Sunday, May 9, 2010

Aalborg in May

On Friday, I (Carla) had my first professional orchestral audition. I auditioned for the 3rd flute/piccolo chair in the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra in Aalborg, Denmark. This photo is of me in front of the Aalborg Symphony hall. The audition itself was ok; I played decently, though I could have done better. However, I was really excited to have accomplished preparing for my first audition without the help of a teacher. I am also happy that I was able to bring my piccolo skills up to an audition level. Prior to April, I had little experience with the piccolo. So even though I did not win the job, I consider the entire audition process a success.

The city of Aalborg is very different than Copenhagen. Aalborg is located on the other side of Denmark, in Northern Jutland, where the Baltic Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. It is the 4th largest city in Denmark and referred to as Denmark's largest village. The town was very pretty and looked like a quaint Northern French sea-side town. There are many old houses, stores, and factories. Aalborg is also the home of Aalborg University, for whom Bobby works (though in the Ballerup location). Bobby was able to schedule a talk at the University while I was giving my audition. His talk went very well and he was able to talk with many colleagues.

Above are some photos of our incredibly tiny hotel room. We felt like we were on a small ship with the bunk beds! I had no idea the room was going to be so small, hence the incredulous look on my face. Bobby didn't seem to mind taking the top bunk, though I was very worried he was going to fall off in the middle of the night.

Another thing that make Aalborg very different from Copenhagen is that we actually know people living in Aalborg! Above is Mads, Majbritt, and their awesome 11 month old son Erik. We spent the second night at their home near the University. Mads is a professor at Aalborg University. He and Bobby have worked together in past. In fact, in October/November of 2008, Mads and Majbritt visited Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Majbritt was then a few months pregnant with Erik. We never would have guessed that, 14 months later, we'd be living in the same country and Bobby would be working for the same university as Mads! On Saturday night, they prepared a traditional Danish Christmas dinner for us: roasted pork (with some delicious, crispy skin... yum!!), red cabbage, potatoes, and brown gravy. The next day involved a traditional Danish lunch of smørrebrød. We hung out with Erik a lot. He is really big for his age and is the happiest baby I've ever met! I had a lot of fun playing peek-a-boo with him.

We also hung out with our friend from UCSB Dan Overholt, and his family. Dan was in the MAT program with Bobby. He and his Danish wife, Anne-Marie, work at Aalborg University as well (it seems UCSB has a pretty strong contingent in Denmark!). They also have a son named Erik, though this Erik (or Erik number two, as Bobby kept referring to him by) is 8 months old. Much like Erik number one, Erik number two is a very happy baby. We had a lot of fun hanging out with Dan, Anne-Marie, and Erik number two. Sadly, we didn't get a harbor tour on Dan's boat, but he gave us a great tour of the city and showed us a lot of the new facilities for the Department of Architecture, Design, and Media Technology (the same department Bobby is in in the Copenhagen location). Dan then gave us a ride to the airport in his awesome VW Bug. We are lucky to have all these friends in Aalborg and hope to visit them all again soon!

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