Posted by Joe S. on November 28, 1999 at 18:06:37:
In Reply to: Gigs posted by Bradley on November 24, 1999 at 17:53:15:
Form a brass quintet with four other players who are all the best-playing, nicest, most responsible, and most well-groomed people that you can round up. Invest some money and time in purchasing and mastering a varied repertoire; emphasizing Baroque, Renaissance, and (I guess) Christmas stuff. Try to form the quintet for "fun" and for "profit", so that the others will understand that you are not the "leader", nor financially responsible for the group's success. ie: "If we never make one dime, at least we're having fun."
It's a little late for this Christmas, but certainly not too late for Easter. If you get a really good group together and put together a nice little demo c.d. and one-page flyer for distribution to the "moneyed" and "musically sophisticated" churches' music directors in your town (c.d. production and editing is cheap, these days.), you will get a nice little Easter job that will hopefully cover the expense of the music, Kinko's bill (unless YOU create the flyers -They MUST look professional.), and the demo recording. You should deliver the flyers and c.d.s in person and present yourself well, making appointments, if possible. You may get an offer on the spot for Easter. The main thing that most church music directors are afraid of about hiring unknown brass players is obviously the "quality" issue. That is what the c.d. is for.
If your quintet is superb, you should be able to command $500 - $750 per person for two Easter services w/ rehearsal in an Anycity, U.S.A. type of town. If the quintet is not "superb", but is very good, you can probably still ask a couple hundred per person for Easter and $100 per person for other dates.
In churches, you - as a tuba player - will not work very much without being attached to a known local brass quintet. If this is something that you can do and are willing to do, this is what you will probably have to do to get hired to perform in churches, pending the absence of any referrals. Referrals can be obtained by trying to establish a cordial relationship with a working brass quintet in your town, and by gaining the respect of that quintet. That group, once they are convinced that your quintet is competent, will surely be glad to refer engagements to your quintet when they are offered double bookings. They might also be glad to know that individual members of your group might be available to "sub" for members of theirs, and visa-versa.
The snide remarks - although just a bit rude - were somewhat justified, due to the fact that right now, you don't really have a product that can be conveniently sold. A fine quintet, however, is an easy product to sell.