Listen on –
On this installment of “Winning the Job”, we’re featuring George Goad and Derek Fenstermacher. George recently won associate principal trumpet with the Montreal Symphony and Derek won principal tuba with the St. Louis Symphony. Congrats to them both!
I’ve known George for a number of years now. I first met him at Tanglewood in 2013. I was playing for just one week in the Festival of Contemporary Music, and he was a fellow that year. I remember thinking he was a really nice guy, and he had a love and passion for music. I bumped into him at an audition a few years ago, but very briefly then as well. I was really happy to get to speak with him for a longer period of time and learn about his process when preparation for an audition. One thing that really stuck out to me was when he talked about playing things at half tempo. I was just starting to dig into playing half tempo, so it was great to hear of someone else who invests time into playing slower tempos and has had success with it!
I had heard of Derek through the grapevine before, but I’ve never actually met him. It’s been really nice to have a chance to interact with people that don’t know me personally, but are still willing to give of their time and experience to help other people. One thing that Derek said that really helped me in my Chicago Symphony audition was thinking of the people on the committee as my friends. I think it’s very easy to think that the committee is just looking to cut people if you make one mistake, but the truth is the opposite I think. That committee definitely wants to hire someone, if for no other reason than they don’t want to have to come back and do it again. But they want to hire someone, and it might as well be you. So thinking of them as friends really helped put me in a mindset to play more music and be less critical. I didn’t end up advancing, but his advice really made a big difference in the moment!
Here’s a Spotify playlist of some music George and Derek enjoy listening to!
Until next time,