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Has anyone ever been screwed out of an audition?

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by Williams, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. Yes

    18 vote(s)
  2. No

    18 vote(s)
  1. I'm putting this in here because it looks as if it best sits in this catagory.

    Ok here is my problem. I am in an orchestra in the Toledo area. To get in it you must audition, and then you must audition for chair placement. It is a youth orchestra so I am assuming some of the decisions are placed on senority... however this goes beyond this. There are 8 of us in the section and all of us audtitioned on our set date except one person, who was sick. The next time an opportunitiy was presented for this person to audition, he/she skipped rehersal to go to a TSO concert. The next week we did not have rehersal and the folowing week we had a concert. However, at the concert, our mistro listed him/her as Principal. She still had not auditioned.

    The week after the concert, the person finally auditioned. He/she was given first chair, despite having an extra 5 weeks to pratice.

    To me... this seemed a little unfair, therefore I am asking, does this happen a lot in the professional area? Your comments are welcome.
  2. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    What difference does it make? You play the same music under the same baton. The rest is ego. Let go of it.
  3. bierbass


    Sep 5, 2005
    Knoxville, TN
    Yeah, its kind of inherently unfair, but Sam Sherry is right. Gotta let it go for now and then work your a** off. Occasionally people make those decisions and its out of your control. The only thing you can do is give them a good reason to make you Principal next time. It sometimes happens in the Professional/ freelance scene, fortunately not too often. Good luck.
  4. Justin K-ski

    Justin K-ski Supporting Member

    May 13, 2005
    This may seem unfair right now and your indignance is justified but it will pay off in the long run. In these, your formative years as a muscican you will develop good practice habits that lead you to be well prepared and prompt, come what may. The other bassist in question will get used to slacking off and still winning. Then someday there will be an opening for a huge position like there was a few months ago for detriot principal. You will work hard, drag your a$$ out of bed with a fever to practice and advance or even win the audition. Do you think the panel of the Detriot symphony cares if you're sick or not? I'll give you 3 guesses. Just keep working hard, hard work always pays off, even if it's not immediate.
  5. Tbeers


    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I answered "yes" to the poll.

    In my case I auditioned for a small, selective string orchestra in my school district (it wins the Downbeat award every year FWIW, it's not a joke). The results came out, I wasn't selected, and the director told me he found out I played in the jazz band and he wanted to "spread the wealth," so he gave the orchestra spot to another player. So it goes. (I ended up in the group, though haha.. complicated story)

    On other occasions I have participated in All-State festivals and been adjudicated by the same people judging the cellists.

    Not like any of it matters now. I don't let this crap ruffle my feathers -- doing so takes away the joy of the music for me. On a recent jazz ensemble concert at Princeton, I sort of got the shaft and ended up playing on only one tune. I could have complained about it, but instead I just totally played my ass off and showed up the other guys. Good playing will always beat the system eventually.. keep at it.
  6. G-force


    Jul 1, 2004
    oslo Norway
    To me... this seemed a little unfair, therefore I am asking, does this happen a lot in the professional area?/HTML]
    Well,yes, but that's life , deal with it, practice and go on..AND VOTE
  7. I probably would've been annoyed if I was assistant, but not if I was already in the middle of the section. The Principal really does have certain extra things to be in charge of, and, for me, it's nice to be in that chair. But that's what happens when you're a crazed egomaniac.
  8. Peter Ferretti

    Peter Ferretti

    Jun 7, 2005
    I have been screwed out of a few auditions.

    So I attended Interlochen two summers ago, and I had no idea what I was getting into. 8th grade, I was arrogant because I had never lost an audition, but I am past that. So anyway, I got there and auditioned. I sat 3rd chair in the High School orchestra. For an 8h grader, that was pretty good, but I felt like I was a better player than the other two people. Weeks went by, I worked my ass off, and I sat principle for the final concert. At the end of it Jack Budrow, my teacher, came up to me and explained that he sat me in thrid chair to teach me a lesson and motivate me. That has happend to me multiple times in youth orchestras. Often times a conductor, bass coach, jury, whoever will put you in a place to motivate you or teach you a lesson. It's pretty political at times. Keep on truckin man, it will all work out


    Edit: Williams, I see you study with Aaron Keaster, how do you like him? I studied with him a while back and I thought he was a pretty cool guy. Your lucky.
  9. He's great... I've been studying with him for the past... 6 years... ever since i started bass. He's great. Most of the kids from P-burg take from him and we are all prety good friends. Hes is great to be around and really knows his stuff
  10. Hi,
    I have an interesting story.
    In 2001 I was in the New World Symphony, Miami, FL. As a "fellow" of that fine orchestral training academy, I got to take part in one of the residencies they do... the first one of the year was Cleveland Orchestra. A bunch of the principal players came down and did multiple masterclasses, lessons, mentoring in rehearsals, etc., etc. Really great stuff.

