Brass Audition FAQs

Revised: August 2016

Q: How will the auditions work?
A: The audition weekend will include full brass ensemble and sectional rehearsals. At some time a brass instructor will listen to you play individually. During the December rehearsals you will be given many opportunities to demonstrate your abilities, experience, training, and attitude. Brass performers are selected by both the brass staff and visual staff, and the instructors will be watching and listening to you throughout the rehearsals and audition weekend.

Q: What will the staff watch and listen for?
A: During the auditions the staff will evaluate you in these areas (Please notice the order of this list):

  • Attitude toward learning & performance
  • Rhythmic control while marching & playing
  • Basic playing technique & musicianship
  • Learning & mastering warm-up exercises & short pieces
  • Range

Q: Is there a prepared piece?
A: Once you’ve paid your camp fees, we will email you the brass exercises and the audition excerpt.

Q: Can I audition on my own instrument?
A: While we will use our own instruments during December, you’re welcome to use your own instrument for the individual audition. We want to get the best possible impression of your abilities.

Q: I’m a woodwind player, but I really want to march. Do I have a chance to make the corps?
A: Every year we have a few members of the brass section that are playing a brass instrument for the first time. They often turn out to be our best and most dedicated members. If you have a great attitude and willingness to learn, good basic musicianship skills, and good rhythmic control while marching, you have a chance to make the brass section.

Q: Can I audition on more than one instrument?
A: Yes. If you want to try an instrument different than you would normally play, or maybe you think you have a better chance of making the brass section on a different instrument, talk to one of the instructors to see what an appropriate choice might be for you.

Q: What am I getting myself into if I make it?
A: We hold weekend camps once per month starting in January. In May we start rehearsing every weekend, except Mother’s Day. Beginning the second weekend of June, we begin our All-Days. Our tour begins mid-June and ends the second Sunday of August. Basically, you’ll be with Pacific Crest everyday from early June through mid-August. This will be the most intense yet most rewarding performing experience of your life!

Q: What if I can’t make a camp because of school performance?
A: Activities with your school music program come first. Period. After the last day of school, however, you must commit completely to Pacific Crest. Once offered a spot, you will compare the PC calendar to your academic calendar and let us know about your conflicts.

Q: What if my school year ends after All-Days start?
A: If you are still in school during All-Days, we urge you to request the chance to take final exams early and/or miss the last days of school. You may request a letter from the Executive Director that confirms participation in Pacific Crest.

Please note that if your school year ends after the All-Days — and you must miss most or all of the early June rehearsals — you will be considered an Understudy. Understudies can earn their way into a performance spot later in the summer, but cannot be guaranteed a spot if missing that much rehearsal the first half of June.

Q: What if I can’t make the December auditions?
A: If you are involved in the Rose Parade or similar activity during the winter, and there simply is no way for you to audition in person, you must send us a video audition in advance of the Audition Weekend. Click the link below to learn more about submitting a video audition:


NOTE: We do not accept applicants based upon their video auditions. Once evaluated we will let you know if we want to see you in person at a future camp to complete your audition.