Listen on –
On this installment of “Winning the Job”, we are featuring Mark Maliniak and Jaclyn Rainey. Mark recently won the fourth/utility trumpet position with the Atlanta Symphony and Jaclyn won associate principal horn with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Congrats to them both!
Both Mark and Jaclyn have plenty of experience taking auditions, so they have a wealth of knowledge that they are able to share with us in this episode. Some things that stuck out to me are:
Nothing Can Replicate Taking Auditions
During Mark’s interview, he mentions that he had 5 auditions in a short amount of time, and he felt this was incredibly helpful in feeling comfortable and confident in the audition that he won. Doing things like mock auditions and playing for others can sometimes help simulate the feeling of taking an audition, but he suggests nothing can replace actually traveling to a place, sleeping in a hotel, getting to the hall, warming up, and then doing the audition. He also recognizes that not everyone has the ability to go to every audition, but the point still remains. If you want to get good at taking auditions, if you have the ability to take a lot of auditions, there’s really no better way to do it.
Have A Plan
Mark describes the kind of work he did preparing for the various auditions he had with clarity during the interview we did. The fundamentals he did were geared toward making sure he was strong in the skills he needed to be strong in for whatever audition he was taking (they weren’t all principal auditions). When practicing the excerpts, he often went very slow (50% tempo) in order to cover every detail. He mentioned he had a organizational system similar to Mark Inouye’s audition prep (For those that don’t know, Mark is the principal trumpet of the San Francisco Symphony. Mark Maliniak details what the audition prep is in the episode). All of these details are important to be successful for an audition. The more variables you understand and are able to account for, the more prepared you will be!
You’re Never Too Busy To Take An Audition
In Jaclyn’s part of the episode, it becomes apparent very quickly that she needed to find a system of organization for this audition that she could fit into her busy schedule. Between her full time job in the Atlanta Symphony and a teaching studio, it sounds like it wasn’t always easy to find time to practice. But she is proof that you can be successful in preparing for an audition (a big one in LA for that matter) in less than ideal circumstances. You just need to find a way to prepare that will allow you to get the work in that you need to do.
Be Yourself In The Audition
Jaclyn spoke about how she focuses on making sure she is totally prepared for the auditions that she takes, and then she does her best to play the way she likes to play. She doesn’t try to overthink it and try to decide what she thinks the committee wants. It’s my belief, and Jaclyn’s success certainly speaks to this, that you’ll never be the most compelling version of yourself if you’re always second guessing whether or not people like your playing. Prepare to the best of your ability, and then show everyone what makes you unique!
Here’s a Spotify playlist for this episode. A ton of great a varied music to listen to!
Until next time,