Band Music Librarian Essay

Band Music Librarian Essay

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Although many music librarians come to the position via performing, my career included several additional layers of being at the right place at the right time. Despite years of violin and viola lessons, I wasn’t dedicated enough to play professionally, and I knew enough about myself not to go into teaching; since I assumed those were the only two jobs in music, I went to college intending to become a radio producer. Job-hunting with the impressive-sounding “special interdisciplinary degree in audial arts,” but with my only hands-on experience on outdated equipment, I halfheartedly went to cattle calls for opera choruses, and eventually ended up at an Army recruiting office looking at jobs in telecommunications. While I was working through the enlistment process, The U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus came to my hometown on tour, and there were chorus vacancies listed in the program; I auditioned the following month, and went to basic training two months later. Once at the band, I tended to spend my free time in the library because that’s where the Mac users were. I became the assistant chorus librarian, then the chorus librarian, then the assistant librarian, all while performing; when the full-time librarian retired and her position was opened to internal auditions, I was the only candidate who, when asked to distribute a march to the concert band, asked “which edition?” Thus I became the librarian.
Like any performance library, the Field Band library is an information hub for the organization, collecting, synthesizing, and distributing information to and from various levels inside and outside the band, and its ultimate goal is the same as well: to get the right music in the right place at the right time. It’s similar to ...

... middle of paper ...

...e are fewer professional band librarians than professional euphonium players.

I really like this paragraph but don’t know where it should go, or if it belongs anywhere at all—I just don’t have the heart to cut it entirely: In the first hour of work today, I explained to a conductor why the requested new arrangement will not be available for rehearsal next week (“it’s not on the arrangers’ to-do list; according to your previous email, it was on the back burner”), advised a chorus member on what to prepare for a conducting audition (“I know it sounds unoriginal, but if you can get into and out of the men’s section of Battle Hymn, that shows you have skills”), and talked with an IP attorney about whether auditions via YouTube would be legal. Every half hour, Outlook reminds me to pay last quarter’s royalties for music downloaded from our website, and I hit snooze.

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