Seeking to Lessen the Acrimony Surrounding the Festival Audition Process


We are approaching another festival audition this coming weekend. Every year, as I help my counterparts and the parents of my students work out situations, sometimes difficult ones, I draft this little sentiment in my head, and pledge to put it out ahead of time that following year. This is the first year I actually did it.

"(Honors) festivals are run by a volunteer corps of area music teachers who operate solely out of a desire to provide these opportunities for the music students of (this area). The process for fairly, accurately, and efficiently evaluating literally hundreds of young musicians is daunting, complicated, and often almost thankless. These teachers are always striving to use the district's years of experience, as well as ever-changing and improving technology, to fine tune the process and make the experience more efficient and more valuable. Please know that there are occasionally anomalies and delays that occur, and that we are all doing our best to make the whole audition and notification process go with as few glitches as we can. Your patience and understanding is much appreciated."

It is my hope that this might provide both parties, each of whom I hold in very high esteem, more resources and empathy to get through such situations more peacefully and productively.

I freely admit that I could stand to reflect on my own behavior and attitude here. This is as self-aspirational as anything else.