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Behind the Screen
52 minutes | Jul 22, 2021
BTS Episode 28 - Matt Howard
In our final episode of Season 2, we welcome the Principal Percussionist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Matt Howard. Matt is from Los Angeles and he talks to us about his experience taking an audition for his hometown orchestra, and how he wasn’t invited the first time (we’ve heard this before from several of our other guests). He lets us in on his routine for taking auditions, what it’s like being on the other side of the screen listening to auditions, but also, he talks about breaking it down to the basics and being mentally prepared. What is the constant, and what is the variable? The more he broke it down, the more he realized the variable was almost always mental. Everyone preparing for an audition, regardless of your instrument, needs to listen to what Matt has to say. It’s wonderful advice and Matt was a great guest!Thank you for subscribing and let us know your thoughts or who’d you like to hear on Behind the Screen at firstname.lastname@example.org
42 minutes | Jul 8, 2021
BTS Episode 27 - Ricardo Morales
Ricardo Morales, Principal Clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra is our guest on this episode of Behind the Screen. Before winning his position with Philly, Ricardo was Principal Clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He talks about his experiences with both auditions as well as sitting behind the screen when listening to auditions. He talks about how to prepare for an audition and what he believes the panel is listening for and what is the differentiating factor when choosing one candidate over another. Ricardo points out that boxing and auditions are very similar. As he says: “there is a very fine line between kicking butt, and getting your butt kicked.” We loved talking and laughing with Ricardo and you’ll love listening to him on Behind the Screen. Thank you for subscribing and let us know your thoughts or who’d you like to hear on Behind the Screen at email@example.com
50 minutes | Jun 24, 2021
BTS Episode 26 - Carol Jantsch
Carol Jantsch, Principal Tuba of the Philadelphia Orchestra joins us on Behind the Screen to talk about her experience with taking, and winning, her audition with the Philadelphia Orchestra – while she was still in college!! As we’ve heard before from other guests, she wasn’t invited the first time. How did she win? Carol lets us in on what she works on with her students who are preparing for auditions, and their routines. We talk about being on the other side of the screen, what it is she’s listening for when someone is playing, how playing is a physical activity, and how to take care of your body. Oh yeah, winds and brass players, get molds of your teeth. Tune in to find out why.Check out Carol's website at caroljantsch.com and her podcast "Rising Stars", now in its second season!Thank you for subscribing and let us know your thoughts or who’d you like to hear on Behind the Screen at firstname.lastname@example.org
50 minutes | Jun 10, 2021
BTS Episode 25 - Michael Sachs
Michael Sachs, Principal Trumpet of The Cleveland Orchestra joins us on Behind the Screen to talk about auditions (imagine that…). Mike won his position back in 1988 but he wasn’t initially invited! Listen in to how he ended up finally being invited and how he was able to win. Mike talks to us about how playing is very physical, and he equates practicing to training for the Olympics and having proper fundamentals. Mike has three words that he wants to hear when listening to an audition: “Compelling musical presence”. Find out what he means and find out about what he says was the separating factor for every brass audition he’s listened to at The Cleveland Orchestra. If you’re taking an audition, regardless of your instrument, listen to this episode. Thank you for subscribing and let us know your thoughts or who’d you like to hear on Behind the Screen at email@example.com
46 minutes | May 27, 2021
BTS Episode 24 - Demarre McGill
Demarre McGill, Principal Flute of the Seattle Symphony joins us on Behind the Screen. Demarre walks us through his audition successes, and how he prepares for them. He talks about his philosophy called the “Habit of Playing Beautifully” and how you need to train yourself to sound beautiful, regardless of what you’re playing. This conversation is a deep dive into the mind of a great musician who has a wonderful outlook on life and music.Thank you for subscribing and let us know your thoughts or who’d you like to hear on Behind the Screen at firstname.lastname@example.org
52 minutes | May 13, 2021
BTS Episode 23 - Cynthia Phelps - "A Balanced Life"
Cynthia Phelps, Principal Viola of the New York Philharmonic, joins Behind the Screen on this episode titled “A Balanced Life”. She talks about the love of playing music and to have a depth of knowledge in the excerpts that you’re playing. It’s the little things in these excerpts that will distinguish you from the others and show who you are and what you have to say. We talk about the pressure of taking an audition, to make sure that you have a balanced life, and to always be open to what life may throw your way. Cindy has a wonderful outlook on life, and it was such a pleasure to speak with her and to hear her great advice on taking auditions, living life, playing tennis, and making sure your life is balanced. Notice a theme? Thank you for subscribing and let us know your thoughts or who’d you like to hear on Behind the Screen at email@example.com
