Sunday, March 20, 2005

Pre-Audition Jitters

Tomorrow night I am auditioning for an orchestra for the first time in about 10 years.

It's a community orchestra - but a good one as it is self-supporting. As I've been reading some on the Internet Cello Society's forums I've realized that being able to play in a community orchestra for free is not to be taken for granted. Many community orchestras charge the orchestra members fees to play in the group. The fees cover music, rental of practice space, and possibly paying a conductor or soloists to come in. Some people pay as much as $300 a term!

The pre-audition jitters hit me this evening - what was I thinking?

My cello definitely isn't ready to be played on regularly. It needs a new bridge and a new "A" string. The A is getting dead sounding - I put on a used Jarger A a while back because the Heliacore "A" I bought was way too harsh.

My cello also needs a few other repairs and adjustements and all my bows are in dire need of re-hairing. Fortunately my "good" bow is in the best shape of the three - having been re-haired about 2 years ago.

Then there is the big question of What to play - I don't have ANYTHING at proper performance level right now. I'm supposed to play excerpts from 2 or 3 peices that showcase different styles - approximately 10-15 min of play time. It does help somewhat that it doesn't even have to be whole peice. I just spent a good 90 min or so with my cello trying to narrow down the options and this is what I'm at right now:
  • Brahms Sonata #1 in E minor for cello/piano. 1st section of the 1st movement. I'll take the piano part along with just in case. It really showcases the tone on the lower strings.
  • Bach cello suite #1 - Allemande (2nd movement).
  • Squire Tarentella. Mom suggested this and I'm thinking it does make a good fall back as I've performed it with piano within the past 5 years and it's very upbeat.

I was initially thinking the Aaron Minsky cello etude #3, instead of the Tarantella. It's a VERY different style - more jazz inspired. I performed it in a music dept recital when I was in college - but that's iffy because if the dissonant notes aren't hit together perfectly (while in thumb position) it can sound really bad. Plus the timing is very tricky and conductors notice that sort of thing.

On timing - I bought a new battery for my metronome and ran the tarantella and Brahms through several times with a metronome as I don't have a natural sense of timing. I'm hoping to get time sometime tomorrow to practice during the day - though I must take care not to practice too much or I won't be able to make it through rehearsal. My fingers are already sore just from the past 4 days of practicing.

I'm also worried about my intonation - my shifting between positions has become very sloppy and I have a cold - so my ears are stopped up - which may throw my intonation out even worse than it probably already is.

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