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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Jobs - Not Hiring?? in the General forums; I just thought I'd post a bit of news and some griping here. As an "up-and-coming" trumpet player I've been ...
  1. #1
    Pianissimo User
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    Aug 2006
    Corpus Christi, TX

    Jobs - Not Hiring??

    I just thought I'd post a bit of news and some griping here. As an "up-and-coming" trumpet player I've been to numerous orchestral auditions and have submitted numerous college teaching job applications. I've not made it out of the first round in any audition, and I've only managed one real live college teaching interview. Within the past year, there has been at least 1 orchestra that, after holding the audition, didn't hire anybody. There has also been two colleges that, after doing a national search, sifting through applications and running interviews, also didn't hire anyone. The organizations shall remain nameless, but let's just say none of them were "on the coasts" and not a one could be seen as an "elite" musical organization in the slightest.

    My question/gripe is....what the heck is going on here?? How can these organizations, in today's ultra-competitive market, not hire anyone? My initial gut reaction is, "who the heck do they think they are?" After I simmer down, I start to ponder and seriously wonder what is going on? How can a musical organization (orchestra, college, whatever) do a nation-wide search/audition and then not hire anyone? The music business is over-saturated with musicians (like myself unfortunately) vying for any slice of a job they how can any organization (especially 2nd tier ones) justify doing this?

    There are a lot of questions here, but if there is anyone on the other side of this process that would like to shed some light on the whole my guest.

  2. #2
    Fortissimo User Brekelefuw's Avatar
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    Mar 2006

    Re: Jobs - Not Hiring??

    Why should they hire someone who doesn't fit into their vision of how their institution or orchestra works or sounds?

  3. #3
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    Re: Jobs - Not Hiring??

    in some schools the music dept. [school] enrollment is down so their slice of the pie is getting smaller. I have heard that in some of the smaller symphonies they are using subs for the 3rd parts and such, thus saving much needed funds. corporate sponsors are drying up in a lot of areas. Dave
    formerly known as old geezer Dave
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  4. #4
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: Jobs - Not Hiring??

    Without knowing the exact details, it is only conjecture.
    I work as a consultant selling large IBM computers. We often advertise for various positions and don't take anybody either.
    The most common reason is not qualifications, but personality. The no-nos that I face:
    Miserable applications that underscore a lack of attention to detail. There is no excuse for this anymore. It is too easy to get professional help!
    They know their workers rights before they know the RESPONSIBILITIES that we expect.
    They show a lack of interests other than the primary job requirements. This is disadvantageous as we constantly need new creative approaches and not people that are fixed into a certain way of thinking. I think that "GEEKS" scare people sometimes.
    Personality is not presented in an advantageous way. Lets face it, the first impression does determine how easy getting to the next step will be, regardless if we are selling a computer or motivating students. If somebody comes on as "boring" or "know it all", they will have no chance in a job needing advanced people skills.
    We many times have a junior position open and the applicant stresses his "management" skills. That is dumb - who wants to buy a car steered from the back seat?
    Maybe none of the above applies to you, but it is worth thinking about!

    Another possibility:
    1st rate managers hire top people. Second rate managers hire 3rd class because they are afraid of the competition. You need to do your homework and find out what the employer is looking for and tailor your application and interview as such. For a college position, YOU need to interview staff to find out what is going on before you can know what they will expect.

    Orchestras are a completely different situation. Here I see a desire for a 25 year old player with 40 years of experience.
    Many orchestras are very international and do not have their own "sound" anymore. I remember Ormandy's "Philadelphia Sound", when a Chicago or Boston record was easily identifiable (not only by the brass sound). I think this has changed - players are more easily "switched out" than in previous generations. This makes it tough for the new guy to figure out what is expected other than technical perfection.
    I see the players with the best solos not getting the jobs - team players with solid rhythmic foundation and a feel for the orchestral passages have a big advantage. Artistic license is not desirable for an audition as the Haydn trumpet concerto is NOT the mainstay of orchestral literature - ensemble playing is!

    Enough rant. I am sure that there are many other aspects!
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2004

    Re: Jobs - Not Hiring??

    I think the situation is much more simple:

    There's a glut of talent out there thanks to the proliferation of music schools and music teachers. But the number of the most talented is still small, relatively speaking. Organizations feel no compulsion to hire anyone just because the numbers of people out there are many. As Brek said, they have a vision of what they want and are willing to wade through the massive pool of talent to get what they want. They feel no need to "settle".

    It's supple versus demand, the way it's always been.

    Having said that, I saw a list for a very low budget orchestra recently that left me almost speechless. Their list was a list for an orchestra 10 times the budget. Downright ridiculous.


  6. #6
    PH is offline
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    Re: Jobs - Not Hiring??

    Last edited by PH; 05-21-2007 at 07:01 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Jobs - Not Hiring??

    So, what do we do about this? I have a hard time telling people that they shouldn't pursue a dream. I was told to get an ed degree and forego going to Juiiliard by well-meaning people who didn't want me to go into a competitive field and become homeless. But I wanted to play.

    I don't want to be the guy that tells someone they have no hope. People will surprise you. Many trumpeters that i didn't think had a chance at making a living out of this have been doing fine. Others that I thought would be be great went into something else.

