auditions clarinet excerpts music orchestra symphony youngstown

Youngstown symphony

Last night I auditioned for the Youngstown Symphony in Ohio. It was an interesting experience, mostly because I found out what happens when an orchestra does not plan its audition days very well. Yesterday they not only auditioned for 2nd clarinet, but they auditioned for violin, viola, bassoon and oboe/english horn. I’m sorry, but if you have any sort of common sense, you would not schedule all those auditions in one day!!!! But they did, and they didn’t start the auditions until noon.

So the clarinets were the last group of instruments to go. We were supposed to show up at 5pm to draw numbers, and the first one would go at 5:45. Well obviously that didn’t happen, they were way behind. Surprise, surprise. In fact, the oboes had not even started yet when I showed up at 5! I ended up drawing #14. There was no common warm up room, so I sat waiting for a good hour and a half before I even got led back to a room so I could start warming up. It was ok, I got to chat with some people and read my book and try to focus.

I think I ended up going around 8:30ish. The excerpts in the prelim round was Mozart, Rachmaninov 2, Beethoven 6 2nd movt, and Mendelssohn scherzo. No real surprises there. The proctor said as I was going in that we would play the Mozart then the Rachmaninov and if they were interested in more they would ask for the other excerpts. I played the Mozart pretty well, but then I completely squawked the high D in the Rach 2. I was like, whatev, finish the excerpt and hope that they ask for that spot again. They did, fortunately, but it wasn’t completely clean. Poop. But they let me go on to the Beethoven, woohoo! And then they let me go on to the Scherzo, which I played so-so. Definitely not my best scherzo, hehe. I did walk out feeling like I could have played better….which made me think I probably would not make it. I think if I had aced the repeat of the Rach and the scherzo I would have made it through for sure.

So, they had made some cuts after #12 had gone, so I still had awhile before they made the next cut. 2 people had made it through to the next round from the first group of players. Fast forward an hour and a half, after everyone was finished…they announced 4 numbers that had advanced…mine was not one of them (not surprising to me). But then they say that the committee had changed their minds about the two players who had advanced in the first group and decided that they didn’t want to hear them again. The look on their faces was utter confusion! Immediately I was so pissed for them! I couldn’t believe that the committee had the audacity to pull something like that. I mean, these two had been waiting around for at least 2 1/2 hours to play another round. What a blatant display of disrespect. I lost all respect that I had for the committee. How incredibly unprofessional.

The interesting thing is that I overheard someone telling a story about an audition with Youngstown SO a couple years ago, when the same situation unfolded. The auditions were running extremely late, so the committee sent people home that had initially advanced, without hearing them again. So apparently this must be a common practice for them. Well, maybe you should plan better for your auditions so they don’t run so late, and everyone can have a fair chance!!!

All in all, I’m glad I didn’t advance. Not only did I not want to have anything to do with the orchestra after what they did to those two players, I still had a four hour drive home!!!! I left Youngstown at 10:30, so I didn’t get back to Rochester until 2:30….yuck! And I had to work this morning at 8am. So……I’m tired. I’m going to take a couple days off from practicing, and then I’m going to start working on the next audition…Marine Band, yay! So excited for that audition in January. Now I’m going to bed!

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