The Audition

November 2, 2011
I have been preparing for this since I started high school and the day has finally come. The day of my Juilliard audition. I remember my first year of high school. I entered school an ambitious, heartbroken, freshman, who had been dumped by a jerky guy not a month before, determined to make it through the four years of school with a high GPA and good SAT scores. My biggest goal was to become a professional musician and I was willing to do anything to achieve it. My days were filled with band, private lessons, practicing, and an audition for an honors band a few times a year. In the summers I went to band camp and had 1 on 1 lessons with most respected oboist in the state. Music was literally my life and I was loving it.

Now I’m sitting on a subway sandwiched between a fat man eating a fast food hamburger and a woman holding a screaming baby. Im clutching my instrument case on my lap so hard my knuckles are white and my foot is tapping uncontrollably. At my feet is a bag overflowing with reeds, carving tools, reed soaking water, cork grease, my iPod, cell phone, and of course the music for my audition that I’ve been practicing to the point of perfection for almost a year.

All of a sudden the subway lurches to a stop and I quickly stand to begin making my way to the exit. As I ascend the stairs from the subway the first thing I see is Alice Tully Hall, part of the Juilliard school. I’m suddenly struck by how far I’ve come and the fact that I’m actually about to audition for my dream school. If I make it, I’ll be elated, and if I don’t all my dreams since I was about 11 years old will be crushed.

I begin making my way across the street overcome by the hustle and bustle of the city. Taxis are honking from every direction and people of every kind are walking along the streets. A man on a bicycle comes lacing through the street passing so close in front of me I feel a breeze. I take a deep breath and walk up to the entrance. As I walk along the building I see the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the New York Ballet all right across the street. I smile to myself knowing that if I make it in for the next four years I’ll be surrounded by all of the things I love.

As I finally enter the building I see many people, my age and older, warming up on instruments or socializing. I put my oboe together and begin warming up. My audition time is in about 10 minutes and I want to be completely prepared. I make sure all of my keys are in working order and that my reeds aren’t too worn out. I find one that can play every low note without a struggle and I instantly feel better. I pull out one of the 8 pieces of music I’m expected to play and run through my scales. My name is called promptly.

This is it. My one chance to impress the judges because there aren’t callbacks for oboe. Just one chance and then they decide if I’m in or out. My palms are sweating and my legs are shaking. I follow a girl not much older than me down a long, white, hallway until we reach a small room almost all the way at the end. I try to remain calm as I walk in and see the three judges at a long table in the front of the room. Across from them is a music stand. I walk over and put all of my music on it then walk up to the table and hand the middle judge my paper with my name and information on it.

The judge’s faces are expressionless which only makes me more nervous than I was in the first place.

I walk back to the music stand and after making me play a few scales they tell me to begin my audition. I start with an etude. It’s extremely fast but I can play it almost perfectly. Another etude follows that is slow but with a more difficult rhythm. Next is the hard part. I have to play an 8 minute long piece of music from the Baroque period. By the end of that I’m completely out of breath and my hands are cramping but I have to continue. I play a few more pieces and excerpts until I’m done. The judges, still expressionless, simply thank me. I thank them and leave the room desperately hoping I made it in.

Join the Discussion

This article has 6 comments. Post your own now!

heather_marie said...
Nov. 22, 2011 at 12:59 pm

really good!:)


Jennypig said...
Nov. 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm
Wow hannah, that like put me in a mood... like you knew exactly what you were talking about! love you =) ur gunna make it one day!
Jennypig replied...
Nov. 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm
Dang, I accidently clicked 4 outa 5 stars instead of 5! sorry!
HannahElizabeth0221 replied...
Nov. 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm
Hehe thats okay! Thanks :) I did my research!
QueenNobo This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 4, 2011 at 3:19 pm

wow. this is good. although i don't like cliffhangers like that. will you write a part 2 to tell us if you made it in or not?

and, please could you check out my work too?;-)

sing88 said...
Nov. 4, 2011 at 2:06 pm
This was well written. I love music to and one day hope to audtion for Julliard.
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