• FAQ  • Search  • Memberlist  • Usergroups   • Register   • Profile  • Log in to check your private messages  • Log in 

Probationary Periods


Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    trumpetherald.com Forum Index -> Orchestral/Chamber Music/Solo
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
LaTrompeta
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 03 May 2015
Posts: 883
Location: West Side, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2024 10:58 am    Post subject: Probationary Periods Reply with quote

It seems to me that some (if not all) professional ensembles have a probationary period for some hires. How does this work? It seems like it would be a really tough thing to go through as a new hire.
_________________
Please join me as well at:
https://trumpetboards.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JayKosta
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 24 Dec 2018
Posts: 3402
Location: Endwell NY USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2024 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never been that specific situation, but I think that most businesses have at least an 'informal' probationary period to verify that a new hire is suitable for the job. This would be especially important in situations where a lot of ongoing cooperation / leadership / personal interaction / etc. is required.
My view is that 'winning an audition' is similar to a getting a job offer. And then there is the period of actually working with the group to verify that the person is really suited to be a long term member.
_________________
Most Important Note ? - the next one !
KNOW (see) what the next note is BEFORE you have to play it.
PLAY the next note 'on time' and 'in rhythm'.
Oh ya, watch the conductor - they set what is 'on time'.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
LaTrompeta
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 03 May 2015
Posts: 883
Location: West Side, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2024 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In all of my jobs, it's been an at-will employer so they can fire you anytime for any reason. Is that how most ensembles work, as well? I suspect they realize that somebody can have an excellent audition, but perhaps that individual doesn't match well with the entire orchestra. There are a million things that could happen, I guess.
_________________
Please join me as well at:
https://trumpetboards.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jon Kaplan
Veteran Member


Joined: 14 Aug 2009
Posts: 307
Location: Charlotte, NC

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Probationary Periods Reply with quote

LaTrompeta wrote:
It seems to me that some (if not all) professional ensembles have a probationary period for some hires. How does this work? It seems like it would be a really tough thing to go through as a new hire.


Sure. I can tell you what we do in the Charlotte Symphony, which is relatively similar to how a lot of full-time ICSOM symphony orchestras do it.

New musicians in Charlotte are considered probationary until they are granted tenure, in our case usually about 12-14 months after they start working. The audition committee that chose the musician and the orchestra's Music Director will meet with them to discuss their progress twice (some places it's more, some places it's less...) before finding out if they officially receive tenure. The tenure process does of course take their musicianship into account, but professional skills are also considered - especially if you are a section principal, which have additional rules outlined by our contract regarding required duties like casting parts and other organizational leadership skills. The Audition committee really only gives feedback and advises the Music Director, who then is the one with the final say regarding whether the probationary musician should receive tenure.

That said, most musicians who go through the tenure process in full-time orchestras (in the US at least) DO successfully receive tenure. Only a small number do not, whether it's for musical or professional reasons. The audition process itself produces EXCELLENT results - really high level musicians win the auditions, and they generally fit in and adapt very well with whatever orchestra they join - but sadly sometimes... it just doesn't work out.

As far as at-will employment goes, the symphony reserves the right to follow a disciplinary course of action for cause (punching somebody at work, for example). But after a musician receives tenure, it is a long and drawn out process to try to fire them for musical reasons - a committee of your peers has to be formed, the union gets involved, it's usually a total mess.
_________________
2nd Trumpet, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
2nd Trumpet, Central City Opera Orchestra


Last edited by Jon Kaplan on Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
LaTrompeta
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 03 May 2015
Posts: 883
Location: West Side, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Jon, that's quite fascinating. It seems to me like most ensembles simply cannot afford to hire the "wrong" candidate, so they have quite a rigorous process in order to find the right person. That would be a stressful time for any candidate, I suspect.
_________________
Please join me as well at:
https://trumpetboards.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jon Kaplan
Veteran Member


Joined: 14 Aug 2009
Posts: 307
Location: Charlotte, NC

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LaTrompeta wrote:
Thank you Jon, that's quite fascinating. It seems to me like most ensembles simply cannot afford to hire the "wrong" candidate, so they have quite a rigorous process in order to find the right person. That would be a stressful time for any candidate, I suspect.


