I have been playing first violin in a semi-professional orchestra for a year now. I recieved my music for the next concert, and was distressed to see that it was second violin, 6th chair.
Now, if this orchestra was of a calibre that I thought was professional and/or an ensemble that would make me proud and totally employed....if it were the Nashville Symphony or Memphis symphony or something like that....I'd be glad and proud to sit anywhere in the orchestra. But right now....I feel cheated. This was not my job, I didn't do anything wrong, I've worked hard and never shown up unprepared. I'm professional and I play well. I'm not the greatest, but where I am in my career and life, is somewhere amid the first violins. Anywhere is fine.
I can't imagine going to the rehearsal and concert and not being bitter and feeling like this is going to negatively affect my image. I know it is "about making music" but being a performing and teaching violinist, well, it is also about reputation and image.
So I'm not playing the concert. I sent my music back. I'm also having health problems, so it wasn't hard to find a legit reason to back out. And it is well within the time frame of cancellation specified in other contracts (this orchestra hasn't ever sent me one, the other has).
I feel childish. But I also feel like the seating is done less than responsibly sometimes. It is kind of random. And that seems very unprofessional. In an orchestra of prestige, would this ever happen? With no explanation? Just because someone is trying to fill seats?
The reason I play in this orchestra is to get repetoire under my fingers and to get me into the scene. A vehicle, not an endpoint or goal.
If they fire me, I consider it quitting. I'm already looking for an orchestra that is closer to where I live and not so hard on our vehicle and timetable.
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