Auditions

Auditions for Northamptonshire County Groups and Young Actors Company

Auditions for Northamptonshire County Music Groups, Choirs, Ensembles and Young Actors Company are open to young musicians, singers, and actors in full time education in Northamptonshire.  We also welcome applications from gap year students and from those living in nearby counties.

Audition information will be sent to all members, Northamptonshire schools and colleges and Saturday music and arts centres at the start of the summer term.

Our county groups page has more information of the opportunities available, however auditions are for all the opportunities associated with your instrument or voice, rather than for a specific ensemble or group.

Please provide a copy of any own choice piece for use by the panel. All instrumental auditions are heard without an accompaniment. An accompanist will be provided for vocal auditions. 

Before you apply, please check the requirements below, which outlines the standards expected and pieces to prepare.

Members of county ensembles are expected to maintain regular instrumental or vocal tuition to enable continued personal improvement.

If you are offered and accept a place in one of our county groups, there is a membership subscription – please see the payments page for details. 

For those in financial need there is a scheme to offer some assistance with membership subscriptions.

Audition process 2020

As always, we are holding County Group auditions for 2020/2021 ensembles and this year we are holding these auditions on a web program called Flipgrid.

Flipgrid is an educational programme that allows students to upload their videos into a secure program that we can then use to place our County Groups by watching their performance. It is completely free to use and you do not need to download or install anything to be able to use Flipgrid. 

How is will work:

  • You will be sent an email on Monday 22nd June. We will also post that our audition process is live on social media (this is to make sure any emails ending up in spam/junk folders are not lost)
  • The email will include a Flipgrid code for your instrument and a unique ID code
  • If you have applied for multiple instruments you will receive a separate email/codes for each instrument
  • You then need to copy and paste the flipcode to your web browser to take you to a webpage asking for your ID code.
  • Once you have inputted your ID code, there will be a welcome video from the head of department from NMPAT and some written instructions telling you what to do
  • We will be asking you to choose your audition piece/song, prepare your piece/song within two weeks and record your piece/song by pressing the green button at the bottom of the page where this will record you via your laptop/device camera and microphone
  • We also will be asking you, before performing to tell us a few things at the start of your recording such as your name, age etc. The full list of questions will be in the instructions on the page. 
  • There are no repertoire or sight reading tests this year. Please read the Audition Requirements section on this page.  There are suggestions of song choices with links to YouTube videos in the Vocal section.
  • The video length is set at 10 minutes for your answers and the audition performance. You can use as much or as little time of this as you need to complete the audition and you will have the chance to review your video before submitting this to NMPAT.
  • The deadline for submitting your audition is Friday 3rd July
  • Once you have submitting the audition panel will start processing the audition videos that we have received. To comply with GDPR we will be permanently deleting all the videos by 31st July 2020. NMPAT cannot share or store these videos and they will be used for audition placement purposes only.

We understand that there maybe some anxiety about recording a video of yourself to be used for an audition. We understand that some of you may not have seen your teacher since the lockdown began and you may have some questions to ask before you feel you can submit your video. If this is the case please email the NMPAT office.

We are really looking forward to hearing your auditions and being able to start County Groups again as soon as it is safe to do so.

Auditions for the Young Actors Company are still planned to be in the form of a workshop on Saturday 12th September from 3:30 – 5:30pm.

Audition requirements

All candidates

  • The audition will consist of an own choice piece, which should not exceed 10 minutes in length, and a piece of sight reading.
  • It is important that the piece chosen by the candidate accurately reflects their playing ability.
  • Please check with your teacher if you are of an appropriate standard to audition, or if they are unavailable, please contact office@nmpat.co.uk

Acoustic Classical Guitar (nylon strung ‘classical’ guitar)

All candidates

  • The audition will consist of an own choice piece, which should not exceed 10 minutes in length.
  • It is important that the piece chosen by the candidate accurately reflects their playing ability.

New candidates:

  • are advised to choose a piece of classical solo repertoire using standard notation on a nylon strung, classical guitar
  • as a guide, should be ABRSM or Trinity College London grade 2 or above

Four students will be offered the opportunity to work with John Draper as the Tarrega Guitar Quartet. This invitation will be in September and the quartet members will have additional pieces to learn, plus other concert commitments alongside Guitarlactica.

