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Lost a Job #2657330 06/28/17 08:59 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,675
Arghhh Offline OP
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Needing to vent, and appreciating the anonymity of these forums.

The past three years I've been the accompanist for the opera chorus rehearsals for the opera company in my city. It was one of the first jobs I got after graduating and moving to a new city. I was proud of having the job, partially because it was for professionals. The music was challenging, but beautiful. All my other work is for students, and I don't see how that will change. I found out today that I will not get the contract for next year. The reason given was, "The company has hired another accompanist. The person has a vast amount of experience in opera".

The company didn't even tell me. I knew a decision was coming, but they never got back to me after the decision had been made. I had to contact the chorus director to find out. What I'd like to say in response to her is, "I'm really sorry to hear that. I have enjoyed working with you as director because you created a stress-free place to work even when I know I have under-performed. Because it was a challenge at times and I refuse to be inadequate, I had set up lessons this summer to improve on my orchestral reduction playing, but I guess I'll focus on something else now."

Probably shouldn't respond that way though...

It's been a couple years since I've lost a gig. I hate not being good enough.
Arghhh, *sniff*


Professional pianist and piano teacher.
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Re: Lost a Job [Re: Arghhh] #2657336 06/28/17 09:27 PM
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hreichgott Offline
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Arghhh indeed! So sorry to hear that frown


Heather W. Reichgott, piano

Working on:
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I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
Re: Lost a Job [Re: Arghhh] #2657363 06/28/17 11:07 PM
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rocket88 Offline
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Sorry this happened, but remember music business rule #1: "Don't burn your bridges"...the music world is tiny...Getting fired is an unfortunate part of the it. You never know what will come next. Bite your lip, and, Again, sorry.


Piano teacher.
Re: Lost a Job [Re: Arghhh] #2657459 06/29/17 09:14 AM
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SonatainfSharp Offline
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Sorry to hear this, but another opportunity will present itself (cliche, but usually true).

The other person was probably simply cheaper; unlikely more experienced or better at the job than you.


I do music stuffs
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Re: Lost a Job [Re: SonatainfSharp] #2657460 06/29/17 09:16 AM
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rocket88 Offline
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Originally Posted by SonatainfSharp
Sorry to hear this, but another opportunity will present itself (cliche, but usually true).

The other person was probably simply cheaper; unlikely more experienced or better at the job than you.


Or there was politics involved.


Piano teacher.
Re: Lost a Job [Re: Arghhh] #2657504 06/29/17 12:44 PM
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Pogorelich. Offline
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Use the experience as a learning tool. Work hard and always seek ways to improve!



"The eyes can mislead, the smile can lie, but the shoes always tell the truth."
Re: Lost a Job [Re: Pogorelich.] #2657641 06/29/17 11:56 PM
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Arghhh Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Use the experience as a learning tool. Work hard and always seek ways to improve!

I usually spend a few days being upset by these types of things and then work towards doing better the next time. Sometimes I get tired of what feels like a difficult uphill climb. Back when the chorus director thought I still had the job, she said we should meet because there were some things she thought I could do to help the chorus out more in rehearsals. Not sure if it's appropriate to ask her what those things were now.


Professional pianist and piano teacher.
Re: Lost a Job [Re: Arghhh] #2657649 06/30/17 12:52 AM
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SiFi Offline
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Originally Posted by Arghhh
" . . . I have enjoyed working with you as director because you created a stress-free place to work even when I know I have under-performed."

So sorry to hear about your predicament. I hate when companies behave badly like this, especially when they're going to let someone go.

I was interested to see how honest you were in admitting that you had under-performed. I'd love to know what your challenges were -- sight-reading, technical limitations, insufficient time to prepare, interpersonal issues with management, . . . ?

If you're interested and on Facebook, there's a terrific group called the "Collaborative Pianists Community". It's a forum where people such as yourself (I'm making some assumptions, of course) share stories, anecdotes, questions, advice, and occasionally job listings. The founder and administrator is an awesome woman named Nicole DiPaolo. You might want to join and take a look at some of the postings. Or IM me with your FB name and I'll nominate you.

Good luck mate. Music and money have the same initials, same number of syllables, and same number of letters. That, unfortunately, is where the connection usually ends. frown


SRF
Re: Lost a Job [Re: Arghhh] #2657673 06/30/17 04:30 AM
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dogperson Offline
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Originally Posted by Arghhh
Originally Posted by Pogorelich.
Use the experience as a learning tool. Work hard and always seek ways to improve!

