Audition Thoughts Part 15

Originally blogged June 13, 2012

Auditions Part DONE! ...for now...

Where every adventure begins: early in the morning with skies that promise the possibility of anything.

We arrived in Omaha just in time to be greeted by torrential rain, an incredible lightening storm, and even hail!  The Boy was beyond excited to see this weather brewing on the outskirts.

The audition went well!  I played all the excerpts and then stood up to leave but was asked to go back to replay the third excerpt (from Brahms 3.)  This surprised me and in that moment I got flustered.  Fortunately I was not nervous for the audition at all - and I did not take the beta blocker.  I was nervous during breakfast and in the car ride over but once I got into the warm up room and then onstage, I really felt fine.

My guru informs me that the panel will only ask you to replay an excerpt if members of the panel intend to vote for you.  These were good indications of a well played audition.  In most of my auditions I have been stopped early (minus Louisiana but having done that one twice, I think they just let everyone play all the excerpts.)    I'm trying to remember if I played all of them for Birmingham.  Maybe.  But this definitely marks the next step in my audition progress.

I had to wait almost 2 hours in the warm up room to play.  That was very a-typical in my experience.  Plus there was ample time in the group room.  Fortunately, I was able to catch up on all the latest audition gossip.  Two of the bassoonists who advanced in Alabama played in my group and both advanced in Omaha as well.  One went on to win the Alabama audition and I imagine, he likely won Omaha as well.  I heard his Alabama audition and it was flawless.  Honestly, it has inspired me to achieve a higher level audition since I heard it a few weeks ago.

I have been cautioned not to listen to what is happening around me in auditions.  While it can be distracting in the moment, listening to others at auditions has motivated me to play better, hold myself to a higher standard and informed my concept of what is popular on the audition circuit.  That is the educational nature of the audition: not just learning from what happens to you on stage but learning from what happens to others.  This is why there is/needs to be a HUGE emphasis on attending auditions.  When you hear and meet your competition - and you see many of the same musicians during one audition season - you learn quickly where you fit in the crowd.

The best part of this audition is that regardless of what happened, I had a job secured for the fall.  Just guessing now, but probably of the 36 bassoonists who attended, they advanced 8 - 10 into semi finals with 1 person winning or 2 people earning a trial.  While those who advanced and those who won likely enjoyed an incredible sense of hard-earned and deserved accomplishment; in the end, only 1 will secure the position.  But of the 8-10 who felt for a moment that they had risen to the top, 9 will head back to school, or free-lance work, or day jobs.  Fortunately, I will begin my first salaried orchestral position in September.  That is the lottery of auditions.  One week you win one, the next week  you don't even advance.  This is why you MUST take as many as you can - for that one day when everything aligns in your favor.  
These are the EXACT things my Guru has been teaching me since my first audition in 2008 and in the four years I have been auditioning, these are the realities I have come to experience first hand.


This is where every adventure ends: feeling exhausted and burned out.  As usual, it was wonderful to pull into our hazy Salt Lake Valley, unload the car, make dinner in my beautiful new kitchen and simply count the abundance of blessings in our lives.  We are blessed beyond comprehension.

Today officially begins my summer.  Here's my summer activities as they currently stand:
  • reed making -  LOTS of reed making, reeds for a principal bassoon player
  • orchestral rep prep -  getting all the rep for next season into my fingers
  • Trio de Bois rep prep -  tackling Villa-Lobos and preparing for our trip to Juilliard to work with the Imani Winds
  • national guard - 'tis the season for outdoor concerts, weekend tours, parades, and lots of drill - always grateful when free lance gigs become sparse and national guard gets busy
  • beginner bassoon class in American Fork -  3 weeks of forming the next generation of bassoonists
  • renting out our home - finding suitable renters who won't destroy our completely redone property
  • renting a new home in Great Falls - finding time to head up there to look for a rental home for the season
  • securing a new job for the hubby - no PepBoys in Great Falls so he's on the market and submitting resumes everywhere
  • moving - AGAIN!  Packing up and reducing even though we really have very little due to the four others moves we have undertaken since 2007.
  • do fun things with the boy - somehow, somewhere we always manage to fit in the fun stuff
I did formally resign from Utah Wind Symphony...but that is a whole other post.  Otherwise, I think my summer should be suitably productive!


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