Monday, May 21, 2007


And... we're back.

Sorry about that. I played a bunch of concerts here, then went to Montana for almost two weeks to visit relations. I thought I'd be posting on the road but just never got myself to a computer while one was available.

I will think of something to say soon.

Meanwhile, I played the strangest audition.

First, in the cramped loud communal warm-up room, a former member of a famous string quartet was recognized as one of the auditioners. That was kinda wild, especially because he sort of freaked and left before even hearing results for his group. Then, when they finally gave us our own little rooms just before playing, they came around and asked to take our solo piece so they could copy it for the committee.

Let me tell those of you not privy to the joys of auditioning that this is really freaking wierd. First of all, did they seriously not know the 2.5 pieces they would hear? Second, it was like five minutes to T-time, and what were they futzing with our minds for? Thirdimous, have you ever looked at the music people play from? I've played from the same three pages of the Bartok for about 5 years, spanning 3 teachers and one new instrument: there are all kinds of markings on it I would rather not show while being judged. Do I want them ogling my mess of bowings, fingerings, phrase reminders, pitch corrections, phone numbers from pianists in three states? I don't even need the sheets, but with the committee behind a screen there is NO point in even risking playing without them. Apparently when the committee's gopher finally made it back to the big room to collect everybody's solo parts (I was alone in a little one by then) the mighty violists gave them a big veetoe, and refused to provide parts to be copied.

Soooo, we played the first round. It went well for me, so I was really going to be pissed if I didn't advance- I can deal with screwing up and getting cut, but the constant re-evaluation of my entire life and perceptive capability gets a little old. This time I made it to the next round, so, yippee!

And the next round. With the same two other violists.

And the next round. With the same two other violists.

And the next round. With the same two other violists.

Funny thing about that. We played the same stuff repeatedly (there were only 5 excerpts) and we always played in the exact same order. And they never asked me to do anything differently. Usually in later rounds they have already determined you have the chops they require. So they see how flexible you are- what you'd really be capable of in a rehearsal when the maestro makes a request.

Apparently they had candidate 3 do lots of things. They told candidate 2 about a wrong pitch she had learned. They said nothing to me. Four times.

And then they picked the guy whose wife is on the committee.

Haha. Funny. Thing is, I didn't know that bit about the nepotism until hours after, and in the interim I had a key-throwing, sniveling fit involving seriously questioning what the point is in my continuing to play. I wasn't being dramatic- just practical. I would rather pack it in than be relegated to lame per-service ensembles. I whined about how I won stuff all through school, graduated and BAM. Haven't won crap (and I have really been auditioning for some serious crap) since.

Sorry for not blogging. And that this post is such an enjoyable romp through my insecurities, but I'm sure I'll get back into the swing of things soon.

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