- Resources


This resource is designed to assist the student of the bass trombone who is preparing for a symphony orchestra audition. For each excerpt listed below, I have included the music most frequently asked at orchestral auditions (including my recommendations for breathing, phrasing, slide positions, etc.) as well as my written annotations. Additional excerpts will be added periodically as will sound clips of me playing each selection.

For a companion article to this handbook, please see Symphony Auditions: Preparation and Execution. which details information about preparing for auditions and a perspective about the audition process itself.

While the insights I present here are products of my many years of performing and teaching as well as my experience as both an audition candidate and an audition committee member, I would like to stress that I am not promoting THE way to play any given excerpt but simply A way. The discriminating player will take these suggestions and consider them in light of his own study and the suggestions of others, ultimately coming up with his own, informed interpretation.

I am pleased to see that a tenor trombone equivilent of my handbook has been created by The OnLine Trombone Journal. This new resource, which is created by Eliot Chasanov, Tom Ervin and John Seidel, follows a similar format to my Bass Trombonists Orchestral Handbook. I want to thank Richard Human, Jr., creater of the OTJ, for the addition of this useful new matrial for tenor trombonists, and I encourage tenor trombonists to visit his page.

The music to each excerpt is reproduced from the most reliable, accurate sources. In some instances, the score and part to a particular work are in conflict; I have tried to explain those situations when they occur. Likewise, breath marks, optional breath marks, suggested phrasing (utilizing a dotted phrase line) and implied dynamics (always in parentheses) are clearly my own and are fully described. Slide positions, when indicated, are merely suggestions, designed for maximum right arm ease. For clarity of discussion, the measure numbers refer to the printed excerpt as it appears in this site, not the numbers found in the score.

Finally, it should be noted that copyright restrictions preclude the inclusion of many well known audition excerpts including Kodaly's Hary Janos, Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin and Concerto for Orchestra and Respighi's The Pines of Rome. All of the music duplicated herein is in the public domain and may be copied and distributed freely.

Techno-types might be interested to know that the initial upload of musical examples were created by me on Finale 3.5.1 for the Power Macintosh and updated for PDF publication on Finale 2000. Subsequent additions have been done on more recent versions of Finale; viewers will notice that in some of the music which accompanies the annoted comments, various parts of the manuscript appear in color (red, green, black). This is because the newer versions of Finale color code entries, text and other markings such as slurs, accents, etc. There is nothing I can do to avoid this, however if you print the page in black ink, the colors will obviously not show. If you print the accompanying pdf file for each excerpt, you will print a high quality page with black entries ONLY - all colored entries will show up as black.

Printing information

These files may be printed directly from your browser, however the music GIF files are not as clear as a printout directly from Finale.

You may also download the music files as PDF files in Adobe Acrobat format (which will give as clear a reproduction as possible) by visiting the PDF download page There you will also get information on how to obtain the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software for your MAC or PC.

On the bottom of each page of the Bass Trombonist's Orchestral Handbook, and on any page in this website which has a PDF downloadable file, you will find this icon:

Clicking on it will also bring you to the PDF download page.

The material in this resource, as with all the graphics and text in the entire site, is copyrighted, however permission is granted without contacting me for individuals to download and print any material from my site for personal use. If you are a teacher and want to distribute this material to your students, that's fine, too, but I would appreciate your letting people know where you got the resource.

BACH: Sarabande from Cello Suite No. 5

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 9

BERLIOZ: Hungarian March

FRANCK: Symphony in d minor - Excerpt 1

FRANCK: Symphony in d minor - Excerpt 2

HAYDN: The Creation - No. 26

ROSSINI: La Gazza Ladra Overture - Excerpt 1

ROSSINI: La Gazza Ladra Overture - Excerpt 2

ROSSINI: La Gazza Ladra Overture - Excerpt 3

ROSSINI: William Tell Overture

SCHUMANN: Symphony No. 3, "Rhenish"

R. STRAUSS: Ein Heldenleben - Excerpt 1

R. STRAUSS: Ein Heldenleben - Excerpt 2

R. STRAUSS: Ein Heldenleben - Excerpt 3

R. STRAUSS: Ein Heldenleben - Excerpt 4

R. STRAUSS: Till Eulenspiegel - Excerpt 1

R. STRAUSS: Till Eulenspiegel - Excerpt 2

WAGNER: Das Rheingold - Scene 2 ("Valhalla" motive)

WAGNER: Das Rheingold - "Spear motive"

WAGNER: Das Rheingold - "Entrance of the gods into Valhalla

WAGNER: Die Walkure - "Ride of the Walkure" - B minor

WAGNER: Die Walkure - "Ride of the Walkure" - B major

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