29 June 2010

Applicant FAQ

Written to an applicant for the conducting position:

I am the managing director of the Lincoln Youth Symphony. I have a vision of the youth symphony no longer being a "best kept secret"... I envision a conductor who wants to grow the program so it blesses more lives in Box Elder and Northern Weber counties. 

Thank you for your questions. I will do my best to answer them!

  1. On which day and at what time are rehearsals?  I remember reading that rehearsals are currently scheduled for Saturday mornings.  Is this still accurate?

    The Lincoln Youth Symphony rehearsals have always been on Saturday mornings, 8:30 to 11:00 am, and they are currently held at Adele C Young Intermediate School, 830 Law Drive, Brigham City, UT 84302. 

    (When the orchestra was originally founded, it was held at the Lincoln Center in Brigham where the Boys and Girls Club meets - hence the name of the orchestra.) 

    The reason for the "vague" rehearsal time is that we are open to restructuring - or at least looking into it. I have talked to many other youth symphony personnel, and most of them rehearse on a weekday, avoiding Saturday mornings so they don't lose people to the the Utah Youth Symphony, which also rehearses on Saturday Mornings. 

    However, I did a survey of my faithful members at the end of this season and realized that many of them play for me because it's on Saturday mornings. This orchestra draws from a spread-out area - it includes students from as far south as Riverdale, with quite a few that live in Pleasant View, North Ogden, and Plain City, and as far north as Tremonton - and with the distances they travel, it seems to work better on Saturday Mornings. I also recently surveyed people who do not play in the LYS (through students who are current members) and it is kind of split - people who might be interested are split on whether they like Saturday or a variety of other days. 

    The proposal right now is to keep Saturday mornings... as Richard Marsden said to me recently, "Choose a day, and don't apologize for it".... but it is open to discussion.

  2. What is the window for accepting applications for the position?  I am currently updating my resume and I will have my materials ready to send this weekend - will that be acceptable?

    The audition orchestra date is July 10th in the morning. Please submit applications as soon as possible. Scores and instructions will be sent to applicants one week prior to the audition. Anyone wishing to apply after July 3rd will receive scores and instructions as soon as possible, but will end up with a shorter preparation time.

  3. A quarterly stipend is mentioned in the e-mail.  How much will that be?

    The quarterly stipend is $900. This is paid at the end of each quarter of Lake Bonneville Symphonic Society's (LBSS) fiscal year - which puts payroll on Oct 31, Jan 31, Apr 30, and July 31. The stipend covers the symphony season but is split evenly over the fiscal year. It is 1099 income (self-employment). 

  4. When are the four concerts scheduled throughout the year?

    We are just getting the concerts for next year onto the calendar. 

    For the last two years, our schedule has looked like this: We had our opening concert the Saturday before Thanksgiving which incorporated some Christmas music, but was mostly a regular concert. This concert is combined with Lincoln Youth Chamber Orchestra, our Middle School aged string orchestra. 

    At the beginning of November, we schedule a concerto audition and select one or more students to perform concertos with the orchestra for the concert on a Saturday at the end of January. Members of the orchestra may audition for free, and we charge a $20 fee for others, so the auditions are open to the public. I would like to see more people audition. This year we had two soloists who were not members of the organization, and one that was a member. Those who choose to audition for concerto night must clear their music with the director to assure that the music is available and doable. 

    The third concert is at Abravanel Hall. This coming year it will be on Monday, February 28, 2011. This is the youth symphony festival (are you familiar with this?). We usually try to renew something that we played for the fall concert so there is time to prepare the April concert.  Last year we got bold and played the entire Haydn Symphony No. 101. Not exactly a crowd pleaser, the but our musicians felt really good about it.

    The final concert is in April. We've been doing it Friday - the day before State Solo & Ensemble, which is when we lose people - and having an extra rehearsal the day before. The last couple years we have added a combined piece for both LYCO and LYS to play together at the end. This and the November concert are the only concerts that LYCO plays... 

    One other concert is and is not part of our season: We always play at Brigham City's Peach Days festival. It's a "combined" concert between the LBCS (Lake Bonneville Community Symphony), LYCO and LYS. No audition required, and it's a fun way to start the year. 

    This year's concert will be on Sept 11th on the Main Street Stage at 1:30. This concert, the last couple years, has been conducted by the youth symphony conductor, but the rehearsals have been on Community Symphony rehearsal nights - Tues & Thurs evenings during the few weeks before the concert. These rehearsal times are flexible.

    Our auditions are the Saturday after Peach Days and rehearsals begin the week after, so our first concert at the end of Nov is usually somewhat simpler repertoire. 

  5. What age range are members of the orchestra?  Do most of the students take private lessons?

    The age range is generally high school age, and, yes, most take private lessons. They are motivated and care about music or they wouldn't be in the orchestra!
  6. What is the skill level of the orchestra?  What pieces have they performed on recent programs?

    The skill level... Let me just refer you to the programs I've put on the website so you can see what they've played. I would say that the biggest change I'd like to see is more coaching in the brass and winds and more bodies in the strings. 
Thanks again for your questions. I look forward to a continued dialog with you.

Best Regards,

- Julie Gardner

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