Sure is. I always felt I received plenty of communication, feedback, and encouragement from my own audition committee, but I know that many are not so lucky. Sometimes things can also get messy and personal. Also, some orchestras have a less transparent tenure process than others, where the probationary musicians might not even really understand the process they're going through and how they're actually being evaluated.
_________________
2nd Trumpet, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
2nd Trumpet, Central City Opera Orchestra


Last edited by Jon Kaplan on Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
LaTrompeta
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 03 May 2015
Posts: 883
Location: West Side, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do they allow the candidate to continue taking auditions during their probationary period? Or, perhaps, candidates still continue to audition without telling anybody.
_________________
Please join me as well at:
https://trumpetboards.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jon Kaplan
Veteran Member


Joined: 14 Aug 2009
Posts: 307
Location: Charlotte, NC

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LaTrompeta wrote:
Do they allow the candidate to continue taking auditions during their probationary period? Or, perhaps, candidates still continue to audition without telling anybody.


In Charlotte we actually have an audition leave clause in our collective bargaining agreement. For untenured musicians they are allowed up to 6 services of unpaid audition leave per season. If you're tenured, it's actually 6 services of paid leave.

This is extremely unusual for full-time orchestras, and I suspect it's because we are still a growing orchestra in the sense that we were a regional, not full time orchestra up until about 35-40 years ago I believe, so the union successfully bargained for paid audition leave to allow people to pursue other bigger employment opportunities without losing pay in addition to the already existing financial burden from audition expenses like travel and lodging.

I think most untenured musicians are pretty quiet about auditioning, and at least personally I was unwilling to use audition leave if an audition was going to conflict with an important concert or something that people wouldn't be too impressed if I skipped.
_________________
2nd Trumpet, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
2nd Trumpet, Central City Opera Orchestra
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
andybharms
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 23 May 2009
Posts: 644
Location: Boston, MA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2024 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Thank you Jon, that's quite fascinating. It seems to me like most ensembles simply cannot afford to hire the "wrong" candidate, so they have quite a rigorous process in order to find the right person. That would be a stressful time for any candidate, I suspect.


Committees are remarkably good at picking great musicians, especially when they aren’t just trumpeters. But they aren’t perfect… they don’t always pick the best candidate or any candidate at all.
_________________
Andrew Harms, DMA
http://www.andrewbharms.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Brassnose
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 07 Mar 2016
Posts: 2156
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2024 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds pretty similar to the academic world with tenure track being anything between 4 and 8 years before you get tenure. Yes, typically committees (if set up properly) are remarkably good at finding the best candidates — with the „real life personality“ being one of the hardest things to judge.

Probationary periods are also completely normal in industry or in public jobs over here — I never heard of anyone w/o a probationary phase (dunno about elected politicians ). Once you pass that you are pretty sure you’ll be on the job for awhile unless you do something stupid or the economy does unexpected economy things.
_________________
2019 Martin Schmidt eXcellence
1992 Bach 43GH/43
1989 Kühnl & Hoyer Model 15 flugel
1980/2023 Custom Blessing Scholastic C 😎
1977 Conn 6B
1951 Buescher 400 Lightweight
AR Resonance, Frate, Klier
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
trpthrld
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 4826

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2024 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Broadway shows & tours (union & non-union) all have a probationary periods.

I understand the B'way probationary period has changed recently and I do not know the details on that. It could also vary from contract to contract.

It used to be from the first rehearsal with the orchestra through the end of the first preview performance was the probationary period. You could be fired at anytime during that, and no cause or justification has to be given.

There are stories of musicians being enroute to a reh & they get "the call" to not come. If they had left anything in the rehearsal space they're told to come get it during the meal break later in the day. Get in, get out, don't have any interaction with anyone. There is also a very good chance that you would be escorted through all of that, just to make sure that you didn't do anything in retribution.

But once you make it past that set period (details in the contract), it's your chair for the rest of the run of the show. After that you really have to mess up a lot over a period of time with a LOT of documentation to get fired.

AFM contract tours have a similar. That used to be from first rehearsal (which more than likely was on the road where the show would get put together), to three weeks past the first preview performance. That might have changed. But again, no notice, no justification, just you're told you're done. Pack up your stuff and they send you home.

Non-union tours also have similar, and that would be spelled out in the contract that you signed.

