Live auditions will take place in New York, NY, St. Louis, MO and San Francisco, CA during the week of March 21-26 (date and location subject to change). For groups selected for the live audition, the American Music Abroad program will offer logistical assistance to attend the auditions. Applying bands must keep the live audition date free for the city located closest to their home base.
In all, approximately 40 ensembles will be chosen for the live auditions from the qualifying applications. Of these 40 ensembles, approximately 10-12 will be selected to tour in a month-long international tour. As part of the tour, ensembles will hold a kick-off event in their hometown, as well as invitational and community concerts in Washington, DC both pre-and post-international tour.
The 40 ensembles selected for the live auditions will be provided with partial reimbursement of travel and hotel costs pro-rated according to their distance from the audition city. Special travel supplements will be provided to any ensembles selected from Alaska or Hawaii.
Live Audition requirements
- Two contrasting 3-5 minute pieces from the group’s standard repertoire.
- Preparing an arrangement of an international folk song in the ensemble’s own style. The ensemble can choose from three songs provided to the group along with their notification of acceptance into the live audition round.
- Groups will give a 3-5 minute demonstration from their educational program. This demonstration should include information about their genre, its origins and representation of American culture and history.
- The audition would include a question-and-answer session of 3-5 minutes to determine the ensemble’s skills as cultural diplomats and ability to adapt flexibly to difficult touring or performing circumstances. Sample questions for this section of the audition could include:
- “You are asked to visit a United Nations UNRWA school for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. The children (ages 9-12) have no training in music, but are part of a program designed to engage them in performing and visual arts. Please describe three activities/elements of your engagement with these children. The event would take place in a classroom with limited space, no time to set up a sound system other than amplifiers and an electric keyboard all of which may or may not work due to lack of electricity”.
- “How would you plan and prepare for a series of rehearsals with Cambodian pop musicians leading towards developing a joint performance of a closing number for your concert in Phnom Penh?”
Final selection criteria
- Artistic excellence
- Demonstrated ability in conducting engaging educational and community session
- Communication skills, diplomatic skills, awareness of world issues
- Conversant with broader aspects of US culture and contemporary society
- Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in challenging situations
- Skills and ease with fusing ensemble’s genre with traditional music from other nations
- Demonstrated enthusiasm and high energy level