This past week has been one heck of a week in terms of achieving personal victories in auditions for potential employment in playing positions. On Tuesday of this past week I auditioned for an ensemble that will remain nameless. I had auditioned for this ensemble before in the past, but did not find any luck advancing even through the first round. This last time however, I was fortunate to advance to the finals to be told unofficially that I had would have been offered a position with that ensemble, but due to circumstances of miscommunication and personal difficulties in timing, they were not able to offer me that position at that time. Overall it was a sad moment and upsetting in many ways for me, but one thing that I can take from this is that I took a level of my playing and transformed it to something that now has the ability to win positions in prestigious ensembles in the United States. This focus in my practice had never truly be on the forefront in what I worked on as a performer. Most of my time was spent focusing on the pedagogical aspects of the trumpet and examining and performing solo literature.
I am taking a particular piece of advice away from all of what happened this week, and that element is that you should always be willing to ask for help and seek guidance from others who either work in that particular environment you are auditioning for, or around it. What I mean by that, is that one should not be afraid to play and perform for individuals who know about the literature you are performing, either through first hand experience of playing them themselves in an ensemble, or work around that literature in a different section. Having first hand experiential knowledge and insight provided to someone working on excerpts from the certain literature, it is easy to gain tips-and-tricks as to what conductors expect when they hear it and, what they others in a section are hoping to hear beside them in performances. This bit of knowledge may seem really obvious when it comes to trumpeters preparing for auditions, but in all of my times preparing for auditions I didn't take the time to seek out every one who was willing to listen to me. This past time, I reached out to every contact I had in that particular realm of performance and asked if they could take time to provide their personal insights into what they thought of my preparation at that particular point.
The act of activity seeking out and aggressively heeding the advice of that what others provided to my performance helped shape what I was able to provide to the "nameless" ensemble that for whom I was auditioning. Having unofficially been told the news of my unofficial success will be regarded as one of my biggest successes in my personal study on the trumpet. The knowledge that I was able to transform myself into a player that, before wasn't able to advance out of a first round, to player that was unanimously voted on by the committee as being their "choice or no one" has provided me with the confidence that I can make it in this field. Having personal confidence in one's self is almost as important as being able to play the trumpet. Believing in yourself and knowing that you have what it takes keeps you motivated, and it enables you to continue even though some times are tough. This was not my first audition and I had not advanced in many before, but this victory has enabled me to place my confidence on a new level to push me even further than before.
So, in the TL:DR version of what I am rambling on about you should not be afraid to seek out the help and insights any and everyone you know that can help you. Every bit of information they can provide is a small bit of insight into what the committee could be thinking when you perform a certain excerpt for them at the audition.
Happy Practicing and don't be afraid to reach out once and a while to ask for help.