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Audition Guide

Before the Audition. Prior to auditioning for the Tamburitzans the auditionee must complete and submit:

1) an application for admission to Duquesne University.

2) a Duquesne University Tamburitzans Scholarship Application.

Current Duquesne students must be in good academic standing while applicants should either have applied for admission or have already been accepted to Duquesne University.

The Duquesne University Tamburitzans Scholarship Application must be sent directly to the Tamburitzans office no later than January 31, 2015 and received by us prior to auditions.

The application for admission to Duquesne University must be submitted directly to the Director of Admissions (for U.S. citizens) or to the Director of International Admissions (for international students) and should also be completed prior to auditions.

For Domestic Students (U.S. citizens), details regarding entrance requirements to Duquesne University may be obtained here or you may contact the Admissions department directly at:

Office of Admissions
Administration Building
600 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
Email: admissions@duq.edu
Phone: 412.396.6222

For International Students, details regarding entrance requirements to Duquesne University may be obtained here or you may contact the Office of International Programs at:

Office of International Programs
601 Duquesne Union
600 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
Email: intladmissions@duq.edu
Phone: 412.396.6113

Preparing your Audition.  The categories of talent utilized in a Duquesne University Tamburitzans performance are:

1. Dance
2. Vocal
3. Instrumental

When auditioning, remember that you are in competition with other applicants. Because of the nature of a Tamburitzans performance and because of the limited number of scholarships, all auditionees should prepare their presentations in a way which demonstrates talent in as many categories as is possible.

Dance: The dance portions of a Tamburitzans production are mainly folk and character styles. Ballet training is also desirable, as many of the choreographies which the Tamburitzans present also utilize ballet techniques. If at all possible, the auditionee's dance presentation should be oriented towards these dance types; however, a jazz, tap, or ballet presentation is a perfectly acceptable means of conveying the auditionee's abilities, and will by no means be given less consideration. It is recommended that a modern (interpretive or non-rhythmic) dance presentation be avoided.

Vocal: Although the Tamburitzans show is based upon folk styles, the vocal presentation can be of any style or type. Even if your talents are strictly instrumental or strictly dance, it is recommended that your audition include a vocal presentation. If you do not include it, the judges may request that you sing something on the spot in order to determine your vocal abilities. If singing is not your specialty, then pick a song that you like and know fairly well ("Happy Birthday" would be fine). If your presentation is strictly vocal, please know that although it is certainly possible, the Tamburitzans rarely select a performer solely on the basis of his/her vocal talent.

Instrumental: The Tamburitzans have a need for a wide variety of instrumentalists. The following is a list of the musical instruments commonly used in a Tamburitzans performance:

1. Tamburitza Family: Prim, Brac, Celo, Bugarija, Berde
2. Accordion: Piano, Button
3. Woodwinds/Reeds: Flute, Piccolo, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone (soprano)
4. Strings: Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass
5. Fretted: Guitar, Mandolin
6. Brass: Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium
7. Percussion: (limited) Snare, Various hand drums, Tupan (folk drum)
8. Other East European Folk Instruments: Kaval, Balalaika, Domra, Bandura, Panpipe (Nai), Frula, Cimbalom (hammered dulcimer), Kontra, Gadulka, etc.
9. Keyboard

If your instrumental specialty is not included on the list, still include it in your audition. For example, a piano performance will at least indicate an understanding of music and a level of musicality, but should be limited to a maximum of three minutes.

Time Limit: The time limit for the audition is 15 minutes. If your presentation exceeds this time limit, you may be asked to stop. Occasionally, an auditionee may be asked to wait a few moments before continuing. In this case, the pause will not be counted towards the 15-minute total.

Arrange your audition so that little time is wasted. Instrumental and vocal presentations should be presented first, followed by the dance presentation. In this way you will not have to pause to catch your breath. It is recommended that the presentation be balanced in such a way so as to give an adequate sampling of each talent category - no one talent category should exceed 10 minutes. For example, if you will be making presentations on more than one instrument in addition to dancing and singing, make sure that the total instrumental portion of your audition is 10 minutes or less.

