This orchestra cannot stress enough about how they are a professional orchestra, and how they treat it like it is and how students should act like it is. If this is supposed to be like a professional orchestra, auditions and seating should be done like it. Certain people seat each section. My friend and I got placed 3rd and 4th, and our other friend, the strongest player, got first. (2 more behind us) They placed a relatively beginner student as second. My teacher is the teacher for every cellist in this section, and said that she doesn’t belong there for her skill level/ sound, and her attitude. She always criticizes everything. She has criticized a performance of the Vivaldi Cello Concerto for 2 cellos (which was me and the principle this year) and has even gone as far as criticizing OUR INSTRUCTOR. You don’t criticize a woman who has been principle cellist in many major orchestras for 50+ years.
My instructor emailed the person who seated us and explained that she simply did not have the ability to step up and play the big solo for this concert, and that her skill level is not right for second chair. She (my instructor) also said that we were seniors, and that she will have her time, but this year she is not quite there.
So tonight the person who seated us stated (he looked around the room but lingered his gaze on us) that our egos should not get in the way of us playing and that he seats us around to just put us around. What is the point of working hard for an audition, playing it really well, and not knowing what seat you’ll get? If I had known he wouldn’t be doing it based on skill, I would have done the minimum just to get in. It wasn’t even me or the 3rd chair that brought it up to our cello teacher. She was the one who initiated the conversation about it. The person who seated us thinks it was us who complained.
For a youth orchestra that prides itself for being like a professional orchestra, they really aren’t acting like it. I feel like it’s a charity, giving everyone a chance. Being 3rd and 4th chair makes us look bad, because the audience doesn’t know that it isn’t seated based on skill.
I don’t care if I sound like I have a big ego/am snobby, when in reality, we really do deserve to be seated higher, even our instructor thinks so.