Posted by Jay Bertolet on April 27, 2002 at 10:38:36:
In Reply to: consider it from a different perspective posted by Mark McMahon on April 26, 2002 at 13:16:46:
What Matt Good said is exactly true, the rules of auditions in a Master Agreement are very important to the candidates as well as those still in the orchestra. Ostensibly, they assure that only the best candidates will be engaged to play with the orchestra, thus preserving the high level of playing the ensemble does.
That said, I personally feel it is a big mistake to not hire someone at an audition, especially one that had the HUGE number of highly qualified candidates that were at the most recent round of auditions. That is the whole reason to have probation, a period during which the potential candidate has to prove (on the job) that s/he is qualified and capable to do the position. If they don't prove this, no tenure. Simple as that! As good as auditions are these days in testing candidates, they do not encompass all aspects of the skills necessary for the potential winner. Let me give you an example of what I mean:
A few years ago I participated in the audition of our current Principal Timpanist. In the final round, there were three candidates, one of which didn't play very well in the final round and everyone agreed that player wasn't really a consideration. That left two players, one I really liked and one I was lukewarm on. In deliberations it was learned that the percussionists on the committee all felt the player I didn't like as much was the clear choice. The music director felt as I did. The percussionists convinced the committee to give this player a shot, saying that we could always deny the player tenure after his first season and have another audition. After his first season, it was obvious that the percussionists were right. Further, the player's ensemble skills were much better than anybody expected and he fit right into the ensemble. That player was granted tenure and still plays (extremely well) with us today.
Other folks have asserted that this whole process has been embarassing and a disgrace and I don't entirely disagree with those sentiments. More importantly in my mind is the fact that I don't believe the course these auditions have taken will produce the best candidate who will ultimately take the job. That seems like bad business to me.
My opinion for what it's worth...