I know I've mentioned here and there that Joel has been looking for another (better) job practically since the moment we stepped foot in Cedar City. This just isn't where we want to end up, although it has been a nice little stepping stone along the way.
There have been several opportunities/job openings that seem to come up, raise our hopes and then disappear just as quickly. It has been discouraging, but we sally forth with faith. Or at least we try.
Last month, Joel went to a CODA (College Orchestra Directors Association) conference up at BYU and was able to make some new connections and learn a lot of cool stuff. It gave him back the spark of hope that has slowly petered out in the last year or so, and when he came home, we knew we had to do something besides just apply for the university orchestra jobs that come up.
And, so....today we wired our entire savings account (which was only about 500 dollars at this point...if you remember) to a bank in Spain. There is an international conducting competition for which Joel did not make the initial cut but has the opportunity to show up and audition for one of ten still open spots by conducting Pierrot Lunaire. We originally thought it would be totally stupid to go do that when he didn't even make the first cut, but we have both increasingly felt that this was the thing to do. Besides, the man is obsessed with Pierrot, who on earth knows why (and now I am singspieling in my head "Einem Weisen MondfleCK!"), so he probably has a great chance. Because how many people love Pierrot that much? (Also, how many of my readers even know what I'm talking about???)
If he gets to be one of the ten, he goes on to compete with the 50 who made the original cut. If he wins, he gets a nice chunk of change and a 3 year contract conducting orchestras all over Europe. Second place also gets a cash prize and a contract, though not quite as amazing. We're just hoping it gets him noticed, although winning would certainly be a big bonus.
So, we now know that our tax refund, which still hasn't come, and our stimulus package deal will probably help fund this little jaunt to Spain in June along with all the scores he'll have to buy in order to be prepared.
Let's just hope it's all worth it.