As I fire up this engine to chronicle this year’s audition tour (and how is it happening as early as September 13…?), I see that I abandoned the blog in the middle of this past season. So many good things went undocumented, so many beautiful stories were untold. But regret is cheap; it’s now time to focus forward on this next month of auditions, and I’m happy to bring you along.

As we face the ~8,000 miles of travel in the next 3 weeks, I’m reminded of one of the indirect effects of this annual trek. Of course, its main purpose is to allow us to cast the widest possible net in selecting artists for next season’s roster. And it lets us connect with colleagues across the country. But I can’t underestimate the way in which it allows me to empathize with the very artists we serve. For as they embrace this career they are buying into the reality of a life on the road and in the air.

For various reasons, it’s more difficult for me to leave home this year than it has been for a long time – ever since the early audition tours a few decades ago when I had small children living under my roof. And even as I relish this opportunity to connect with people, talent, and places outside of my typical sphere, I recognize how hard it is for the singers we serve to spend hundreds of days a year away from home.

Empathy is a gift. May we use it wisely.


Barbara and Ward Morris

We could not agree more that empathy is a gift. Thank you for this important reminder of singers’ lives.
Have a successful, healthful trip, Kim. And thank you for that work. We, the audience, are the beneficiaries of your road trips.
And, remember the combination of deep breathing and forceful exhaling is akin to a miracle medicine. Bon voyage.

Jim Prosser

I marvel at the sheer size of the endeavor you and your staff take one every year. It amazes me that you have the stamina not only to do it, but that you do it with such precision and caring. And empathy.

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