25 minutes | May 5, 2021
BTS Episode 22 - Winging It
On this episode of Behind the Screen, Matt and JT call two New World Symphony Fellows! Michael Turkell, violin and Kathryn Bradley, bass join BTS to talk about Michael’s recent audition, Kathryn’s preparation for an upcoming audition, and about a day in the life of an NWS Fellow. We have a ton of fun and they bailed us out -- so thank them by tuning in! Thank you for subscribing and let us know your thoughts or who’d you like to hear on Behind the Screen at firstname.lastname@example.org
58 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
BTS Episode 21 - Alex Kerr
Alex Kerr, Concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony, joins Behind the Screen to talk to us about his journey after winning the Concertmaster audition for the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra when he was only 25 years old! He tells us what it takes to be a Concertmaster, and shares what he is listening for when he’s behind the screen listening to auditions. Alex talks about his teaching philosophy and how you must know every facet of your playing, as well as how to be consistent. Tune in to hear one of this generation's greatest Concertmasters and teachers.Thank you for subscribing and let us know your thoughts or who’d you like to hear on Behind the Screen at email@example.com
50 minutes | Apr 15, 2021
BTS Episode 20 - Kristen Bruya
Kristen Bruya, principal bass of the Minnesota Orchestra joins us on Behind the Screen to talk about her journey in taking auditions. Kristen talks about how she developed a routine and honed her audition taking skills (let’s dance!), going back to school, and how she was able to learn and find humility from her colleagues. Be honest with yourself, leave your ego out of it, and try to remain open. Kristen has such a wonderful sense of humor, an infectious laugh and incredible insights to audition taking and just life in general. Thank you for subscribing and let us know your thoughts! Or, let us know who you'd like to hear on Behind the Screen at firstname.lastname@example.org We're not begging. Really.
59 minutes | Apr 3, 2021
BTS Episode 19 - Weston Sprott
Weston Sprott, trombonist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra joins us on Behind the Screen to talk about his journey - both with taking auditions, and listening to them. Weston shares how the Met Orchestra, one of the world’s best and most diverse orchestras, holds their auditions and how that should be a model for all orchestras. Listen in to Weston share his philosophy on taking auditions and what you should (or shouldn’t) do in each round. As he says, “You’re playing a solo recital of orchestral excerpts”. Thank you for subscribing and let us know your thoughts, or who’d you like to hear on Behind the Screen at email@example.com
59 minutes | Mar 18, 2021
BTS Episode 18 - Brinton Smith
Brinton Smith, principal cello of the Houston Symphony joins Behind the Screen. Brinton has amazing insights to auditions and what it’s like being on the other side of the screen -- not only about what he listens for, but how he listens. As he says, “you listen differently when the screen is up.” Brinton has taken at least 40 auditions and listened to even more, so he knows what he’s talking about! Most importantly, he explains how everyone behind the screen is actually rooting for you! This is a great discussion with an even greater cellist and person. Thank you for subscribing and let us know your thoughts or who’d you like to hear on Behind the Screen at firstname.lastname@example.org
26 minutes | Feb 25, 2021
BTS Episode 17 - Jerry Schwarz (Part Two)
Part two of our interview with Jerry Schwarz. We talk tenure, trials, communication, and of course, auditions. Hear more of Jerry’s thoughts and his great stories.Thank you for subscribing and let us know your thoughts or who you'd like to hear on Behind the Screen at email@example.com
33 minutes | Feb 11, 2021
BTS Episode 16 - Jerry Schwarz (Part One)
Behind the Screen is Back!! We are thrilled to be back and speaking with our wonderful guest about auditions and their experiences. In our opening two episodes we talk, with the Conductor Emeritus of the Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz. Jerry has been listening to auditions for decades with a TON of different orchestras and has wonderful insight as to what a conductor might be looking for when they are listening to an audition. This is a great discussion about the other side of the screen. As Jerry said, “Many times it’s not how you play, it’s who’s judging you.” Listen in to his stories and hear his nuggets of wisdom and tune in next time for the conclusion of our conversation with this extraordinary musician and conductor. Thank you for subscribing and let us know your thoughts or who’d you like to hear on Behind the Screen at firstname.lastname@example.org
53 minutes | Dec 18, 2020
BTS Episode 15 - JT and Matt Season Finale!
