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Old 07-13-2009, 05:19 PM
 
22 posts, read 42,246 times
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I'm looking into where to apply for grad school, and location is almost more important to me than the program (assuming the program is decent and offers good funding). I'm originally from Connecticut, and go to college here. (Please don't assume I'm a trust-fund baby from Fairfield, I'm actually from working-class Irish roots and am the first to go to college in my family. My parents don't pay for my school, rent or anything else, so public transportation and affordability are very important to me.) I've read mixed reviews about Portland's music scene, but mostly by people in rock or indie bands, as opposed to a classically trained player. I've also heard it's very expensive to live there, which is what I want to avoid! Please contribute any advice you have to someone in my situation.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:00 PM
 
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I'm not very knowledgable as to the Portland classical scene, but I do know a violinist who's also trying to break in and she's greatly discouraged. I would suggest Seattle or San Francisco.
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Old 07-14-2009, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
2,494 posts, read 4,780,893 times
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You can get a lot of info about the classical music scene in Portland from the Links page at allclassical.org, the website of our local classical-music radio station:

All Classical FM - From the Cascades to the Coast - Website Links (http://allclassical.org/pages/links.php5 - broken link)
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Old 07-15-2009, 01:41 AM
 
Location: Singapore
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I know some Classical musicians in Portland and they have a hard time finding work because the market is too saturated. If I were you I'd go to a different city or state.
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
9,859 posts, read 11,363,021 times
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The most obvious employment of a classical musician is in a symphony orchestra. You've got 50 some odd violinists and lesser numbers of the other strings but brass and percussion musicians are definitely the minority numbers. Teaching is a possible occupation and there the piano or theory majors have an advantage. The East Coast and Midwest are the most likely destinations for a musician of normal human attainment. Phenomenally talented humans with chops to spare will still beat out average players for the open slots in symphonies and smaller ensembles. All of the players I know (including myself) make livings at music as a sideline. If I had it to do over and wanted to make music my primary means of support I would emigrate to another country! No city in America, not even NYC or Chicago have enough opportunity for all the music majors that the various conservatories and private studio's are turning out.

H
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Old 07-20-2009, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Florida Coast
403 posts, read 1,083,162 times
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The problem is that Classical Music isn't valued by society. Why? Because you can't be an idiot and appreciate it. And needless to say, it helps if you actually know the Rules of the Common Practice, Sonata-Allegro form, etc.

All that is asking a bit much of the American Idol crowd. Let's face it: most people are dumb as a bag of hair, and all too proud of it. How do you think we got Obama as President?
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Old 07-20-2009, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
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I doubt Obama's victory had any more or less to do with the intelligence of the American people than Bush's victory in 2004 had anything to do with 'intelligence'. Incidentally, I, and tons of my schoolmates were playing and/or enjoying classical music decades before we ever took a Music 101 course and learned about the nuances of Sonata-Allegro form.

H
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Old 07-20-2009, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,695 posts, read 27,080,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venusian_Artist View Post
The problem is that Classical Music isn't valued by society. Why? Because you can't be an idiot and appreciate it. And needless to say, it helps if you actually know the Rules of the Common Practice, Sonata-Allegro form, etc.

All that is asking a bit much of the American Idol crowd. Let's face it: most people are dumb as a bag of hair, and all too proud of it. How do you think we got Obama as President?
Don't sell all Americans so short. Last year an opera singer won "America's Got Talent." During the competition he strayed from opera for one round and everyone told him to go back to it because he was so good at it. This year a woman singing opera got a standing ovation.

I grew up playing classical music and listening to opera. I saw all different types in the audience. I come from a blue collar family as did many of my classical music loving (and performing) friends. I think classical music is valued by all sorts of people in our Society.

As far as the OP's question goes, we have some nice classical music in Portland but not probably not a lot of jobs available in that mileu.
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:31 PM
 
3,632 posts, read 5,813,617 times
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The OP was inquiring about graduate school programs, I thought, and not jobs, and I'm puzzled why s/he doesn't have their undergrad french horn teacher recommending teachers and programs. If you are serious about grad school, and supporting yourself, your best bang for the buck would likely be someplace like the University of Indiana, which has a top tier music school in a very nice, reasonably-priced town (Bloomington). I wouldn't mess around and go to a second rate music school just because I want to live in a certain place. You can do that after graduate school.
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Old 07-21-2009, 02:02 AM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
252 posts, read 925,672 times
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If you want to have a career in a highly competitive field, you should really focus on going to the best program you can get into, with city of choice being a secondary concern. Grad school doesn't last that long, and by going to the best program possible, you will have a greater ability to actually choose where you want to live when you start your career, as opposed to having to move to whatever (possibly undesirable) town that you can find work in.

As far as costs, Portland is the cheapest major city on the west coast, but it's not as cheap as most Midwestern and Southern cities. I suspect Portland is a good bit cheaper than CT too (depending on the city in CT).

As far as its classical music scene, it's fine for a city of its size. Portland has a decent symphony, an opera, a chamber orchestra, a baroque orchestra, and a great summer chamber music festival. There is also a good, commercial-free local classical music radio station. Portland is much more of an indie rock town than a classical music town, but there are certainly plenty of classical music offerings available.
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