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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001352.txt from 1998/03

From: "Edwin V. Lacy" <>
Subj: Re: Av Galper and Neil Leupold
Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 18:37:37 -0500

On Sat, 28 Mar 1998, Neil Leupold wrote:

> My commentary was with regard to the manner in which auditions are
> conducted at most universities and conservatories in America, in
> deference to the common practice of orchestras across the country.
> Schools are interested in having students who will succeed as performers
> in America's orchestras.

That is far too simplistic a view of what is going on in the music schools
of the great majority of colleges and universities. The field of music as
a career includes far more options than just preparing oneself to be an
orchestral clarinetist. In fact, there are many thousands of unhappy
music school graduates in the U.S. today who took just that short-sighted
view. Thier approach to life could be characterized as believing that
they would get a bachelor's degree in performance, then get a master's
degree in performance (in part because that is the primary option open to
those who hold the performance bachelor's), and then take a few years to
practice their orchestral excerpts and to take auditions until they would
get a fat contract with a major orchestra, and then they would live
happily ever after. For the very small percentage who win the few
positions which become available, that can be a viable option. For the
remaining 99% or so, what will they do then? Very many of them have never
considered this eventuality, and have no idea how to cope with it.

It is wrong to discourage students from pursuing this track, if that is
their dream. However, it also is wrong not to give them a realistic
viewpoint of the facts of life in the world of music, and to encourage
them to have their alternative plans in place.

Dr. Edwin Lacy University of Evansville
Professor of Music 1800 Lincoln Avenue
Evansville, IN 47722 (812)479-2754
Ed Lacy

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