Tough job market confronts arts graduates

Posted on: June 28, 2013

On Thursday (6/27) on PBS’s NewsHour, economics correspondent Paul Solman discusses the labor market for arts graduates with guests including Diane Wittry, music director of Pennsylvania’s Allentown Symphony Orchestra, and Gary Fitzhugh, a violist and Juilliard student. In response to a question about job prospects, Wittry comments, “For any orchestral opening in the United States, you might have, for one violin opening, 300 people applying that are all completely qualified to do that job…. My harp player … had recently taken an audition.… She was on the sixth excerpt, and then she messed up and missed a note. … You make a mistake and you’re out. And that’s how competitive it is in the audition process…. A player in Allentown might make $6,000 to $7,000 dollars a year…. We, as musicians, we don’t go into music for the money. We go into music because it’s part of our soul. It’s part of who we are. It’s what we have to do.” Fitzhugh says, “All the more reason to create your job, your own job. Create your own project. Go out there and be your own boss, and figure out something that hasn’t been done before, and chances are you will love it.”

Posted June 28, 2013