So this is going to be my blog about my struggles, successes, and failures about trying to make it as a classical clarinetist, as a post graduate. I find that I have a lot to talk about, but nobody to really talk about it to (well except my husband, but he’s a tuba player so he doesn’t count!)
Right now I am fresh off finishing my Masters degree in clarinet performance at Eastman. I honestly don’t know what is next for me, but I plan on doing something clarinetty and non-schooly (at least for awhile). Unfortunately, to pay the bills, I am working at the U of R hospital as a secretary (I shouldn’t really say “unfortunately” because I really don’t mind my job, and I am extremely grateful to have one), and it definitely limits my ability to take all the auditions I would like to (and there are plenty of them right now!!!). So for right now I’m sticking to the military bands, I seem to do better in those auditions than the orchestral ones….plus there’s the added perk of possibly getting my massive loan sum paid off if I win a job there.
My last two auditions were not so successful, and it kind of put me in a sour mood when anyone mentioned clarinet for awhile. Especially my last audition, I was embarrassed of how I played, really. I felt like since the last time I made it past a prelim round back in February I’ve been on a decline; every audition seems to get worse and worse! That last audition in Glens Falls, I felt was my breaking point! I decided to re evaluate my practice routine and even my audition routine. Pretty much I decided to start over. It took me almost a month, but I figured out that I was doing while I was in school will not work now that I am not.
I’m finding it a challenge to work 8 hours, exercise @ the pool, and then come home and practice for 2-3 hours without going crazy. But I’m trying to make it routine, because I don’t want to be stuck in a 9-5 job for the rest of my life (and I need to pay the bills and want to stay in shape). Like I said, I don’t mind my job right now, but I’d much rather be doing something else. Anyway, I’ve been at it for about a month and a half, and far so good, although sometimes practicing just doesn’t happen. For example, last Thursday, when I decided to wait in line for a free burrito for an hour instead of practice….
So right now I’m working on making a tape for the Army Field Band audition. The audition is Sept 29th, and it is all expense paid invite depending on your recording. I’ve been working on three selections, Weber 2nd concerto third movement (but only the opening and the last page), mendelssohn scherzo, and Brahms 3 2nd movement. I decided to base my selections on 1) make it all on Bb clarinet and 2) what I would expect to see in a preliminary round. I snuck into Eastman last week and recorded some, and it sound pretty good! I don’t think I’ll use any of it (I can make it better!), but it was a really good start. The last page of the Weber has been the bane of my existence for a long time, and it is finally starting to sound somewhat clean. I’m going to go record some more this week, so hopefully I’ll get some useful tracks. I need to send off my audition packet next week. Then its crossing of the fingers hoping that they will pick me to come audition live!