Ever since I left Memphis in 2010 I've been working hard to get back. Me and my bassoon have seen desert and snow, rain and shine, and multiple coasts at this point, and the idea of playing primarily in the 901 becomes sweeter every day. Last month, that idea became a real-life opportunity - and I turned it down.
Before attempting to convince you (and myself) that I made the right choice, I have to acknowledge a big milestone in my life: my 1-year anniversary with the Knoxville Symphony. It's not just a year of making new friends, becoming a more versatile musician, and playing a real role in sustaining the arts that I celebrate, but also a year of having nothing to prove. As a student (and even the DSO fellow) I often felt like I was constantly competing and proving to people that I deserve to be where I am. Having won an audition and holding a position in a professional orchestra, for me, takes those feelings away, leaving me plenty of mental space to focus on the music and performing with my heart. Now don’t get me wrong – there’s still plenty of competition within the industry itself, but right now I’m choosing to stay out of it. Being the 2nd bassoon of a regional orchestra isn't a job that I'll want to hang on to forever, but for now it's what I want to do and I'm very thankful for it.
So concerning my turning down the chance at a good, decent paying music job in Memphis: As I sat through the interview (that I was very well dressed for and killing, by the way), I began to feel my freedom slipping away. I felt like a bird being lured into a cage with more seed than I'm currently gathering in the woods on my own, so to speak. After a couple days of thought (and getting a few more questions answered by one of the interviewers), I decided to stick with what set me free in the first place. It's still not a decision that I'm 150% confident in yet, but the deed is done and I'm living with it. Andy supports my turn down, as his main concern is my happiness, and I love him even more for that.
I usually try to end my ramblings with a sort of "moral to the story". What's the moral to this story? I think that there's no way of knowing if you're on the right track or not, so you might as well do what makes you happy and figure out the other parts of it in the meantime.
Next blog: "Jolly Ole St. Flick - What to Get Your Bassoon Playing Friend for the Holidays!"