Thursday, February 16, 2017

Berklee College of Music Holds Regional Auditions at Northwest Vista!

Berklee College of Music holds its regional auditions at Palmetto Center for the Arts at Northwest Vista College every year. This year's auditions are Friday, February 17, 2017. More information is here:

Audition and Interview

Berklee's unique audition and interview experience is an integral part of how we select our entering class. We design it to help you show your strengths and to help us assess your talent and potential to succeed in our dynamic environment. It's a required part of the admissions review, and allows us to consider you for scholarships.
  • Although there is a general format for the audition and interview, each experience is unique—just like you.
  • We strongly encourage you to visit Berklee's campus in Boston to participate in the audition and interview; tour our facilities; and meet with faculty, students, and staff.
If you'd like to get better prepared for applying or going to Berklee, enroll in a free online course.

Your Audition

The audition will be approximately 15 minutes long and may consist of the following parts:
  • a prepared piece of your choice;
  • an improvisation over a harmonic vamp, simple-form blues, or standard tune;
  • a reading selection; and/or
  • melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic ear training exercises.
At the discretion of each audition team, a jam with the faculty and/or technical exercises might be part of your audition. Please refer to the audition checklist for further details about each component of the audition.
We recognize that it is common for applicants to have imbalances in their playing abilities, and we realize that applicants may not have advanced skills in improvisation, reading, or ear training. In fact, this is exactly why you might apply to attend Berklee: to develop your skills in these and other areas. Because we take a holistic approach in our evaluation process, each component of the audition helps the audition team assess your overall abilities as a musician and your potential for success at the college level.

Practice Exercises


For a detailed description of the audition components, click on the instrumental department links below:
  • Bass
    Acoustic Bass, Electric Bass
  • Brass
    Baritone Horn, Bass Trombone, French Horn, Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba
  • Guitar
  • Percussion
    Drum Set, Hand Percussion, Marimba, Orchestral Percussion, Vibraphone
  • Piano
  • Strings
    Banjo, Cello, Harp, Mandolin, Viola, Violin
  • Voice
  • Woodwinds
    Bassoon, Clarinet, Flute, Oboe, Saxophone

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2017 A-JAM Fellow Announced

The A-JAM program is pleased to announce the 2016/2017 A-JAM student fellow. The judges noted that each year the bar becomes higher, as new and returning students come into the audition with increasingly honed skills and experiences. Congrats to all participants. Onward and upward! This year's A-JAM awardee is drummer Liam Dixon from Palo Alto College. His applied music instructor is Joe Caploe. Below is his bio and a personal statement about why he became interested in A-JAM. Please join us in wishing Liam the best! Stay tuned for more about his activities...
Liam Dixon

"My name is Liam Dixon. I was born in Phoenix, Arizona but have lived in San Antonio the majority of my life. Music has always been a big part of my life ever since I can remember. My mother was always very musically talented, she played the Violin and the Viola as a child for bands in Mexico and later played Guitar in our church choir. She was also a very gifted singer. I must have gotten the musical talent from her. I first began playing the drums at 10 years old, I remember being completely obsessed with any and all things drumming. When I first started out I would experiment and try to mimic what I would see and hear from songs or videos. Whenever I had trouble with an idea or wanted to learn more, I would go onto YouTube to see videos or use any books or instructional DVDs I had. 

Joe Caploe
I never had any formal lessons on how to read music or play specific styles of drumming and percussion until I reached high school, where I decided to do band from there on out. While in high school I wanted to do anything where I can showcase the skills I had achieved through my years of drumming before, so I decided to join the jazz band. I felt very much drawn to jazz because the concept of jazz was very unstructured and leaned more towards freedom of expression. Joining the jazz band in high school completely opened up a world of possibilities and ideas for drumming and music that I would have never imagined had I not joined. So much so, that in my sophomore through senior year of high school I made the top chairs at region jazz and in my junior and senior year I made the TMEA All-State Jazz ensembles. All of these experiences made Jazz and music in general, grow into a passion.

I would like to do the A-JAM program because it would give me another opportunity to grow as a musician, while also giving me the chance to meet and play with people from around the world who share a common passion for jazz that I do."