It took me 17 auditions to get this seatmain
Kelly Zimba, from Pittsburgh, won principal flute at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra last month.
She tells Classical Music Network what it took to get there:
photo; Shannon Langman
‘Including Toronto, I took 17 (auditions) in the span of 2.5 years. In the beginning, I think I put too much pressure on doing well and advancing to the next round. It didn’t work well.
‘When I stopped thinking about the results and tried to enjoy the process more, I started to see hints of success. For me, the process wasn’t linear at all. I would make the finals in one audition, and then not advance past the preliminaries in the next one. It was random, and I don’t think I played that differently in each audition. There are many factors in an audition that are out of your control, and I learned to be okay with that.
‘Financially, auditions can get expensive! I took advantage of frequent flyer miles and hotel points when I could, but mostly I became obsessed with travel deals. Staying in an Airbnb was often much less expensive than booking a hotel, and I usually tried to stay somewhere along a public transportation line with easy access to both the airport and the hall.
‘Occasionally, Groupon would have a hotel deal of which I could take advantage. Sometimes, I would piece together two different flights/drives if it was cheaper than flying directly to a particular city. ‘
Read the full interview here.