Orchestra 101: A New Publication on Auditions and Orchestral Playing

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Horn Matters readers may recall Orchestra 101, a series of over 20 articles looking at the positives and negatives of freelancing and orchestral playing as a career. That series has been updated into a new Kindle ePublication, now available on Amazon for $6.99.

Orchestra 101: Audition Preparation and an Introduction to Professional Orchestral Performance
Many music students aspire to play full time in orchestras or to develop a freelance performance career, but have a limited perspective on what that career might actually look like. Expanded from a series of articles first published on the website Horn Matters, Orchestra 101 examines audition preparation, the early stages of a performing career, and what you should expect in terms of working conditions in the orchestral world. Positives and negatives are discussed, with the goal of giving a clear, introductory understanding at how orchestras work in the United States.

As I note in the Foreword, students often say they want to be orchestral players or freelancers, but have a limited idea what that really means. In talking to students over the years, a number of topics came up repeatedly, and over time I had a group of notes that I expanded out into the Horn Matters series (but now no longer online). The materials were also referenced in a panel discussion which I led at the 44th International Horn Symposium in 2012. In that session, my essential outline was that you can build an orchestral career in three easy steps, tracking from first a time of serious preparation, then on to early professional experiences, and finally to a life of full time performance. This is also the essential organization of this publication.

The opening section of the book is based on materials originally written and posted as “Audition Central” some fifteen years ago in Horn Articles Online. Those materials have been revised extensively as well, with the goal being to present to students a balanced perspective on audition preparation and how orchestras work.

I would add that there are a few personal stories in this book, especially with respect to my years playing Third Horn in Nashville, but this is certainly not a tell-all memoir.

This book really should be of interest to an audience broader than the horn world. In particular, it would be an excellent supplemental material for a music business or entrepreneurship course.

For descriptions of the full line of Horn Notes Edition publications please visit www.hornnotes.com

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