More than 200 orchestral musicians from four states will vie for just eight spots with the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic during auditions next week in Columbus and Bloomington.
And though musicians come from far and wide to audition and music proficiency remains crucial, music director David Bowden says he keeps his eyes open for locals.
“We work to take people from our region if there is any way they can be included,” he said.
Bowden said that all eight spots were vacated by musicians who earned placements in other ensembles around the country. For example, double bass player Daniel Benoit has joined the Air Force’s Strolling Strings, and violinists Anna Scalova and Julie Wunderle joined the San Diego and Colorado Springs symphonies, respectively.
Those who would like to learn more about the Philharmonic Chorus should contact Beth Booth Poor at email@example.com or 379-1254 (day) or 372-1960 (evening).
Choral rehearsals take place Monday from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church.
“Our musicians can learn how an orchestra operates, in addition to increasing their technical skill,” said Bowden, who added that many of the Philharmonic’s musicians also are graduate students at the Indiana University School of Music and other local universities.
Auditions include a short solo, required excerpts from CIP’s orchestral repertoire and a sight-reading test in which musicians will be asked to play an original piece, written by CIP staff, sight-unseen.
While technical skills are key, Bowden said they are not the only requirement for earning a spot with the ensemble.
He also will conduct a short interview with each applicant to ensure that their personalities are a good fit for the group as well.
“We enjoy working together. There’s a chemistry there,” said Bowden of the orchestra. “I am determined that the organization retains its family flavor.”
Bowden also is recruiting members for the Philharmonic Chorus, which is open to singers high-school-aged and up. Singers need not audition to take part, but they should be able to read music.
“You just have to like to sing,” Bowden said.
He said that, this season, the chorus, which has 50 to 60 members, will perform Morten Lauridsen’s “Lux Aeterna” with the orchestra in November, followed by Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 “Choral” in April.
The 2012-2013 CIP season opens Sept. 22 with the Canadian Brass quintet, and season tickets are on sale.
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