Week 3, Part 2

I mentioned in my first post this month that half the battle of preparing for an orchestral audition is mental preparation. Musicians and artists alike really struggle with the fact that art is never finished, there is always something that can be improved but we are human, therefore our performance will never be perfect. Rather than relying on the “practice makes perfect” mantra, I instead remind myself on a daily basis that “practice makes permanent.” Musicians often have mental struggles because after all, we are our own worst critic. I really struggle with performance anxiety and find that I am often worried about what others think of my playing. The reality is “others” probably don’t even care and what I’m really struggling with are my own “judges.” You know, like the little angel and little devil that take residence on our shoulders. The book that really helped me overcome that anxiety, or better yet, helped me overcome my own crazy was Eloise Ristad’s Soprano On Her Head. I read this for the first time as a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and have been reading it with my students or suggesting it to students ever since. Come to think of it, my personal copy is currently on loan to one of my students as we speak! Honestly it’s a book that I should be re-reading all the time.


Here is a list of “mental toughness” books that I would recommend to anyone taking an audition:

Audition Success, Don Greene

Success Is A Choice, Rick Pitino

The Inner Game of Tennis, W. Timothy Gallwey

The Inner Game of Music, Barry Green

Any books by Lance Armstrong and other really successful athletes

A Champion’s Mind, Pete Sampras

Fight Your Fear and Win, Don Greene

The Right Place, The Right Time, Donald Peck

Performance Success, Don Greene

A Soprano on Her Head, Eloise Ristad


It’s been a really busy week of practicing and rehearsing with the Springfield Symphony. Please join us for Saturday’s concert. Here is a little more information about the event. Enjoy!


Transformative Power. Life-Changing. The Springfield Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Peter Stafford Wilson, will perform what is called one of the greatest works of art ever created, Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see over 100 musicians and 200 singers together on the same stage as the SSO and SSO Chorale join forces with sopranos Elise DesChamps and Jennifer Araya.

“Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony is one of those epic journeys that come around all too seldom. For performer or listener it can be a life altering experience as it explores man’’s eternal questions about life after death with Mahler’s extraordinary aural vocabulary,” states Maestro Wilson. “Perhaps the largest assembly of artists ever on the Kuss Auditorium stage, this is an event not to be missed.”

Mahler composed Symphony No. 2 between 1888 and 1894. The complete work was premiered on December 13, 1895 in Berlin, conducted by the composer. This work signaled the start of the most important quest of his life: adequately describing his vision of the afterlife and the soul’s resurrection. The symphony is written for an orchestra, a mixed choir, two soloists and an offstage ensemble of brass and percussion.

With elegant, polished vocalism, and committed dramatic portrayals on stage, Elise DesChamps appeals to audiences and critics alike as a compelling and charming artist in opera, oratorio and concert. Ms. DesChamps studied vocal Performance at The Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University in Bloomington where she received a Master of Music in Voice with legendary Soprano, Virginia Zeani. Jennifer Araya studied voice with Mary Henderson Stucky at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music receiving a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music. Ms. Arraya is also an active cellist, serving in multiple orchestras, including in our own Springfield Symphony Orchestra.

Under the direction of Basil Fett, the Springfield Symphony Chorale is made up of singers from Clark and surrounding counties. Their numbers include people from all walks of life who share one passion: music. They are a community of singers who believe, as Martin Luther wrote, “As long as we live, there is never enough singing.”

Opening Notes at 7:15pm with Christopher Purdy of WOSU Classical 101 FM, in the Kuss Auditorium.

Performance Prelude at 7:15pm featuring the Springfield Children’s Chorus, under the direction of the dynamic Jennifer Wightman, in the Kuss Auditorium Lobby.

Don’t have your tickets yet? A limited number of seats are available the week of the concert at only $15 adults/$10 students by calling the ticket office at 937-328-3874, or at the door.

Concert Sponsors are James and Nike Lagos with Concert Partner, Pratt Industries.