Students who play with the quartet will be challenged with demanding repertoire and should be able to work independently from time to time. The Tarrega Quartet is not offered as an alternative to the main guitar ensemble.

Electric Guitar

Electric guitarists interested in auditioning for jazz groups should see the jazz audition requirements below.

  • The audition will consist of an own choice piece’ which should not exceed 5 minutes in length, and a piece of sight reading.
  • In addition, candidates may be asked to do other simple exercises to help the panel build a full picture of a player’s ability.
  • It is important that the own choice piece accurately reflects the playing ability of the candidate, as places will be offered on the basis of performance at the audition.

The audition will consist of:

  • An own choice piece,which should not exceed 10 minutes in length.
  • A piece of sight-reading

Please note that there are limited options available for piano players in county groups.

All Candidates

  • The audition will consist of an own choice pieces, which should demonstrate your skills on a range of instruments, and a piece of sight reading.
  • It is important that the pieces chosen by the candidate accurately reflects their playing ability.

New candidates

  • The audition will consist of one or more own choice pieces, which can demonstrate your skills on more than one instrument, and a piece of sight reading for snare drum.
  • It is important that the pieces chosen by the candidate accurately reflects their playing ability.. The minimum standard for all new candidates is Trinity College London grade 3 in either orchestral percussion or drum kit, or grade 5 Rock School drum kit.

Big Band: Jazz 2, Jazz 3 and new entry Jazz drummers

  • You will be required to perform two short contrasting pieces on the kit that reflect an understanding of Big Band and Swing drumming.

All candidates

  • The audition will consist of an own choice piece, which should not exceed 10 minutes in length.
  • It is important that the piece chosen by the candidate accurately reflects their playing ability.

If you are auditioning for the first time,candidate should be an approximate standard of:

Violin
  • Age 10 and under: Grade 2 merit or Music Medal Gold
  • Age 11 and 12: Grade 3 or Music Medal Platinum
  • Age 13 and 14: Grade 4 – 5
  • Age 15 and 16: Grade 6
  • Age 17 and over: Grade 7+
Viola, Cello and Bass
  • Age 10 and under: Grade 1 merit or Music Medal Silver – Gold
  • Age 11 and 12: Grade 2 merit or Music Medal Gold – Platinum
  • Age 13 and 14: Grade 3 – 4
  • Age 15 and 16: Grade 5 – 6
  • Age 17 and over: Grade 6+

If you wish to be considered for Zingaresque (World Music Group) or the String Sinfonia please indicate where required on your application. Membership of String Sinfonia is only open to string players invited to join CTO or CYO, and who have reached a minimum standard of Grade 6 merit.


New applicants – Summer 2020

Choose any song that you are comfortable singing, either from the list below or your one of your own choice that best reflects your ability.

Current County Choir members

Please choose a song from the grade lists below depending on your ability and which choir you are auditioning for. If you have taken a grade recently you may sing a song from your exam even if it is not on the list. 

Sheet music will be available in your audition from the music in the list below but if you are singing a song outside of the list you need to bring the music for the pianist with you.

County Junior Choir

From grades 1 to 3.

County Training Choir

From grade 3 to 5.

County Senior Girls Choir

From grade 5 upwards.

County Youth Choir

From grades 6 to 8.

Suggested Pieces

Grade 1

The second star to the right – Peter Pan
My favourite things – The Sound of Music       
My bonnie lies over the ocean – Traditional
Where is Love – Oliver!
The Crocodile – Jenkyns
The Grandfather Clock – Rowley

Grade 2

Who will buy? – Oliver!
A whole New World – Aladdin
Doh-Re-Mi – The Sound of Music      
Cockles and Mussels – Traditional
Consider Yourself – Oliver!
Part of your world – The Little Mermaid
Bobby Shafto – traditional
Dalmation Cradle song – traditional
Go tell it on the mountain – traditional
A dream is a wish your heart makes – Cinderella

Grade 3

The Bare Necessities – The Jungle Book
Castle on a cloud – Les Miserables
Maybe – Annie
An Eriskay Love Lilt – Traditional
Greensleeves – Traditional (3 verses)
Santa Lucia – traditional
Any dream will do – Joseph and his technicolour dreamcoat
Wouldn’t it be loverly – My Fair Lady
Moon River – Breakfast at Tiffany’s
The path to the moon – Thiman