You usually get 2-week's severance pay.

It can be brutal. You think you're doing great but for some reason someone in a power position does not want you in their pit any longer, and you're outta there. A show tour from a bunch of years ago went through at least eight trumpet players between the start and end of the tour.
_________________
Tim Wendt

www.trumpetherald.com/marketplace.php?task=detail&id=148173&s=The-Best-Trumpet-Lead-Pipe-Swab-EVER-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPWAJqghk24&feature=youtu.be
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
JayV
Veteran Member


Joined: 01 Jun 2005
Posts: 306
Location: Pittsburgh

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2024 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ROPA orchestras (smaller budget, shorter season) operate similarly to ICSOM orchestras in that most have a tenure process. Each orchestra has their own collective bargaining agreement and operational rules and regulations governing this process. I have tenure in a couple groups.

Sometimes, people can play a good audition and sound good by themselves in an audition context, but don't actually have the professional skills they need to be successful in the job. Examples: they don't sight-read well enough, can't transpose well enough, don't have good ensemble time/intonation, struggle to match articulations and tone, don't have their ears open enough to be able to anticipate and blend appropriately.

Other times, they have the skills but are unpleasant to work with on a personal level. Sometimes, they just have fundamental artistic differences with the music director or section.

I personally believe we should do away with the tenure system entirely. Everyone should be on defined contracts (for example, 3 years, 5 years, etc) and the process to lay off or fire a new member should be the same as it is for any other member at the end of their contract term. Maybe new hires should be given 1 year contracts at first, then offered longer terms if the committee and music director are happy with the hire.

I think this could create more turnover, reduce the number of "no hire" auditions (since committees won't be as worried about hiring someone they can potentially never get rid of), and bring down the temperature of the emotionally fraught tenure process in general.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
LaTrompeta
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 03 May 2015
Posts: 883
Location: West Side, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2024 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep. Tenure is a different world than I know, coming from "high-tech". It's all at-will for me. I suppose it's different in other countries, but I wouldn't know much about that. The difference is that I'm in a field with much more demand than supply, so I'm not *too* worried. However, I can see why tenure is desirable in certain fields.

Seems like following your passion can get a bit...passionate. I wonder if some people leave music feeling so jaded that they stop even listening to the music they once loved.
_________________
Please join me as well at:
https://trumpetboards.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
andybharms
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 23 May 2009
Posts: 644
Location: Boston, MA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2024 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That’s an interesting question. I don’t think so. If anything I think it might be the opposite, generally. A person’s ability and mental fortitude for making music at a high level tends to outlast their other faculties. It’s pretty amazing actually. I don’t have any data, so this is some informed speculation, of course.

And, these days, because of changes in the way people are trained and what students seek in their training, I think filling chairs is getting more difficult. Probably other reasons for that too but I can only speculate.
_________________
Andrew Harms, DMA
http://www.andrewbharms.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
LaTrompeta
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 03 May 2015
Posts: 883
Location: West Side, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2024 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hard time filling chairs? I guess that seems very odd to me. I imagine there are 1000s of music grads every year and maybe a dozen or so chairs open? I'm curious then, what the reason would be for orchestras having a hard time filling chairs.

I saw the "writing on the wall" so to speak, when I graduated in 2015. I wanted to play trumpet in an orchestra, but I was also wise enough to realize that I probably just couldn't cut it with the best-of-the-best. I ended up foregoing graduate school for a career in tech and it has worked out quite well for me.

That being said, I have seen a few of my colleagues succeed wonderfully. Most of the ones who have had success were not the ones I would have guessed 10 years ago, but such is life!
_________________
Please join me as well at:
https://trumpetboards.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JayKosta
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 24 Dec 2018
Posts: 3402
Location: Endwell NY USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2024 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LaTrompeta wrote:
Hard time filling chairs? I guess that seems very odd to me. I imagine there are 1000s of music grads every year and maybe a dozen or so chairs open? I'm curious then, what the reason would be for orchestras having a hard time filling chairs. ...

---------------------
My 'outsider' impression is that orchestras which anticipate their tenured players will want to stay for a long time (30-40years?) can be very choosy about offering a permanent position.

