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NEC strings auditions

tuesdayairtuesdayair Posts: 343Registered User Member
edited March 2007 in Music Major
I was wondering how auditions go for NEC strings (I play the cello). I was researching and saw their requirement list for auditions...but do they have time to listen to all? For cellos, I think they ask you to choose three pieces that show variety in style.
Post edited by tuesdayair on

Replies to: NEC strings auditions

  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 35,055Registered User Senior Member
    DS auditioned at NEC for undergrad (not strings). The repertoire from his list was quite extensive...multiple solo pieces and many orchestral excerpts. He was expected to prepare them all, I guess. When he got to the audition, the committee asked him to play portions of pieces...even chose measure numbers where he would begin and end. He did get to play his first solo piece almost all the way through (he was the very last person to audition so no one was waiting behind him). My guess (someone who is a string player can fill you in better) is that you should be prepared to play any and all of what is listed as repertoire for the audition, and the committee will tell you what they want to hear..and NO they do not have time to listen to all of it. DS's audition was about 20 minutes (remember, he was last) but it was scheduled for all of 10 minutes. What you are describing for NEC is very similar to what most programs require for auditions...they have a lengthy audition repertoire list.
  • shennieshennie Posts: 2,467Registered User Senior Member
    My son auditioned on cello as an undergrad. That was 5 years ago. The pieces he selected were all pieces that he could play at other auditions as well. As you look over audition material for other schools, you will find that no one will be able to listen to everything that you prepare, but you need to be prepared to play all of it because you don't know what they will ask for. Usually at string auditions they ask you to start with a piece of your choosing. They may or may not listen to the whole thing, depending on the length of the piece. Then they will ask for you to play various things from your audition list. For example they may ask you to start at a certain place in your concerto rather than play it from the beginning. Or they may tell you to start at the beginning but stop you before you get to the end.

    Cello is quite competitive at NEC. You should plan on having all of your rep memorized accept for any sonata that you play.
  • tuesdayairtuesdayair Posts: 343Registered User Member
    Thank you so much!
    This is a weird question... but how "good" do you have to be? I go to an academically strong highschool and only just started to think about majoring in music. I'm starting to wonder if it is too late for me to even try being a musician (i am now a sophmore). I've been playing cello since seven and music has always been part of me, but I haven't had a chance to work with other cellists who want to major in music (my age) so I have no one to compare myself to...
    I've played all ten books of suzuki (so boccherini, hadyn c concerto), JC bach concerto, just finished Saint saens and now am starting Haydn D concerto. I also got the highest audition score at NH all-state orchestra but my cello instructor have said NH is not very competitive in cello...?
  • seahillsseahills Posts: 25Registered User New Member
    Your private teacher is probably the best judge of your talent and *potential*. Aside from her or him, you could travel to one of the major conservatories and have a lesson with one of the cello faculty. We've found the great majority of music faculty at all schools to be very receptive to this. If you can't fit in the travel, I've heard of people sending in video as well, but have no personal experience with that. They will be honest with you. My d (violin) wanted to see if she had a chance at Julliard and met with a faculty member there prior to sending in an audition tape. He told her she had a good chance of getting in and told her what to work on. Ultimately, she was not accepted at Juilliard but is happily attending Eastman.

    My other d (cello) just finished auditions, of which one was at NEC, but I don't listen to her auditions so I'm not sure how much/what she played. I can ask her and post back later. No way is it too late! One of d's friends started playing viola only a few years ago (he's 19) and is an alternate for Music Academy of the West - not bad!
  • lorelei2702lorelei2702 Posts: 2,103Registered User Senior Member
    If you are playing those pieces well, you are progressing appropriately technically. There are various summer programs where you could judge how you stack up against the best prep players. Unfortunately it is probably too late to apply to the highest level summer camps, and they are not cheap. You might get ahold of a String or Strad Magazine, look at the ads, check the web sites, and something might still work out for you. Good luck.
  • shennieshennie Posts: 2,467Registered User Senior Member
    I would strongly urge you to see if you can get a lesson with one of the NEC faculty and ask them for honest feedback. The Hadyn D maj is a very difficult piece and if you can learn to play that well, then you should have a decent shot at a good cello program. Another way to gauge your ability compared to others is to enter some concerto competitions. Finally, are you playing in a youth symphony? This is a very good, if time consuming experience that you should think about.
  • tuesdayairtuesdayair Posts: 343Registered User Member
    I'm in the school symphony orchestra and a string quartet... I want to play in the NEC Youth orchestra, but transportation is tricky (i go to boarding school) and I don't have much free time (I barely squeeze in practicing time with the school work). Does anyone know how many cellists they usually accept?
  • MahlerSnobMahlerSnob Posts: 53Registered User Junior Member
    NEC's string program is extremely strong, and the auditions for all string instruments are highly competitive. Like any other instrument, the number of students accepted in a given year varies depending on how many people graduate, the needs of the orchestras, etc. Typically NEC accepts 3-5 undergrad cellists (including transfer students) each year.
    I would also suggest taking a lesson with one of the teachers. You're still very young, so I wouldn't worry too much about being a late starter. A good friend of mine is a classical guitarist at NEC who didn't seriously begin playing until he was a senior in high school. He got into NEC two years later (following junior college). Just keep practicing, get lessons with as many people as you can and try to become the best musician you can by your senior year.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 35,055Registered User Senior Member
    NEC has a youth orchestra. There is also Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra (GBYSO) which meets at Boston University. Both are fine ensembles. Maybe the GBYSO schedule would be better for you than NEC.
  • -Allmusic--Allmusic- Posts: 6,350Registered User Senior Member
    NEC Prep and orchestra takes place on Saturdays and GBYSO rehearses on Sundays. Both are fairly strict about commitment and attendance.
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