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Concert link:  No Limits Youth Brass Holiday Concert - YouTube 


Spring concert livestream link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKQrtUfwJT4


No Limits Audition update:  the official submission date has passed.  However, we recognize how busy the end of the schoolyear can be and want to offer an extended audition opportunity.  We are still able to offer some positions in all brass choirs, with the exception of tuba in No Limits 1. Next priority submission date is June 23rd.  If you are interested but unable to prepare an audition by that date, please contact director Ben Parke to discuss alternative options.  We'd love to have you join us and know a lot of you will be busy this summer making up for missed opportunities previous years!


  •     What is a brass choir?

A brass choir is an ensemble of only brass players.  That means the brass players actually get to play all the cool parts of the music.  Tired of counting way too many measures of rest or listening to woodwind or string players play the interesting parts?  Then brass choir is the place for you.  No Limits plays primarily orchestral music arranged for brass instruments only.  That means everyone gets to play interesting parts.  In addition, there is often only one player per part meaning everyone is important in the ensemble.  No Limits is also the only program where the director has not only typically written the music, but has recorded the music himself and thus can give you instrument specific tips to help you sound your absolute best!


  •     What is NO LIMITS?

   The most exciting year-round educational honors ensembles for brass players, directed by expert brass instructor Ben Parke


No Limits 1: our elite ensemble.  Players typically have 4+ years or equivalent of playing experience, know all key signatures, have a highly polished sound, 2 1/2 octaves of range, can single/double/triple tongue, and can read and count at an advanced level. Many have gone on to study at prestigious music schools such as Northwestern, DePaul, Cincinnati Conservatory, San Francisco Conservatory, Oberlin, Indiana University, etc.  All new and returning members complete an audition in the spring.  Audition packets are posted below. No Limits 1 caps sections at 4-6 trumpets, 3-4 horns, 3 trombones, 1 euphonium, and 2 tubas.


No Limits 2: Our intermediate group.  These players have on average 3+ years of playing experience.  Most are in grades 8-12.  Players in this group are rhythmically advanced, know the majority of key signatures, have started learning vibrato and double/triple tonguing, but are still developing their sound, range, and musicianship.  Players in this group will have at least 2 octaves of range and will have completed the equivalent of Chapter 10 in "The Young Virtuoso" method by Ben Parke.  This group also includes members from NL1 who play a second brass instrument.  This group is the final stop before NL1 and is our intense training ensemble.  This year there will be auditions for new members of this group (returning members do not need to complete an audition.)  Audition packets for this ensemble are posted below.  There are no section caps and all players meeting the minimum ability standard for this group will be accepted.


No Limits Junior: Our introductory ensemble.  This group includes beginning through 8th graders.  Members of this group are working to develop their ensemble skills, rhythm, tone, range, etc.  Most will spend 2-3 years in this group before moving up to NL2.  Repertoire for this group is largely based off the ability of the players in the ensemble.  Each player will be given parts designed specifically for their skill set.  No audition is required for this ensemble, but players should typically have finished most of the red Standard of Excellence book or equivalent. There are no section caps and all players meeting the minimum ability standard for this group will be accepted.

 

Summer session 1: non-auditioned group for intermediate to advanced players with 3+ years experience. Monday-Thursday evenings for one week performing Vaughan Williams' English Suite.  June 26-30, 2022 7-8pm.  Tuition $100.


Summer session 2: non-auditioned group for beginning to intermediate players with 1+ years experience. Monday-Thursday evenings for one week performing In the Hall of the Mountain King and others.  August 22-26 2022 6:30-7:15pm.  Tuition $100.


No Limits welcomes members of all backgrounds, religions, gender identities, and races and expects all members to create a welcoming and respectful musical and professional environment where we each can thrive.


  •     Why should I join?

Because brass choir is fun and we play great music while learning brass specific performance techniques.  Past music includes Beethoven Symphonies, Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet, Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, the 1812 Overture, Pines of Rome, etc.  No Limits is the only area youth ensemble program where the director plays every instrument and typically has not only written, but also performed the music himself, allowing him to give you customized performance advice (see Les Preludes YouTube video for an example of director Ben Parke's full brass performance.)


No Limits 1 2022-2023 repertoire:  Selections from "Messiah", Pictures at an Exhibition

No Limits 2 2022-2023 repertoire:  Holiday favorites, Holst's 2nd suite for Military Band, and Barber of Seville

No Limits Junior 2022-2023 repertoire:  Barber of Seville joint performance with NL2, and holiday favorites


  •     What is the time commitment?

   Full year group:  

   No Limits 1 Sundays 5-6:30pm

   No Limits 2 Sundays 4-4:45pm

   No Limits Junior Sundays 3-3:45

   Vista Lutheran Church in St Louis Park starting September 11, 2022 through May 2023


   No Limits 1 tuition: $450

   No Limits 2 tuition: $375

   No Limits junior tuition: $325

   

   Summer session 2 Aug 22-25 (No Limits 2 and No Limits Junior level members): $100

   

   Scholarships available as needed.  Please indicate scholarship interest when registering. Tuition is for the full season and is non-refundable.  No Limits is a September to May commitment and players offered placement in an ensemble are expected to commit for the full season.



  •     This sounds great!  How do I join?


To register: registration form

For more information: contact


  •     Concert Schedule

No Limits 2 summer session concert:  7pm August 25, Vista Lutheran Church


No Limits 1 2022 audition packets:

Trumpet Audition Packet - All openings are filled at this time.  Please join us in No Limits 2 for an exciting season of fantastic music!

Horn Audition Packet - Openings remain for Horn. Excerpts 1, 5,and 6 (trills may be left out) are optional.  Prepare only if wanting to be considered for principle horn position.

Trombone Audition Packet (New Version) - One opening remains for bass/3rd trombone. Please note this is a revised set of excerpts.  Prepare excerpt 5 only if wanting to be considered for solos.

Euphonium Audition Packet - One opening remains for euphonium.  Please note this is a revised set of excerpts.  Prepare excerpt 5 only if wanting to be considered for solos.

Tuba Audition Packet - No openings remain.  Please join us in No Limits 2 for an exciting season and some great tuba parts!

     

No Limits 2 2022 audition packets:

No Limits 2 will continue accepting new members through mid-September.

Trumpet Audition Packet

Horn Audition Packet

Trombone Audition Packet

Euphonium/Baritone Audition Packet

Tuba Audition Packet

 

 

Audition submission guidelines:

Submissions should be via video uploaded as unlisted to YouTube.  Please send the video link to director Ben Parke  Each excerpt can be recorded separately, but all videos should be combined into one video for ease in audition committee viewing.  Auditions are typically quite competitive so be sure to send us your best playing.  When setting up to record, test different setups to find which gives the best sound.  Should your video have distorted sound we will request that you record the material over again as we will not be able to accurately judge your sound quality and dynamics.  Auditions will be graded on tone quality, dynamics, musicianship (phrasing, expression), rhythmic accuracy, articulation, and proper style.

Director Ben Parke performs No Limits 1's version of Light Cavalry Overture

 

Director Ben Parke plays his transcription of Liszt's Les Preludes