, distributed, modified, "shared", or "traded." The files may not be appropriated for use in lessons or masterclasses without express written permission of Douglas Yeo AND. Violation of this notice is a criminal act and will be vigorously prosecuted under the laws of the United States of America.

In order to listen to these files, you must have software which will allow you to play mp3 files. There are many mp3 players available for free on the internet. For Macintosh, some common players are QuickTime 4.0, GreyAmp, MacAst and Audion. Quicktime may be downloaded for free from the Apple Computer Website. For PCs, WinAmp and Microsoft Media Player are common players (I am a Mac user, so I cannot speak first hand about PC software).

You have two choices on how to listen to these files. If your browser is so configured, all you need to do is click on a mp3 file link below and your browser will load the file and when it is finished loading, it will play.


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