28. September 2009 · Comments Off on Resumés For Auditions · Categories: Auditions

I received a wonderful email from Janet Archibald about resumés for auditions. It’s something I probably should have blogged about long ago, but with Janet’s email, I’m now spurred on to finally doing this. (For those of you not in the know, Janet is the fabulous English hornist of San Francisco Opera.) I’ve combined what she has to say with my thoughts.

  • One page resumés are fine, and easier to read through. Be sure they are legible. (A big duh, but I’ve seen some that aren’t.) Put the most important information first.
  • Put your playing experience front & center, clearly! Be specific about what chair you play(ed). State whether or not you had a tenured seat or subbed: best to be honest, short & clear.
  • Audition experience: if one has been in the finals or even semis of one or more auditions that looks quite promising even if it is a young player w/out a gig yet.
  • List any summer festivals & any auditions in which you advanced, & if so, what rounds you advanced to.

And here are some things to avoid:

  • No one needs a career statement. We can kind of figure that out if you are auditioning.
  • Don’t send in clippings of reviews or bios from programs or CDs.
  • Don’t lie. Don’t exaggerate. If you haven’t figured it out already, the music world is small. (If an applicant isn’t a tenured principal player but states he/she plays principal I know I question the applicant immediately. Be honest if you were a sub.)
  • Don’t list high school awards. (Janet is kinder; she suggests you keep them to a minimum.) If you played Carnegie Hall while in high school it no longer matters and shouldn’t be mentioned, as far as I’m concerned.
  • Don’t list non-music related work.
  • There is no need to list every work you’ve ever played. (Listing a few of the most important works is fine, but again not necessary.)
  • References are not needed on a resumé for auditions. If an orchestra needs references, they’ll get back to you on that. (I know that San Francisco Symphony requested three letters of recommendation sent to them for the English horn audition.)

And a very good suggestion from Janet: for younger players who don’t have much to list yet: If an orchestra won’t even let you audition, look for the many ones that will accept tapes or will let anyone in, then try to advance.

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