All-Northwest hopefuls, your audition music is available here. It's worth noting that some of these excerpts get repeated from audition one year to the next, so get started now, and even if you don't make it this year, you are investing in your future chances!
Good luck to you all this September, and keep in touch if you'd like some individual help at email@example.com. ; )
Andersen: It's easy to rush ahead in this etude. Practice with very vertical placement, and treat it like a march in style. I love to practice with the metronome on the offbeats whenever I find myself rushing--try it for yourself!
Brahms: Many eloquent articles have been written about this important orchestral excerpt; this blogpost by Mary Hale is a nice place to start. I will just add that, beyond the hairpins under each mini-phrase, you should treat this entire solo as one big, luxurious phrase that grows all the way into the A# past the high F#, then naturally relaxes in sound (but not tempo!)
Bach: You may have seen this with a different metronome marking, different articulations, and/or with a wide variety of dynamics. Baroque music is like that--up for interpretation by any editor who has an opinion! Be careful to follow these particular markings as much as possible before adding any of your own dynamics--you are being tested partly on your ability to follow directions on the page.
Grainger: This is an Irish dance! Practice while stomping your feet, imagine drums playing underneath you (bonus points if you have an actual drummer in the house for support), and go to town!