In the final episode of the first season of Behind the Screen, JT and Matt review the amazing guest we’ve spoken with and dig a little deeper into what Matt does (who is the person behind the voice?) We talk current events, family, what’s happening with some orchestras in the time of COVID and catch up. Happy Holidays and see you in the New Year! Stay safe, and wear a mask.Charlie Rosmarin, Percussion, New World Symphony Rebecca Oliverio, Trumpet, Lyric Opera of Chicago Nathaniel Silberschlag, Principal Horn, The Cleveland Orchestra Lisa Dempsey Kane, Principal Orchestra Librarian, The Juilliard School Billy Hunter, Principal Trumpet, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Steven Moeckel, Concertmaster, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra Ryan Roberts, Oboe/English Horn, New York Philharmonic Andrew Brady, Principal Bassoon, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Natsuki Kumagai, Violin, Minnesota Orchestra John Wilson, Orchestra Pianist, San Francisco and San Diego Symphonies Emma Gerstein, 2nd Flute, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Erich Rieppel, Principal Timpani, Minnesota Orchestra
49 minutes | Nov 26, 2020
BTS Episode 14 - Erich Rieppel
Our last guest of the season is the principal timpanist of the Minnesota Orchestra, Erich Rieppel. He joins BTS to talk about his recent appointment, dealing with the cold weather (he’s used to -40 degrees), and how lucky he feels to be playing with his hometown orchestra. He walks us through a timpani audition, and the difference between the American and German setup, the different types of timpani heads, and the different types of actual timpani. Erich had trials with three major orchestras before winning Minnesota (his fourth trial). What did he do differently in Minnesota? Hear Erich’s fascinating story on how he ended up winning this coveted spot with the Minnesota Orchestra.
50 minutes | Nov 13, 2020
BTS Episode 13 - Emma Gerstein
Emma Gerstein, the 2nd flute of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, joins us to talk to us about how she went from playing with the New World Symphony, to winning a position around the world with the Auckland Philharmonia in New Zealand! And then, how she won her current position with her hometown orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She talks about how she prepared for the CSO audition while having a full-time job, and prioritized practicing her excerpts vs practicing for that week’s orchestra concert. Emma reveals how many auditions she has taken, and how she dealt with the losses and kept getting up afterwards. There’s always one more. Emma leaves us with one of the best mantras we’ve heard so far: “Leave your ego at the door.” What does she mean by that? Listen in to find out!
44 minutes | Oct 29, 2020
BTS Episode 12 - John Wilson
Pianist John Wilson joins BTS to discuss what it’s like to take an orchestral piano audition. John is the orchestral keyboardist for the San Diego and San Francisco Symphonies, and he tells us what it’s like to play a number of different keyboards (even accordion!) and the need to adjust when you show up to play with an orchestra that has a different piano than you’re used to -- or even a really bad piano! What’s John’s sound image? What is sound image? Is it just an illusion? Can the audience tell the difference? John talks about what he considers the difference between being a piano soloist and an orchestral pianist and how it’s not so different. Well, other than sight reading a score to accompany a soloist or an audition for another instrument. YIKES!!
46 minutes | Oct 15, 2020
BTS Episode 11 - Natsuki Kumagai
JT and Matt speak with Natsuki Kumagai, violinist with the Minnesota Orchestra.
54 minutes | Oct 1, 2020
BTS Episode 10 - Andrew Brady
Andrew Brady, principal bassoon of the Atlanta Symphony joins BTS to and walks us through the two times he took the Atlanta audition. He explains how the little things (maybe not so little!) make the difference and what he changed between the first audition when he made it to semi-finals, and when he won the second audition. Did it help? Andrew talks about preparation for an upcoming audition, why an excerpt is on the list, and of course we talk reeds. Andrew finishes up giving his most honest and candid answers to racial issues in orchestras, auditions being screened or not, and the tenure process.
42 minutes | Sep 17, 2020
BTS Episode 9 - Ryan Roberts
Ryan Roberts, English Horn/Oboe of the New York Philharmonic joins BTS to talk about his audition successes -- and the few that weren't so great. He is the second youngest musician ever to become a member of the NY Phil, and won the job after it was vacant for over 9 years (he’s only 24!). Ryan discusses the difference between winning an audition versus not getting past the prelims, and how auditions are subjective and how much goes in to choosing a player. He talks about the importance of reeds, the amount of time it takes to make the perfect reed, plus the benefits of colleagues being on the audition circuit with you. It’s good to have a friend to join you at the bar!
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