I usually spend a few days being upset by these types of things and then work towards doing better the next time. Sometimes I get tired of what feels like a difficult uphill climb. Back when the chorus director thought I still had the job, she said we should meet because there were some things she thought I could do to help the chorus out more in rehearsals. Not sure if it's appropriate to ask her what those things were now.


Hi Arghhhh
So sorry to hear of your experience! I can't offer any advice from a musical perspective, but from a business one. I would suggest that you continue to take the lessons this summer, and also meet with the choral director. Let her know that you are taking the classes and interested in her suggestions; you never know when another opportunity will come up and you want your's to be one name that the chorus director remembers in a positive way.

.. at east that has been my experience in business. I always remember those that wanted to improve and took the steps to do that.

Re: Lost a Job [Re: Arghhh] #2657691 06/30/17 07:01 AM
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ClsscLib Offline

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Dogperson, that's how I think about situations like this.

Very sorry this happened, Arghhh.


[Linked Image][Linked Image]
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"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins
Re: Lost a Job [Re: Arghhh] #2657776 06/30/17 12:01 PM
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AJB Offline
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Ask if you can sit in to learn from their new accompanist. The new person may not work out, or may not like it, or may need holiday / illness cover, or might have contacts you can use.


Currently playing 2017 C212 with carbon fibre soundboard, WNG action. Working on Bach, Beethoven, Grieg mainly.
Re: Lost a Job [Re: SiFi] #2657859 06/30/17 03:44 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
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Arghhh Offline OP
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Originally Posted by SiFi
Originally Posted by Arghhh
" . . . I have enjoyed working with you as director because you created a stress-free place to work even when I know I have under-performed."

So sorry to hear about your predicament. I hate when companies behave badly like this, especially when they're going to let someone go.

I was interested to see how honest you were in admitting that you had under-performed. I'd love to know what your challenges were -- sight-reading, technical limitations, insufficient time to prepare, interpersonal issues with management, . . . ?

If you're interested and on Facebook, there's a terrific group called the "Collaborative Pianists Community". It's a forum where people such as yourself (I'm making some assumptions, of course) share stories, anecdotes, questions, advice, and occasionally job listings. The founder and administrator is an awesome woman named Nicole DiPaolo. You might want to join and take a look at some of the postings. Or IM me with your FB name and I'll nominate you.

Good luck mate. Music and money have the same initials, same number of syllables, and same number of letters. That, unfortunately, is where the connection usually ends. frown


Thanks for the notice about the Facebook group. I'very been a member for a while and agree it's a great group to be part of. I recently discovered a couple of local colleagues are members of the group, which made me a little leery of posting about my job loss there.

My specific challenges -this year there were two difficult scores. The last one was Turandot which had a considerable chorus part for which I had three weeks to learn. There were some sections that I could not manage to get up to speed -fast octaves in both hands that even with leaving out notes I couldn't ever perform it in rehearsal. I know it's an orchestra reduction so I could leave out notes, but in that case playing single notes wouldn't be helpful to bring across the character and orchestral sound. And I would have had to work out a fingering then. Another time I missed practicing a chorus bit despite having gone through the score a couple times. So I got to rehearsal and suddenly had to sight read the orchestra music plus add in the chorus parts. Reading open vocal score is still challenging.


Professional pianist and piano teacher.
Re: Lost a Job [Re: dogperson] #2657863 06/30/17 03:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
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Arghhh Offline OP
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Originally Posted by dogperson

Hi Arghhhh
So sorry to hear of your experience! I can't offer any advice from a musical perspective, but from a business one. I would suggest that you continue to take the lessons this summer, and also meet with the choral director. Let her know that you are taking the classes and interested in her suggestions; you never know when another opportunity will come up and you want your's to be one name that the chorus director remembers in a positive way.

.. at east that has been my experience in business. I always remember those that wanted to improve and took the steps to do that.

Thanks dog person. I will ask the chorus director if she has any input for me, and I took my first summer lesson yesterday.

AJB - I don't think I could bring myself to go sit in at the next rehearsals to see what the other pianist does differently. It would be awkward sitting there with the chorus members and admitting I wasn't good enough.


Professional pianist and piano teacher.
Re: Lost a Job [Re: Arghhh] #2657937 06/30/17 09:52 PM
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jdw Offline
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Originally Posted by Arghhh

AJB - I don't think I could bring myself to go sit in at the next rehearsals to see what the other pianist does differently. It would be awkward sitting there with the chorus members and admitting I wasn't good enough.


I agree, I can see that it would be awkward. Plus, I don't think you want to give them the impression that you have nothing better to do than sit around there for free! If they want you there, they pay you; otherwise, surely you have other fish to fry! IMO your time would be better spent on your own priorities for developing your skills.


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