    It just so happened that there was a Cleveland Orch. bass audition two weeks later. We were well coached on Cleveland style, and got to hear a lot of what Mr. Max Dimoff wanted. Max was really great.

    Personally, I'm told I have a different style. Anyway, Mr Dimoff said he'd try to get us all invited to the audition (Cleveland is well known for being highly exclusive; only inviting a tiny group and having all others send tapes). And he was a great teacher and very helpful with "Cleveland style." I worked hard at it.

    So one week later everyone else in the New World section is invited, and I am NOT. Sure, that's certainly their judgement-call; that's what "screening processes" are for; if I play with too much vibrato or something, or play too far on the front edge of the beat; or heaven-forbid I actually want to play "FF" when it says so, ... heck, that's fine... (I was also the only German bow player in New World at that time...)
    ...but the really funny part is that the whole NWS section goes up there and plays well (of course they do) but doesn't make it. Two weeks later we go to the Louisville Orchestra audition, and noone else from NWS advances... but I Won the Job... funny how things happen....
  11. Snakewood

    Snakewood Guest

    Dec 19, 2005
    When you're in a learning situation your chair is really irrelevant. If anything it's probably best to just sit anywhere and not make a big deal about it. Try and move around, get used to sitting at the back and in the middle and in the front. I personally like being near the front because it insures that I get selected for the majority of the repertoire being performed, which in all fairness contributes to experience and musicianship. You need to have some EGO, but try not to play with it.
  12. Bubbabass


    May 5, 2004
    Is the appointed principal clearly a stronger, more experienced player? When I was in TYO (dark ages), Ken Holland put rookies at the back of the section and then you trickled up with seniority and advancing skill. It was still fun, and paid the same.
  13. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    Even if they don't say it openly, is Cleveland still a no-German-bow city?
    This would be useful info in the event of an audition.
  14. It seems to me that the idea of a universally bowed section is somewhat obsolete these days. Even if Cleveland has yet to hire a German bow player, that doesn't mean you can't become the first. Any reasonable bassist knows that it doesn't matter.
  15. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Chris Hanulik was principal in Cleveland for a year. He's a German bow player. He returned to L.A for family reasons.
  16. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    I couldn't agree more Paul. However, I should like to point out that there are still a few stubborn people in the business.
  17. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    Is that right? and he is a pretty aggressive player too, contrary to the typical Cleveland civility. I guess this answers my question.
  18. bassiebass


    Mar 16, 2006
    i know cleveland would not be adverse to hiring a german bow player - its what you do with it that matters. they are looking for a particular sound not bow.
    by the way didn't one of the NWS players make it to finals for that cleveland audition that KPO didn;t get?? i think that is likely evidence that max knew what he was looking for - and i'm sure it wasn;t personal, i;ve heard he's a very nice guy
  19. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    and what would that sound be?

    fewer and fewer orchestras want a specific sound, I find it great that they do.

    Auditions are more of an "elimination" process, when there should be a strong component of "selection", like Clevelan seems to do.

    Perhaps I should open a Cleveland thread.
  20. anthem274


    Jul 19, 2003
    Arlington, TX
    I have been screwed over an unhealthy amount of times. Yes, when you know that you are a better player, it hurts, but if you're shredding better than anyone in that section, you'll feel just fine. I just go in with the mindset that any egomaniac in the section will have what's coming to them.

    Ex: Just yesterday, I was in a master class with several other bassists. I was far better than anyone there, but one kid didn't think so. So, we played solos at the end of the class and my Koussevitzky went very well. Two people played after me, both playing "Vivace from Flute Sonata" (great, eh?). Neither of them played the piece very well and that was okay. I still gave them some pointers and applauded them. However, the egomaniac of the class, who had previously played this same solo at a UIL competition, asked to "sightread" the piece. So, he gets up in front of everyone and "sightreads" the piece. Well, he had it memorized due to the fact that he has played it many times before, so he didn't look at the music. The instructor, noticing that he had not once looked at the music, questioned the validity of his sightreading. The arrogant bassist then gave a nervous reply and was asked to sit down.