Opus One Seating Explanation

Seating in Opus One will move frequently and has no bearing on musician’s raw musical ability. A common misunderstanding of seating is that first chair means that musician is the best, second chair means that musician is second best, and so-on. This is not true for Opus One or in professional orchestras! Every area of a section has an important contribution to the group, and the success of the group depends on having balanced sections with strong players in all areas – front, middle, and back! It is usually true that musicians who are strongest in their leadership skills as well as playing abilities are chosen for principal positions but strong players are need throughout every section for a successful ensemble.

As a musician in Opus One, one week you may find yourself sitting next to someone who is a better musician than you – don’t be worried and try to learn as much as you can from sitting with them! The next week you might be sitting with someone who is struggling to improve a skill that you are really good at – be friendly and patient! Everyone is on the same Opus One team and we need to support our musical teammates each and every rehearsal and performance.

Some considerations for seating may include:

  • Experience
  • Leadership Qualities
  • Effort in rehearsals
  • Preparation for sectionals and rehearsals
  • Attendance
  • Strengths
  • Areas for growth
  • Interactions with others
  • Observation in rehearsals
  • Conductor needs to know students

Seating may change every one to two weeks in rehearsal with principal players remaining the same within a concert cycle (Sept-Nov, Dec-Mar, Apr-May).

Erin Barnard
Opus One Conductor


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