Associate & Assistant Concertmasters: does that simply mean 2nd chair and 3rd chair?

August 2, 2017, 7:35 AM · I am aware that in most professional orchestras, assistant and associate concertmasters get paid more than the rest of the violinists in the first section, but less than the concertmaster him (or her) -self. But in a youth or say community orchestra, where nobody gets paid anyway, are those titles still given by whoever does the seating? Or does sitting second chair simply mean you're automatically the associate concertmaster and third chair assistant concertmaster?

Replies (3)

August 2, 2017, 8:11 AM · Many community and youth orchestras don't do title chairs beyond the actual principal player. Some might formally title assistant principals (2nd chair). I've never encountered a non-pro orchestra that has title chairs in the strings beyond that.

My community orchestra does formally designate people who sit 2nd chair (who do not rotate seats within the section, basically), but they don't get a title.

August 3, 2017, 7:31 AM · I was involved with the Rochester youth orchestra for several years. We usually have only a Concertmaster chair. In a few years, we have had 2 very talented violinists and had two Co-Concertmaster chairs. The 2 violinists switched positions for different pieces.

The Rochester Philharmonic (professionals) has Associate and Assistant chairs. My understanding is that these people have section responsibilities delegated to them from the Concertmaster.

Edited: August 3, 2017, 7:57 AM · My school orchestra labels concertmaster, assistant concertmaster, co-concertmaster, principal, and assistant principal. The principal 2nd is usually titled co-concertmaster in my school orchestra, and the front stand 1sts and 2nds switch to the other section every half a semester. I've never been in a youth orchestra, but the community orchestra I've participated in just named based on seating with titles up to 2nd chair for each section.

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