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Postby bloke » Mon Nov 14, 2005 2:58 pm

There is little doubt that an orchestra in the league of Cleveland is looking for "the very best available player". However, from past results it is pretty clear that orchestras of this size are looking for "the very best available player" who already has some sort of widely-known reputation.

Posts such as this one may greatly annoy hopefuls (perhaps some remarkably fine players) who do not fit into this category, but history consistently demonstrates this to be so. One large orchestra (a few years ago) ran auditions so many times they appeared to have literally ran out of potential candidates.

Indeed, tuba players do not simply move up through some hierarchy of orchestras in an orderly manner. For instance, there are some orchestras/cities that some currently-employed highly-qualified players would simply not consider...standard of living/cost of living issues, etc. Other players in the same league may not consider job openings for reasons such as spousal employment, family issues, children in school, a person or persons in the orchestra of vacancy that may - to the potential candidate - be distasteful...' all sorts of reasons to decide to not take an audition - even if the available job pays more than a currently-held job and even if there is a reasonable expectation of being a finalist...

...and I do believe that players who audition and win a job can easily end up being "on a roll" because, once they make the finals at subsequent auditions and the screens are removed, the committees recognize them as "the guy that just won _________".

All in all, as the bar has been raised rapidly over the last couple of decades, there are some high-profile working players who would not prevail in any sort of audition today...and - on the other side of the coin - very few people who participate in modern-day "cattle call" auditions are qualified by today's standards.
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Postby Tubadad » Mon Nov 14, 2005 3:23 pm

Bloke, I agree with you in most respects about the hiring processes of orchestras and therefore as such I will not infer that your post was directed at mine. Nonetheless, your post was directly located below my post, so let me elaborate a bit more...

My cynicism with the Cleveland audition has to do solely with inviting applicants who sent in resumes 2+ months ago to now send in a tape with less than 2 weeks notice - I am simply highly skeptical that anyone will actually get a 1st round invite, much less win the audition itself, as a result of sending in a tape under these circumstances. Otherwise, whether an orchestra invites 1 or 100 people to live auditions, I have no real beef with that.

It will be interesting to see who does make it to the first round via this tape audition - good luck to all who send in a tape - but my cynicism about this particular orchestra's timing of the email invite vis-a-vis the deadline has led me to offer unsolicited advice to my own son who received one of these emails late last week.

Since I have a son involved in the "game" and thus have more than a passing interest in the audition process as it affects him, I did not mean to imply in my post that anyone "deserves" to be heard or any of the other carping that one reads here and elsewhere.

Not sure if they clears anything up for you or anyone else, but that's just the way I feel about it.
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Postby bloke » Mon Nov 14, 2005 3:34 pm

Tubadad wrote:Bloke, I agree with you in most respects about the hiring processes of orchestras and therefore as such I will not infer that your post was directed at mine. Nonetheless, your post was directly located below my post, so let me elaborate a bit more...


I believe we must all know that several candidates (perhaps one or two in particular) were invited without any such recording requirement. That being said, the recording (two weeks to record and submit four minutes of extremely standard rep.) leaves the door open quite widely enough for a young aspiring "Bobo" to earn an invite.

Orchestras are private concerns. There are obviously rules (orchestra bi-laws / union regs / whatever) that require auditions. In fact, I believe that orchestras should be able to hire whomever they wish to hire - with or without auditions...

...If you owned or ran a multimillion $ concern, would you want to be required to take out two exhaustive days - along with four, five, six, or seven of your employees - to go go through some interview process...every time an employee resigned...when, each time, you knew good and well that there were only a handful of candidates that you would consider hiring, and you already knew who they were? Yes, you might have "missed out on some protege", but - as the owner/operator of the business - is that anyone's business but your own?

bloke "fwiw, I have an offspring who is also heavily involved in the audition circuit...and (I daresay) far more qualified that most tubers who show up for tuber auditions (with no inferences being made whatsoever about anyone's offspring in particular). I still believe what I believe re: auditions and private entities."
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Postby windshieldbug » Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:00 pm

Tubadad wrote:these emails "inviting" tapes due Nov 28 barely give people 2 weeks to record...


