Thursday, July 24, 2008

First Step to 2009

I spent today revising the web pages for the 2009 audition tour applications. Official links and details will follow soon, but it looks as if all auditions will take place between November 6-22. The first deadline will be September 30. We'll be in Houston, LA, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and, of course, Vienna.

Is There An Echo in Here?

Remember this? Today's news is that we have officially decided to kill the optional audio sample in our application process.

We've reached the tipping point where the easy availability of high-quality sound enhancement (Garage Band, anyone?) has rendered an audio CD or mp3 pretty useless as a diagnostic tool. In the last couple of years, the few audio samples that I allowed to push me over the edge in the screening process turned out to be red herrings. Voices that sounded almost nothing in person like they did on their recordings.

We didn't make this decision lightly, for I am all for gathering as much information as possible to make those difficult screening choices. If we were looking for truly raw talent and sheer potential, I might've held onto this longer. But the bottom line is that our program is designed for singers who've been through a substantial amount of training and other formative experiences. And that information does show up on paper. Not always in the same way for each person, but if we're diligent and intuitive enough about interpreting all of the details in the application and résumé, we get a good feel for it. We're just not getting a reasonable investment for the 100+ hours spent managing, cataloguing, and reviewing CDs and mp3s.

So, that's one less thing you have to worry about when preparing this particular application!

Talk Back

You might want to back up and visit yesterday's post, which has already generated a few comments.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can understand this.

I recently was a judge on a competition that required a CD for its preliminary round (they had separate judges for that). When my time at the semi-finals came around, I was beyond shocked at about 3-4 of the singers who had made it that far. The editing on those CDs must have been beyond incredible because this small handful of folks was nowhere near the level of the others.

Requiring a CD (or not allowing CDs that involve an orchestra without written consent from the orchestra, which none will give) is also a touch unfair to rising singers who are actually working a little and simply don't have time to get into a studio (or record with an edirol and edit to death) because they are working.

I will be curious to see how this goes.