When it comes time for saxophonists to audition for college music department admission, many students arrive unprepared or poorly prepared. Having listened to many college entrance auditions I've encountered two common problems:
- scales played poorly, with a limited range and fewer than the 12 majors scales performed;
- performing a piece that is too difficult for the player.
Students frequently ask me for music recommendations. Most of the time I select from a well-worn list of standard classical saxophone music, both original and transcribed, that would be appropriate. Now, for the student who has no assistance from another who knows the literature, or for the student who has no access to a private teacher to help prepare the audition, there is an excellent, comprehensive collection of materials that will satisfy the needs of most college/university auditions.
Protocol: A Guide to the Collegiate Audition Process is is a book that provides concrete and practical information and material for auditions. Included is an excellent written guide of how to use the book followed by great information on how to audition, lists of appropriate questions to ask at the audition, information on theory placement exams, and considerations for choosing an institution to attend.
The musical material consists of all major and minor scales written in a consistent pattern for performance, orchestral excerpts (Bizet and Mussorgsky), two Ferling etudes, and two baroque-era sonatas (Eccles and Leclair). Each musical item has a short lesson on preparation and performance issues. Printed piano accompaniments for the solos are also included.
If you are a young person preparing for your college auditions now or in the near future, this is a great resource for you. Teachers, this answers all of the common questions about college auditions and provides excellent material for assisting your students in their preparation. Let's thank the publisher Carl Fisher and the editors Larry Clark and Daniel Schmidt, and college saxophone professor Jonathan Bergeron for making this fine edition available.