Forgive me for butting in, but 2 weeks is more than enough time for a qualified player. As a matter of fact, in any orchestra of this caliber, you better be able to make a decent performance in one take. That's what the people in the seats are paying to hear.

I found a huge gap in what a school was able to provide you with in 4/6/8 years and the experience, talent, and capability that are required for a full time, major orchestra gig. It is kind of like people expecting to be able to be considered for the president of General Motors as an entry level job. Could the extremely rare person pull it off, for more than an hour? Maybe. But you sure gotta kiss a lotta frogs if you're going to go that route...
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Postby UncleBeer » Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:01 pm

bloke wrote:... the recording (two weeks to record and submit four minutes of extremely standard rep.) leaves the door open quite widely enough for a young aspiring "Bobo" to earn an invite.

Also, folks who are truly gunning for a big job never let these excerpts slip too far away from 'em (doesn't mean they practice them three hours a day, but they have practiced them to the point that the excerpts are somewhat 'hard wired', and should only require some dusting up).

Assuming said candidate is in any sort of shape to actually play the job, then ten days of tidying up excerpts and two days of recording oughta do it.
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Postby Tubadad » Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:13 pm

Bloke, perhaps 2 weeks is more than enough time to slap together a good enough tape - I don't know since I am not a musician myself - but once again (don't worry, this is my last attempt at explaining to you or anyone else who needs it my already crystal clear point) my cynicism is directed at this orchestra's unnecessarily short-noticed request - clearly they had plenty of time - weeks if not months - to request tapes from applicants if they really intended to listen to them <passage deleted by author because it detracts from the intent of my post>.

My other problem with the short notice is also that they only have a month to listen to these tapes in what is a traditionally very busy season for orchestras - who the hell is actually going to listen to these tapes with one month to go to the first round?

Whatever...go ahead and have the last word, Bloke. You always do.
Last edited by Tubadad on Tue Nov 15, 2005 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby UncleBeer » Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:49 pm

Tubadad wrote:... the next aspiring "Bobo" as you derisively put it.

Bloke refers to Roger Bobo, one of the most incredible tuba virtuosos ever. Hardly a derisive term. :?
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Postby bloke » Mon Nov 14, 2005 5:04 pm

Tubadad wrote:My other problem with the short notice is also that they only have a month to listen to these tapes in what is a traditionally very busy season for orchestras - who the hell is actually going to listen to these tapes with one month to go to the first round?

Whatever...go ahead and have the last word, Bloke. You always do.


Someone the hell will listen to them...but even if they don't, that's completely their prerogative. My best guess is that even if the most likely group of people to be the finalists (the folks who were not required to submit recordings - and those who were possibly personally called on the telephone and invited to audition) have ready-to-go recordings of each of the excerpts on the list, and would only have needed to sort them, download them on to a c.d., and mail them off.

Again, I'm not a particular advocate of "fairness" when private property (a private organization) is concerned. If "fairness" is the ultimate goal, I'm sure the citizens of TubeNet could pool their collective resources, start a brand new orchestra, and hold completely "fair" auditions for all eighty-five positions - including the music director...me :lol:

...Oh course, coming to *consenses (utilizing the TubeNet Freak Jury) would be a breeze...just like when someone asks what brand of tuba to buy. :roll:
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Postby happyroman » Mon Nov 14, 2005 5:28 pm

I agree with the others who stated that two weeks should be plenty of time to make a tape of the excerpts Cleveland requested. These are the most commonly asked excerpts for tuba, and anyone seriously considering winning this job should be able to put them on tape in a very short time, perhaps in as little as a day.

