The Pershing's Own


It sure seems like it has been a while since a legit Military Band audition was posted. When I saw these trumpet vacancies with the Pershing’s Own Ceremonial Band, I booked my flight that night!

I can say that I gave it my all this time. I had spent the last month and a half married to this repertoire. I have been to many auditions, and have always played well, but I have never felt this prepared for an audition. I tackled tuning head on in the Pines of Rome-offstage solo, Schumann-Symphony No.2 and Summon the Heroes. My attention to detail and precision definitely grew these last few months.

    In preparation, I also played the audition list for a wide variety of musicians. Being able to simply ask to play for professors and students at the University of New Mexico has paid for itself. I have never been somewhere where the teachers are so dedicated to students success, especially students that are not their own. Every time I have gone to an audition/competition while at the University of New Mexico, I find myself not really saying, "I want to win this audition for me," but instead saying, "Let's win this for the University of New Mexico." Most of my desires are fueled by unselfish things. You want to know some of the top reasons I want to win a job right now?

  1. 1.Take the financial burden off of my parents

  2. 2.Make my Mom & Dad proud

  3. 3.Put the University of New Mexico on the map. "Who won that audition?" Tony Sadlon. "Where is he from?" The University of New Mexico "Who does he study with?" John Marchiando. "Maybe I should audition there next year!"

  4. 4.Prove to my colleagues you don't have to go to Northwestern or Juilliard to become a great musician with a limitless career.

  5. 5.Start giving back to those who helped me on my journey. I can say it means a lot to me, A LOT, but that gets old after a while... 

    I could go on forever in the situation I am in. I bring in just enough money to make life comfortable. I continue to gain knowledge and meet amazing people. But wow, would it be cool to start giving back to those who have and continue to help me on my journey.

     Back to the audition. I played the first round at 1:30pm on Monday. The first round consisted of, Pictures at an Exhibition, Mahler 5, Petrushka, Schumann No.2, and British Eighth. I will admit, I felt the nerves a little more than I had wanted. Probably a 6 out of a scale of 10. However, I played a great Pictures, Schumann, and British Eighth. The others went well, just nothing stunning. Turns out they liked it, and for the first time ever I was advanced to the next round along with 15 others out of about 80+ people that showed up that day.

     I went home, relaxed, practiced, and did some visualization. I have been reading lots of books on audition success, sports psychology, etc. the common message seems to be picturing yourself in the moment. So this is what I had been doing for the past 2 weeks. I feel like it calms me. When I arrive I already know what to do, I had been visualizing it for weeks! I have listed some of the books below...

        -Audition Success (It’s Okay)

            By: Don Greene

        -Mental Training for Peak Performance (Great!)

            By: Steven Ungerleider

        -With Winning in Mind

            By: Lanny Bassham

        -Finding Your Zone

            By: Michael Lardon

        -Mind Gym (Excellent!)

            By: Gary Mack

     Day 2 required being at the base by 6:45am. So I woke up at 4am (2am New Mexico time, yikes!). I got ready, ate my cereal and banana, then headed to the basement to warm-up. I got a really good warm-up in, felt great! Got to the base and listened to my tunes till it was my turn. I went in that room feeling great! My nerves were now at about a 3 out of 10. They started the second round with some sight reading. I got the rhythm and articulation, but some of the intervals were tricky. This killed my confidence a bit, I proceeded onto Taps (this is what the job practically is). Played it pretty well, then Jubilant I killed! Followed by Summon the Heroes. I was feeling almost too flexible when it came to Summon the Heroes, I was overshooting a bunch of notes that I had never missed before in the middle register. It was frustrating, and after that I received a, "Thank You!." I knew at that point I was done. I still had about 2 more things to play...

     For the list of reasons above, I felt my heart sink. I had come so close and then didn’t advance in the round with some of my most favorite excerpts. Only 2 of 9 people advanced to the final round in my group. It was time to head back home...

    I leaned a lot, but it sure isn't easy walking away from a great opportunity in a great city. I just have to keep telling myself that another great opportunity is waiting for me just around the corner. I believe in fate, and I believe that this just wasn't meant to be. I just wish I could figure out where I was meant to be before I get much older... haha

    Now I begin my preparation for my Graduate recital on April 13th in Keller Hall at the University of New Mexico. I may also work on an audition for the Air Force in Washington, D.C in the near future also.