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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001342.txt from 1998/04

From: Jacqueline Eastwood <eastwooj@-----.EDU>
Subj: Re: Auditions
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 19:29:01 -0400

On Wed, 22 Apr 1998, Craig E. Countryman wrote:

> >
> > Most people are unqualified for very simple reasons: they don't come close to
> > meeting the basic standards of playing in an ensemble. If you can't play in
> > rhythm or play in tune, it really doesn't matter how fast you can wiggle your
> > fingers, does it?
> >
> You are telling me that people show up at a symphony audition unable to play in
> tune or in rhythm. I find this hard to believe. They may not all be "qualified"
> but I think they are well beyond the beginning stages of playing.
> -----------------------------------------------------
> Craig Countryman
> Present Project: Weber's Concertino, Op.26
> -----------------------------------------------------
And that's part of the problem with the volume of music performance majors
being churned out by every possible college and university in the

The individual's perception of "being in tune" or "playing in rhythm"
varies widely. And, as Dan P. pointed out in one of his posts, "batting
.600" is great for baseball, but for a musician, it stinks! I have sat
through enough masterclasses with some of the students here playing
excerpts like Beethoven #6 and Schubert Unfinished -- the word clueless
comes to mind. Not even close -- poor uneven tempo, pathetic
articulation, even incorrect notes. But yet they're working on excerpts
in order to prepare for taking auditions. For WHAT? I hope it's just
Community Band; otherwise they're in for some major disappointments.

Some of these kids have been told that they're great for so long by so
many people that they believe it! Unfortunately, the world is full of big
fish in little ponds. A little wake-up call from reality would help.

Playing in tune and in rhythm is a lot more complicated than it sounds
when you reach the professional level. Trust me; I don't "bat a
thousand" either!

Sorry for my rant. We now return to your regularly scheduled program.
(But SOMEBODY had to say it!)

Jacqueline Eastwood
University of Arizona/Arizona Opera Orchestra

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