I’ve been playing with the Houston Grand Opera for a couple of years as a sub on Principal trombone, something I’ve really enjoyed. It’s very thrilling being in the middle of a big opera production. My good friend John McCroskey, formerly with the Houston Symphony, has been playing with the Houston Ballet. John is a fantastic player, and a wonderful person in every way.
Both orchestras play in the same house, the Wortham Center, and most of the players are the same, but since there are two different organizations, on paper they’re separate.
Last fall it became clear there would be an opening for the position of Principal trombone in both the opera and the ballet orchestra. Needless to say I’ve been looking forward to the audition with a combination of fear and anticipation. I’ve been practicing like a maniac, playing for pretty much everybody I could think of, taking lessons, taping myself, doing mock auditions and doing whatever I could to prepare myself.
I’m happy to say this time it paid off! Monday, September 21, I managed to win the job. There were two of us in the finals, and up until to the end I was sure they would pick the other player, a guy I really respect and admire. Even the finals were behind the screen, and I guess I must have done something right, because they ended up picking me. I can’t really describe the feeling, just a huge relief after all the work I’ve put into it, and finally landing a job after having free-lanced since 1997. Last time I won a job was in 1990, so it’s been a while!
I’ve learned a lot about myself and how to audition during this process, and as soon as I’ve collected my thoughts I’ll try to write something and put it on the web-site.
Well, the Kemah Jazz Festival is coming up this weekend, hopefully without rain and hurricanes this year. Tomorrow Friday September 25 I’ll be performing with the Musician’s Union Big Band, and Sunday the 27th with Thomas Helton and Tribute, the original charts from “Birth of the Cool”. That’ll be a treat, so come check it out if you can!