How do you find out about auditions?

Discussion in 'Orchestral Auditions [DB]' started by Benton, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. I have been playing my Bass for years and would like to get paid for it. There are a few small orchestras near me Waterbury, New Haven, and Bridgeport (Connecticut) that I would like to give a shot. I just do not know when they are auditioning. I do not want to miss out on the auditions even if I don't get the gig.

    I have played in community orchestras but it isn't really worth my time. I can't stand listening to people making the same mistakes week in and week out at rehearsals. I am a music teacher and have to listen to it at work. I went to some concerts and think I could cut it and play the music. It would be nice to play with real musicians and make the time away from the family worth it. I play electric with a band and play both upright and electric at a church but what I have really been practicing is the classical music, I think its time for me to get out of the woodshed.

    So help, How do I know when auditions are being held?
    Is there a group to join, newletter, contact the orchestra, maybe the union?
  2. If they have a website, it's sometimes posted on it. You could also give them a call and asked to be contacted when a position for bass becomes available.
  3. InwoodFerri


    Mar 12, 2006
    One of the best resourses I have found is It has worldwide auditions, including north america. I think it mainly relies on individual's and orchestra's input. That is the cheap and easy way to find auditions. There is another website called which is a bit more involved than musical chairs. I think they'll even send you e-mails when an audition opens up. You can also join the American Federation of Musicians or AFM and get the monthly newsletter which is where most union orchestras advertise for auditions. I believe that Bridgeport has a local union that you could possibly join. However, it'll probably cost you a good amount of cash for initiation, and if you're not yet working, it might not be worth it yet. Your best bet would be musicalchairs, however, I know for a fact that the Greater Bridgeport Symphony is having an audion for Asst. Principal and section on May 21st. You can get the info at their website. Good luck.
  4. bejoyous


    Oct 23, 2005
    London, Ontario
    Living in New England between New York and Boston there must be lots of interest in the arts. There is probably a directory of some sorts of local and professional orchestras. Your local office of the American Federation of Musicians would be a good resourse. There are probably many just crying for an enthusiastic player and are just waiting for right person to step up to the plate.

    When I graduated, I researched what was around my area and called up the principal bassists and went on an audition tour to play for them privately. I played the standard stuff that I knew I played well and had a resume with contact info on it.

    Not only do you get your name out and expose yourself to a lot of people but you also get a lot of playing tips.

    Oh yeah, practice your brains out before you go. Also play in front of your friends to simulate the experience first so you get used to someone actually listening to you. First impressions are lasting impressions, you know.

    Before I called the people, I wrote out what I wanted to say and ask them and anticipated what I would say when they said Yes, No or Maybe so I wasn't going uh, um, dah on the phone. "How to have Confidence and Power When Dealing with People," by Les Gibons (Gibson, Gibbons???) really helped.

    What do you want?
    When do you want it?
    What are you willing to do to achieve it?
    Make a plan and follow it through.
  5. Allan Santos

    Allan Santos

    Dec 17, 2005

    You can also subscribe to International Musician (the union paper) without being a union member.

  6. Great info thanks. I'm real excited about Bridgeport. I will make some phone calls. As for the Union I should contact them as well. Thanks for the help
  7. Dr Rod

    Dr Rod

    Aug 19, 2005
    the bridgeport local, the AFM, and the union are the same thing. Different names.
  8. Anon2962


    Aug 4, 2004
    Or check out this website, which is VERY popular in europe, although i dont know about the states.
  9. Update,
    Thanks for the info. After a couple of phone calls I got the info for the audition. The music just arrived this afternoon. I gave it a read through. Not too hard to read but a real %^& to get to sound right. Even if I don,t get the gig I've had fun already.
    Another Question:
    The letter says: "All Contracted players are required to be current members of a local section of the American Federation of Musicians."
    Does this mean that I should join the union before the audition or do I only need the card to play? Maybe I should just bite the bullot and join.

    Thanks and peace
  10. InwoodFerri


    Mar 12, 2006
    Before you break out your check book, you might want to consider a few things. Firstly, you do not need to join any union until you actually have a job. In fact, and I could be talking out of my butt here, but I believe it is actually against the law to discriminate against you for that reason. The main reason to join the union is when you actually have work. It will not help you get work, and like others have said on this thread, there are many other ways of attaining classified ads for orchestral jobs. Whatever the law is, joining the union will make no difference in your audition besides making you at least $150 poorer. I'm not trying to kill the labor movement or anything--far from it! I'm just not sure that union membership is what you need. Good luck in Bridgeport!
  11. GirlBass


    Jul 31, 2005
    New York
    No, you definitely don't need to join the union until you get a job. They generally have about a 30 day grace period after you get a job to actually join the union, so definitely don't until you win the audition!
  12. My Audition is on Sunday at 10:15. Much thanks to the support from the furum. I am a little worried about it. I have no idea how I will play compared to all the rest. At least its been a real learning experience. Hopefully it will open some doors. I have heard my playing improve.
    I took my bass in to Upton bass for work. Jack took care of the bass (Fingerboard, nut, tailpeice chord, soundpost and Dominants) and Eric rehaired my bow. I need a bridge but had to put it off. It sounds like a new bass.
    Now it up to me to play my best.

    Thanks again