The Philadelphia Orchestra opened up its podium late Tuesday afternoon to orchestral aspirants, letting amateurs take a spin with a string quintet in Kimmel Center lobby.
Three or four dozen tried out, including Darrel Marsh, 57, from Pine Hill, N.J. (in photo above) and Kalila Abboud Rosen, 7, of Mount Airy, who declared the experience to be "kind of scary ... a lot of people were watching. There was a little bit of pressure. "
Here's a video of Kalila's audition.
But only one was chosen.
As a prize, Na'Zir McFadden, 16, from Northeast Philadelphia, got to conduct the entire orchestra in the Offenbach Can-Can Tuesday evening at one of the orchestra's free "pop-up" concerts in Verizon Hall. Yannick Nézet-Séguin led the orchestra in the rest of the program: Berlioz' Le Corsaire Overture, Gershwin's An American in Paris, the third movement of Brahms' Symphony No. 4 and Fauré's Pavane.
McFadden — a clarinetist — not only had great stick technique, he waved his left hand at the end of the Can-Can to ask the orchestra for more sound. Nézet-Séguin seemed impressed. He asked: "Are you free for tomorrow's rehearsal?"