Playing Auditions: A Letter from Dr. Nave
August 11, 2019
Dear Purdue University Drumline Candidate,
Welcome to Purdue University and the Purdue Bands and Orchestra Department! Hopefully while you’re reading this you’re also enjoying the summer weather and getting ready for an exciting upcoming season. With drumline auditions and band camp approaching, the student leaders would like to give you an idea of what to expect when you arrive for band camp and what we recommend you do to put yourself in the best position for auditions.
Valuable audition information is posted on this site, including sheet music for the newest cadence and the other past cadences in the sequence, photos and videos; all which will benefit you in preparing for your audition.
The drumline music auditions will take place on the Sunday before band camp in Dr. Nave's office (Room 32) in the Elliott Hall of Music, located at 712 Third Street. Here is a general timeline of the events for that Sunday:
9:00am The Drum Room and Room 30 will become available for practicing/warming up.
10:00am – 11:30pm Block A of open auditions in Dr. Nave’s office.
11:30am – 1:00pm Block B of open auditions in Dr. Nave’s office.
12:00pm AAMB registration opens in the lobby of Elliott (everyone must do this, even if they finish their audition at 10:00am!).
1:00pm Intermediate Results Announced
1:00pm – 2:00pm Dr. Nave's Lunch (no auditions).
2:00pm –??? Mandatory Welcome Session for ALL rookies. Returners DO NOT have to attend this year.
2:00pm – 4:00pm Block C of open auditions in Dr. Nave’s office. Returners ONLY, since rookies will be at the welcome session.
4:00pm – 6:00pm Block D of open auditions in Dr. Nave’s office. Rookies can sign up for this slot, as the welcome session should be over by 4.
6:00pm Intermediate Results Announced
6:00pm - 7:00pm Dr. Nave's Dinner (no auditions).
7:00pm-9:00pm Open auditions for special cases/circumstances. You cannot sign up for this time slot in advance; it will be reserved for possible scenarios like running out of space in other slots, people switching instruments on Sunday and needing to go as late as possible in the day, etc.
After Auditions End Entirety of Initial Placement Results Announced
Some Additional Notes about Auditions:
- The AAMB snare line employs traditional grip
- If you are interested in bass drum, you will be asked to play only one part, but I will choose which part in the audition, so practice all the parts.
- Cymbal auditions have different audition material than the other sections. Check the cymbal audition page for more information.
- If you do not succeed in making the instrument you first try out on, you can continue to tryout on other instruments. For example, if you try out for snare and don't make it, you can turn around and try out on tenors, and so on. So, come to auditions knowing the parts for all the instruments you are interested in!
You will sign up for a time slot to perform your audition, which will be held in front of Dr. Nave only. In the past, student leaders have sat in on initial auditions, but this is no longer the case. Assigned time slots may slightly vary as the auditions progress, but each audition will consist of three parts:
- Rudiments: You will be asked to play two rudiments from memory; a full list can be found on the music page.
- Audition Cadence: Posted on this website on July 1 each year. The 2019 cadence is titled "1934"! Check it out on the music page!
- Sight Reading Portion
The cymbal audition will vary slightly. Rather than playing rudiments, each candidate will be asked to perform the prepared visual posted on this website on the cymbal audition page.
Results for each instrument will be announced throughout the day. Those who didn’t make their instrument of first choice are welcome and greatly encouraged to audition for any of the other instruments. You can also audition for the Drum Crew, which plays a different, yet crucial role in the AAMB. THERE ARE NO RESERVED SPOTS ON THE DRUMLINE OR DRUM CREW - PERIOD. EXCEPT FOR STUDENT LEADERS, EVERYONE MUST AUDITION EVERY YEAR! Seniority does not play a part in the auditioning process. Instead, playing ability, technique, attitude, and character are what we base our decisions off of.
Here are some tips we think will help you in preparation and practicing:
- BE PREPARED: Be able to perform the audition cadence (1934) completely at a comfortable and steady tempo. Start slow and work measure by measure to ensure accuracy, and then build up speed. Constantly check your technique, and be sure to not overlook the rudimental roll; make sure it is consistent and has a smooth, gradual transition.
- PRACTICE THE OTHER MUSIC: Every year this is stressed and students still find themselves behind during band camp. Have the other cadences prepared and to the point of being almost memorized. This will make auditions and band camp a lot less stressful.
- REFLECT ON YOUR ATTITUDE: Like stated before, attitude is a key factor during auditions. We want to work and perform with people who are positive, mature, and willing to cooperate with their student leaders and fellow band members.
- HAVE FUN: We want to work and perform with people who have a great time drumming! Our energy is what helps motivate our football team, the crowd, and all who watch us. We are a driving force behind Purdue, and we all keep coming back for the fun and excitement we have with each other and while performing!
We know the audition process is stressful, but we can guarantee that if you come to the audition and demonstrate your competency, you will have a spot in either the AAMB or the Boiler Beats. Drumming is drumming no matter what group you end up in, so enjoy it!
If any questions come up while practicing the music, or in general about any aspect of the AAMB or the audition process, don’t hesitate to contact myself or any of the student leaders and we’ll be happy to help. You can contact us via the contact page. Good luck, happy practicing, and we’re looking forward to seeing you at auditions!
Good luck, have fun, and BE PREPARED!
Dr. Pamela J. Nave
Associate Professor of Bands/Percussion