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Oh, I am so disappointed!

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My son has wanted to play in an orchestra for years - he's been taking double bass lessons for 6 months now and gets up at 6am to practice every morning. Well, we finally found a local youth symphony orchestra that doesn't practice on Monday nights (He's working on his Boy Scout Eagle and that's when they meet).


We called the organization to ask if they ever hold mid-year auditions for the second semester. The director of the top orchestra called back and sounded fairly optimistic that ds would be able to audition in Dec. or early January. She said she'd just pass the information on to the intermediate orchestra director (ds's level) and she'd give us a call to set up an audition time.


So tonight we got a message from this director saying that they would NOT hold any auditions and to contact them again in the summer before the fall season. :sad:


I know it seems like a small thing, but 9 months is a very long time for a 10th grader to wait with college approaching rapidly and knowing he needs every minute of performance experience he can get. He's exhausted every other avenue he's been able to find - community orchestras, church, friends who play bluegrass, homeschool concert band, etc. Either he's not quite at the level he needs to be for the group, they rehearse on Monday nights, or there's just nothing for him at this time. He's even gone on auditions for groups he knew he couldn't play in just for the audition experience. We do what we can to play together at home, but it's just not the same.


I think he was near tears when he heard the message. He was so hopeful and excited! Rats rats rats. I feel like crying for him.

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Can you call the orchestra director back and talk to him live? I'd ask if you son can play in some of the rehearsals. My husband is an orchestra conductor and usually they LOVE having extra bass players.


Also, he can audition for all kinds of summer camps and festivals. Has he looked into some of those?


Dh wonders if maybe the two directors didn't actually communicate with each other? The director's message sounded a bit like she was saying they don't regularly hold 2nd semester auditions, and I didn't mention ds's instrument in my phone message, so maybe that would influence the director's willingness to set up an individual audition?


Dh is also a close friend of someone who knows the director personally - and who has already offered to speak to the director. I hate to go through personal friends like that (just a little uncomfortable for me) but maybe he can get a better sense of the director's approach.


If nothing else, we'll try for the rehearsal approach and see if there are any summer things he can start working toward.


For we know that ALL THINGS work together for the good of those that love Him. Such a hard lesson to learn, sometimes. Much harder than vibrato and the G# minor scale. (But more important)

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What about a quartet in the meantime? My sister teaches piano and clarinet. She also puts together small chamber groups to give young musicians experience playing in a more intimate setting. She and the other woodwind principals as well as the French horn principal in her orchestra coach the kids.


I agree about trying to talk to the director again. What about honor orchestra? My city growing up had city-wide auditions for bands and orchestras. It was usually later in the school year. We rehearsed for a few weeks and then performed at Symphony Hall. There were different levels of groups.


Pit orchestras are another possibility. I loved playing musicals. :)


I hope he finds something!


ETA: Oh, he plays bass. I missed that. Hmm. His options will be a bit more limited. :-/ Any intermediate jazz bands?

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Is it possible to show up anyway, take notes of any useful tips, then sit out in the carpark and play while everyone is leaving? How could you ignore someone who does that? :tongue_smilie:




:D I'll tell you what - if he had his drivers license, I'd bet he'd be attending rehearsals all over town.


I've been working up arrangements for flute, violin, harp, and bass with various family members, and have suggested that he try composing or arranging some music himself - which is his favorite thing to do when he has a minute of free time.


Thanks for all the suggestions, Everyone -we're both feeling better and more hopeful this morning! I'll let you know what happens with the youth symphony.

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I hope everything works out for your ds. I think you should go ahead and let your dh's friend speak to the director for you, or ask him or her if it's ok if you call the director yourself and say that "so-and-so suggested I give you a call about this."


Don't tell your ds a thing until you have some good news for him, though, in case it doesn't work out and he can't audition. There's no point in disappointing him twice.


Good luck!!!

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