"Sounding Off" Q&A with Jared Judge
Master of Music candidate in Orchestral Conducting (May 2017)
Jared Judge is headed to Washington D.C. on March 21 to compete in the United States Air Force band officer/conductor final audition round.
How did you learn of the competition, what was the application process?
I learned about the competition through the Air Force Band’s website, and by speaking with representatives of the Air Force Band at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago last December. I submitted a resume, video portfolio including footage of me conducting the UWM Wind Ensemble, college transcripts, and several letters of recommendation from previous teachers and supervisors. I was then contacted by Lieutenant Wise of the Air Force Band of Mid-America for a phone interview over winter break. We discussed many aspects of the job including the music and administrative sides, as well as possible deployment abroad. After learning about my experiences directing the Princeton Opera Alliance (Princeton, NJ), Lt. Wise was confident my administrative skills would be a good fit for the Air Force.
When were you notified of your acceptance to compete?
Since the phone interview, I was informed that I was selected as one of the top 10 candidates, and was asked to meet with an Air Force recruiter down in Oak Creek, WI. This brief meeting assessed my ability to serve as a member of the Air Force. After the results of this screening occurred, I was informed that I had been selected to be among 6 candidates to audition in front of the US Air Force Band in Washington DC. I was ecstatic and when I received the news--to conduct the Air Force Band in DC is truly a great honor! As is the prospect of earning a full time conducting job.
What have you been doing the past few weeks to prepare?
For this upcoming audition I have been preparing to conduct four musical selections: "Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral" by Richard Wagner, "Profanation" from Leonard Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony, "The Toreador Song" from Bizet’s Carmen, and "Fascinating Rhythm" from George Gershwin’s Nice Work if You Can Get It. Additionally, I have been honing my music theory and aural skills with Assistant Dean and Music Lecturer, Dr. Jim Burmeister, in preparation for a written examination that is part of the audition process. A lot of time has also been spent studying the audition scores and practicing conducting. Music Professor and Director of Bands, Dr. John Climer, graciously allowed me time to conduct the UWM Wind Ensemble as part of my preparations. Associate Director of Bands, Dr. Mark Norman, and Director of Orchestral Activity, Dr. Jun Kim, have also provided mentorship and coaching.
If the audition goes well, then I will be a proud soldier in the USAF. Otherwise, I will continue my studies and pursue further degrees to work towards becoming a conductor of both collegiate and professional musical ensembles.