27. January 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Ramble

I’ve been on both sides of the screen when it comes to auditions. I’ve sat on the panel, and I’ve escorted auditionees to that horrible screen a good number of times. In both cases I have been a bit nauseous; there’s something about auditions … even though I wasn’t even auditioning I’d get that awful anxious feeling, and even knowing we made the correct decision about who we chose, I always hurt for the number we had to turn away. If someone had a particularly bad audition, I just ached for the individual. We’ve always had our bad days. Really.

I was fairly surprised to read a rather revealing post about a trumpet audition up in Canada. Some readers might find it informative, so I’m putting the link here.

Biggest “take heed” … or, okay … “take heeds” I can offer?: Know your music inside out. Study not only your part, but know what’s going on around you as well. Hear those other parts as you practice. Play for a few people you trust, and make it an uncomfortable situation, as it will be when you do the real thing. (I helped someone out with this some time ago, and I had her behind a screen, to simulate that cold and impersonal situation. As an aside, this was not an audition I was then participating in in any way; I won’t hear someone for any orchestra of which I am a member.) If it’s an opera audition, please know what the singers are doing; it’s not all about you, you know?

I never blog about the auditions in which I’m involved, other than announcing a winner on occasion. I won’t write about what I hear until … well … it would have be be years later. For instance, I feel fairly comfortable, as it’s been over 15 years and the orchestra no longer exists, writing about an audition where a player (not an oboist, btw) played a Beethoven excerpt and throughout played a painfully obvious wrong note. Over. And over. (It was a passage with a lot of arpeggios.) The player hadn’t a clue he/she had done that, and I couldn’t believe anyone wouldn’t know such a famous excerpt. I won’t write about this kind of thing again, though (although I believe that one was safe to mention). I think, in fact, our local union or players’ committee would probably call me on the carpet if I did blog about current or recently past auditions.

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  1. Pingback: Jason Heath’s Double Bass Blog » links for 2008-01-29

  2. Pingback: Jason Heath’s Double Bass Blog » links for 2008-01-29