When I left Rochester yesterday morning (got up at 3:45am to return the rental car at the airport) I was very tired. The airport was pretty abandoned except for one massive line at the airtran check-in counter...they only had one person working even though they had several flights leaving at 6am. Eventually a few more employees showed up and one of them split the line into four different lines to make it go faster...but when people got to the front of their respective lines they were yelled at for getting out of line and told to go to the back of the original long one...it made no sense. So I somehow eventually got to the front of one and was checked in and then told I would need to pay $65 to check my cello under the plane. I say, "But I didn't have to pay anything on the way down here." She informed me that I did actually have to pay the $65 on the way down (even though I didn't) and that I should consider myself lucky because airtran only charges $65 and all the other airlines charge $100 or more. Does she think that I've never flown with a cello before? Other airlines rarely ever charge me anything and if they do, its $25 or less. Sigh...

All in all, I'm actually really happy that I had this experience. Yes, I was a walking zombie for a few days...but that was easy enough to fix after sleeping for 12 hours (last night). Technically this wasn't my first professional audition (since I auditioned for RPO once as an undergrad) but it really was the first time I had actually really practiced the rep and gone into an audition really knowing what I was doing and feeling pretty confident about my playing. I may not have advanced, but I know that I could have played well enough to and I just need to take more auditions to figure out how to let myself play better under that (very specific) kind of pressure. And after this craziness I know that it can't get much worse than what I had to go through (well, maybe it can) and I can only look forward to better audition experiences in the future. I hope?

At least I can look forward to never flying airtran again.


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...


A List For You

  1. I am giving a short presentation in class tomorrow on Earle Brown
  2. He is very interesting.
  3. I just made a handout to give to the class.
  4. And now I'm burning a CD of listening examples.
  5. Tonight I recorded with the U of H Orchestra.
  6. It was a piece called Astral Blue.
  7. Tomorrow I am playing on their concert.
  8. Today somebody asked me to contract a gig for them.
  9. I was surprised since I've never done that before.
  10. But I said yes.
  11. I need to practice more.



I have not been keeping up with this thing at all lately! Yikes. Basically my life right now consists of preparing for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra audition. They have three openings for cello (which doesn't happen very often in orchestras) so the chances are higher that people may actually win a job there! I took this audition once before, about 2 years ago, but admittedly, I didn't really work very hard for it and was eliminated in the first round (they didn't even have me play all the first round excerpts!) This time around I have been working really really hard...all that stuff you are supposed to do to (practicing with metronome and playing for people and freaking out about every tiny little detail)...so we'll see if that has anything sort of effect on how I do! At the very least I will most likely be happier with the way that I play!


Big Week

Weeks like this don't come around very often in the life of OhMyTrill, but once in a blue moon they do appear. This week is good because it involves several money making opportunities, but those opportunities also make this week a very busy one...yikes. Monday night plus Tuesday and Wednesday mornings will find me in Beaumont, TX playing Peter and the Wolf with the Symphony of Southeast Texas on 4 (count em) children's concerts. Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights will find me in The Woodlands, TX playing Ein Heldenleben and Ride of The Valkyries with the Woodlands Symphony Orchestra (which for those of you keeping track i basically a chamber orchestra...so we'll see how that goes). Friday night is our orchestra concert here at Rice!!! Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra performs Barber Symphony No. 1 in One Movement and Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2...a very long program of lots of cheese. I'm sitting in the hot seat again and I have a one measure solo (in typical OhMyTrill fashion) in the Barber...so you should come and see if you can pick it out!!! Yay!


Post Recital

My recital last Saturday (a week ago?!?!?) went really well...thanks to all of you who attended (and who wanted to but couldn't). Life has been a little strange since then, mainly because I don't really know what to do with myself...I am taking the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Audition in a few weeks and I've been working on that stuff but I find some of the excerpts just never get better, no matter what I do. (Mendelssohn 4 opening...and Brahms 2 last movement)...I feel confident that I could do really well at this audition, but I know I would have to play these at some point and they will kill me...but I guess I still have a few weeks to figure it out. Would be really nice to advance at least one round...I've been working on all of this orchestra rep stuff on and off now for almost 8 years (not to mention playing in orchestras much longer than that!) Would be nice to be able to do something with that training...

I've been very confused lately...all the things that I've always wanted to do, like chamber music and contemporary music and "alternative music careers" suddenly seem so unattractive to me. I find myself checking musicalchairs all the time to see the job postings. I guess everything is just very real since I will be graduating in a few months and I don't feel confident that I will be able to make enough money doing that other stuff to pay all the bills (I'm pretty sure I can't)...especially moving to a brand new city where I've never lived or gone to school or even been in for more than 5 days consecutively. I see friends who I play just as well as winning jobs in orchestras, so what used to seem totally impossible, now doesn't seem so far fetched. I'm just very confused right now, and don't really know what do to with myself! agh! What do you guys think?