As you may have noticed from the current header on my homepage, 2018 is to be the “year of auditions”, and probably the first of many years to come! Seeing as I’m just wrapping up a Master’s degree (at Rice University) and about to seriously consider options for my future (the search for a permanent job, teaching and freelancing, more study? and etc.) I decided to try for all the orchestral jobs that were having auditions this season. This includes professional and training orchestras in the USA, with at least five confirmed auditions so far, to take place in the first few months of 2018.
We talk a lot about orchestral auditions at Rice University. So many of the faculty at the Shepherd School of Music have held positions in prestigious orchestras, and have been through the rigorous audition process themselves. I have read about the different audition experiences of various musicians who have won jobs, and noticed how everyone’s journey is so different – some people win a job within their first few tries, others take years of auditioning on and off before they get their big break in the orchestral musical world. And although the process is a tough one there is something so inspiring about this climb to success, this perfection of one’s craft to the highest level and the ability to show the work we have put in as well as the nature of our character through the music we play…and for many of us who have grown up playing a classical instrument, being in an orchestra has become such a natural part of our lives that we cannot imagine giving it up. What a dream it would be to be able to contribute to a professional symphony orchestra and have that be our career as well!
I know that many young musicians will be considering the path of auditions, as I am, and it is my hope that we can create a community of support and encouragement, and that some of you out there will be able to relate to my experiences or find some aspects of my personal accounts helpful. This is why I decided to share my thoughts and feelings, and plans and progress, as I go through this process that so many musicians have gone through before and will continue to go through as long as orchestras exist.
Below is my introduction video for the American Viola Society. I am not the most comfortable speaking in front of a camera, and it was sometimes tricky to say what I wanted to say in a way that felt natural! But here we go – I answer several questions related to practice, the audition process, the viola, and my limited experiences so far. I hope it may be helpful or interesting, and here’s to the next few months!
If anyone has any questions for me or comments for the general community please do feel free to write or start up the conversation – you can comment on this post, or on Facebook, or there are lots of musical groups and websites where there are many contributors who are more than happy to answer questions if we ask them!
Until next time,