If I’m going to go pro, I’ve gotta get some more schooling under my belt. I’m 35 right now. I still feel young (despite my quirky right knee). I’ve wanted to go back to school for a number of years now. So why haven’t I yet? That’s a fantastic question and one I’ve had trouble finding the answer to. Nearly 6 years ago, I came into some money from my divorce. I should have gone then. But I suppose, I wasn’t “ready” yet. I am now though.
A year ago about this time, I auditioned at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory in Toronto. They take only one tubist at a time — it’s an orchestral training program. Ten of us auditioned and I didn’t get it. But I also auditioned at UofT and got into second year – which was fantastic! I would have gone in Fall 2010, but my partner and I weren’t prepared for this change in lifestyle — mostly to do with finances. I was granted a year’s delay from UofT and so I would enter in Fall 2011. But… this isn’t possible either. It takes a lot to go back to school: money, lifestyle change, etc. And in summer 2010, I ran the Highlands Brass Academy at a decent loss (my grant applications were turned down) and paying this off has been a priority. So …. I’m not going back to school in Fall 2011. I will re-audition in Winter 2012 and get back in.
Honestly, it took me a while to face this second delay and accept it. But I’m fine with it now. A key point of this is setting it in my mind that this coming year will not be a waste. Like continuing to plug away at my job and letting the weeks count by. I want to continue growing as a musician and tubist – who knows, maybe get into 3rd year tuba performance at UofT. So this is my plan:
- keep practicing and playing (well, duh!)
- become a student of Sal Fratia’s and not wait until I enter UofT
- seek lessons from other professional tubists over the next year (this is already in progress)
- seek audition possibilities with special or festival orchestras
- set performance goals for myself with the RVW tuba concerto and standard tuba orchestral rep
- grow as a conductor with the Highlands Wind Symphony