So I blew the audition, what now

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by rowuk, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,613
    7,957
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    I screwed up by offering some controversial comments in a post that should have only been congratulating the winner of the Atlanta audition. I apologise here for that.

    The content of my posts is another matter.

    My point (from the armchair) is that there is little excuse for bad rhythm. That is something that doesn't just happen on a not so good day.

    I feel that players auditioning for one of the better positions available shouldn't be "dismissed" for that reason. It is too easy to have checked and corrected BEFORE the audition.

    I assume that players applying for those positions a) want the job and b) know what is required beforehand. When in doubt, they have organized mock auditions before critical listeners - not to hear how wonderful they are, but to get an unbiased opinion good and bad!

    As much as the idea that perfect rhythm=mechanical, in real life less than perfect rhythm means that the orchestra is not together. Perfect rhythm is not a metronome, but an underlying pulse in ones (or an ensembles)playing. Accents in the right place, a flow to the musical line. This is something that many need to practice for YEARS before it becomes natural. This is not something that you "discover" at your first audition! It is a trait that I EXPECT from the best players!

    I mentioned in another thread that the first couple of bars of the Haydn concerto tells me where the rest is going to go. It is amazing how much "poetic license" is taken with that intro of a couple of half, eighth and 16th notes. No pulse means sloppy preparation.

    Knowing your horn is another "prerequisite". Uncontrolled loud (blaring) is also not dependent on a good or bad day. It is also an experience that one has to have tucked away BEFORE getting a job with a top orchestra.

    Maybe I am off track, but I do not see Atlanta as a training ground for a player not ready. Tom said that they tried to make the audition "player friendly". That does not mean that there is no stress. That comes with the territory.

    Besides the guy that got the job, the other winners are the ones that realize their strengths and weaknesses and correct them for the next time. Writing off bad rhythm as the orchestra wanting a "mechanical player" or blaring as "over-sensitivity" is not helpful or realistic. Without help, that person will fail next time too! A politically correct approach to teaching generally does not result in "hungry" players.

    There is only a handful of jobs out there and plenty of players. The competitive edge goes to those that have their act together. After 4 years of study, one should have a realistic view of their own strengths and weaknesses. Optimally, the prof helped the player prepare for auditions in general. If that is the case, there should be no surprises.

    You can lead a horse to water but can't make him drink may be true. The difference between humans and animals is that you can condition animals. If your student refuses to drink, you clearly state the problem. Then there are also no surprises at the audition. The auditionee got what they deserved.

    Of course we can drag this out. Plain and simple, if you want a job playing for a living, the odds are not good. Lots of competition better and worse. You need every edge that you can get. That means facing the problems head on!

    Those of you that didn't make it HAVE opportunities to do something about that. A metronome may not be that bad of a start.

    Not EVERY player that didn't get the job had a "defect" in their playing. I am sure that personal preferences (light/dark tone, leadership qualities, team qualities, reaction to suggestions/criticism......) also come into play. This is also not necessarily BAD as you have to musically live with your choice and social + playing qualities make the section work or fail.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2007
  2. Jhorn229h

    Jhorn229h Pianissimo User

    83
    2
    Feb 17, 2006
    Wow - sounds like you've got this all figured out!

    J
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2007
  3. B15M

    B15M Forte User

    2,459
    29
    Dec 30, 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    Now I'm going to hijack this thread.

    I think Robin has proven again and again that he knows what he is talking about. I have talked with other players in private about the idea that he is so on target with his posts and yet not a full time player. I personally have come to the conclusion that he is a pro in disguise. This brings up another point. We are lucky enough to have Robin here and people attack him. It seems to be mostly people with low post counts. This leads me to believe that it's one or two people with multiple names. Why would someone come on here with their first post to trash a person?

    Robin, You won't see many posts from me anymore but I do enjoy reading yours!
     
  4. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    3,418
    373
    Nov 19, 2003
    Brooklyn,NY
    Before my first audition for a professional job, I was prepared. I could play most of the audition repertoire for memory, and I had no problems with transpositions. I have played a major chunk of the rep in orchestras around Philadelphia. I had heard the Philly Orchestra concerts for years. I played C trumpet most of the time. I was not alone. All the Krauss students knew the music required and could play it.
    The new trend of playing etudes would not have phased us, we played them on every possible horn.
    We were like Boy Scouts, we were prepared:cool:
    If you are going to take an audition that is the least you should be.
    Wilmer
     
  5. mazzrick

    mazzrick Pianissimo User

    123
    1
    Sep 16, 2005
    Berlin, Germany
    After reading all of this back and forth... I have a question only for those who have sat on audition panels before. It doesn't matter if it was professional, for a school, or amateur, as long as you've listened to an audition... but the main question I have (and I hope the ASO is still reading) is this:

    Were most people eliminated (pc term "dismissed") for objective or subjective reasons?

