Rutgers Youth Percussion Ensemble Auditions


Thank you for your interest in RYPE! The ensemble is always looking for talented and hard-working musicians of any age that are interested in playing and learning more about percussion. In the interest of having the best possible ensemble, all members interested in participating this year will perform a short placement/entrance audition that is divided into 3 parts described below. If necessary, you may choose to omit one of these portions during your audition; but as percussion ensemble involves performing on many different instruments, it is better to attempt all three.

It is suggested that you ask your private teacher or band director if you need assistance in preparing. Two of the three parts will be prepared from each of the following two audition etudes (duets) on pages 2 and 3. The treble clef marimba part along with one of the percussion duo parts (you may choose to play the “hi-hat & snare drum” or “tom toms” part) should be prepared. For perspective, the combined performance time of the two etudes is under 2 ½ minutes.

Part I: Etude #1 (Multi-percussion with tape, pg 2). This study requires no snare drum-specific technique and is written so as to be accessible to drummers as well as those with a “mallet instrument” background. It is designed to demonstrate abilities over a range of percussion and small-group performance skills.

  • The student may choose which part of the duet they will play.
  • Instruments will be provided for you at the audition.
  • Students must provide their own sticks, mallets, and/or brushes as well as a towel for stick tray use.
  • If you choose to play part 1, for example, you will audition by playing along with a recording of part 2 alone, and vice versa. The mp3 files you will need for preparation and to perform with at your audition are available for download below.

Part II: Etude #2 (Marimba duet, pg 3). This lets the player show their ability on keyboard percussion.

  • The student should play part I (treble clef). Do not take the repeats.
  • A marimba will be provided at the audition. Students must provide their own appropriate mallets.
  • Students will perform this duet live along with another musician. The printed tempo is a suggestion but is flexible in either direction, to an extent. Recordings for reference are readily available.

Part III: Open Choice. The student should select 1 or 2 pieces of solo repertoire that showcase their strongest technical skills or their best instrument. You may perform on snare drum (any style), timpani, keyboard percussion (X/V/M), multi-percussion, drum set styles, and world percussion styles and techniques.

  • If you are planning to perform on an instrument other than one involved in the two audition etudes, please contact the director ahead of time to ensure that it can be provided for you.
  • Examples of repertoire for this portion could be:
    • Snare, “Portraits in Rhythm” by Anthony Cirone
    • KB, “Modern School for Xylophone, Marimba & Vibraphone”  by Morris Goldenberg or the G.H. Green xylophone rags
    • Timpani, “Exercises, Etudes, & Solos for Timpani” by Raynor Carroll
    • Multi, “Reflex” by Brett Dietz
    • Drum set/Hand-drums: “Groove Essentials” by Tommy Igoe
    • Any NJMEA All-state or college-level percussion audition solo



Though it is always better to meet in person, we understand it is sometimes necessary to audition electronically due to schedule conflicts. Private YouTube video links or mp3 audio files may serve as a substitute for your in-person audition. When recording, please ensure that audio quality and balance (especially for the multi-percussion duet) is the highest possible – no phone recordings, please – and submit to the director within 5 days of the last RYPE audition date. Please contact the director with any questions.