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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.

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.

Before you apply, please check the requirements below, which outline 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.

Auditions are free to attend. 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 2021

Auditions for County Groups will take place remotely, on Flipgrid, for instrumentalists and vocalists, with the full process outlined below.

Applicants for Young Actors Company will be invited to attend an audition workshop in September and will not be required to upload a video.

Flipgrid is an educational programme that allows students to upload videos onto a secure site.  NMPAT staff are able to watch their department videos to make County Group placements.  It is completely free and you do not need to download or install anything to be able to use Flipgrid. 

How it will work:

  • Online auditions application form will be available on this page from Tuesday 4th May, to be completed by Monday 24th May
  • You will receive an email containing a Flipgrid instrument code, unique ID code and guidance for uploading your recording (during the week commencing Monday 7th June)
  • Flipgrid submissions must be made by Friday 25th June
  • NMPAT staff will be reviewing all submissions from 6th-8th July

We aim to make the audition process as simple and supportive as possible.  Each department will have specific criteria which you will find in the tabs below.  For all submissions, the maximum recording length is 10 minutes.

Audition results will be released in August.  To comply with GDPR we will be permanently deleting all Flipgrid videos by 31st July 2021. NMPAT cannot share or store these videos and they will be used for audition placement purposes only.

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

Audition requirements

  • 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.
  • Please check with your teacher if you are of an appropriate standard to audition

Acoustic Classical Guitar (nylon strung ‘classical’ guitar)

All candidates:

  • All candidates will be auditioning for one of two ensembles and will be placed according to their ability and suitability.
  • Each candidate should start the audition by stating their name and age followed by 2 scales. One major and one minor (any type). You can choose 1, 2 or 3 octaves.  
  • The audition should consist of 2 contrasting pieces of your choice, which should not exceed 10 minutes in length. 
  • It is important that the piece chosen by the candidate accurately reflects their playing ability. Make sure you announce each piece clearly and if you know the grade, please say. 

Additional Information for new candidates:

  • New candidates (those not currently a member of Guitarlactica), 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 challenging pieces to learn, plus other concert commitments. There is an additional cost for being a member of a quartet.  The Tarrega Quartet is not offered as an alternative to the main guitar ensemble.

Electric and Bass Guitar

Electric guitarists interested in auditioning for jazz groups should see the jazz audition requirements below or alternatively, please contact us to apply for one of our NMPAT Contemporary Centres.

  • 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.

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 and should be performed unaccompanied.
  • It is important that the piece chosen by the candidate accurately reflects their playing ability.

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

Violin
  • Age 10 and under: Grade 2 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 or Music Medal Silver 
  • Age 11 and 12: Grade 2 or Music Medal Gold 
  • 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 2021 

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 

Due to many students not being able to access their music or singing lessons over the last year we are asking you to choose a song that you feel confident and comfortable singing. This can be from any style but we do recommend looking at the list of suggested songs below depending on your age and singing level. 

You can perform your audition with or without accompaniment and backing tracks can usually be found on YouTube to support you. Please contact us if you need any support. 

NMPAT singers 

Grades 1 to 5 (more experienced singers may be invited to join the Senior Chamber choir) 

County Youth Choir 

From grades 6 to 8. 

We also run a small group called ’Guys & Dolls’ for girls and boys wanting to explore Musical Theatre repertoire. This is via invitation only so please let us know if you would like to be considered for this group. 

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

We would like all woodwind candidates to prepare and perform two pieces of music that best reflect their ability: 

  • The total audition video should not exceed 10 minutes in length 
  • If required, candidates can make cuts, miss out repeats or choose to play certain sections of either or both of their pieces in order to keep within the time limit  
  • We are anticipating that both pieces will be performed unaccompanied.  If candidates would feel more comfortable using a backing track/accompaniment for one of their two pieces this is ok, but please do not use a backing track/accompaniment for both 

Please make sure to choose pieces that you are comfortable with; you will give a much better impression by choosing a piece at your current level rather than trying to attempt a harder piece.  Also, if you do opt to play with a backing track/accompaniment, please make sure that the balance levels allow you to be heard on the recording.

 

 Additional Information for Jazz Saxophone Students: 

In addition to the above requirements, 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 their audition video.  If candidates would like help finding a backing track please contact office@nmpat.co.uk with the email heading ‘Jazz Saxophone Backing Track’

Beginner & Intermediate Players:

Improvise a 12-bar blues in Concert F: 

  • Alto/Baritone:           D – F – G – G# – A  – C – D 
  • Soprano/Tenor:        G – Bb – C – C# – D – F – G   
  • Candidates can choose their own tempo and may use straight or swung quavers 
  • Candidates can improvise using a single octave or a wider range of the saxophone 

Advanced Players:

  • Prepare and perform two choruses of Autumn Leaves (in Concert G) 

All Candidates

  • All applicants should be over 13 years of age on 31 August 2021.
  • 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 11th September.
  • 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.

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