    To clarify the terms so no misunderstanding occurs objective being missed notes, wrong notes, incorrect or shaky rhythm, bad style or musicality (this can be objective), tempos indicating no knowledge or little knowledge of the excerpt, etc.

    objective subjectivity: bad sound (you get the idea), awkward and not convincing style, etc. because beauty can be objective. right?

    Subjective: good sound, but too dark/too bright. too loud or too soft for the orchestra, but maintained quality nonetheless. good style but too bombastic for a 2nd position. perfection of playing but no style or personality... etc.

    I'm going to guess that in the first round people were not advanced due to the objective... and later along in the audition, especially among the final two, subjective reasons pervaded.

    Matt
     
  6. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,613
    7,957
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    B15, J229H
    actually it is all so simple, and you do not have to be a genius to figure it out. Nobody is giving away jobs, you have to fight to get one, not by trashing the competition, but by being better than the rest.

    Regardsless of the take, the most common problem with trumpet players is rhythm.

    Why is this? Many instructors do not place enough emphasis on rhythm. Period. A high school band teacher is happy that his best players get through well without extra attention - they can then spend more time with the slower players - also important. Many private teachers do not place an emphasis on it for whatever reason. I think this may have even kept some from getting playing jobs.

    EVERY SINGLE WORKING ORCHESTRAL PLAYER THAT I KNOW stresses rhythm. They all have to deal with it on a daily basis. And yes, many use metronomes!

    I do not mind people getting on my case. Having lived in Germany since 1974 has changed my understanding of the english language and the tone of some of my posts is stronger(or weaker) than I perhaps meant. Feedback about that is educational! Where I feel that I have been out of line, I apologise. Where I draw the line is when posters have trouble calling inadequate inadequate. At the Atlanta audition players were dismissed because of rhythm. If they study trumpet and don't get that feedback from the very first lesson there is a problem! Why should I water that down to keep somebody from feeling bad? They need to get MAD about it and fix it! Even better, an iron handed prof or private teacher needs to drill it into them. The sooner, the better.

    I have learned to ignore the riff-raff that like to attack without offering an alternative. There is a handful that seems to enjoy the dark side. Not MY problem. It is a problem when great people leave the forum however. We had such an exodus a couple of months ago. I guess the riff-raff won that round.
     
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Age:
    61
    16,613
    7,957
    Jun 18, 2006
    Germany
    Matt,
    I can only speak for the instances where I have been on the panel:
    dismissal was always objective. Rhythm or not being able to play required repertoire cleanly and at generally accepted tempi. Then comes intonation and dynamics. It is amazing how many players you can sort out just with these few basics.

    IF you get so far that a light/dark sound or style is an issue, the jury will generally give you an indication and if you respond positively, you get points. The trick is the mixture of self confidence and respect!

    At the end, the best get to play with the orchestra and those players are for sure technically and musically competent enough, that is the point when fit and finish and the ability to LISTEN become paramount.

    The section then generally will express their preference and if 2 are very, very close, there may even be another playoff!
     
  8. tatakata

    tatakata Mezzo Forte User

    957
    5
    May 29, 2007
    Rowuk, I think you have alot of good advice and make valid points. Everyone who is serious about auditioning has already heard what you are saying many times. Of course you need to play in time, in tune, with a good sound to win an audition. Getting the metronome out is not ground breaking info but it is good to hear.

    What gets me about your posts is the "know it all ish'ness" of the way they come off.

    Who are you to be making comments about the players who took the audition or their teachers.

    Remind us what you do for a living. Is it trumpet full time?

    What major orchestra do you play (or have played) with?

    You mention audition committees. Which ones have you sat on?

    Your students would go in there with perfect rhythm. Thats great. Where are some of your students playing these days?

    I like your advice but the way it comes off puts me off. You might be asking who the heck is tatakata. Well I'll admit I don't make my living playing the trumpet full time but I do make some $ with it and I have fun. You won't find me calling out teachers or looking down my nose at people acting like I'm the expert on everything trumpet.
     
  9. tatakata

    tatakata Mezzo Forte User

    957
    5
    May 29, 2007
    I think the auditionees of today are well prepared if not better prepared then auditionees 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago.

     
  10. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    3,418
    373
    Nov 19, 2003
    Brooklyn,NY
    Judging by the questions and comments here, I think not.
    Wilmer
     

Share This Page