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Audition Date:  14-15 March 2023

Application Materials Due:  27 January 2023

For more information on band officer/conductor auditions, contact:                                  

Lt Col R. Michael Mench
Chief, Air Force Bands Division
Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs
1690 Air Force Pentagon
Washington DC 20330-1690
(703) 693-2558


The Audition

The audition requires one working day. Finalists selected by the Invitation Board to attend the audition must be prepared to arrange their trips and pay all expenses relating to their audition. All candidates will experience a two-phase evaluation: Conducting and Music Theory. Selected candidates who pass these first two evaluations will experience the last phase, an Interview by the conducting evaluation panel.


Candidates are evaluated on the following elements during a conducting session:

- Ability to conduct and rehearse previously prepared concert band compositions, selected from the lists below. The applicant must demonstrate advanced baton technique, expressive gestures and rehearsal skills in the following areas:

(1) Signaling changes in meter, tempo, and dynamics.
(2) Clearness of beat reflecting style of composition.
(3) Use of the left hand for indicating cues and
ensemble balance.
(4) Score interpretation and communication.
(5) Clarity and pertinence of verbal instructions.

- Ability to ensure accurate performance regarding such fundamentals as:

(1) Melodic accuracy and rhythmic precision.
(2) Articulation, dynamics, and intonation.
(3) Style and phrasing.
(4) Balance and appropriate ensemble tone color.

Prepared Repertoire

NOTE: Scores are available commercially except where denoted as USAF arrangements. Scores of USAF arrangements will be provided electronically to all finalists prior to the audition.

Lyrical (Choose One)
Grainger: Lincolnshire Posy, Mvt 2 (Fennell edition)
Ives/arr. Thurston: The Alcotts
M. Lauridsen/arr. Reynolds: O Magnum Mysterium
Wagner/arr. Calliet: Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral
Whitacre: October

Technical (Choose One)
Bernstein/arr. F. Bencriscutto: Symphony No. 1, Mvt 2 "Profanation"
Grainger: Lincolnshire Posy, Mvt 5 (Fennell edition)
Holst: Second Suite in F, Mvt 3 (Fennell edition)
Persichetti: Symphony for Band, No. 6, Op. 69, Mvt 1
Schoenberg: Theme and Variations (Op. 43a)

Solos (Choose One)
Clark: Carnival of Venice (trumpet solo) (Alfred Pub)
Bizet: 'Toreador Song', Carmen (vocal solo) (USAF arrangement)
Messager/arr. Odom: Solo de Concours (clarinet) (USAF arrangement)
Puccini/arr. Odom: O Mio Babbino Caro (soprano) (USAF arrangement)

Gershwin/arr. Martin: "Fascinatin' Rhythm" Introduction (USAF arrangement)

Theory Test
A written examination tests the applicant's knowledge of music theory, to include chord and scale construction, key signatures, intervals, terminology, notation, scoring, and instrumentation. Additionally, there is an aural identification portion including rhythmic, melodic, harmonic, chordal, and intervallic dictation as well as error identification.

A board of officers and senior NCOs will interview those who pass the conducting and theory test portions of the audition at the end of the day. All others will be released at this point.

We make every effort to advise all candidates of their test scores and selection or non-selection to become band officers at the end of the audition day; however, candidates may choose to leave and be notified later. Qualified candidates are asked to indicate their willingness and availability to accept a band officer position. Band officer vacancies are filled only with fully qualified, most available candidates. Order of merit is established, but it's entirely possible the deciding factor will be the date of a candidates availability to go to a specific class of Officer Training School (OTS).