Bass Blog

Michael Hovnanian formerly played bass with an orchestra located in a large midwestern city.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

This week’s seating





players off:
Guastafeste (release)

*Brian Fountain is the current diversity fellow; Richard Edwards was the previous one.

Using two substitutes is unusual, but due to the number of players off we need to do that this week. There are a few different types of time off. A release week is like a week of paid vacation. Each section picks release weeks before the season. The order of the choice is by random drawing and each player gets two picks. The orchestra management can revoke or change a release week with 21 days notice, but that rarely happens so a release week is a good way to plan a little vacation, take another gig, or do whatever you want without worrying about being called in to work. It is also possible to be rotated off a program, which is more or less like being on call. That happens when no player is on release and/or the program calls for fewer than 9 players. We usually get less advance notice of rotated time – sometimes none at all – so it is hard to make travel plans or schedule other things. Technically, if someone else gets sick or is unable to play it is possible the time off will vanish like a puff of smoke. I have always avoided answering the telephone during the first rehearsal or two on any week I am rotated off, just out of superstition.

It is also possible to take an unpaid leave of absence or a sabbatical. In addition, players can have tine off for various personal reasons. The only types of leave I will indicate here are release, rotation, sabbatical or unpaid leave.


Matthew Wengerd said...

What is a diversity fellow?

Michael Hovnanian said...

A subject probably worthy of a lenghty post, but in short, the fellowship program was started to give opportunities to underrepresented minority musicians. We hold national auditions with the winning player offered the opportunity to play with the CSO for a number of weeks (not full time) over a two year term.

Karajan fan said...

Do you think that Joe Guastafeste is slowly starting to wind down after playing with the CSO since the early 60's? Also do you know if he teaches privately or not?

Michael Hovnanian said...

We are all keeping our fingers crossed. I don't think he has regular students, but I think he gives alesson every now and then.

Karajan fan said...

Do you guys want him to retire?

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