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Screened Auditions

What are screened auditions and why are they beneficial?

The MU advocates the use of screened auditions in orchestras.

Screened auditions – whether one, or a series of auditions – before reaching the trial period, are a crucial part of increasing ethnic diversity. Adopting this method would be a step towards eliminating claims of unconscious bias, discrimination or that musicians have been employed to meet diversity quotas.

Screened auditions promote fairer opportunities for musicians from all backgrounds to earn a position in an orchestra.

Overcoming unconscious bias

Overcoming unconscious bias is not a simple task. The screen removes any bias from the initial audition process along with other measures to make sure the panel are not aware of the player’s ethnicity, gender or age and the audition is judged solely on performance with no consideration of the musician’s appearance.

Without screened auditions it may not be possible to remove bias from the audition process that could make it more difficult to determine the most capable musicians for each position.

Representation is key to the success of orchestras

Creating orchestras that are representative of the society in which they perform is crucial to the continued success of the orchestral sector.

Screened auditions may not be ideal and may be more complex to operate but if the result is greater representation of BAME musicians, then the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.