#TBT Rethinking The Audition Process

Monday’s quiz about audition fees has generated a large number of responses. I’m leaving it open until we circle back to the topic next week but in the meantime, here’s what readers think (so far) about which scenarios are most common for musicians auditioning for an opening:

For more on this topic, here’s an article from 2016 with suggestions on how to improve the audition process. The post goes into details for each item, but here’s the basic overview:

  1. Create A Uniform Application
  2. Establish And Publish An Audition Committee Code Of Conduct
  3. Disclose Invitees Or Internal Candidates
  4. Disclose Minimum Audition Length Provisions
  5. Enough With Hidden “Litmus Test” Qualifiers
  6. Disclose Screened Audition Status
  7. Solicit Formal Candidate Feedback
  8. Prompt, Deadline Oriented Communication
  9. Let Candidates Know How Finalists Are Selected

Improving The Musician Audition Process

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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