Pit Crew – Chapter 3 – Audition for Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes”

Suzy and I arrived a Cathy’s very nice house and heard another candidate in the middle of an audition. Gut check time. Turns out the candidate knew me from my Admin position on Sax on the Web! It’s really a small world after all. He was playing clarinet, flute, and tenor sax–he is a true doubler.
I had brought two solos, one for alto sax and one for tenor with piano parts, so that Cathy could hear my sound on both instruments. They are what the ad had requested. Good thing they didn’t need me to play clarinet or flute because I am having a devil of a time adding them to my repertoire. The tenor solo went without a hitch as I have been playing lead tenor in the Woodinville Jazz Ensemble for a couple of months now. But when I pulled out the alto sax, I had a devil of a time tuning it on the fly. Finally I just pulled the mouthpiece out a half inch and bam, I was almost there.
Sight-reading isn’t my forte… yet. It is something I am working on with my two sax instructors, Neil Proff for tenor and alto sax and Scott Dart for alto and bari sax. But Cathy pulled out "It’s De-Lovely" and had me play it alone and with piano. She complimented me on my sight-reading skills saying it wasn’t that bad and then talked about how this part of the song would consist of three instruments playing the same line of music. It would need to be tight. And I was munging one part of the music. I will have to get that down better if I get the gig.
Cathy also asked me to play with more vibrato. Those who know me know that I am the vibrato maniac–I’d rather vibrato than eat! So I had tried to tone it down. But I was on my alto and after months of working on my tenor embouchure, which is much looser than the alto, it was more of a challenge for me than I would have expected. Moving from alto to tenor is going to take more practice. I think I’ll start playing both in the jazz ensemble just to work on it.
Cathy showed me the play book and it turns out this music can not be purchased. You have to rent it from a place in New York! I’d heard of that for orchestra music, but not theater or band music. Also Cathy is an arranger and will be arranging one of the songs to take advantage of the band instrumentation. She really knows the players and their strengths, so this should be a really nice arrangement tailored for this ten piece pit crew.
Well, drum roll please, Cathy contacted me the next day and I got the part. I am so happy but know this will be a great learning experience. It is one that I look forward to with great anticipation.

About Gandalfe

Just an itinerant saxophonist trying to find life between the changes. I have retired from the Corps of Engineers and Microsoft. I am an admin on the Woodwind Forum, run the Seattle Solid GOLD Big Band (formerly the Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra) a GOLD sax quartet, and enjoy time with family and friends.
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