Thursday, July 30, 2009


It has been forever since I posted, but I guess not that much is going on (sob, sob) Oh well, my time is coming, fool that I am. Big orchestra auditions are Aug 14, and I have two 5 day vacations before then. Why do I always have some vacation right before auditions? Stupid. Progress is being made, but I feel woefully inept.

The Fireworks concert was great this year - as always. So lovely to see all the other oboists (and bassoonists, tpts, horns and perc, not to mention the serpent) without all the competition since we ALL get hired. This year we didn't play that much, although the Fireworks Music is plenty all by itself! My son was really excited by the crawdads found on the side of the river this year, much more interesting than the "baroque faire" or the concert, which takes place on a floating stage in the river. I personally did ok - nailing the 16th passage (that every 1st oboe player will know) the second time through - the first time I actually watched the conductor and got a bit lost in the insanity. I think it went very well though, and since there were 9 other 1st oboes it is hard to tell who is "getting" it and who isn't. Sat in the back row for the first time ever, fun to play in the back!

Several other people at the concert are also auditioning, I'm probably the weakest of those I know taking it. Sigh. But my goal is to play well for ME, not to actually win a job I don't really want. So, it would be great to get on the sub list, but as that hasn't happened in the past I'm not holding my breath. Still have the Little Orchestra - and as we are doing Dvorak 9 and have no EH player, I will probably be playing that for our first concert! Should be all set as it is one of the excerpts for the Big Symphony audition. Also doing Hanson Symphony #2, does anyone know if there is EH on that?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Auditions everywhere

Our little orchestra just had auditions for many of the 2nd wind positions. At this point every chair has now been auditioned, which is a big step for what used to be a warm-body group. I was on the hearing committee, my first time to do that. There was only one oboist, so not a big decision, but it was a great experience for me. I was thinking the whole time about my audition for the big symphony and it made me really nervous! I guess I'm not really ready yet, but I still have a month to go.

A funny thing was that the auditions were advertised to be blind. It is probably not that big of a deal since the 2nd positions are not paid, and we are not unionized, but the conductor wanted to follow through. Unfortunately no one had thought about a screen ahead of time. We were in a high school choir room, and there was one of those big velvet curtains for sound absorbing along the back wall. They put a long table about 2 feet out from the wall and draped the curtain over it. Great - except of course the curtain only covered about 6" past the table top, so our legs were all sticking out! Hilarious. I'm sure most of the auditionees were too nervous to pay much attention.

It was wild listening to people and really trying to be critical - of course listening for good things but I found myself really honing in on ANY mistake. It was very enlightening, and one of the flutists (who was offered the job) is really a great player, far better than the other winds but she is here (in the cultural wasteland) with her SO. But her audition was not flawless! I was sort of weirdly comforted by that. Auditioning is such a bizarre thing, but I'm glad to have had the experience of being on the other side.

I had a session with the mysterious G at my place yesterday - a new situation. He has 2 kids and my son usually comes with me to his place and they all play (or fight) while we have a lesson. But we decided it would be fun for them to see our newly remodeled place and my cool studio, so they came to me. Fun! I didn't play fabulously, but progress is being made. I chose not a great reed, will have to be way more on top of things by next month. He did bring me some great new cane (I don't have a gouger) so perhaps I'll make reeds tonight.