This is my first time posting on the music forum thread though I've been reading all your helpful comments for some time. My S is applying to schools as a VP major (bass). He has already applied to 7 schools and has passed the prescreen at 3 of the 4 he has heard back from so far. One school did not require a prescreen because he will do a regional audition. Of the 2 remaining schools, I'm guessing he will be invited to audition at one of the schools, but not the other.
S is also applying to 4-5 other schools with later application deadlines. They are all in the East or Midwest. Most of these schools will accept a recorded audition from applicants who live more than 500 miles away. Given how challenging it will be to travel from the Pacific Northwest for all these auditions, it is tempting to just send audition CD's. However, a couple of these schools would be a good fit for S, and I know he can't count on getting accepted at one of the conservatories. I don't want to lessen his chances.
Will these schools consider a recorded CD as a lack of interest on his part? We actually visited one of the schools last year over spring break, if that helps show interest.
My other concern with recorded CD's is that I think my S makes a much better impression in person than on paper. He has a gradually improving GPA after a difficult freshman and sophomore year. (He's a bit ADD.) However, he takes challenging AP classes, is very bright, articulate and interesting, and has some strong EC's and letters of recommendation. He is also a very good sight reader.
Any advice is appreciated. I don't want to list all the schools right now, but am happy to PM them if that helps with advice.
Thanks to all you regular posters for your comments and help. I'm one of those non-musicians parents and would have been lost without this forum.