I’m writing this from a coffee shop in Eugene, Oregon, celebrating the completion of my audition with an iced chai and some kind of pastry that contains my whole day worth of calories.
Cutting to the chase, the audition went well! Molly Barth is the flute teacher at UO and she is pretty awesome! She offered to meet with me for a lesson before my audition and I thought she was very helpful and that we working well together. The audition itself was not just for her, as is the case in many places, it was also in front of other members of the woodwind faculty. But they all seemed very friendly as well!
I have now completed 2 auditions without playing any Mozart concerti. I know, I know, how could this happen?? Maybe we, as a community, are finally moving away from judging everyone based on the opening sections of pieces the composer only wrote to make a quick buck…not likely, but one can dream!
Eugene is a nice, Pacific Northwest city though! At least, what I can see of it through the fog which is quite thick. We asked our airport shuttle driver if this fog was typical and she went off about fog for a good ten minutes. This must be a popular topic around here in the winter time. The thing that I noticed was that she never referred to any kind of lack of fog, she only said things like “It wasn’t this bad the other day” and “It was real bad last Wednesday, or was it Thursday…” I’m ok with it though, I don’t need the sun the shine 100% of the time (this comment is directed at you, California!)
I love it though. I cannot see mountains but one has the distinct sense that mountains are near, like when you drive to the coast and you know you’re getting close to the ocean. Last weekend I was in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California. Whereas USC had ALL of the fountains, Eugene has ALL the trees. Big ones, not the ones you can tell they planted as landscaping. Between the trees and the fog, it feels a bit like this town was nestled into the forest moon of Endor. Didn’t they film the Ewoks in the Pacific Northwest…?
Anyway, I’m waiting to meet the UO flute studio for dinner. They emailed me and invited me to hang out with them and ask any questions I have. This is something that has never be offered to me during an audition weekend and I love it. It is actually in step with the general mood of this audition weekend; everyone is very hospitable and eager to get to know me. It can be easy to feel as though you don’t belong somewhere when visiting but I felt very welcomed in this humble University town.
Ok, one more to go: I’m off to Seattle next weekend to complete my tour of Pacific states!