It’s the next day and I’m still upset.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by B15M, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. Graham

    Graham Pianissimo User

    Jun 8, 2008
    Melbourne, Australia
    Unfortunate as it is when you get chewed out in front of everyone else, it highlights one of the realities of jobs like these. When you're hired as a professional, the expectation is that it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to play it as close to perfectly as you can, no matter what it takes to do so, and no matter what's going on. If the audience has payed for a ticket and something is wrong with the band, they will hear it, no matter what the reason is. They don't care that the second player sucks, or that there's a technical issue or if someone's dog died the previous night. All that matters is the music that comes out of the pit.

    From a musical director's point of view, issues should be non-existent come performance time, especially if they've hired pros.

    If there's an issue for whatever reason, and they have a go at you because of said issue, it's NOT A PERSONAL ATTACK. That's the hardest thing to remember. They're not bringing you down as a human being, they're criticising the sound coming out of the horn. Asking you not to play in the last song is not a punishment, it's an adjustment to achieve a musical objective.
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Sometimes it is, and sometimes the conductor is simply incompetent-they can neither direct nor explain and they'll take it out on somebody. That is why I like being nearsighted--I'll slide down my glasses so I can see the music but leave the conductor a benign blur.

    The ability to ignore is a fine skill; sometimes the best response, and with the worst conductors I really don't care if I end up on their black-balled list.

    Agreed, constructive criticism is not a personal attack, and sometimes the chemistry is simply lacking between a player and a conductor, and sometimes conductors can be nasty stupid folk that do insulting things.

    In the last case, we shouldn't be asked to excuse their behaivor.
  3. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    I thought a lot about how this could have gone better. If I were the MD, I would have talked to the trumpets at break. "Joe, your going way sharp at P in tune 23. Can I help with something?" or, "It seems like the tempo is a little lagging at G, can we stay a couple of minutes and go over the part?"

    Something like that would have been a little less tacky and we if we found out in private that his slide was stuck before the show, I could have brought a trumpet for him to play.

    I think there was something else going on. Just by the way things played out. All of the comments came after a break. Usually when something goes wrong, the MD will say something right away. Why wait? I think there was a parent in the audience talking to the director. Maybe a big donor to the school that was the lead in His/Her HS show.

    OH well, it's over now. Thanks for all the help.
  4. gjarrell

    gjarrell New Friend

    Feb 24, 2010
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Playing for and with jerks is part of this business. You tried to do what any reasonable person would do, but the director sounds immature and unprofessional. I had an experience subbing in a professional orchestra when in rehearsal the principal completely missed the solo in the Hallelujah chorus and the conductor scowled at me. I gave him an indignant look back and just pointed at the principal as if to say "it was your guy pal, don't give me that attitude". Both of them were a__es. Did I play there again? No and I didn't miss it. When someone's unfair, call them out and, if you have to, walk. There's plenty of good music directors and you'll know them when you find them.
  5. gzent

    gzent Fortissimo User

    Nov 5, 2003
    Rochester, MN
    Playing a group performance with a stuck tuning slide is about as bad as it gets.

    Seriously Joe, don't beat yourself up and second guess what could have gone better.

    The 2nd player was a hack for not excusing himself for "technical difficulties".

    BTW, I've disagreed with Joe before, but didn't think he was a (&*^%.
  6. operagost

    operagost Forte User

    Jan 25, 2009
    Spring City, PA, USA
    This is why there's no "Bill Nye, the Trumpet Guy."
  7. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    I suggest you review the Buddy Rich book of directing.

    :) now see, it wasn't so bad after all. And I bet Buddy would tell you it could haved been much much worse.

    Still, I understand your aggrevation. Put it behind you and move on.

    So none of you guys want to share a Buddy Rich tale for him?
  8. Jarrett

    Jarrett Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Richland, MO
    I don't think you have anything to apologize for. A lot of times these problems get overblown because no one had the cahones to say "Mr. Scienceteacherguy, you're out of tune. Either fix it or don't play." Whether that be the guy hired to play lead, or the "director".

    I'm a nice guy by nature, when I first started playing for money, I had a very hard time suggesting someone play differently or fix an issue. But I find people appreciate straightforward non-personal critiques when it comes to playing. If I've got 5 guys in my section and I'm playing lead, (or generally recognized as the "section leader"), directly addressing issues immediately is almost always the best avenue in my experience.

    I think you did the right thing, but instead of apologizing (assuming you (or someone) told the guy to fix it) I would be giving her the option (responsibility) to make a change.

    Instead, this person did something that is the hallmark of a weak leader, in criticizing/punishing the entire section, so she didn't have to single out a colleague.

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