William “Bill” Lucas – joined the trumpet section of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 1988 bringing versatility and a flair for jazz. He has served on musicians’ Orchestra, Education and Negotiating Committees. Bill has a national reputation for coaching musicians in the art of audition preparation and is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Michigan School of Music where he teaches jazz trumpet.
What does it take to land a job in a major American symphony orchestra such as the Detroit Symphony? Or the Philharmonics of Los Angeles and New York? Or the Symphonies of Boston or Chicago?
Like most corporations, gaining entry into a symphony orchestra involves a process of scrutiny. In the business world, we know this process as the job interview, which involves both a mailed resume and the subsequent in-person interview itself. But in the symphony orchestra world, while resumes are still mailed, the interview is replaced by what is known as an audition. These auditions are attended by musicians from all over the world, and, consistently, boast a candidate pool of several hundred for a single opening. So to understand how a musician becomes a tenured member of a top-ten orchestra, one must first have a look at the audition process itself. (more…)