Blog Archives

Janet Horvath offers 12 tips for having manners in the orchestra

Janet Horvath, the author of the book, Playing Less Hurt has offered up her advice on having manners while in the orchestra. Everyone wants to be successful in the orchestral setting but it doesn’t hurt to remember your manners with your fellow orchestra family. It’s important to keep the environment from becoming toxic and getting along with one another is the first step in doing so. Below are five quick tips to help you along.

00332931If you are to be successful in an orchestral setting, you need to have manners— unwritten rules of behavior that will help you become successful in the orchestra family. It’s tough enough that you have to take direction all the time from the conductor and also your section leader. Annoying behavior from colleagues makes the whole workplace toxic.
So here are a few tips:

1. Be prepared. Know your music before the first rehearsal. Sight-reading is a not appreciated by others who have spent hours learning the music.

2. If you’ve borrowed the music be considerate to your stand partner and arrive at the rehearsal early with the music. They might like to glance at a few tough licks.

3. Be in your seat well before the time for tuning. There is nothing worse than having a colleague racing in at the last minute who then jostles the music stand and shuffles chairs to make enough room for him or herself when the conductor is already coming onstage.

4. Agree with your stand partner where you can put a few markings or fingerings, in pencil. Typically in the string section, the person sitting on the outside of the stand will write above the staff and the person sitting on the inside of the stand will write below the staff but keep these to a minimum. The music has to be legible and erasable for performances down the road.

5. Do not talk during the rehearsal unless it’s a direct question to your section leader. Every orchestra has a jokester who chatters a running commentary during the rehearsal. Although it can be funny it is distracting to the other members of the orchestra.

Read the rest here.

Using Popular Music in Your Audition

Guest Blogger: Sheri Sanders is the author of Rock the Audition. This is an excerpt of her post on StageNotes. Please visit their site for her full article.

Rock Musicals are dominating Broadway. And Musical Theatre performers and their teachers are expected to know how to pick, cut, arrange, properly research, vocally style, and act authentic popular music for the purpose of auditioning for rock musicals. And “rock musicals” are not just rock. They are Motown, 70s folk/rock, disco, 80s pop/rock, contemporary pop and rock and alternative rock. In 2011, Hal Leonard invited me to write a book so that I could reach educators and their students all over the world to de-mystify the rock audition with easy tips, references, tangible tools, and a DVD demonstrating the different styles currently represented on Broadway. I include interviews with the top directors, music directors, casting directors and composers of the hottest rock musicals on Broadway. When I sat in on all the rock auditions in the three months I wrote this book, the consensus was the same in every room, no matter what the style.

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Rock the Audition defines what is required of the actor-singer to succeed in the audition room and gives the aspiring performer the tools necessary to interpret rock material with abandon, creativity, and inspiration. This book shows those interested in auditioning for a rock musical how to holistically embody the essence of the show for which they are auditioning.