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CFA Student Wins “Dream Job” with Boston Symphony

After a semester at CFA, W. Lee Vinson was chosen as the section percussionist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

One semester into his graduate studies at the College of Fine Arts, W. Lee Vinson (CFA’08) leapt into the big leagues of the music world by winning the coveted position of section percussionist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. As section percussionist, Vinson’s repertoire of instruments will include the snare drum, the xylophone, the cymbals, and the base drum.

“This is kind of as good as it gets,” he says. “It’s a dream job.”

The audition process for the Boston Symphony Orchestra is very demanding — the candidates go through several preliminary and elimination rounds before the judges narrow the field to two candidates. What makes the process unique, Vinson says, is that the performers play behind a screen, so that the judges evaluate the music rather than the candidate. “They never see our faces,” he says. “It’s a very strange way to do a job interview.”

A member of the U.S. Navy Band for four years, Vinson earned his undergraduate degree from the Eastman School of Music. The Auburn, Ala., native will begin his position with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in September, the start of the 2007–2008 season.

Brittany Jasnoff can be reached at bjasnoff@bu.edu.