Should I challenge the higher up chairs again?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by litia725, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. litia725

    litia725 New Friend

    Nov 17, 2011
    Hi fellow trumpeters! I am a middle school trumpet player in need of an older musician's advice.

    I have been playing trumpet for 4, almost 5 years. When I started, my band director and the first chair at the time were amazed at how well I played, and after I got into the advanced band, I earned first chair. I was amazing, even to the high schoolers, and even got in the honors band for the county and placed second chair there. This year, I'm in the wind ensemble, which is brand new in the band program, and when we had chair auditions, everyone knew I would get 1st chair, because of my perfect pitches and how well I interpret the music(I'm not saying this to sound better- fellow band members, older musicians, and my band director have told me this). To my absolute surprise, I got 3rd chair. I was not allowed to challenge 2nd chair until winter, and when I did, for some reason I was utterly panicky and bombed the the challenge. So, I started practicing harder, and getting to pitches and notes the chairs above me cannot even hit, like pedal tones, upper range D's and E's and sometimes F's(keep in mind I'm a middle schooler). AND, for all county this year, I got a chair higher than BOTH the 1st and 2nd chairs. I challenged the 2nd chair again, and my teacher made us sightread something that I've never seen-but the second chair saw already(I was sick the day before and they sightread that in class that day), so I lost by ONE POINT.
    Anyway, my question is, should I keep on challenging her? I mean, I honestly play better than her for many reasons(like in jazz- the only class I still play 1st trumpet in- I got ALL of the trumpet solos), and she knows that. BOTH of the chairs know I'm better than them, and I believe my band director even knows(which makes no sense, so shouldn't he put me up?).

    I just want to know if I should keep on pursuing this because everyday I'm faced with extremely easy music, and it makes me so sad to know I could do better, but I'm not sure.

    Thank you SO MUCH!!!!

  2. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

    Dec 22, 2008
  3. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

    Feb 27, 2008
    Practice harder. Win next time.
  4. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

    Mar 9, 2011
    Florida, US
    I see a reason to challenge, but I see a reason not to also. She earned 1st chair, she is older than you, and she wont be there forever. You can wait until next year or until she is gone and you can have 1st chair. Do this out of respect, do you know respect your elders? I am a 10th grader, for our all county band I got 2nd chair, 2nd trumpet as a freshman. I was 5th chair and had 4 seniors ahead of me. I could have challenged the 1st or 2nd chair and won, but instead I let it go because they would be gone next year and I could get it. But, I defended my chair from 3 challenges to show that I earned that chair. Maybe you should go that route.

    Or you could smoke them in a challenge and be happy. Up to you.

    EDIT: let me add something, I had this problem too. Wanting 1st chair all the time. I did it to the point where I thought I was better than every other player. But remember, when you go to high school you will probably not get 1st chair. I had to work and I only got 2nd chair for my freshman year.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  5. AKtrumpet

    AKtrumpet Piano User

    Jun 4, 2010
  6. CuriousMe

    CuriousMe New Friend

    Jan 2, 2012
    New York
    You say you're playing very easy music and being 1st chair would change that. Are you talking about 1st chair or the 1st trumpet part? How many players do you have on each part?
  7. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

    Mar 9, 2011
    Florida, US
    I think she means 1st chair.
  8. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    I'd say have fun making music in the band. Make friends. You will probably be spending the next 4-5 years with these folks.

    If you are REALLY the best player it will prove itself in time. Perhaps they are getting an advantage because of intangibles... like they pay attention better, not disrupt class, more maturity, etc...

    In the real world you get called for a gig and you play the book they ask you to play. If you act like a petulant 7th grader and insist that YOU are better than everyone then you will never get called back again.

    Play the hell out the parts they give you. Practice smart. Patience is a lesson you need to learn. There is more to being a section leader than playing well. Sometimes the "good enough" guy is ok when the better player comes with more baggage than the director wants to deal with.

    Even so, if they allow for normal challenges (maybe weekly or monthly) then go ahead and do it... it's part of the school experience.

    Remember this: There is always someone better than you. The better you become as a player the more you realize how bad you suck.
  9. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    Challenge yourself by learning the third chair well. If you have already demonstrated proficiency on the first part, it is time to demonstrate proficiency on the third part. I believe it will make you grow as a performer.

    So challenge the second chair again? No, not this year. Stay were you are at this time, then see where the cards fall next year. This year, you had the honor of placing at third chair; and fate is requiring that you do it well.
  10. Pete Anderson

    Pete Anderson Pianissimo User

    Feb 27, 2008
    It sounds to me like the OP's problems are not with playing the instrument, but the pressure of performing in a "challenge" or audition type setting. The more experience s/he can get in that setting, the better, I think. Of course you also don't want to come across as a jerk who thinks they are better than everyone...

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