Flute/chair seating


Hi!I currently am the first chair flutist in my beginning band at my Jr. high.But we are having auditions in a few weeks for reseating.My friend who is second chair said that if she gets first chair, her dad will get her a pikilo....AND SHE REALLY WANTS ONE.I don't want to get first chair and make her not get what she has always wanted but i don't want to give up my first chair. What should  I do?????

Hey Marisol,

That's a tough situation to be in!  Here's my thoughts...  I think you should go into your audition and play your best, just like you normally would. That way, it's out of your hands whether you get first chair or second chair.  Here's why: if you try to help your friend out and give up your first chair by not playing quite as well as usual, that may backfire on you and make your placement even lower.  And it still may not work if your friend doesn't have a rocking good audition.  I doubt it'd be an option to ask the director after auditions if you could switch with your friend, because the director will always want the best player in first chair.  So it sounds like it would be very tricky indeed to manage things so perfectly that you get second chair and your friend gets first.

I think it's a shame that your friend's dad is making getting your friend a piccolo contingent on her getting first chair.  It's not like she's in last chair and needs encouragement to do better - second chair is still really good.  And kudos to you for being so selfless and such a good friend that you want your pal to get her piccolo so badly.  But you shouldn't have to give up your first chair spot - a position that you want and clearly have earned - because of forces outside your control.  

Perhaps there's another way your friend can start playing piccolo - does your school have one that she can borrow?  A school instrument would tide her over for the meantime, and that way, it wouldn't matter what chair she gets.  

I wish you the best of luck in your audition, and I hope everything turns out okay. It's already enough pressure to keep your first chair spot without having this to deal with this, too. :(    



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I've played the flute since fourth grade, graduating with my master's degree in flute performance. I have taught at local music schools, given flute lessons for over ten years, have played in and soloed with several orchestras, chamber groups, and various other ensembles. For more information about me, visit my website at silentgalaxy.com. I love the flute, and I love helping people, so I welcome your questions!

Bachelor's and master's degrees in flute performance from Carnegie Mellon University.

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