Last spring, I got accepted into the prestigious All-National Honors Ensemble. I had to play second chair in band, but the top two basses get to play in band, so I guess I could be called number two in the nation! I also got into the All-Eastern ensemble, and we rehearse for the first time in just a few weeks at Rhode Island. Additionally, my CJMEA regions orchestra score was so high this year that I got invited to play in the band without needing to audition. I had lots of fun playing in these high-level groups.
YOCJ has really made the transition of going from a school orchestra to a professional-grade youth ensemble less disruptive. Doing YOCJ prepared me for the rigor and expectations these numerous ensembles placed upon me, and I think I had a great advantage going in to the many seating auditions I encountered because we cover and audition with a lot of exciting music in YOCJ. I also liked how Mr. Enz and Mr. Pugh gave the usually underrepresented double-bass relatively challenging parts that weren’t the stereotypical ‘whole notes and rests’.
Thanks, Aneesh Jonelagadda