I’m considering auditioning for the UBS Verbier Orchestra in February. It’s one of the few ‘youth’ orchestras that I’m still young enough to participate in, with an upper age limit of 29. I’m actually quite unlikely to succeed at such an audition, but it would be a good experience. I have many, many orchestral excerpts to learn for the end of year exams this year, and a February audition would be a good midpoint to aim for.
I don’t really have strong career aspirations toward orchestral playing, but this is at least partly because of a lack of orchestral experience. I don’t dislike orchestral playing but the images it conjures up in my mind are of amateur orchestras fraught with politics and violinists who have not practised their parts. If I were to pass an audition, either this year or next year, for the UBS Verbier Orchestra or something of similar standard, it would give me a chance to try it out in a more intensive way and see if I end up liking it. The Verbier would be particularly good because all food, travel and accommodation are paid for, plus a small remuneration of CHF50 (that’s £20-ish) per day, which would keep my rent back in London covered.