At a Glance: Arapahoe Philharmonic’s New Auditions Program
In the interest of keeping our organization relevant, financially sustainable and an orchestra our community can be proud of, the Arapahoe Philharmonic board of directors made the decision to implement an annual audition program for all musicians.
The FAQ below provides insight into our decision. If you have additional questions, please contact Corinne Denny at ExecutiveDirector@arapahoe-phil.org.
Why did you decide to implement an annual auditions policy?
Our mission is to engage, enrich and inspire our community. We can only do that if our performances are consistently enjoyable. In the interest of keeping our organization relevant, financially sustainable and an orchestra our community can be proud of, our board of directors made the decision to implement an annual audition program for all musicians.
These are not traditional auditions, where musicians would play for a panel and either be welcomed into the orchestra or rejected. These pre-season auditions are designed to provide helpful feedback to all of our musicians and ensure they are playing music that is enjoyable and appropriate to their current skill level. If a musician is not selected to play on certain concerts or not happy with their placement, they can always decide to re-audition.
Do other orchestras do this?
The AP is a community-based orchestra who sets their own membership policies. We can’t speak for other organizations, but our board of directors determined that this was the best way to move the Arapahoe Philharmonic forward so we can continue to create value for our community.
We remain committed to supporting our musicians and welcoming new members to our orchestra.
How has this change been communicated?
The Arapahoe Philharmonic board of directors has been open, transparent and equitable through every step of the process. These auditions have been going on for months and most musicians have been very receptive.
Why did some musicians decide not to audition?
We know that change is difficult, especially for people who feel passionately about this organization because they’ve been connected to it for many years.
While we are sad that some musicians made the decision to leave, we’ve had almost 60 players, both amateur and professional, participate in our new auditions program. The auditions have also allowed us to attract a more diverse group of musicians that may have not been aware of our organization previously.
We are looking forward to continuing to attract musicians that are eager to learn and expand their skills and want to help us develop a high-quality orchestra that will draw a strong community following.
Does this mean you want to professionalize the orchestra?
We are not seeking to professionalize the orchestra. We are a community-based orchestra with both professional and volunteer musicians and everyone is treated equitably. Everyone, section or principal, professional or volunteer, who joins the orchestra will need to audition.
What do you say to longtime members and supporters who are unhappy about this?
We respect and honor each individual’s right to agree or disagree with our artistic choices. We are saddened that some of our longtime volunteers were unhappy with our decision, but our new process was designed to be fair and inclusive. All musicians will undergo the same process, regardless of how long they have been with the orchestra.
We look forward to an exceptional concert season and hope that our musicians and patrons will support our efforts to produce consistently enjoyable performances that inspire our community.
Our 2021 season is off to a great start. We look forward to inspiring our community at our upcoming concerts!