All right, so a week or so ago my friend Jenni convinced me to audition for a local LDS symphony (the Ensign Symphony and Chorus) because she’s one of the section leaders and she wanted to carpool and make weird jokes all the way there and back.

I was like “I’ll totally… never audition in person for any group ever ever ever again because I did that all growing up and I hate it.”

And she was like “PERFECT. You can audition online!”

Then she kidnapped me invited me to record my audition at her home.

And, I did this really weird, uncharacteristic thing where I didn’t practice at all and ended up sending in the audition tape the last possible second of the last day of auditions. Because I win at being prepared.

Wanna know how I did? Well, I compiled a very short highlight reel for you to enjoy. Remember, this is an audition for a semi-professional level group, so I had to make sure my stuff was in tip top shape!



My favorite parts? The fact that the instrument on the couch kept changing, and the fact that you could hear Jenni laughing hard into the camera during my meltdown and I didn’t even notice her laughing at me. Because I was way too busy acting a lot like Tessa, my two-year-old.

I bet you’re wondering if I got in.

I did. Because of miracles. And also they were seriously like “hmmm, maybe you could actually practice in the next couple of months before we do auditions for chairs. Kinda like any other player would, you fool. If you don’t we’ll kick you out. MkaythanxbaiThat wasn’t a direct quote, but that was the main idea.

I think I will.

In other music news, there’s less than a week left to submit to the “Only Love” vocal competition hosted by myself and Sally DeFord! Entries have already started coming in and it has been amazing to see the beauty of different approaches. For those who don’t remember what I’m talking about, here is the blog post that talks all about it. There you will find the rules to the competition, details about prizes, the links to all the relevant pages, and in the comments there are some commonly asked questions answered by myself and Sally.

Feel free to ask any further questions here in the comments, and just for fun, here are the main links:

Here is Sally’s page where you can find the sheet music (along with everything else).
Here is a link to where you can download the accompaniment track.
Here is a link to where you can download my version to hear the vocals.
Here is the site you can use to record your vocals.

The rest of the details can be found at the original post.

We’re so excited to see what you’ve got! Good luck!

Me? I’m off to practice the violin. Where when I say “practice the violin” I actually mean “go night night because it’s really late.” 



  1. Hi Josh – lots of your posts have moved me deeply but I keep not going through with my responses. But since I'm also a violinist, I just can't *not* respond to this one!

    I hope you go play in that orchestra because it is the most healing and supportive thing in the world.

    I got to start playing string quartets with my dad's friends when I was 13. Then in my more recent past I decided I wanted to play other kinds of music, and these days I have a country band I "fiddle" in, a small local jam session where they like to play folk and classic rock, a women's choir I sing in and… oh, right, I work as a violin teacher.

    Music, in all of its forms, keeps me sane and at times, alive.

    May music, good (& nutty) friends and humor continue to bless your life!

  2. Music is so healing- I agree with Judith! Whenever I am feeling down or struggling with a trial, I try to find a musical number I can do in church or somewhere else- having that to practice fills my home with music and it buoys me up.

    Loved the baby kicking to the music at the end- that was perfect!

    1. Well, it did woo Sally DeFord, so you have a very valid point! If anyone questions his musical ability, he should say nothing except share that link. 'nuff said.

  3. HAHAHAHAHAHA 😀 😀 😀 – Bravo ~~~~~ 🙂

    Awh Josh – what fun! 🙂 I am so in love with music, and I am so proud of you for doing this. Hopefully we will eventually get to really listen to you play a piece. AWESOME!

  4. That … was amazing. Especially the "… whatever movement" part. Also, EEKS! I need to submit my song performance to you! I think I'll not practice it at all and just send in a video because I, too, am so arrogant that I think I can just wing everything and win.

  5. The hilarity here works well for disguising tremendous tone and talent! Where are you when I need a good busting up on the floor laughfest??? Oh yes- right here:-)

  6. I wonder if I had auditioned like that if the Columbia Symphony Orchestra would have decided to let me in instead of rejecting me and telling me I sounded like I hadn't practiced for a really long time….. I used to be in the Ensign Symphony back when it first started and was called the Portland Mormon Choir and Orchestra… or something like that, and I miss being in an orchestra! You're going to love being in it. Awesome music, awesome people.

  7. Ok, so…..I've procrastinated entering my vocal and I've practiced "Only Love" with my phone's Voice Memo app. This is really bare bones. Where do I go from here? I can't believe how untrained I am in the art of digital home recording! Any suggestions? I need a microphone right? If I'm to get any better quality than my iPhone mic? Suggestions Weeders?

  8. Hi Josh!

    My name is Hannah and I came across your blog today. Your family is amazing!

    I'm working with an award-winning production company and a top-rated national cable network to cast a new docu-series that will explore unique perspectives on parenting. I think you could be a great fit for the show!

    If you are interested in speaking with me about the show, please e-mail me at with a summary of your family and parenting style and a family photo. More information is available at

    Looking forward to talking with you!


  9. Hi Susie! (it's me, yourself). So glad you decided to wait for the "Only Love" vocal competition Part Deux to worry about this. If you had thought a little harder, a little sooner you would have realized you have a few friends with basic recording equipment you probably could've bothered for a few hours. Since the time has come and gone and you are going on vacation soon, just relax and enjoy yourself. And don't forget to wish all other Weeders "Good luck! Can't wait to hear your entries!". (sniff, sniff)

  10. Hey – another conditional member here! Excited to get to know you!

    You know, assuming I don't suck it up the next few months and I actually make the final cut and all. 😉

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