This past Monday I attended an audition for the Principal Trombone position of the Cleveland Opera Orchestra. This was the first time that I had prepared excerpts for an opera orchestra. It was unique in that they were different excerpts to prepare (big crashing melodies/phrases right after a tenor belts out a solo). A few "regulars" were also on the list.
As I was gearing up for the audition, I was also practicing/memorizing twenty-two songs for this upcoming summer tour with Tim Zimmerman and the King's Brass. This gospel brass group plays a wide variety of tunes from big band to hymns to patriotic to praise and worship songs. So it's been a wild few weeks working on all that.
Fortunately, I was able to work on Cleveland audition a lot prior to getting music for King's Brass. As Monday came, I arrived at the audition site in downtown. There were literally only 14 candidates auditioning for the position. According to union rules we had to draw lots for who would go first. I was number 7. As I waited I was able to really focus and center my thoughts on the task at hand. And I prayed a lot, something I haven't done a lot just prior to an audition.
As the time came, I got the list for the first round choices: a Bach Cello Suite solo, Tuba Mirum from Mozart Requiem, and two excerpts from Verdi's Othello. As I played, there were a few missed notes. As I left I felt that my confidence in playing was at a high, and I was calm and not nervous. Unfortunately I didn't advance, but looking back, there were many things pointing to not being able to prepare as much as I would have liked. But that's what happens when you are working two things at once.
It was a good experience for me. On a positive side, I was not nervous during the audition and was calmness even when there were mistakes. Also I am....once again....thankful for my girlfriend for the encouragement and support she consistently gives me. When I was waiting in my warm-up room, she sent me a text saying to remember the Holy Spirit is working in me so I already have an advantage. (this goes to show how wonderful she really is). Afterwards she was very understanding about how I felt but made sure that I would not get down on myself and move on from it. (because like many musicians, it's easy to dwell on failing). She encouraged me by saying that traveling with King's Brass will give me so much experience and help with performing in front of people (yes, this is from a non-musician). This is why I love her dearly for the constant encouragement she gives...and motivation to move on and play well :)
All in all, a good experience. I'll keep practicing and working towards the next audition. But for now it's time for King's Brass rehearsing and performing. I'm very excited about this wonderful opportunity to play with such an incredible group. More details about them and my time with them (maybe journal-like) as time goes along :)
J-man (Isaiah 40:28-31)