Hypothetical: Could I blag my way into an orchestral job?

Discussion in 'Orchestra / Solo / Chamber Music' started by GordonH, Sep 3, 2005.

  1. GordonH

    GordonH Mezzo Forte User

    May 15, 2005
    I was just thinking about all the jobs I have had.
    I have never once been asked to produce a copy of my degree certificates.

    I am a decent trumpet player. I can play most things.

    I wonder if I managed to get an audition for fourth trumpet in an obscure orchestra (e.g. Outer Mongolian Sinfonietta) would I be able to steal the job based solely on my playing ability, with no qualifications?

    Just an interesting thought.....

    Third or fourth trumpet is not difficult and I doubt anyone could tell my playing from any of the lower trumpet players in the more obscure orchestras.
  2. BigBadWolf

    BigBadWolf Piano User

    Nov 30, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    There are quite a few players in major orchestras without any college degrees. What matters is how you play, not where you went to school.
  3. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    Bernie Adelstein of the Cleveland Orchestra under Szell, got into the Houston Symphony right out of High School. I wonder about Harry Glantz as he was a Russian immigrant. I've never heard about him going to a college for music.

    But I like what was said: "that's what auditions are all about".

  4. gms979

    gms979 New Friend

    Jun 3, 2005
    Great Topic.....

    Some interesting anecdotes, If memory serves me correctly. And somebody please correct me if I'm wrong!

    Steve Hendrickson has a music degree from Luther College, but worked as a stockbroker in Chicago (while freelancing extensively) before he got the NSO gig. Herseth went to Luther as well, before doing further study at NEC...

    Mark Gould has a sociology degree from BU (read that in ITG, I believe)

    Michael Sachs has a history degree, but did his master's at Juilliard.

    Andrew Balio, according to the lastest ITG article, stopped playing entirely for FOUR YEARS, from 19-22!!! Talk about missing a critical gap in one's development.....but obviously, he made it happen in the long run.

    And wasn't Voisin in the BSO at age 17? Could be wrong there...

    I'm sure the list goes on....

    And again, somebody please correct me if I have my facts wrong.

  5. GordonH

    GordonH Mezzo Forte User

    May 15, 2005
    I just got offered principal cornet with a top UK brass band based on reputation and recommendations from other people, but I am having to turn it down due to work commitments (its a pro level commitment but with no money attached to it as brass bands are amateur).

    Very sad and I am putting iff saying no for as long as possible but I made my mind up last night that I could not do it.
  6. maccluer

    maccluer New Friend

    Sep 30, 2004
    St Louis

    Actually, Bernie got a job with the Pittsburgh Symphony while still in high school. He was 16 at the time, I believe. He's one of the guys everyone should still be listening to - check out his Pictures for example.
  7. josephus07

    josephus07 Pianissimo User

    Feb 19, 2005
    Is anyone else here slightly appalled at the statement, "Playing third or fourth isn't difficult?"

    That sounds like someone who doesn't know what it takes to play 3rd or 4th tpt. in an orchestra (and I honestly mean no offense by that statement).
  8. MrClean

    MrClean Piano User

    Oct 22, 2005

    Glad someone else got up on the soapbox for a change...
  9. bulldog

    bulldog Pianissimo User

    Nov 11, 2003
    ive known many orchestras in latin america and europe that wont hire you without a degree. in my experience the worse the job seemed, the stricter they were about it. may the best player win is a first world, maybe even US only notion. its certainly not reality.

    as for the statement about playing 3rd or 4th. well, ive known plenty of orchestras where that statement holds true. there are lots of bands that dont do heavy duty rep and you can very easily and happily pass the time down low in the section hiding out. the pay is shit, and the bands play like shit, but they exist in force unfortunately. you tend not to see that so much in the US, and less but its there in Europe.

    anyway the original poster is from Scotland and he says "in the more obscure orchestras". my experience tells me the more obscure the orchestra, the stricter they are about rules and regs, the less they care about how anybody plays. flame on.
  10. bulldog

    bulldog Pianissimo User

    Nov 11, 2003
    also, what does blag mean?

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