Last year I inaugurated spring auditions – I had previously auditioned the first week of school.
Now, there are disadvantages, particularly with personnel adjustments due to moves or other summer complications. Collegiate ensembles would have a much harder time auditioning in April for September start.
But the biggest advantage I see is having a bridge.
Having an ensemble before the end of the school year means you can start building the ensemble, quietly, long before the school year starts. You don’t even need a rehearsal footprint. Just that the group exists, and can connect, means you’ll reap benefits in the fall.
It also means your graduating seniors can know, and connect with, incoming ensemble members before they head off to college. Whether they make a concerted effort to do so or not, there is something about making that bridge between the past and the future.
Finally, it’s so much easier to program specifically when you know the new ensemble. Since I made this change, I’ve found it much easier to make my music selections in June and July, so I’m ready with appropriate music for my group come August. The existence of a bridge to walk on makes it a lot easier to move forward.