Knowing that auditions occur periodically, sometimes with little notice, a serious applicant should have these excerpts in their daily routine, at a minimum.
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Postby Tom » Mon Nov 14, 2005 5:54 pm


There is little doubt that an orchestra in the league of Cleveland is looking for "the very best available player". However, from past results it is pretty clear that orchestras of this size are looking for "the very best available player" who already has some sort of widely-known reputation.

Posts such as this one may greatly annoy hopefuls (perhaps some remarkably fine players) who do not fit into this category, but history consistently demonstrates this to be so.



True.

This is exactly what resumes are for...to weed out all the people that are not "the very best available with a widely-known reputation." Cleveland is looking for exactly the type of tubist you describe as "the very best available" and with a "widely-known reputation."

May I inject some cynicism...these emails "inviting" tapes due Nov 28 barely give people 2 weeks to record...correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't the Cleveland audition earlier this year a zoo? As I recall reading, the original list of invitees to live auditions was fairly small, but the ranks of first rounders grew greatly when people complained, teachers wrote recommendations, etc...now here is the cynical thought: I believe that they are doing this to placate the masses (in other words, to tie people up with tape making instead of bombarding the personnel manager with requests for the first round).

Maybe some people will get a live audition solely as a result of the tapes, but I doubt it.



They are doing it to placate the masses, in my opinion. Instead of telling (perhaps) 75% of the applicants (fine players at that) they don't have a realistic shot at the job, they invite them and let them waste their time and Cleveland's time. Cleveland already knows exactly the kind of person they deem qualified (as do most orchestras when they hold auditions...that's the point of sending resumes...ie, they know if you're qualified before they ever hear you make a sound). The people they have in mind don't need to fall back on a tape to get in the door.

My cynicism with the Cleveland audition has to do solely with inviting applicants who sent in resumes 2+ months ago to now send in a tape with less than 2 weeks notice - I am simply highly skeptical that anyone will actually get a 1st round invite, much less win the audition itself, as a result of sending in a tape under these circumstances.


The rep is standard faire for tubists these days. Two weeks, while not a long time, is plenty of time for a truly qualified tubist to record the excerpts or submit a pre-existing recording that may have even been required for the position they already have.

An absolute unknown will probably not end up coming out of nowhere and winning the audition based on their prelim tape, but it could happen (see the Roger Bobo comment from Bloke). Their thinking is that anyone qualified for their job won't be an unknown.

My $.02

Tom "who can play and record the rep but knows he isn't qualified" B.
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Postby LV » Mon Nov 14, 2005 7:06 pm

8)
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Postby anonymous4 » Mon Nov 14, 2005 7:07 pm

A younger player possibly wouldn't get this job even if he/she played better than everybody else at the audition. In the later rounds, when the committee is able to look at resumes, they could say: "Yeah, he's/she's a great player....but we have no proof that they'll be able to hold this job for the next 40 years. They've never done it before." If they decide this...fine, that's life. The days of somebody selling used cars for a living one day and then going on to play in a major orchestra the next day are over. People just play too well.

Now I know there are no such thing as moral victories and all, but to give a little encouragement to some younger chaps out there:

If somebody in college were able to play well enough to get past the tape round, and possilbly into some of the later rounds, that's quite an accomplishment in itself. Earlier, Bloke was talking about an "established reputation"...well what better way to start building yours than by showing you can hang with the best.

The bottomline...ignore all this TubeNet prattle and just make your very best tape. That's the only thing in your control.
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Postby windshieldbug » Mon Nov 14, 2005 7:16 pm

anonymous4 wrote: what better way to start building yours than by showing you can hang with the best...

The bottomline...ignore all this TubeNet prattle and just make your very best tape. That's the only thing in your control.


That's it in a nutshell! And if you want the gig, be ready to do it in on 2 weeks notice. Then get ready for step 2...
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Postby MikeMason » Mon Nov 14, 2005 8:58 pm

sounds like a fantastic opportunity to focus like a laser,internalize some bread and butter exerpts,and be heard by a top flight committee,all with a huge prize on the line.worst that can happen: you get better. not so bad...
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Postby bloke » Tue Nov 15, 2005 2:10 am

MikeMason wrote:sounds like a fantastic opportunity to focus like a laser,internalize some bread and butter exerpts,and be heard by a top flight committee,all with a huge prize on the line.worst that can happen: you get better. not so bad...


