First Montreal and Now Regina

Ever since seeing the announcement for the Montreal Symphony, I’ve been on practicing overdrive. I’m up earlier in the mornings to get some tuba time in. Not necessarily every morning but lots of them. I’ve got the rep list for Montreal in a tab on my desktop browser and on my iPhone to check the bars I need to prepare. I’m swapping days between the Eb and the C. There’s A LOT of rep to work on, including a Bach flute solo transcribed for tuba and the slow movement of the Vaughan Williams. And orchestral stuff I’ve never touched before. And some I’ve not heard before.

The Good

I’m using the Breathing Gym book at nearly every practice. More good: the James Thompson buzzing warm-ups are getting easier and I’m getting further with them too. My warm-up harmonic series are so easy now, that I’ve had to vary them to make the difficult again.

The Bad

I’m a little stressed out. Like after a long weekend of enjoying company of friends, entertaining B&B guests, an outdoor gig and nearly working at the Pinestone, I feel out of shape and I’m tired and cranky. I practiced too hard tonight. The moment I felt my upper lip split, I put the tuba away and went out for air conditioning and a beer.

I remember working out when I was living in Florida in 1999. It was my only form of entertainment for long periods alone. I was into it so much, I was doing creatine and protein shakes. When my partner came to visit, I was visibly cranky and irritated that I wasn’t working out. Eating out was screwing my body up and hanging out with him was throwing me off my routine. I love him, but I was secretly happy to see him leave so I could get my life back.

Today, with my tuba practicing and an audition on the horizon, I’m way more easy going but I do fret about too many days away from it. But I’m worried. There are two pages of rep to prepare for Montreal.

The Ugly

Did I mention to pages of rep? I wondered on Saturday, while practicing, when I’d be able to play the rep list top to bottom. Whoa. When? Some of it I play really well, and some I’ve not even tried yet. Really?!?!? Should I even be auditioning for Montreal? Am I wasting my time? Not to mention the auditioning panel’s. BUT – an audition with Montreal would be an invaluable experience for me. Not to mention that I still have a month to go, including 3 weeks off work! I’m gonna kick ass!

I can’t discount too the idea that I may be the perfect sound that Montreal is looking for: velvety, thick, sonorous, loud, quiet, tender, edgy.

You’re kidding right?

What this you say? Another principal tuba position is opening up in a Canadian orchestra? Regina, you say?

I contacted them and their audition list is way shorter than Montreal’s. I even emailed with their base trombonist, Colin Neufeld, who used to be their principal tubist. My first thought: I would TOTALLY kick a$$ in that audition! My second thought: in Regina? Why couldn’t this be a little easier? Like Hamilton, Kingston, or even the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

Well, I’ve got some time to think about this and talk it over with my Collin (2 L’s). The application deadline is August 20th. Everything I’m doing right is only going to benefit the possibility of me auditioning for Regina.

Back to practicing tomorrow morning.

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