Guest Conductor Application Submitted

Boom!  Done!  I just hit ‘send’ on the email containing all my application docs for Counterpoint Community Orchestra‘s call for guest conductors.  Cover letter, CV, past programs with the HCO, support letters, and program theme ideas.

I am *completely* psyched for this.  IMHO, I’m a total fit for their conductor/director requirements and I think we’d make beautiful musics together.

Now to somehow concentrate on work for the rest of the day… well, at least until it’s rehearsal time with the Highlands Chamber Orchestra.  I swear the clock slows right down on Friday afternoons…

Application for Apprentice Conductor

Well, hello there blog!  It’s been a little while.  I’ve missed you.  🙂

So here’s some big news – I’ve applied for the position of Apprentice Conductor with Orchestra Toronto.  It was announced last week and I started on my cover letter right away!

But as it turns out, the current music director for OT, Danielle Lisboa, is leaving.  She’s moving to Edmonton, I hear.  This puts a little kink in the plan of Apprentice Conductor – they will hold the applications until the fall once they [hopefully] have a new MD.

In any case, I’m super stoked about it!  It’ll be a great opportunity for me to learn with an experienced conductor and get some hands-on time with a large orchestra – especially it being OT because I know so many people.  The familiarity will make me really comfortable in auditions.  And, if I get it, at the discretion of the director, I could conduct a piece in concert!  Booyah!  And all I’d be learning I’d be taking back to the Highlands Chamber Orchestra.

Yay!  🙂

2012 Year in Review

It’s the final day of 2012. I’ve been thinking about this blog entry for a number of weeks now. How would I sum it up? Then this morning, a friend on Facebook put up this status:

In 2012 well I learned a lot. lost a lot. gained a lot. Must say hardest year to date but I’m still smiling happy new year everyone and a happy 2013 to all!

Nailed it! Continue reading


I have NEVER played better in my life!

How’s that for an opener? I really do though! I’ve been practicing the excerpt from Copéllia by Deslibes — the Masurka. It’s some fancy finger work at a reasonable speed. D major on the Eb tuba too. Yesterday I started playing it without stopping or fumbling. Things like that make me yell “YEAH” in all caps. Sometimes “F*CK YEAH”. It just feels so good reaching milestones like that.

I had another today: on my C, pedal D flat at fortissimo is starting to get some nice brassy edge to it. YEAH!

But I also finally got a start to the Bach solo I need to do on the C. Wowsa! Lots of bars with endless 16th notes. This book (Bach for the Tuba, vol.2) is for the tuba. Should I be able to play this stuff without breathing?!? Apparently, yes. I’m making quick progress, but it sure does feel like a kick in the pants. How perfectly do I need to play all this music?

For a school audition, they want more to get a feel for your technique for placement. For a job, they’re gonna pick the one, single best person. Currently, I think there are some excerpts that could sink me. Some of them though, I’m REALLY good at. I’m also really liking my sound lately. Big and bold! That’s gonna be a factor, for sure.

And then I wonder why my first orchestral audition is Montreal. If not the top, then one of the top three orchestras in Canada. Gotta start somewhere though, right? And being Montreal, it’s totally pushing me to go all the way! I think I’m going to kick some butt in Montreal!

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. Continue reading

Application in to the Canadian Armed Forces Regular Service Bands

Well, I did it!  My first music job application!  Today was the deadline for the Canadian Armed Forces full-time bands.  I sent a cover letter, resume and CD overnight-mail yesterday.  I’m really happy with the package – I’m hoping they like the recordings.  Honestly, I wish the orch excerpts and Air and Bourree had better acoustics.  I’m really happy with the RVW first-movement recording though.  It’s not without a few flubs, but there’s a lot of great material there.  I had another listen to the Air and Bourree though and I’m not happy with the tuning and the close mic.  Yikes – I hope they forgive that.  I’m going to re-record it this fall along with the full RVW.  Here are two things that went out:

  • orchestral excerpts – various, and narrated by me (recorded at Ian Pay’s sound studio in West Guilford, ON)
  • RVW concerto, 1st mvt – with Melissa Stephens, piano (recorded by Mark Tomlinson at Zion United Church in Carnarvon, ON)

What do you think?  I welcome all critiques.

I hope they see that beyond my tuba playing, which is at least ‘competent’, they’ll see my dedication (via work on this blog), my conducting and my coaching aspirations and account for this in the whole package.

And even if this doesn’t work out – then at least I threw my name in.  This is good for me to grow as a musician going pro:  put myself through the paces of recording and auditions.