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Congratulations! Your resume and/or tape has been accepted and you've been invited to the audition. Now the fun and real work begins. Getting invited was like graduating from high school. It was a big accomplishment, but very soon it will be history, and you'll be competing on a new level against only the best players. This is no time to rest on your laurels. You must redouble your efforts and focus on the audition day.

Continue your diligent practice and study. Concentrate on the orchestra for which you are auditioning. Find out as much as you can about the trombone players; be able to recognize them at sight. The International Trombone Association Journal has published many interviews with trombone sections that can give you important insights. Listen to broadcasts and recordings by "your" orchestra (you should have been doing this all along, anyway). If possible, hear the orchestra play a concert in the audition hall and, best of all, try to get to practice in the audition hall if even for only a few minutes.

Grab some friends and, every few days, play a dry run audition for them. Put yourself under pressure to make every excerpt count. Play the entire list straight through once every few days. Play it in alphabetical order; play it in reverse alphabetical order. Put every excerpt on a 3x5 card, mix them up and choose eight to play. Keep mixing them up because you never know in what order they will be asked.

Fear no excerpt. You cannot have any excerpt that you hope will not be asked. Every excerpt must be your best, and they must be known so well that they are nearly automatic. If you have to stop and think about everything you must put into an excerpt, you will paralyze yourself. Playing music with conviction and confidence requires the art of remembering everything, and then forgetting it all so you can be free to express yourself in a natural way.

Practice in as many different large rooms or halls as you can. Get used to having a strong reverb come back at you. Be able to "over articulate" in order to achieve clarity. Know your dynamic limits, both loud and soft. Practice excerpts under and over tempo. Feel comfortable being flexible. Be critical! Continually set higher standards for yourself every day. If you get satisfied with yourself, then set a new standard.

Plan to arrive the day before the audition so you are not tired on the audition day. Allow your body time to relax. Put distance between your plane, train or car ride and the time you'll be auditioning - travel takes its toll even if you're not travelling outside your own time zone. Go to the audition by yourself - don't take your wife, husband, kids, girlfriend, boyfriend or neighbor with you. NO DISTRACTIONS! Keep away from artificial stimulants and depressants. Alcohol and caffeine are diuretics which act as dehydrating agents, drying out your mucous membranes. Adrenaline causes some of the same effects, so you don't need anything else contributing to drymouth. Smoking cuts down the efficient exchange of oxygen in your lungs, so stay away from any foreign substance that has an unnatural effect on your body. Don't do a lot of talking the day before and day of the audition - talking dries out your mouth and makes you distracted. If you're talking, you're not thinking about what you need to do at your audition. Can I say it again: NO DISTRACTIONS! Be drinking water and keeping quiet. Calm is the operative word. Focus on your task. Don't eat anything unusual and resist the temptation to sightsee if you are in an unfamiliar city. After you win the job, you'll have lots of time to see the sights.

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