Cedar Rapids Symphony Auditions
During the past weekend, the Cedar Rapids Symphony held auditions. Sunday, August 27 included auditions for Principal Trumpet (1 year), Principal Trombone, Second Trombone and Bass Trombone. As a member of the audition committee, I arrived at 11:30 am to find that the Second Clarinet Audition was running overtime…they had begun at 8 am. When we finally finished the Bass Trombone audition, it was 11:15 pm!! No down time….meals at the table…10 minute breaks to clear your head…..a gruelling day on both sides of the curtain!
Auditions in CR are ‘blind’ auditions meaning that candidates are assigned a number when they check in. During the audition, the first round performances are behind a curtain so that the committee does not know who they are hearing. If a significant number of candidates are advanced to the second round (which was the case), then the second round was also behind a curtain. Only at the final did the candidates perform where the committee could see them.
For the brass positions, 16 trumpets, 18 trombones and 10 bass trombones auditioned. It was a really excellent set of audition with candidates coming from as far away as Oregon to audition. In the end, the following contracts were offered and accepted:
- Andrew Classen, principal trumpet (one year)
- Matt Conrad, principal trombone
- George Krem, second trombone
- Brian Hardester, bass trombone
Congratulations to our new members of the Cedar Rapids Symphony Brass Section! The first concert of the season will be Saturday, September 23 and will feature A LOT of brass playing in Elgar’s ‘In the South’ Overture and the ever popular ‘Pines of Rome’ by Respeigi.