Viswa Subbaraman

Opera and Orchestra Conductor

Yakima Symphony Music Director Audition Trip - Day 2

One of the primary reasons I came up to Yakima  a day and a half before all the official Music Director audition process started was to try to get to know the town on my own. As most of you who follow my blog know, I constantly talk about how important it is for orchestras to dig their roots into the community to promote their long-term health. To that end, I think it's important to get to know the town where you could potentially be in charge of programming. One of the challenges to the music director audition process is that there are so many interviews, meetings and parties scheduled that sometimes it's really tough to get a true sense of the town - you're constantly being shuffled from one event to the next. On day 2, I decided to just walk around the town. Video 3 - The concert hall (Of course it's the first place I checked out!)


You probably need an explanation of the Olive Garden reference. When my parents go out to eat, 95% of the time, they go to the Olive Garden. (Ravioli di portobello, lunch portion!) They don't even have to look at the menus! So, we joke that if they ever end up in a town without an Olive Garden, they wouldn't be able to go out to eat!

As I kept walking, I finally started getting a feel of the town. As you saw in the concert hall video, there was a cool little seating area with sculpture right in front. Well, there seem to be random bits of art all over town. (There is even a cool, but from what I understand controversial, granite sculpture in front of the old train depot.) I saw a number of cool little details around the town that I found interesting.

Video 4 - An Artsy Side Street


I continued down the same little side street and saw this.

Video 5 - The Side of a Thai Restaurant


So I kept walking down E. Yakima Ave. and turned right at another major street and saw this. I have to throw this shout out to fellow Houstonian and Opera Vista board member, Chris Mahaffey. (The man brews his own beer!)

Video 6 - Shout out to Chris Mahaffey


No, I haven't secretly taken up a job with the Yakima, WA tourist bureau, but when a town is surrounded by hops and vineyards, it seems a pretty cool place to visit. You could basically walk around town and do wine tastings all day. Makes you wonder how people tear themselves away from that to come to the concerts!

Finally, I saw this and had a repertoire suggestion for the YSO that I couldn't resist. Whether it's me or someone else who gets the job, they seriously should do this.

Video 7 - Repertoire Suggestion


More to follow tomorrow!