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.
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