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Warm up before you get to the audition site - perhaps some very light mouthpiece buzzing and 15 or 20 minutes or relaxed warm up. Resist the temptation to play too much. You may have a lot of playing to do over 12 to 16 hours. Because you have been getting in peak shape for the past few weeks, you don't need a two hour practice session before an audition. All you should need is some relaxed playing just to get comfortable.

After you check in at the hall, find out when you will play, tell the personnel manager where he can find you, and then disappear. Don't look up old friends, hang around and talk trombone with other players, let people try your horn, listen to other people warm up, or generally socialize. There will be plenty of time for that after you win or get cut.

Don't warm up too much. Get comfortable and then put the horn away. Your chops will be there; blowing every few minutes just to check them will tire you very quickly. You may need all the "face" you can muster later in the day. Spend time reading, relaxing, breathing deeply and being quiet. At my last three auditions, I spent most of my free time before and after rounds reading the Bible and praying. (Psalms 25, 91, 103, 139 and 145 have been especially helpful to me during auditions.) I walked on stage relaxed and refreshed, without fear and with confidence. Find something to do that will relax you even when you are most uptight and cultivate that habit.

Drink a lot of water. Water fills your stomach and keeps you from getting hungry at the wrong time. It also keeps your body super-hydrated and therefore works to prevent drymouth. In addition, it also gives you something to do and can have a calming effect on you if you are a little nervous. If you drink the equivalent of eight ounces of water every 10 minutes, you will find that you have to go the bathroom every 10 minutes, too (begin this routine earlier in the day as "transit time" for water from entry into your body to exit is approximately four hours). When you're not on stage, you'll develop a path from your practice/relaxing room to the water fountain, to the bathroom and back again. This routine keeps your body moving and the cotton out of your mouth. But don't forget to relieve yourself just before you play or you could find yourself in an embarrassing situation on stage! Drink water only. Keep away from soda, tea, coffee, milk and other drinks that will stay in your mouth even after you brush your teeth. Water is the perfect drink. Learn to like it.

Concentrate on your goal. Keep looking at music, playing the excerpts in your mind, not on the trombone. It's too late to practice now; you simply need to remind yourself of some of the pitfalls of each excerpt. It may help to write some thoughts down. Don't try some new breathing place or interpretation you overheard someone else use. Be confident of your style, even if it seems different from everything else you have heard that day. It may just be what the committee has been waiting to hear.

Forget about everyone else. It's useless to waste energy thinking about the big name people who are at the audition and what equipment others are using. Remain alone with your thoughts and your concepts. Keep away from distractions and concentrate on how you will project yourself.

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