Jeremy Wilson, a first-year master's student in the College of Music, landed the job that most musicians can only dream about - a position with the Vienna State Opera/Vienna Philharmonic, considered one of the finest orchestras in the world.
And he did it on the very first try.
Wilson, a trombonist, found out after his audition May 7 that he won the prestigious position.
Several musicians go through several nerve-racking orchestral auditions before landing jobs with less prominent orchestras - but this was Wilson's first orchestral audition. He received the rare invitation to audition after he was heard on a recording for a solo trombone competition.
"Even though Jeremy has no professional experience and had never taken an audition before, we urged him to pursue it anyway," says Vern Kagarice, a professor of trombone since 1983.
Kagarice and other trombone instructors - his wife, Jan Kagarice, and Tony Baker, associate professor of music - worked with Wilson for three months to help him learn as much orchestral literature as possible and polish the audition passages.
"For this to all happen to a 24-year-old graduate student from Tennessee and Texas, it's a Cinderella story beyond anyone's wildest imagination," Vern Kagarice says.
"His success marks a once-in-a-lifetime event for most teachers, and we're proud and honored that we were able to have a small part in helping him achieve this phenomenal goal," Kagarice says.
Wilson will start performing with the Vienna State Opera and Vienna Philharmonic in September.