your preparation for auditions is cumulative

here are the highlights from auditiontalk episode 1! check it out and watch the insights into how jeremy epp, principal timpanist of the detroit symphony, prepared for his auditions.


rob: what’s really cool is that we have jeremy epp here who is the principal timpanist of the detroit symphony orchestra.

jeremy: i was a winner at auditions number 8, 15, and then detroit was number 25 for me.

r: so what was sort of the difference, do you feel like, in the auditions you played, or breakthroughs that you had leading up to those auditions that gave you a better fighting chance?

j: i’m someone who really believes that your success at auditions, your preparation for auditions is cumulative.

r: i guess this is a 2-part question: by the time you were auditioning for detroit, maybe you had a smaller amount of time that ideal to work on the list, because you said a bunch of them happened in a row. so tell us a little bit about both that preparation, but also what your ideal preparation would be if, say, you had enough time that you wanted to.

j: i don’t know if I’ve had 2 auditions that i’ve prepared for in exactly the same way. by the time i was setting up for detroit, i felt like i was in pretty good shape hands-wise and conceptually with the excerpts because all these other auditions happened. so really what i did was probably only about 3 weeks of getting all the stuff in the list really back up to audition-caliber, where i thought they should be. i spent probably another 3 or 4 weeks, probably the last month before the audition, just either running everything once and recording it and making sure i could play it the first time out of the gate, first thing in the morning, or playing mock auditions for people.

r: what about wrong notes on xylophone? how much do they effect getting cut?

j: try not to miss any notes would be my advice, but I wouldn’t assume that 1 note is ever something that is automatically just gonna disqualify you. i think if you’re brining other things to the table that the committee can latch onto, it’s probably not going to be about something as small as that.


thanks for checking out the first episode of auditiontalk! this video is just a highlight reel of the live interview which lasted over an hour and included a Q&A session from attendees. you can be involved in the next one by getting on the auditiontalk VIP list here:

rob knopper

hailed by @nytimes and james levine as needing 'louder triangle notes'. recorded delécluse: douze études for snare drum, percussionist in @metorchestra.