Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wrap-up of my first symphony audition

Goooood morning,

Whelp this has been an exciting trip. Missing flights, sleeping in airports, walking from concourse to concourse. The list could go on and on. As I look back I have no regrets of coming here at all. It was a FANTASTIC first audition. Even though I did not achieve my goal, I learned so much from this experience, and how to prepare even harder for the next time this comes. I am still quite young and have many years ahead of me; but it is gonna come quicker than you think. So I have to start preparing now.
I enjoyed the experience so much. Being able to play the Tuba Mirum in a humongous sanctuary was a real treat. And it sound beautiful. That is what I'll focuson. Sure I made a mistake or two on other parts but if I focus on that gorgeous sound from the Mozart, and strive to have the other pieces be of that same quality, something good is gonna happen. It's gonna take a lot of work though, but I'm up for the challenge!!
This whole experience has just motivated me to work even harder because now I have a sense of what needs to be attained. It sometimes take a failure to be successful, and to show you where you are. I know where I am musically, and I have seen where I need to get. .
Whelp, I am currently in the Dallas airport waiting for my flight which is in a few hours---my brother kinda punished me for missing my flight by sending me here earlier than usual. Thanks again for all of your support and prayers. What a tremendous group of friends!!

Time to get some Mickey D's.

From J-man (Psalm 31:14-15)

Monday, May 5, 2008

One and Done (kinda long)

Whelp, I auditioned today. Woke up around 9:00 or so, got some breakfast and warmed up this morning (and it was a good warmup too, felt reeel good). Then my brother and I just sat around the room for a little bit, then we ate some lunch. Then we came back to the room and headed off to the First Presbyterian Church. I checked in and got more number to play and then I sat somewhere away from everybody just so I didn't have to hear people talk about their music classes or what school they go to (and they did). Naw, I just opened up the Good Book and starting reading some passages.
All morning and before the audition, my brother noticed I wasn't talking much, and I wasn't. I was thinking about the music I was to play, singing it through my head, and just trying to be focused on the task at hand. And even when I got there I wanted to be by myself to just stay focused. And I felt good going into the warm-up time right before the audition. It was interesting, once I was able to warm-up at the church I felt so much more relaxed when I started playing hymns. I was real glad that that happened. Whelp I still had the music going through my head 'n all, and I found out what excerpts they were specifically going to ask so I started looking over them much. I didn't play through them much, just motioning the slide positions 'n all. Then they called me again, and right before I went in to audition, I went to another room to warm-up. Then the moment came.....The audition room was the main sanctuary of the presbyterian church. And Holy Toledo was it big. It had this HUGE pipe organ in the back. It was awesome!!!
They have a screen setup so you don't see the judges, which doesn't make it as nerve-racking in my mind. The excerpts asked were (only will matter to musicians):
Mozart--Requiem "Tuba Mirum"
Berlioz--Hungarian March from The Damnation of Faust
Rossini--La Gazza Ladra Overture
Saint-Saens--Symphony No. 3
Wagner--Ride of the Valkyries
I started playing the Mozart piece (which if some may remember I played the solo for a symphony of the lakes concert), and boy was that a real treat to play it in the big sanctuary, and it sounded goooood. Then I played the berlioz, then the rossini and someone said "thank you." So I walked out, and the Monitor said the Mozart sounded really nice. So the results got announced a little while after, and I didn't make it and no one from that hour advanced. I didn't know if it was all six excerpts had to be played or if they cut short to save time. But I found out later that if they cut you short basically you won't advance.
So to wrap things up, I played three of the six excerpts, got to learn somewhat how the audition process works, and got to play the Mozart Requiem solo in a very big sanctuary. I was probably the youngest guy there, at least from what I could tell (saw many people with facial hair so I knew I was younger). Am I upset or mad? Ain't one bit, it was a great first experience. Still much more practicing to do, and work to do, but I am very glad I was able to have this great opportunity.
Thank you so much for the support and prayers. You don't know how appreciative I am of all of you supporting me. It means a lot. My brother gave me the idea to have a continuous blog going on about my journey to an orchestra so that is why the title changed.

God is good and I am excited to see what he's gonna do with me and the 'ole trombone:-)

From J-man (Psalm 31:14-15)


Well after spending 7 hours in Chicago O'Hare, I finally was be able to get a flight to Dallas by way of stand-by. Biggest lesson learned, don't ever miss your check-in time!!! I was so tired throughout those seven hours because I had to walk back-and-forth hoping to get on the next flight. I was able to get an hour long nap on the waiting chairs for those worried about my sleep. I got on the flight to Dallas at 1:05 p.m. and thankfully my suitcase was waiting for me at the baggage claim when I arrived (it left on the 9:45a.m. flight). I was able to do some buzzing while I waited for my brother and sister-in-law to pick me up. We left Dallas around 5:45 p.m. and pulled into San Antonio right around 10:00 this evening. I once again was able to take a short nap in the car, and was able to spend time just looking at the excerpts and singing them through my head with the slide positions as well.

So tomorrow is the big day, I'm excited, the family is excited, even the hotel clerk told me good luck. It could be a long day tomorrow, but I don't know for sure. I'll just have to wait and see. I appreciate your prayers and support; they do mean a lot to me. I'll keep ya posted on what happens tomorrow. (btw, i'll audition between 2-3 p.m. CST)

Off to get some more sleep.