    It's a very tough call.


  8. #8
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    Boise, ID

    Re: Jobs - Not Hiring??

    As someone who has been taking tons of auditions lately I feel I should give my $0.02.

    As it has been said before, committees are looking for someone who is going to fit. No one wants to make a hire just to post another announcement for a vacancy a year later because of a poor fit. I have been involved in three situations where I was one of the last standing only to be told that the committee has decided to not choose anyone. It's a sobering feeling. It also just makes me want rock the next audition even more, so I practice harder and hopefully smarter to be even more prepared for what may come next.

    I agree it sucks when no one is chosen, but the next time that same organization has an opening go back and show them why they should have chosen you the first time.


  9. #9
    Pianissimo User beartrumpet74's Avatar
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    Jan 2006

    Re: Jobs - Not Hiring??

    Quote Originally Posted by PH View Post
    I think Manny got a big part of this right on the money. There are a lot more very good people out there now, but no greater number of the truly excellent.

    There are other factors in academic non-hires.

    A big one is funding. Many schools optimistically search for a new professor and in the fine print it will say "contingent on funding". Then the school finds it lacks the funds.

    Sometimes academic search committees will have factions that seek various things from a candidate. One group wants a trumpet teacher with a doctorate who has played in a mid-major or better symphony orchestra. Another group wants someone who can teach improv and run a jazz band. A third wants someone with a music ed degree who can help supervise student teachers. Then they find nobody fits all these criteria unless the school can pay more than the $40,000 they budgeted.

    Finally, many times the search committee agrees on a favored candidate but a deal can not be reached. Either the candidate's present position offers a hefty raise in order to retain her or there are other extenuating circumstances (such as scheduling) that bars the hire. Then the administration must decide whether the second (or third) choice is satisfactory or not. Additionally, sometimes negotiations with the preferred candidate are so protracted that by the time it is clear that the impasse is unbreakable it is too late in the year to make an offer to the alternate candidate. In those cases the search fails and a visiting person will be hired until a new search can be mounted in future years.

    p.s. Hags called today's job market "ultracompetitive". I agree. This means there are considerably more candidates than there are jobs. This makes it tougher, not easier on applicants.
    got home late from a gig and saw this thread. I was JUST about to post exactly what you said Pat and then sleep took over!
    I really urge you (op) to consider what Pat has wrote here. From talking with my professors and doing research to enter the academic job market, I have learned that this happens all the time. I have learned from threads on the chronicle that universities often don't notify people when the funding falls through....they just don't call you back so to speak. tough situation for sure for both parties.
    As far as the orchestra thing is concerned, and I know I'm gonna catch all hell for this, but I can't help myself....
    I hear really really "not so good" players in mid to small level orchestras all the time, and end up asking myself after the concert how in the world some of these people ever got the job in the first place, so your guess is as good as mine on why they sometimes don't hire someone. I would think that Manny's thoughts on this would be the most reliable to listen to and he has posted already, so I'll leave it at that.

    Keep your chin up ! It will happen for you. It just takes time.

    Oh and one more thing...
    If you read between the lines on Pat's post you will see something that could help you. Notice how he mentioned that search committee's often times want someone for one thing, while others on the committee will want different traits... BIG HINT!
    this is why it is good to be able to play jazz really well and classical really well....ALSO... be able to compose, arrange, and use technology in the classroom. I can't tell you how many times I see jobs advertised and they are looking for someone to teach jazz studies courses, applied lessons, AND recording or some sort of technology component. I actually saw a position advertised recently looking for and oboe teacher who could teach theory well, and teach recording classes on pro tools. Now I don't know about you, but I can't remember the last time I met an oboeist who knew a damn thing about pro tools... just isn't something they encounter often.
    The lesson here is simple DIVERSIFY!
    Don't just become a legit trumpeter and expect to get work at a university. They need and want more than that. I recently tried to start a composition thread on this forum and there were no takers. I wanted people to post finale files of work so we could check each others stuff out.... Guess there aren't many people on here composing, or knowing how to use finale well enough... find that hard to believe, but I can't think of any other explination....
    anyway sorry for the long post, but this thread interests me a lot.
    Best wishes

  10. #10
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    Jan 2005
    Northern New York

    Re: Jobs - Not Hiring??

    I agree with you on that one, Manny When someone tells me they want to be a music major, it is not my right to tell them they can't or should not be. It is my job to tell them what they need to do to get there, what is required of them to be able to acquire and keep a job, and help them to prepare. If they decide not to follow through, then they did not really want it.

    If a student shows the desire/need to pursue a career in music, they should be encouraged to pursue it to the fullest; "put all of the eggs in that basket and run with it" as Barbara Butler said in her workshop last year.

    The jobs are there. Eventually, if you work hard enough and want it badly enough, you will be rewarded. Keep plugging away, and do not take a rejection at an audition as an indication of lack of talent or ability; it is more likely that they just wanted something different than what you offer. Move on to the next one.
    "Roses have thorns; shining waters mud. Clouds and eclipses stain the moon and the sun; and history reeks of the wrongs we have done. After today, after today, consider me gone."- Sting

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