Concert Seating for Wind and Brass Players

Part assignments for the concert are made by the section principals with input and
approval of the music director and the board of directors. If you are interested in
leading a section, see the principals page for information on the duties involved.
Considered in the assignments are (in decreasing order of importance)

  1. Expressed interest in playing in the concert. Registration is required.
  2. Prior experience in festival concerts
  3. Prior experience in festival reading sessions (in current and prior years)
  4. Audition (primarily for those who cannot participate in the reading sessions) See
    the auditions page for details on auditioning. Auditions are not required for
    section players but you may want to schedule one in cases where you don’t think
    the music director, principals or board of directors know of your playing.
  5. In cases where a position opens up after the assignments are made, then a
    replacement will be chosen from people who participated in the current year’s
    reading sessions.
  6. In the circumstance that when no applicants are deemed qualified for a position,
    the board or music director may recruit a musician who has not yet participated
    but is well known to be qualified.

Some examples:

Registered Played in Prior Concerts Played in Prior Readings Played Audition Played in Current Readings Seating Priority Result
Yes Yes No No Yes 1 Most likely will get a part
Yes No Yes No No 1 Most likely will get a part
Yes No No Yes No 2 May get a part
No Yes Yes No No 0 Will not get a part!
Yes No No No Yes 3 May get a part if someone else drops out

These priorities do not specify which part a player will be assigned – we try to match
the part to the ability of each player. If we cannot tell if a person is capable of playing a
part in the concert they will not get a part. This is why we need some experience with
each player whether it be prior concert performance, seeing how one plays in previous
years readings or through an audition. Wind and brass players who have no experience
with the festival reading sessions or concerts and have not played an audition will not
be assigned concert parts. This policy is very close to the way parts were assigned in
the past except that we are allowing for people who have no prior experience with us to
audition if they so choose. Playing an audition is not required if you have played in
reading sessions or prior concerts, but you are welcome to audition if you feel that it
will help us better assess your ability. Also, note that we do often get people dropping
out just before the concert as family and work schedules become clear – so do register
for the concert and join the reading sessions – you may get their part!

Unfortunately, we sometimes get more people signed up than we can accommodate in
the concert orchestra. There are also occasions where we cannot find a part which fits a
particular player’s ability. Please understand that we are doing our best to fit the large
pool of players into the best concert orchestra we can and accept our sincere apologies if
we cannot accommodate you.

Long term participation in the reading sessions is the best way to get assigned concert parts!

The Northwest Mahler Festival Board of Directors