2/25/08

Airtran is the Devil and Rochester is Retarded

As many of you know I decided to fly to Rochester to take the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra audition...they had three openings for cello. So yesterday (Sunday) I got up at the early hour of 3:30am to drive to the airport to catch my 5:45am flight. I soon learned that Peng (another cellist flying on the same flight as me) was denied entry on to the plane because his case was too big to check. He couldn't buy another plane ticket so he wasn't able to fly out to the audition. Hmmm...so around 5:15am or so we board to flight...about 20 mins later the pilot comes and tells us that the plane is broken so we pull back into the terminal and deplane. A mechanic is called and about an hour later they announce that they will need a part to fix the plane. The problem is that the part is in Atlanta...so we have to wait for the next flight to arrive from Atlanta carrying the part.

This is when it gets interesting...they realize that most people are missing their connecting flights now (this plane was only going to Atlanta)...so they start to work out other plans for most people on the flight...however, they do this by calling out destinations (randomly) and only making plans for those people who they randomly decide to help. I try and go up and explain that flights to Rochester only leave in the morning so if they wait too long then there won't be anymore...but I get the reply, "are you going to Charlotte? We are only working on Charlotte right now...we'll get to you soon." However, it takes them at least one to two hours per destination to figure it out and make the plans for everybody since there are only 2 airtran employees working.

Somewhere around noon they make the announcement that the plane is finally fixed and ready to go, but that the crew has gone back to the hotel to take their required rest period. They can't come back to the airport until 4pm, which is when they will board the plane. By this time there are only a handful of people left and we finally convince them to start working on the Rochester plans...there are four of us heading to Rochester, and they send us to lunch...upon our return we learn that there are no more flights to Rochester on any airline...period...surprise surprise...but they can put us on the first airtran flight in the morning, "No...I need to be there tonight."

I have the bright idea of going to Buffalo instead, so a few minutes later the four of us are booked on a Southwest flight to Baltimore and then on to Buffalo. Our bags are retrieved from the airplane (my cello has been sitting out there all day...) we go down to the baggage claim to get them and then we recheck in and go through security (on Southwest now). By 10pm we arrive in Buffalo and I decide to rent a car and split it with another guy and his 6 year old daughter (random)...so we drive together from Buffalo to Rochester...drop him off at the airport and then drive on to my hotel...I'm there by 12:30 (thats after midnight...)

Go to sleep...up at 7am to warm up in a conference room at the hotel...quick stop at Java's for coffee and bagel...then onto the audition...play all the standards (Beethoven 5, Brahms 2, Mozart 35, Don Juan, Dvorak Concerto, and Mendelssohn 4)...I play everything and some of it goes really well (and of course some of it doesn't)...I don't advance (no big surprise)...so its back to the hotel (quick lunch at Java's) and then a nap...meet up with Jairo, meet up with Sara...

Then the best part...I call Patty (who currently has a one year position in the orchestra and was playing in the finals)...she says that there was super drama at the audition and that I need to come to her apartment...thats right THEY DIDN'T PICK ANYBODY TO FILL THE POSITIONS...they had three openings, two permanent positions and one one year contract...and nobody was good enough, not even to sit in a chair for one year...how is it possible to win a job in an orchestra?

Now I need to get to bed to catch my 6am flight (up at 4 to drop off the rental car) and then its back to Houston (pending no weather delays) and then I need to take my orchestral repertoire midterm (joy of joys) and play in an english horn recital...and then I collapse. I'm so tired right now that my body has no concept of what time it is...what a crazy weekend...

10 comments:

Blake said...

I don't think I would have played well either under those circumstances. Props for not just giving up and going home, by the way. . . Would have been a good excuse.

The orchestra probably didn't hire anyone because they don't have/want to spend the money and they can just keep paying subs to do the same work. It sucks when orchestras have the auditions if they're going to do that because it's a big waste of time and money for everybody involved. Maybe it's required in the contract.

Good luck and keep at it.

-Yet another anonymous reader. Creepy huh?

Heather said...

I never thought the RPO would be like the BSO with the "nobody is good enough" stint.

Apparently I was mistaken.

Mary said...

What a crazy, crazy mess. I wish I would have called you when you were at the airport all that time - but you were probably stressed out and trying to listen to every announcement anyway. Darn RPO.

OhMyTrill said...

In response to Blake...I had a brief chat with someone on the audition committe (a former orch rep teacher) after the end of round one and she said that they weren't really impressed with any of the cellists and that she wouldn't be surprised if they didn't fill all the positions...but then they filled none of them...so, yes Heather, nobody was good enough

Blake said...

Wow, in that case Rochester is definitely retarded.

Jason Heath said...

Misery, pain, and callous committees? Sounds like an audition I can relate to! I'll definitely link to this painful business on my blog. Sorry about the nasty experience!

OhMyTrill said...

yeah...I thought you might get a kick out of it! airtran charged me $65 to check my cello on the way back also...and I was so tired that I just started screaming at them in the airport and the threatened to not let me on the plane...so I just payed it...totally ridiculous...

princesskadoodle said...

one of my friends got a trial with the orchestra after this audition, so i don't know if you are considering that as "not offering it to anyone"...

as for your travel nightmares, the same thing happened to another friend of mine who was traveling to rochester for the audition. the flight itself was canceled for maintenance, so i think the best she could do was get to buffalo, and they "lost" her cello for all of saturday and most of sunday, and she had to reschedule her audition day! talk about stress...and to be delayed a full day in a strange city/airport...

poor cellists...

OhMyTrill said...

I talked to someone who was in the finals and she made it seem like the trials they gave were very mysterious and didn't really make any sense...but I can't really say anything about that here...and they also said that people were still being considered that didn't get a trial...and they gave a trial to somebody who is already playing in the orchestra...does that make any sense? I guess we'll find out soon enough what the committee actually wants to do!

princesskadoodle said...

That's so shady!!!!! Weird, Rochester! If I were all of those cellists I would say "see ya" and leave them high and dry! (But I guess there will always be someone willing to put up with rigamarole...)