Remember to perform! The Tamburitzans is a performing ensemble, so above all, perform your audition - do not just present it. It is a plus for the auditionee to show that he or she already knows how to smile and gesture for the stage. Also, do not expect the judges to respond like an audience (i.e., applause, laughter, etc.). Much of the time, you can expect them to be looking down at their rating sheets and writing.


NOTE: The auditions will be videotaped for our own purposes of review. Copies of video tapes will not be available to applicants.

In order to better judge each auditionee, the applicant should provide at least five (5) copies of an information packet which relates to their audition. This packet should include an outline of the audition (the order of the presentation and the names of the songs, dances and instrumentals to be performed), and should include copies of the written music to be sung or played. If you are auditioning in person please present this packet to the panel upon entering your audition. For video submissions, your packet should be included with your completed Tamburitzans Scholarship Application.


DVD Presentations. If travel to Pittsburgh for a live audition is not possible, the applicant may submit a DVD audition. Pre-taped auditions may be done in the privacy of your own home or at any facility of your choice. Keep in mind that the judging panelists are interested in viewing only you, the applicant -- Make certain that you are the only one in view during your presentation, since it is very distracting and sometimes confusing for the judges (and possibly unfair to you) when individuals other than the auditionee are visible in the video.

Tips for auditionees assembling a video presentation:

• Make sure that your accompaniment levels are "just right" not too low, not too high.
• It is good to begin with a close up shot of yourself as you tell the panel what your audition program consists of. That way, you can proceed through your entire audition without stopping.
• Speak slowly and clearly. Do not give your name -- just as all of the live auditionees are given a number, your video will be assigned a number when it is received in our office.
• What to wear: Dark, solid colors are best for viewing. Avoid large prints and stripes.
• Background: plain backgrounds work best; do not perform in front of a window or light source, as this will create a "silhouette" effect and make it difficult for the panel to view you properly.

Following the audition. Soon after the general auditions are held, all applicants will receive either a request to attend a final audition or a notice of rejection. There is actually very little you can do in preparation for the final auditions. All finalists will be taught the same songs, dances and instrumental pieces. In this way, everyone can be compared under the same circumstances. The final audition will be very similar to the process which the Tamburitzans performers go through during their production camp. It will last an entire day and will consist of separate sessions for dance, vocal and instrumental work. Demonstrators will be present for teaching purposes only, and are not part of the judging panel.

The interview. Shortly after final auditions, a group of finalists will be selected for interviews with the Managing Director; others will receive notices of exclusion. Before this step of the process takes place, all determinations for scholarships will have been made by the panel. However, more applicants may be invited to the interview phase than are actually needed. Thus, applicants under consideration will not be offered a contract at this time. The interview is intended primarily to discuss in great detail the responsibilities of the applicant and of Duquesne University in the event that a contract is offered to them later. The interview also allows the Managing Director to learn more about the prospective student. At least one parent must be present at the interview. During this phase, students will be informed of the responsibilities of a Tamburitzan on and off stage, and will be asked questions concerning character and personality, as well as to determine if there are any health-related concerns which might prevent him or her from being successful as a Tamburitzans performer.

The Offer. From the group of interviewed students, contract winners will be chosen and all others will be notified that vacancies have been filled.

It should be understood that the Tamburitzans Managing Director may reopen the final or even general audition process if:

• a notified finalist declines the contract
• additional opening(s) need to be filled before the beginning of the new season

In this situation, the remaining interviewed applicants, as well as possible new applicants will be reviewed by the panel, and determinations will be made until all vacancies are filled.

During the process please realize that we are limited by the number of available contracts and by the particular talent needs for the upcoming season. Also note that the Tamburitzans contracts could be offered to college sophomores, juniors and seniors as well as to incoming freshmen. Thus, we encourage those who didn't receive a Tamburitzans contract on their first attempt to try again the following year.

Thank you for your interest in the Tamburitzans, and Good Luck!