Meet Seattle Symphony’s newest musicians, a percussionist and horn player

Posted on: October 31, 2016

“Imagine standing alone, behind a screen, with a judges’ committee on the other side, and trying to prove your qualifications,” writes Tom Keogh in last Monday’s (10/24) Seattle Times. “That’s what the audition process is like for musicians trying to join the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.… ‘The audition was grueling,’ says Matthew Decker, SSO’s new assistant principal timpani and section percussionist. Decker joins the orchestra’s new second horn, Jenna Breen, as the two most recent additions to the ensemble. … Decker says, ‘The first rounds are blind…. I really look forward to the later rounds when the screen is down.’ Breen, who underwent multiple rounds over 24 hours in April, has a different take. ‘The scary part is when the screens come down,’ she says….  Breen, 28, an Australian, was a section player with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra from 2012. Decker, 27, an Indiana native … had been assistant principal percussionist with the North Carolina Symphony since 2014…. After a teaching stint last summer at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro … Decker packed up and arrived in Seattle. Breen’s relocation from Down Under was more a leap of faith. ‘All I knew about Seattle came from watching “Grey’s Anatomy,” ’she says.”

Posted October 31, 2016