When I read in the Chronicle that San Francisco was establishing a symphony, I wanted desperately to audition. Everyone said I was the best violinist they knew. Surely, with Papa’s Chanot instrument and his “Don Juan Triumphant” score as my audition piece, I was as good as hired.
“It says men only,” Michael responded when I enthused over the possibilities. I don’t think anyone will mistake you for a boy.”
“Honestly, Michael. They must want only the finest musicians. I must throw my hat into the ring.”
So it was that I auditioned, just as I planned. I played the solo from Papa’s brilliant composition and waited for the proctor’s decision.
“Miss ... Le Maitre, is it? Yours was surely the finest audition we’ve heard today,” came the voice from the pit. “Unfortunately, we cannot use you. Go home to your beaux and pretty clothes, my dear. You don’t want to be a career girl; it’s deucedly unfeminine.”
Summarily dismissed, I rode the omnibus home in miserable silence. Why was the assumption always that women must want so little from life?
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