A good friend of ours in the music community says that there are 4 possible outcomes from an audition:
1) You make the group and you deserved to make it.
You obviously practiced a lot and knew the material at a high level. You did a good job in the audition room.
2) You make the group and you didn't deserve to make it.
You really didn't practice enough and might not have had a great audition, but somehow the numbers worked in your favor.
3)You don't make the group but you deserved to make it.
Even though you worked hard and had a good audition experience, some other factor kept you from making the group
(numbers of auditionees, very close scores, judge just has an off day, etc)
4) You didn't make the group and you didn't deserve to make it.
You were not well prepared and the audition did not go particularly well.
Sometimes, young musicians make assumptions before the auditions that hurt them. These include, but are not limited to:
-We have "X" number of my instrument this semester, so that's how many we will have next time.
Not always...obvious score breaks or other balance issues , along with planned repertoire might cause these numbers to differ.
-I've always been ahead of ___________(other student), so I'm sure I will be ahead of them again.
Maybe the other student started lessons. Maybe they just practiced a lot. Maybe they had their best day and yours was average.
-If I play my scales really fast, I get more credit.
This is only true if you play smoothly, accurately, and with good sound. Speed does not earn points over quality.
The other situation is procrastination. Students get the audition material 3-4 months in advance. Many wait until about a week before tryouts to start preparation. It's like trying to train for a marathon as a beginning runner...waiting until a week before the race and trying to run 26 miles all at once. Learning the music should happen in well-planned stages. This allows time to attend to details and make sure that all aspects are being demonstrated. Just the notes and rhythms earn only partial credit. You have to play dynamics, style markings, etc. for full credit.
When we ask the students to play 12 scales, and they come in and play 3, they are sealing their fate for that audition. You simply can't make an advanced group without mastery of fundamentals. We have some VERY talented and hard-working students on every instrument. It is DIFFICULT to make and stay in the top band. The majority of our top band kids take private lessons. It is easier to prepare a tryout with one-on-one coaching than it is to do it all on your own.
With these truths having been discussed, we then deal with the time after results are announced. There will be joy and disappointment. Some will move up, some will stay at the same level, others will move down. The reality is that you will wind up at the level that best fits your abilities and your preparation.
The good news is that all of our bands perform. No one is left out. We play challenging music on all levels and there are opportunities to participate in a variety of other groups outside of class. We also audition each and every semester...so if the result wasn't to your liking.....get to work now in preparation for the next audition!