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Frequently Asked Questions


The following are excerpted from questions and comments we have received multiple times:

Q: What is the performance schedule for this season?

A: As a young and agile member of the Baltimore performing arts scene, we schedule our performances on a semi-rolling basis. For the most current performing schedule, visit our Website calendar or Facebook events page.


Q: I cannot guarantee availability for the season without the complete rehearsal and performance schedule.

A: As we are a per-service chamber orchestra, most of our performances are one-on-a-part. We will continue to build a core of regular musicians performing on most shows, but we recognize that some musicians will not be able to play on a given performance, and we plan accordingly. With collective, musician-led governance, that also means that we are sometimes able to accommodate the individual members of the orchestra in defining the rehearsal schedule.


Q: What does a typical Symphony Number One concert cycle look like?

A: Symphony Number One typically gives two weekend performances per concert cycle. We ordinarily rehearse on the 4-5 evenings prior to the first concert from 8-11 PM.


Q: Will I be playing on every concert?

A: Depending on your instrument, there may be entire concert cycles on which you do not play. For example, our first concert this year was a winds-only cycle. If you are a member of the "core," you are an official member of Symphony Number One, but the amount of concerts you play will be dependent on the repertoire SNO is performing.


Q: What upcoming repertoire is Symphony Number One performing?

A: Symphony Number One typically performs concerts pairing extant masterworks with extended works by emerging composers. As an example, we recently performed Mahler, Das lied von der erde, alongside the world premiere of Natalie Draper's Timelapse VariationsThe commissioned work on each concert tracks the instrumentation of the extant music. The upcoming repertoire, from Spring 2017 through 2018, includes:

  • Reich, Double Sextet link
  • Ives, Symphony No. 3 link
  • Copland, Appalachian Spring (v. for 13 instruments) link
  • Bruckner, Symphony No. 7 (arr. Schoenberg for small ch. orchestra) link
  • Schoenberg, Chamber Symphony No. 1 link
  • Bach, Cantata: Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147 link

From this list, it should be possible to determine the projected involvement for any position in the orchestra through May 2018. N.B. this list does not include a range of additional chamber music performances which are scheduled throughout the year.


Q: I keep reading about being a "musician-entrepreneur" or "artist-entrepreneur" and other indications regarding additional work beyond rehearsal. What is the arrangement?

A: Symphony Number One is looking to add to our artist collective. By collective, we are indicating that what we are offering is a shared stake in our success. We view the artistry of the musician as far and away the primary, the necessary, but not the sufficient attribute of the potential orchestra member. A secondary but also critical attribute is a belief in entrepreneurship, or the idea that: 1) our art has value, and 2) it is our job to vigorously communicate our value across a variety of methods and channels. Put another way, we must actively take our work to our audience. 

To that end, every member of the orchestra and organization commits to approximately 3-5 hours of outside work per week of administrative work in the shared enterprise. We are a musician-run organization. Rather than having "management" or the governing board dictate our procedures, we put in the extra time to design them ourselves. Put another way, we serve the dual role as our own management. 


Q: I am only auditioning for a sub list opening or a section position. Does the previous question/answer apply to me?

A: Only named principals and associate principals are considered to be "core orchestra" members. Section positions are considered to be orchestra members; additional participation is optional.


Q: Can I send in a pre-recorded audition tape in lieu of an in-person audition?

A: We would prefer to see all of our applicants in person, but if there are extenuating circumstances that make you unable to get to the Peabody Institute for our auditions, and depending on demand for audition times, we will consider a live Skype / Facetime call. The live call must be completed in real time on the scheduled audition day. 


Q: How much does Symphony Number One pay its musicians? 

A: Musician compensation constitutes more than half of our annual budget. Specific compensation amounts can be discussed during auditions and/or upon request. We are a growing organization looking for dedicated musicians who are ready to help grow an organization that will provide first-class compensation to virtuoso players for creating world class concert experiences. Thanks to our recently acquired status as an IRS 501(c)(3) organization, we project significant growth over the next 18 months which should lead to increased compensation.


Q: I don’t have a professional artist website. What should I put in the ‘Website’ form of the application?

A: If you don’t have a personal website, no problem! Simply give us the web address of a  LinkedIn or other social network profile, a short biography, a sound file, or YouTube video that showcases your capability and artistry. 


Q: I don’t have access to an auxiliary instrument (piccolo, bass clarinet, contrabassoon, etc.) for my audition. What should I do?

A: If you do not have access to an auxiliary instrument you’re more than welcome to replace the auxiliary instrument’s excerpt with either a solo piece, concerto, or another excerpt for your primary instrument. However, if you’re the best piccolo player out there, we want to know about it! Feel free to use your discretion to present your playing in the best possible light.


Q: What do you mean by musician-led? 

A: We have a dedicated all-volunteer board which provides the ordinary oversight over compensation and organizational leadership required by law. However, our board is highly dedicated to the ethos of artist-entrepreneurship. While it is exclusively vested with the required oversight, the remaining operations of the organization are led by the musicians of the orchestra while the board provides advice and consent.


Q: You have a nice-looking website, so it seems like you are highly organized for such a young organization.

A: Thanks! We work hard to present ourselves in a positive light and the web is often the first place people find us. However, it is important to understand that we are still quite a new organization and we have quite a bit of "room for growth" in terms of our internal structure and procedures. We have made great strides, but we still have a long way to go. We rely on our members to identify areas for growth and then take personal responsibility for work leading to improvements in those areas. We work with joy and with a belief that our cause is worthy.

Symphony Number One is Baltimore's Newes Chamber Orchestra, devoted to substantial works by emerging composers.