The 'chairs' are being filled, but often with 'associate' or 'temporary' members.
_________________
Most Important Note ? - the next one !
KNOW (see) what the next note is BEFORE you have to play it.
PLAY the next note 'on time' and 'in rhythm'.
Oh ya, watch the conductor - they set what is 'on time'.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
LaTrompeta
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 03 May 2015
Posts: 883
Location: West Side, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2024 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JayKosta wrote:
LaTrompeta wrote:
Hard time filling chairs? I guess that seems very odd to me. I imagine there are 1000s of music grads every year and maybe a dozen or so chairs open? I'm curious then, what the reason would be for orchestras having a hard time filling chairs. ...

---------------------
My 'outsider' impression is that orchestras which anticipate their tenured players will want to stay for a long time (30-40years?) can be very choosy about offering a permanent position.

The 'chairs' are being filled, but often with 'associate' or 'temporary' members.


Ah yes. That sounds like the "Adjunct" trend at universities. What a disgrace.
_________________
Please join me as well at:
https://trumpetboards.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Jon Kaplan
Veteran Member


Joined: 14 Aug 2009
Posts: 307
Location: Charlotte, NC

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2024 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LaTrompeta wrote:
JayKosta wrote:
LaTrompeta wrote:
Hard time filling chairs? I guess that seems very odd to me. I imagine there are 1000s of music grads every year and maybe a dozen or so chairs open? I'm curious then, what the reason would be for orchestras having a hard time filling chairs. ...

---------------------
My 'outsider' impression is that orchestras which anticipate their tenured players will want to stay for a long time (30-40years?) can be very choosy about offering a permanent position.

The 'chairs' are being filled, but often with 'associate' or 'temporary' members.


Ah yes. That sounds like the "Adjunct" trend at universities. What a disgrace.


Those temporary positions are normally called “acting” or “1-year” musicians, at least in the US. Associate (in the orchestra world) is usually used to describe the Associate Principal which is usually an overscale tenure track position which pays more than the base pay of a section job (like 2nd) and below the principal pay. Just to clarify.
_________________
2nd Trumpet, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
2nd Trumpet, Central City Opera Orchestra
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
LaTrompeta
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 03 May 2015
Posts: 883
Location: West Side, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2024 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon Kaplan wrote:
LaTrompeta wrote:
JayKosta wrote:
LaTrompeta wrote:
Hard time filling chairs? I guess that seems very odd to me. I imagine there are 1000s of music grads every year and maybe a dozen or so chairs open? I'm curious then, what the reason would be for orchestras having a hard time filling chairs. ...

---------------------
My 'outsider' impression is that orchestras which anticipate their tenured players will want to stay for a long time (30-40years?) can be very choosy about offering a permanent position.

The 'chairs' are being filled, but often with 'associate' or 'temporary' members.


Ah yes. That sounds like the "Adjunct" trend at universities. What a disgrace.


Those temporary positions are normally called “acting” or “1-year” musicians, at least in the US. Associate (in the orchestra world) is usually used to describe the Associate Principal which is usually an overscale tenure track position which pays more than the base pay of a section job (like 2nd) and below the principal pay. Just to clarify.


Ok, I think I understand. Associate then, is a tenure-track position. That makes sense, too, because in academia, an "Associate Professor" is a tenure-track position as well.

Still, it appears that temporary employment is all the rage these days. I get recruiters all the time contacting me with "contract" jobs. I don't think they read my Linkedin profile. Why would somebody who is employed full-time want to give up that stability for a 6-month contract? Maybe if it paid 3x!
_________________
Please join me as well at:
https://trumpetboards.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JayKosta
Heavyweight Member


Joined: 24 Dec 2018
Posts: 3402
Location: Endwell NY USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2024 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JayKosta wrote:
...
The 'chairs' are being filled, but often with 'associate' or 'temporary' members.

---------------------
Just to clarify, my reference was to players who might be classified / listed as 'associate members' or 'temporary members'.
This would not include players with the position of 'Associate Principal' .
_________________
Most Important Note ? - the next one !
KNOW (see) what the next note is BEFORE you have to play it.
PLAY the next note 'on time' and 'in rhythm'.
Oh ya, watch the conductor - they set what is 'on time'.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    trumpetherald.com Forum Index -> Orchestral/Chamber Music/Solo All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group