Tenor trombone

These are the requirements to become a trombonist in a Canadian Forces band. You will perform a live audition, be tested and interviewed by the panel.

Audition process and preparation

All auditions will be performed live with a Canadian Regular Force Band.

The live audition is divided into 4 parts:

Solo performance

Prepared solos

You must prepare at least 2 pieces of contrasting musical styles. One piece must be from the list in Mandatory Selection No. 1. The second piece is your choice, but must meet the criteria of Mandatory Selection No. 2. Those with improvisational skills should include a representative excerpt, as outlined under Optional Selections. Accompanist is not required; piano / bass / drums will accompany the improv selections.

Mandatory Selection No. 1 - Perform one of the following works:

  • McKay Sonata
  • Saint-Saens Cavatine
  • Jacob Trombone Concerto
  • Vivaldi (arr. Ostrander) Sonatina
  • Busser Any 3 from "Douze Etudes Medodiques"
  • Galliard (arr. Brown) Six Sonatas for Trombone, No. 5

Mandatory Selection No. 2 - Perform one selection with the indicated tempo and concert key signatures. The melody will be played on the first and last chorus, with subsequent choruses being improvised.


  • Four (Eb major, quarter note = 132 bpm)
  • All The Things You Are (Ab major, quarter note = 184 bpm)
  • What Is This Thing Called Love (C major, quarter note = 184 bpm)
  • Rhythm Changes (Anthropology, Oleo, etc.) (Bb major, quarter note = 194 bpm)


  • In A Sentimental Mood (F major = 60 bpm)
  • My One and Only Love (C major = 60 bpm)
  • Body and Soul (Db major, quarter note = 60 bpm)

Optional Selections - Perform a solo of your choice that demonstrates your improvisational skills, your versatility in any other musical style and / or your ability on an alternate instrument (for example, euphonium).

Scales and arpeggios

  • Chromatic Scale – from low E to high Bb
  • Diatonic Scales (All keys) – Major, Harmonic and Melodic Minor
  • Arpeggios (All keys) – Major and minor triads, dominant and diminished 7ths

Note: All scales and arpeggios must be played from memory, 2 octaves (where possible), in 16th notes at quarter = 80 bpm.

Designated scales will be followed by either an arpeggio, a Dominant 7th arpeggio built on the 5th degree of the scale, or a Diminished 7th arpeggio built on the 7th degree of the scale, and will resolve to the tonic.

Articulations to be requested:

  • All slurred
  • All tongued
  • 2 slurred, 2 tongued
  • 2 tongued, 2 slurred
  • 2 slurred, 2 slurred
  • 3 slurred, 1 tongued
  • 1 tongued, 3 slurred
  • 1 tongued, 2 slurred, 1 tongued

Ensemble performance

Prepared pieces

Perform various styles of music playing in different ensembles. Material will be provided 4 to 6 weeks prior to your audition.


Perform various styles of music while sight-reading with various ensembles. Material is provided at the audition.

Theory and aural skill tests

Musical theory

A music theory test will be performed and you will recognize:

  • signs
  • terms
  • chords
  • intervals
  • score types
  • transposition
  • abbreviations
  • time signature
  • identifying keys
  • cadences and melody writing
  • major, minor and other scales and modes

Aural Skills

The aural skills test will including the following:

  • melodic dictation
  • incorrect notes in a given melody
  • separate dictation treble clef and bass clef
  • intervals - harmonic, melodic, ascending and descending
  • chords (triads) - major, minor, 1st and 2nd inversion and 4 notes chords: Dom7, dim7, aug7

Music Branch interview

A selection panel within the Regular Force Band will assess you. After the audition, you will be interviewed by the panel. All recordings and assessments will be sent to DHH Music for final selection.

Final selection will be based on the panel’s recommendations.

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