About Life in Flow:Flow in Life

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Search for an Orchestra Position

My kids are back at their colleges after spring break and I am mostly recovered from a bad cold, so it's time to pick up the story.
As I noted in my last post, the world was not beating a path to my door asking me to play in other groups. I was having a good time playing chamber music and in the band, but I really did miss playing orchestral music. So, it was time to take action.
August 2009, I began searching on the Internet for community orchestras in my area. Many of them I knew about, so it was mostly a matter of finding contact information and scoping out who was listed in the roster, who was the conductor, and so on. I found five community orchestras that gave an email address that were within distances that I would be willing to drive for rehearsal every week. I put together a music performance resume, a cover letter/email, and sent them to the five orchestras. I got my first response within two hours, asking if I would come in to play for the conductor! Three other orchestras responded within the next several days, all asking me to audition. The fifth group I never did hear from. Two of the orchestras had actual openings, one for 4th horn (my favorite!) and one for assistant first. These both sent PDFs of the audition music. So much more convenient than the old method of getting a list and finding the music yourself! (And this just shows how long it had been since I had taken an audition!)
Now I began to practice in earnest. Unfortunately it was late August, the time when I start teaching again, so time was at a premium. There was also a lot of music to practice. There was very little overlap between the two lists and I also needed to play a movement of a Mozart concerto. I picked the first movement of the Mozart 3rd because I know it the best of all the Mozarts, but I still needed to work on many aspects of the piece -- technique, intonation, phrasing, and trills. I practiced those trills endlessly, every day. I got to the point where I was pretty happy with everything about the Mozart, except the trills, especially the one on G. I began hoping that no one would want to hear more than a few lines of the piece and would stop me before the trill.
Next: Audition #1

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