I cannot recall a time that the quality of my playing diminished when I was in the process of making a tape. :wink:
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Postby Tubadad » Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:23 am

I must say that my thinking has been swayed by those of you who view this as an opportunity for someone to be heard by a top tier orchestra committee, so I do now agree with the underlying philosophy of the glass being "half full."

Notwithstanding my still intact cynicism about the "sincerity" or true intent of the tape invitation (to placate the masses, etc) at what I still believe is an unnecessarily short-noticed deadline, and also questioning if enough time is available for a screening committee to listen to every tape during the busy holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas / New Years, I do agree that all aspiring players who want a shot should get a tape together asap or forever hold their peace.
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Postby UncleBeer » Tue Nov 15, 2005 10:46 am

Tubadad wrote:... also questioning if enough time is available for a screening committee to listen to every tape during the busy holiday season


It doesn't take long at all to discern whether a candidate's worthy, even by tape. Any clams at all signify that he (or she) either wasn't capable of doing better, or couldn't be bothered to go back for another take. Either way, they wouldn't deserve getting advanced to a live round.
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Postby bloke » Tue Nov 15, 2005 11:04 am

Tubadad wrote:I must say that my thinking has been swayed by those of you who view this as an opportunity for someone to be heard by a top tier orchestra committee, so I do now agree with the underlying philosophy of the glass being "half full."...I do agree that all aspiring players who want a shot should get a tape together asap or forever hold their peace.


Without fail, aspiring players end up "paying their dues"...

-They play in brass quintets that end up doing a bit of recording, touring, website boasting.
- They get jobs at colleges, play in $5000 - $10000/ yr. orchestras and play recitals.
- They work their way up into the Birmingham / Boise / Albuquerque / Colorado Springs / Tulsa / Chattanooga / etc. orchestra circuit.
- Eventually, large orchestras take notice and invite them to audition without asking for proof in advance that they can play the tuba.

This cycle (which generally commences once a player has been through $150,000 of conservatory schooling and [hopefully] free grad school at some state university) usually takes 10 - 15 years...some quicker, some slower, with many many others falling by the wayside and pursuing other (more lucrative) endeavors.
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Postby UF_pedal_tones » Tue Nov 15, 2005 12:11 pm

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sorry, i couldn't help myself

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Postby Lew » Tue Nov 15, 2005 12:45 pm

bloke wrote:
Tubadad wrote:I must say that my thinking has been swayed by those of you who view this as an opportunity for someone to be heard by a top tier orchestra committee, so I do now agree with the underlying philosophy of the glass being "half full."...I do agree that all aspiring players who want a shot should get a tape together asap or forever hold their peace.


Without fail, aspiring players end up "paying their dues"...

-They play in brass quintets that end up doing a bit of recording, touring, website boasting.
- They get jobs at colleges, play in $5000 - $10000/ yr. orchestras and play recitals.
- They work their way up into the Birmingham / Boise / Albuquerque / Colorado Springs / Tulsa / Chattanooga / etc. orchestra circuit.
- Eventually, large orchestras take notice and invite them to audition without asking for proof in advance that they can play the tuba.

This cycle (which generally commences once a player has been through $150,000 of conservatory schooling and [hopefully] free grad school at some state university) usually takes 10 - 15 years...some quicker, some slower, with many many others falling by the wayside and pursuing other (more lucrative) endeavors.


I haven't been to any fancy conservatory (or any music school for that matter), but was recently offered a "paying" orchestra gig. It pays $55 per rehearsal and $75 per performance. With one rehearsal a week and about one concert every other month, that works out to about $3000 a year. Maybe I can retire from my IT job now. :)
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