Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Charles Noble, blogging the audition circuit

These past couple of days I have been enjoying "daily observations", the blog of Oregon Symphony violist Charles Noble. My friend and fellow bassist blogger Jason Heath drew my attention to Charles' account of the Seattle Symphony Assistant Principal Viola audition, which he took a couple of weeks ago. I won't give away the outcome here - Charles did a fantastic job of developing all the suspense and intrigue, as well as the humor and mishaps in his audition story. As he notes in his last post,
It was good to be in this position again and realized that every one of those anonymous players behind the screen is a real person with dreams and obligations. They desperately want the job that they’re here for, and as a past and future audition committee member, it is absolutely essential that I keep that in mind the next time I’m listening to a long round of auditions and get impatient or arrogant.
Each of those anonymous candidates has a unique story - and reading Charles' account was an inspiration. My experience of auditioning has been that, even when you don't get past the prelims, you go through lots of rounds: there's the "convincing yourself you can win" round; the "making travel plans round"; the "not getting too freaked out by all the other candidates" round. Any one of these can knock a person out, sabotage our audition hopes before we've played a single note!

I love reading about how another musician has struggled with all these steps in the process - and realizing that maybe there is another round I hadn't considered. Maybe call it the "framing your story" round, and it happens after you leave the hall, get home, unpack your bags. Of course you're going to have to tell a lot of people how it went, what you played, who you saw, what you learned... Most important though is what you tell yourself - how honestly you can appraise your own attitudes and performance, and use those insights to build your hopes and confidence, not destroy them.

It's worth reading Charles' posts as he wrote them - but once you read one, you probably won't be able to stop until you've finished all four! Here they are in order:

1. auditioning for middle-farts
2. auditioning for middle-farts, part deux
3. auditioning for middle-farts, part troix
4. a.f.m.f - climax and dénouement

I have also just added a couple of blogs to my list over at the right - if you haven't visited them yet, please check out Michael Hovnanian's CSO Bass Blog and Gabrielle's Lone Oboe blog!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks! that was a great story and I was in suspense.

Now when will we be able to read about your audition (win!) story??