Backstage at a French horn audition for the Annapolis Symphony

Posted on: March 10, 2015

“I got an inside view of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra’s auditions on Feb. 9 when I volunteered to help check in the French horn players writes Carol Richards in Monday’s (3/9) Capital Gazette (Annapolis, Maryland). “Twenty-three musicians had signed up to vie for one open seat…. Here’s how it works: Pretend you want to be hired to play the French horn for the ASO. You’d be assigned an ID number and shown to a holding room on the third floor of Maryland Hall. When your number is called, a nice lady (that’s me) walks you and your horn to a practice room…. After 10 minutes of rehearsal (and nail-biting) you are walked down the stairs and a proctor takes you into a large room divided by an ominous floor-to-ceiling black curtain.… Behind the curtain are five judges. You sit, concealed from the selection committee to ensure impartial judging. You play your difficult instrument. You hope…. Music Director José-Luis Novo—one of the five judges—says sympathetically, ‘You feel the stress that they go through.’ The process gives Novo the opportunity to improve the orchestra: ‘When you get a person in the right position, it radiates a positive energy throughout the orchestra,’ he says.”

Posted March 10, 2015