Saxophone Auditions

Participation in the Lamar University Wind EnsembleConcert Band, and Cardinal Jazz Orchestra is determined based upon a relaxed audition process administered by our saxophone professor, Rick Condit.  All saxophonists who have experience performing in a wind ensemble, symphonic band or jazz band, regardless of major, are encouraged to schedule an audition.

Lamar University uses a single audition for admission and placement into all concert ensembles and encourages saxophonists to aspire towards being a part of the Wind Ensemble/Concert Band as well as the Cardinal Jazz Orchestra.   (In fact, all students auditioning on saxophone will perform the same music and have the same requirements, regardless of desired ensemble type.)   That being said, saxophonists who wish to participate in just one ensemble need only let Professor Condit know during the scheduled audition time, as the decision is at the sole discretion of each individual performer.


Saxophone auditions for Fall 2017 will take place on Sunday, August 27, beginning at 3:00 p.m. in room 206 of the Simmons Music Building.   Please visit the bulletin board across from the Music Department Office, on the first floor of the Simmons Music Building, to sign-up for an audition time.    (Students are encouraged to visit the board as soon as possible in order to reserve their preferred time.)

During the audition, each saxophonist will be asked to perform three prepared excerpts/etudes and sight-read a brief melodic passage.   Detailed instructions, as well as the sheet music required for the audition, are available in the Saxophone Audition Packet.

Performers may audition with the saxophone upon which they feel the most comfortable:  alto, tenor, or baritone.   Regardless of saxophone type, all players will use the same audition packet and follow the same instructions.

Additional Information

The audition process is coordinated and facilitated by Dr. McMahan.  All questions, as well as inquiries regarding the use of school instruments, etc. should be sent to him via email.    Correspondence will then be routed to the appropriate person(s), if necessary.

After all auditions have completed, the results will be collated and published by Dr. McMahan and Professor Condit.  It will be posted on the bulletin board across from the Music Department office in the form of a complete seating order for the Wind Ensemble, Concert Band and Cardinal Jazz Orchestra.   The results will also be sent to all auditionees via email.

Any student who does not audition, but is required to do so, will be placed in an ensemble and seated based solely upon the discretion of the adjudicator and/or ensemble directors.

Rehearsals for the Wind Ensemble and Concert Band will begin on the first Thursday of classes, while rehearsals for the Cardinal Jazz Orchestra will begin on the first Wednesday of classes.   Additional information will be posted in the Music Building and/or distributed via email.

 Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What should I wear for the audition?

    There are no requirements with regard to attire during auditions. However, presenting a good image of yourself does have a positive impact upon the person hearing your audition. Our advice would be to go the middle route: clean casual or business casual with good personal grooming and hygiene.

  2. How early should I arrive before my audition?

    Please plan so that you have time to arrive, warm-up and then be at the audition location at least 10 minutes prior to your scheduled time.

  3. How do I enroll in Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, or the Cardinal Jazz Orchestra?

    Students participating in the Lamar University performing ensembles receive one unit of academic credit each semester.  Once audition results have been announced, members will be provided instructions regarding how to enroll for the appropriate course.

  4. Do you have any general audition advice?

    Generally speaking, the best advice is to “be yourself” and “be prepared”. Although very simple and straightforward, if you can manage to fulfill both those ideals, you will have a wonderful audition.

    Eric Hoover, Past President of the National Flute Association, also provided some general advice that would benefit anyone performing an audition (from middle school to the professional level.)

    • Practice with a metronome
    • At the site. . .warm-up alone and do not listen to other players
    • Think highly of your playing. If you don't respect your musicianship, no one else will
    • Demonstrate your ability to communicate musically
    • Maintain a positive appearance even if you do not play well
    • Demonstrate that you are a good colleague as well as a good musician
    • Show confidence without being arrogant