“An orchestra is only as good as it’s last chair player.”
There is great competition in the music world. Being a music minor at the University of Northern Colorado, I don’t work as hard as the music majors, but I definitely love music. Most the time when people ask me what my favorite class is, my answer will either be Music Theory or Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Guyver, our conductor, really keeps us on our toes–after every concert, we have chair auditions of the new music. It gets to be stressful at times, practicing so much music.
We had our first concert last Thursday, and, of course, the audition followed on Tuesday. The piece we had to prepare was Symphony 1 by Shostakovich, and it is a difficult piece, let me tell you. I started practicing a page a day about 2 weeks before the audition, and I practiced 7 hours total in the four days between the concert and the audition. I felt like I was pretty prepared for the audition, but I was still nervous. My audition acutally went pretty well. I’m sure I was way below tempo, but for the most part I got all the notes and rhythms. Afterwards, I felt good about the audition, and Dr. Guyver told me that I was well-prepared and that I hit all the high notes. I still have a lot to work on, but I felt like this was one of the best auditions I have had.
It was suspenseful and somewhat nervewracking waiting until the chair listing was posted on Wednesday. A group of us stood outside the orchestra office waiting. We jumped every time the door opened, and finally Dr. Guyver came out and posted the list. My eyes scanned the list of names under the 2nd violin section, and they stopped at the bottom where I finally found my name. Yes, I am last chair. I was immediately disappointed, but after thinking it through and talking with friends and family, I know that this is the best chair for me. I am a music minor, and I am still in the orchestra! The reason I am last chair is definitely not because I had a bad audition. Everyone was well-prepared for this audition, and as a result, our string section is going to be so much better! I have so much to work towards, and I am not going to let my seating in orchestra discourage me. I know that I played my best, and just playing with this awesome symphony under the direction of Dr. Russel Guyver makes me happy!
Job said to the Lord, “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.”