Grade 4

Can you feel the love tonight? – The Lion King
The Sound of Music – The Sound of Music
Feed the Birds – Mary Poppins    
My love is like a red, red rose – Traditional
Scarborough Fair – Traditional
Colours of the Wind – Pocohontas
Amazing Grace – Traditional
The lark in the clear air – Traditional
Whistle down the wind – Whistle down the wind
Electricity – Billy Elliot
When she loved me – Toy Story 2

Grade 5

Over the Rainbow – The Wizard of Oz
Home – Beauty and the beast
Once upon a dream – Jekyll and Hyde
I dreamed a dream – Les Miserables
Far from the home I love – Fiddler on the roof
I’m not saying a word – Blood Brothers (MALE)
Pilate’s dream – Jesus Christ Superstar (MALE)
Panis Angelicus – C. Franck
Sonntag – Brahms
Sebben Crudele – Caldara    
The Salley Gardens – (Britten arr.) Traditional
How should I your true love know – Quilter
Linden Lea – Vaughan Williams
My House – Matilda
Cold enough to snow – Menken

Grade 6

Soprano/mezzo
Summertime – Porgy and Bess
Voi che sapete – Mozart
Alma del Core – Caldara
O Holy Night – Adam
Can’t help lovin’ dat man – Showboat
Someone to watch over me – Oh Kay
Wishing you were somehow here again – The Phantom of the Opera    
A Blackbird Singing – Michael Head
Don’t cry for me Argentina – Evita
The Willow song – Sullivan

Alto
Voi che sapete – Mozart
Verdi Prati – Handel
Someone else’s story – Chess
I’m not that girl – Wicked
Dein blaues auge – Brahms
Vittoria mio core – Carissimi
Can’t help lovin’ dat man – Showboat
A Blackbird Singing – Michael Head
Anything Goes – Anything Goes
With one look – Sunset Boulevard

Tenor
Me – Beauty and the Beast
Where’er you walk – Handel
I got plenty o’ nuttin’ – Porgy and Bess
Not while I’m around – Sweeney Todd
The Sailor’s song – Purcell
Luck be a lady – Guys and Dolls    
O mistress mine – Quilter

Bass
This Nearly was mine – South Pacific
Lost in the Darkness – Jekyll and Hyde
I got plenty o’ nuttin’ – Porgy and Bess
The Impossible dream – Man of La Mancha

Grade 7 and 8

For grades 7 and 8 songs please ask your Vocal Teacher or Choir Director.

All candidates

  • The audition will consist of an own choice piece, which should not exceed 10 minutes in length.
  • It is important that the piece chosen by the candidate accurately reflects their playing ability.

Improvisation elements for saxophone students wishing to be considered for NMPAT Jazz Bands

In addition to the above requirements for all woodwind students, any saxophone student (new or existing) wishing to be considered for a jazz group will be required to perform a short improvisation as part of the audition. 

Beginner to intermediate players: Will need to improvise a 12-bar blues in Concert F. Students can choose their own tempo and may use straight or swung quavers. Students may improvise using a single octave or can expand to cover the blues scale across the whole range of their instrument:

  • Alto/Baritone Sax:  D – F – G – G# – A – C – D
  • Soprano/Tenor Sax:  G – Bb – C – C# – D – F – G

Advanced players: Will need to prepare two choruses of Autumn Leaves (in Concert G).

All Candidates

  • All applicants should be over 13 years of age on 31 August 2020.
  • New applicants as well as current members of Young Actors Company and NMPAT Youth Theatre are invited to take part in a workshop audition on Saturday 12th September from 3:30 – 5:30pm.
  • The workshop will include a drama warm-up, improvisation workshop followed by an individual audition.
  • All applicants will be expected to prepare and perform a scripted piece from a recognised writer. Either a dramatic monologue, or a duologue. Please note that there is a time limit of 2 minutes.

All instrumentalists and vocalists are invited to audition for the World Music Groups Zingaresque. Members are usually also members of other County ensembles.

The audition will consist of an opportunity to perform on your principal instrument and demonstrate your interest in the collaborative process of building music from diverse musical influences.

If you wish to be considered for a Zingaresque audition please indicate where required on the audition application form.

"All children should have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument"

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