Stolen Solo!

Discussion in 'Orchestra / Solo / Chamber Music' started by slimshady, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. slimshady

    slimshady Pianissimo User

    Nov 24, 2003
    Okay, see what you guys think about this situation! I'll try to keep it short!

    Let me also preface this by's not about who plays or doesn't play the's about whether this situation is right or wrong!

    Put yourself in this situation!

    You play in a community orchestra! For this season the orch. will be auditioning conductors! There will be a new conductor for each concert! So far you have played principal on all but one concert that you could not make! You do not ask to be paid...because you feel it is a nice oppurtunity to gain some orchestral experience; but after every concert you see lots of people being handed checks and you always wish you had asked to get paid.....but nevertheless you play the next concert for free!

    So....the next concert is coming up and you have checked your calender and see that you will be out of town that weekend! You then hear that they will be playing Copland's Quiet City and you think....hmmm....maybe I should come back and play that! And you even think....they will prolly be wanting you to play it! So you decide to do the concert.

    Thursday night you go to the rehearsal and like always....there is only a skeleton of an orch there (most players don't show till the week or day of)! Before the rehearsal starts this new conductor approaches you and tells you that he is having a trumpet player from another symphony he conducts come in to play the solo on Quiet City! He has never heard you play....but he wants you to play 1st on all the other pieces. Yeah, let this guy sit there and he can sound good on the solo.....all the while he gets paid and you don't!

    Again, it's not about wanting to's about being disrespected when you thought you might be appreciated.

    What do yall think?
  2. chetbaker

    chetbaker Pianissimo User

    Nov 17, 2003
    When this "new" conductor approached you and informed you of his wishes...what was YOUR reaction to him. Did you discuss YOUR feelings at all or just let it go?

  3. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    I think I'd be asking my "Board of Directors" what goes on? Considering that different groups have different bylaws, mission statements, & etc. maybe there is room for them to "allow" someone on trial enough leeway to do what he wants. OTOH, I'd be guessing that this is just the "tip of the iceberg" and the new guy will be performing this little "hired gun" act from here on down the road. (Why IS the new guy available? Was his contract not renewed at wherever he was last? Is he just looking to add another "part time" job to his resume? Does your Board pay that much better?)

    With audience support being what it is for many orchestras these days, the Board have to ask themselves if the fellow is good enough that a) they can afford to allow him this kind of fiscal and artistic leeway, and b) is it going to be repaid at the box office.

    I'd agree that it sucks to be "booted out of your chair" for a "showstopper".. but it all depends on what is deemed to be best for the whole organisation in the long run.

    Edit: I guess I should clarify that last sentence. I should have said that it all depends on what THOSE IN POWER deem to be best for the organisation. That is NOT to say that the (use of "hired guns") actually IS in the best interests of the organisation. As far as I can see, any orchestra that claims to be "COMMUNITY BASED" should be using COMMUNITY MUSICIANS rather than outsiders UNLESS those outsiders are being brought in as special guests (ie, Alan Vizzutti, Jens Lindeman, etc.).

    Our local Symphony sometimes has to bring in a player from outside to fill an empty chair (whether because the music requires an instrument that isn't available locally or a regular musician is away for some reason). That is acceptable. They recently went through a conductor search, bringing in an outsider for each of three special concerts (within the last year). The trial conductors had to use "the musicians available" since that is what they were going to have to work with once they were hired and that would be most representative of their (the conductor's) ability to maintain the quality of performance and excite the LOCAL audience (necessary for the survival of the symphony).
  4. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    In my opinion, community orchestras are about allowing the COMMUNITY players to show their stuff from time to time. I would have politely informed the conductor that, "thanks for the offer, but I will be playing the solo from MY book." If he had a problem with that, I would then have politely told him to go for a long walk on a short pier.

    Then again, I have never really been a part of a communtiy orchestra and one of the reasons is because I know up front that I'm just not a very political person. I tend to speak my mind, which sometimes gets me into trouble. I don't think you are wrong for feeling like your toes are being stepped on. I would feel the same way.

    Good luck. Fill us in on some of the other details and let us know how it turns out.
  5. slimshady

    slimshady Pianissimo User

    Nov 24, 2003
    No, I didn't say anything to the conductor. It wasn't till after the rehearsal I started thinking about it...and realized Hey....this doesn't sound right!

    The conductor is auditioning for a part time gig! He will still be able to conduct his other orchestra! So...yeah, he he wins the position he will probably continue to bring guys down to 'fill' in!

    We get a chance to review the conductors and vote on a winner! He's already lost my vote! I might play the concert just to see if this other guy is any good! He might be a great player and a nice guy....and it's not his fault...but the conductors!
  6. Lazorphaze

    Lazorphaze Piano User

    Feb 3, 2004
    I had an experience like this
    I am playing a piece for a solo contest on alto, and two kids in my band didn't know what they wanted, and so they decided to do mine. COPIERS!!!
  7. trumpjosh

    trumpjosh Pianissimo User

    Dec 13, 2003
    to be devil's advcoat...

    It is a solo part. It is not out of the ordinary to bring in a guest soloist to do a solo. I understand your feelings are hurt, but if they are doing a Mozart violin concerto, do you think the concertmaster autmatically expects to be playing it? It would not be outside the realm of possibility to bring in a guest in either situation.

    That all being said, I can understand your dissappointment. I would be bummed too.

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