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The Trombone ForumCreation and PerformanceThe Business of Music(Moderator: BGuttman) Breaking into the Freelance Musical Scene
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dgstern4
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« on: Oct 14, 2017, 04:52PM »

Hello,
     Young college Trombonist here, looking to break into the freelance scene (namely musicals). I think I am at least marginally marketable, as I'm fluent in Trombone, Euph, and Tuba, and I actually teach lessons on trombone and I am a Tuba sectional coach in a middle school music program we've got in my local district. Fresh out of high school, I may be a little biased, but I think it would be fair to say one of the larger markets for freelance 'bone players in my area is in high school productions. So my question here is, would it be a good idea to email the band directors in my area and offer my services or would that for some reason do more harm than good?
     Thank you!
     Douglas
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MikeBMiller
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 14, 2017, 05:29PM »

I don't know about your area, but I have found that the best way to get in a pit for a musical around here is to find out way in advance who the music director is and contact them directly and tell them you would like to play. Band directors may or may not have anything to do with HS musical theater productions. That is usually the area of the chorus teacher in most schools.

The only real opportunity for pit work in my town (unless you are a keyboard player) is the local little theater. Fortunately, I have gotten to know most of the music directors they use, so I usually contact them about 4-6 months ahead of the show and try to get on the list. Since I have played 10 shows with this group now, I have managed to get a good reputation as someone who shows up and doesn't screw up too much (unless you count dropping mutes). We just did Legally Blonde and I am already signed up for Guys and Dolls in May. It's not huge money ($60 a show), but it is better than nothing and I enjoy playing.

Make yourself up some business cards and a FB page and sent them out to all the choir directors in town. Churches use brass a lot at Easter and Christmas.

And when you do get hired, show up early for everything with the music already prepared.

Good luck!









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savio

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« Reply #2 on: Oct 14, 2017, 05:37PM »

Hello,
     Young college Trombonist here, looking to break into the freelance scene (namely musicals). I think I am at least marginally marketable, as I'm fluent in Trombone, Euph, and Tuba, and I actually teach lessons on trombone and I am a Tuba sectional coach in a middle school music program we've got in my local district. Fresh out of high school, I may be a little biased, but I think it would be fair to say one of the larger markets for freelance 'bone players in my area is in high school productions. So my question here is, would it be a good idea to email the band directors in my area and offer my services or would that for some reason do more harm than good?
     Thank you!
     Douglas

I would say do it! Cant hurt to tell you are available.
Im actually playing in a musical right now, and have to play both bass trombone and tuba. Done it for three weeks and was so afraid when they told also to play tuba. In fact they liked my tuba playing and thats a surprise.

You have to tell you are there, jump into it, and do your best. Then the ball might start spinning.

Leif
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Paul Martin
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 24, 2017, 02:51PM »

Hello,
     Young college Trombonist here, looking to break into the freelance scene (namely musicals). I think I am at least marginally marketable, as I'm fluent in Trombone, Euph, and Tuba, and I actually teach lessons on trombone and I am a Tuba sectional coach in a middle school music program we've got in my local district. Fresh out of high school, I may be a little biased, but I think it would be fair to say one of the larger markets for freelance 'bone players in my area is in high school productions. So my question here is, would it be a good idea to email the band directors in my area and offer my services or would that for some reason do more harm than good?
     Thank you!
     Douglas

The only bad thing that can come from putting your name out there is not delivering the goods when the time comes.  People have good memories, and generally unlikely to give you a second chance if you botch it the first time.
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