HOW IT WORKS
Thinking about playing with the TFO this summer? Want to know more about the expectations of orchestra members? Check out the article below to learn what playing with the TFO is all about.
TFO is unlike other festivals for several reasons:
1. Orchestra members do not pay to attend, making it ideal for serious music students living on a tight budget.
2. Players are a mixture of students and professionals. Our pros are leading a wide variety of musical careers in freelancing, private teaching, university teaching, music business, arts administration, and full-time orchestral playing. This means that students get a unique opportunity to learn what careers in music look like and how to get there.
3. Chamber music concerts are programmed by the musicians, giving everyone an opportunity to play that bucket-list piece.
4. There is no upper age limit (you must be at least 18 years old to participate), so you can play in TFO at any stage of life.
Cost & Travel
The Festival is FREE to attend, but musicians must arrange/fund their own travel to the Festival. We will provide small travel grants to musicians after the Festival ends.
We provide all traveling musicians with a host family. Upon arrival into Branson, we will host a bar-b-que to introduce each musician to his or her host family. You will be able to sleep and relax at your host family's home. We will arrange the host families and roommates so that each orchestra member will have a ride to rehearsal. Most hosts are not musicians, so it will be important to come prepared with a music stand for practice.
In 2013, the TFO was fondly nick-named, "The Food Orchestra." Lunches are catered into Branson High School, which serves as our rehearsal and orchestral concert venue. A local family or organization generously provides each of the evening meals. We also provide snacks throughout daily rehearsals (often there is a breakfast food available). To minimize food and waste and trash, we require musicians to provide and maintain their own mess kits for the duration of the festival.
Branson is a destination city, and orchestra members are encouraged to take advantage of fun stuff in the area. There are beautiful lakes, a beach, amusement parks, countless shows and restaurants, and great shopping opportunities. Get together, and go exploring!
There will be social gatherings each night. Branson has an eclectic nightlife with opportunities for karaoke, dancing, and other bar-scene activities. However, there will always be an option to “stay in” at the Sanders House (home of Executive-Artistic Director, Larkin Sanders) and relax with other orchestra members.
Orchestral Music Selection
Orchestra music will be selected by the Artistic Advisory Committee approximately 10 months prior to the start of the festival. However, we are always open to suggestions!
Orchestra rehearsals begin bright and early at 9:00 AM and last until 12:00 PM (at which time, we will break for lunch). Before arriving at the TFO, each orchestra member will receive a detailed schedule showing the exact time each piece will be rehearsed and will be able to plan accordingly. Members will also receive their music via email well in advance and should have the opportunity to print and practice in advance.
Concerts with the TFO are more casual than most orchestral concerts. Our dress code is black bottoms with a solid colored top of choice. Ladies also have the option of wearing a solid colored, conservative dress. Concerts are given at Branson High School's Auditorium. There will be two full-scale symphonic concerts and one serenade concert.
Chamber Music Selection
Chamber music repertoire is selected by the TFO members and is programmed by the Artistic Advisory Committee. When members apply for a position with the TFO, they will be asked to list the chamber music repertoire that they would be interested in playing. Not all pieces submitted will be selected.
Chamber Music Rehearsals
Once chamber music repertoire has been selected and programmed, the Artistic Director will schedule rehearsals accordingly to prevent scheduling overlaps and to ensure that the proper amount of rehearsal time is granted to each piece and group. Each member of the orchestra will have at least one chamber music assignment.
Chamber Music Concerts
These concerts occur at local churches, bars, and restaurants. Venues may change from year to year, so musicians will receive information regarding venues and equipment availability in April or May.