From J-man (Psalm 31:14-15)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

God's Lightbulb

Well after a restless evening I made it to Chicago. My flight left Indy at 5:54 and arrived at Chicago just before 6:00 a.m. (CST). And let me to tell you, I got to see something that I don't think I have ever seen before. While we were flying into O'Hare, I had the city of Chicago to my left and Lake Michigan to my right. And looking out to the right I got to see the sun rise on Lake Michigan. Holy Toledo was it a gorgeous sight!!!! Not a cloud in the sky; all around the sun is a pinkish color fading into blue, and there it was--God's Lightbulb shining on a calm, serene lake that was smooth as silk. My oh my and it sure helped to have David Crowder playing in my ear with songs like "The Glory of it All" or "Everything Glorious" WOW WOW!!! In one sense it was worth it to miss my earlier flight, just to be able to see a picture that no artist could draw. What a Creator we have!!

Whelp now I'm gonna get some breakfast, and go back to watching more of God's most precious possession.

From, J-man (Matthew 5:14-16)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Planes, Airports, and Chick-fil-A

Hello All,

Well today was a fascinating day. We ate then I packed up everything to send over to Byers. Unfortunately I took a little longer than expected--was signed up to check out of my room at 1:30 but didn't get checked out probably until around 2:30ish. A friend of mine was going to drive to Kokomo where another friend would pick me up to take me to the airport. Well I didn't leave Grace until 3:30 and my flight was at 6:42 p.m. in Indianapolis. We hurried but I got to the check-in line and found out that I was too late--I missed the check-in. I tried to see if I could get on the next flight out tonight, but I was not able to because my ticket was nonrefundable. Well I called the agency to see what to do, and I could have flown out on Monday (the day of the audition).
So I called my oldest brother, to see what strings he could pull. We looked everywhere from booking another flight to checking other airlines. Unfortunately the last flight out of Indy was at 8:40 p.m. which was not available. Well to make a long process and story very concise, My brother (what-a-guy) must have done the best sweet-talk you ever heard on the phone (probably said "i apologize for my IDIOT little brother"). They (United Airlines) worked it out for me to get on the next flight to Chicago and then to Dallas. The first flight from Indy to Chicago is at 5:54 in the morning. So i need to check-in around 4:30 and hope there is an opening for a seat on the flight to Chicago. Then the flight from Chicago to Dallas leaves around 8:00. So if all works out I should end up in Dallas around 10:30 Sunday morning which will work out perfectly fine to still get to San Antonio in good order.
So I am going to spend the night in the Indianapolis International Airport, and I am actually kind of excited about it. Once the whole process was complete, I got to get a bite to eat from Chick-fil-A (CFA) which was exciting. As weird as it is, I am looking forward to staying in the airport overnight. I could have got a hotel, but who would want to do that. It's all about the experience. So the more and the more I think about this, it is cool, kind of like of an adventure that everyone should go through.
But I hafta remind myself: JEREMY NEXT TIME BE READY TO LEAVE ON TIME and I could be in Dallas by now!!!! Maybe I pull out the 'ole trombone and play some hymns for a little worship service since it is Sunday.

Whelp that is where I am CURRENTLY, still in Indianapolis.

I'm gonna try to get some shut-eye now. Set the alarm for 4:00 in the morning (if you want to call to make sure I wake up you are more than welcome to) and I'll check-in at 4:30 when the kiosk opens up. I hope and pray it all works out for me to hit each spot tomorrow morning.

Thanks for the support and prayers :-)

J-man (Genesis 2:2-3)

Friday, May 2, 2008

San Antonio, Here I come

Hello All,
Whelp I leave for San Antonio tomorrow (Saturday) evening from Indianapolis. I'll be flying into Dallas around 11:00 pm (CST) then my brother and I will drive to San Antonio on Sunday. I am getting more and more excited to go down there, and the time is coming closer. I am wanting to make the most of this experience, and it is a great opportunity for me to do this, and I truly can not wait until Monday. Much preparation has gone into this, so we'll see how she goes. I probably will not be able to blog until Sunday or Monday evening. So until then: Lot's of luck to you 'n yers!!

Now off to practice.

J-man (Psalm 31:14-15)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Phone Call from San Antonio

Hello All,

I received a phone call during dinner last night and was invited to audition for the second trombone position of the San Antonio Symphony. I had sent a resume in many weeks ago, and was first declined an invitation because I did not have much depth of experience in the orchestra world. With a phone call from my teacher I received a recommendation to be put on the waiting list, and low behold I got the call. This works out quite well for me to go to audition because my brother lives in Dallas and I can fly and stay at his house for a couple days.
The audition is going to be Monday May 3rd at 2:00 p.m. (CST) in San Antonio. I have been working on the audition excerpts for quite some time, and I really excited about this opportunity to audition. This will be a great experience for me since this is what I believe I am to do in life--play trombone. So it's exciting to see God move.
I have set up this blog so I can journal the next few days as I prepare for the audition and eventually head to San Antonio. I would appreciate your prayers in these exciting times.

From J-Man (Psalm 31:14-15)