Finally! Success!! Well sort of, I got runner up at the Erie Phil audition on Thursday. It was awesome, I don’t think I’ve EVER played so well at an audition before!! And it was the first orchestral audition that I’ve made it past the prelims. It was exactly what I needed, especially after the disappointments that I have had over the last few months. It makes me feel like I am actually pursuing the right profession.
The audition was later in the afternoon, which was nice. I took the whole day off of work, so I actually got to sleep in! I definitely appreciate sleeping past 7am now that I work at 8 every day. I carpooled with a friend, and we ended up getting to Erie (which is about 3 hours away from Rochester) about an hour early. So we just went and ate and relaxed a bit. The order of the preliminary round was determined by who got there, so we didn’t want to get there too early!
I ended up being #9, which was right in the middle. I was pretty nervous, but I tried to focus my brain by reading a book and breathing deeply. It totally worked! This is something I have been struggling with for the last 3 or 4 auditions. When I went in to the audition room (which was on stage of an auditorium), I made sure to take 3 deep breaths and focused on getting rid of the “bad stuff”. It really worked, I was able to play relaxed and confidently. The first round was Mozart, Shostakovich 9 3rd movement, and Beethoven 6 second movement. I played the Mozart and the Beethoven really well, but I was a little wary of the Shosty. The excerpt for the Shostakovich was actually past where I had practiced (it ended up being from the beginning of the movement to 9 bars after B!) so I was frantically practicing that part while I was warming up! Luckily they did give us the prelim excerpts in the warm up room. I still completely faked that excerpt, because it really isn’t a good excerpt for me. I first played it waaaaaaaay too fast. But then the committee saved me and asked me to play it again a bit slower. Thank you! It was much cleaner the 2nd time, but there was a lot of faking still going on hehe.
Well apparently it sounded good to the committee because they asked for me to play again in the 2nd round, along with 5 or 6 others. I ended up being first in the order, which ended up being good, because I wasn’t able to get nervous again. I was much more calm in the 2nd round, for sure, but I still took deep breaths before I played each excerpt. I played Pines of Rome and Mendelssohn scherzo in the second round, it was for sure my best round of the day. I used paper underneath my register key for Pines, which made it easier to maintain the soft A. It was nice.
When they announced the results of the 2nd round, I was still thinking that I was #9 for some reason although my number was now #1. So when the proctor announced that the committee wanted to hear #1 and #5 again, I was like, damn! Because I thought I hadn’t made it because I was #9 haha!!! It wasn’t until my friend high fived me that I remembered I was #1!! I can be so blonde sometimes.
So it was down to me and this other guy, Michael, who was from Cleveland. I just went in there and played as well as I could possibly. The excerpts were Shostakovich 9 2nd movement, and Petroushka Peasant and the Bear (!!). I tried to play as out of the box as possible, but I may have played the Shostakovitch too slow and the Stravinsky to loud because they ended up choosing the other guy as the winner. But thats ok! They asked if I would be interested in subbing because they loved my playing. I said YESSSSSS! So I hope that they call me sometime this year, I need some experience!! I really needed to do well at this audition to boost my confidence. The last 6 months or so I have been on somewhat of a downward spiral as far as my playing. I’m glad that my hard work is finally paying off!
Next audition will be Youngstown Symphony in October. I’m still trying to work some magic at my job to get the day off so I can go audition for the Pershings own in November. And I’m still thinking about West Virginia Symphony instead of Pershings, but plane tickets are getting expensive to go there. We will see, I guess!