Does your community band require audition for a seat?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Daff, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    I suppose any body could sit in for a rehearsal. I meant to join the band. The rule is that we have a limited number of seats and currently they are filled.

    But what a great opportunity. I would want to let him join but you know , we have a policy.

    It is a hypothetical question that I posed just to make people think. Just because of this topic. My personal opinion is that we are a community band trying to act like pros. I think we have lost site a little that we are a community band playing for free. I am also the band president so I try to keep things in line. I don't really like the audition and the formalities that have been imposed but I have to say that since all this took affect the band plays way better.

    Link to our site if your interested
  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Ahhh... to "join". Well then, a person would be given a chance to show what they could "do" and then would undoubtedly end up being assigned to a part attendant to their skills. After all, it should be about putting on the best quality performance as possible because you "love the music". We don't have any such problems (ego) in our trumpet section and I would like to think that I'd be happy to move back down to 3rd if it was decided that the overall quality of our performance would be better having Manny play 2nd (or 1st with the attendant "cascade").
  3. ustacouldplay

    ustacouldplay New Friend

    Jun 14, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Tootsall is still missing the point of the question, I fear. No offense, meant. But my take on it is that he (Manny) should be turned away if it is the policy of the band to only audition for OPEN seats. If that is the policy, then anyone and everyone requesting an audition should be told that they'll be notified when a seat opens up and they can audition like everyone else. Even if you want to do it the "Good Ol' Boy" way and guarantee him the next open seat without holding open auditions, you still shouldn't boot someone from an established seat to make room for him.

    Now, if the band has no such policy and every seat is open to challenge by audition then if Manny comes in and auditions and blows your socks off, then I guess some existing member gets cut from the team. Too bad, so sad.

    Personally, I don't think I would like to be in a group like the second one above but it is certainly still a fair policy as long as everyone knows the deal going into it.
  4. Chris4

    Chris4 Pianissimo User

    Jul 16, 2005
    In my Comm. Band there are only 3 trumpets so we can work out chair positions pretty easily and peacefully.
  5. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    OK.. if you have a "closed section" policy whereby you have a fixed number of "seats" and that's that. Then I agree with you also.

    However.....(big however)..... we do not have such a policy. For a community of our size (70,000) we do pretty well given that there is also a volunteer symphony, a semi-pro big band, & etc.

    If you want to join or just sit in and you can keep up, you are more than welcome; "the more the merrier". Yes, we can get some balance issues from time to time but generally we are OK. (last year we had 1 conductor, 4 percussion, 2 euph., 3-4 trombones, 3-5 tubas!, 7-9 trumpets, 2 altos, 3 tenors, 3 fr. horn, 4-7 flutes (with pic), 1-2 bass clarinet, 7-10 clarinet). We were possibly overloaded with conductor! (ha... just kidding). This year the numbers have changed a bit. 1 conductor, 1-2 percussion, 2 euph, 3-4 trombone, 3-5 tuba, 7-9 trumpet, 2 altos, 2 tenor, 4-6 flue (with pic), 2 bass clarinet, 2 bassoon, 2 fr. horn, 2 bass clarinet and 10 clarinet. Oh... and a "special occasion" oboe. As you can see, a little heavy in the Bb soprano side of things!

    We have a sound clip on our website (upper right corner of homepage) that was recorded year before last. We're recording again this year, end of October.
  6. Larry

    Larry New Friend

    Sep 21, 2005
  7. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 27, 2003
    Yeah Larry, this what I do in an "open" band.

    I really enjoy hearing the section improve when the 3d part is actually "played". It funny when heads turn and people actually say something, "I didn't know that was there." In at least a couple of bands I started myself on third and was playing solos within a matter of weeks.

    Then the problem is, who do we put on third to shore up the section balance. Sometimes a good player will volunteer to go down there and we spread the "bad" players between 2d and 3d rather than putting them all on 3d. Other times all the weak players gravitate to 3d and the section is doomed to always suck.

    I played "trumpet" parts in the best wind band I was ever in. There were a couple of former pros on 1st cornet and strong players on every other part. Playing the "counter" parts on trumpet is fun. Once again, these are parts that don't really get their fair due in many comm bands where the good players are fighting over 1st and solo cornet and "trumpet 1 and 2" are left to lesser players. Playing in a band where there's at least one player with a resonant sound on each part is really a blast.

  8. Larry

    Larry New Friend

    Sep 21, 2005
    Yeah, I've experienced the same reaction numerous times too.

    The other thing that can usually make everyone happy is to continually rotate the first parts among the strong players. When it's not their turn to play 1st they would be expected to shore up the weakest parts. This is precisely what we do in our band and it works like a charm.

  9. murph66

    murph66 New Friend

    May 16, 2005
    We started a Community Band in Feb of last year. At the time, we only had two trumpets. Now we have about 12, including some real pros. We have never had auditions or "challenges" for seats. We did write up a general guide for the trumpet section that listed the qualifications of a 1st player (such as range, endurance and ability to take solos) and anyone that wanted to play first that could meet the qualifications would have a chance. The band has grown from about 27 members to about 90. I have been playing first since the band started, since I was one of the charter members and do a fairly good job, but there are some players on second and third that need to have a shot at it and I will probably drop down to third after last nights concert and give one of them a try. We've never had a problem with egos - I guess we have just been lucky. At our concert last night, we played such numbers as Italian in Algiers, Chester and Rolling Thunder March at the Furioso speed- Maybe thats why I want to go to third- to have a rest-

    Something else we have done is start a stage band with members from the concert band. We play during the intermission of the regular concerts. That is a lot of fun and keeps people interested-
  10. Daff

    Daff Pianissimo User

    Jul 10, 2004
    This was my point. Has nothing to do with which part, but rather, is the person qualified to competently play any part?

    Most comm bands play a minimum of high school level music. If someone is barfing something out of their horn on par with the average 7th grader, do you think it's okay to have them ruin it for the others, or ask them to work on their game and try again later?

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