I recently joined a university orchestra for students who are interested in music but aren’t necessarily a part of the School of Music, so it’s relatively low-key but still sounds really nice. I officially joined at the beginning of this month, but they knew that I would become a part of the orchestra back in December (they’ve never had a harpist before so they were excited that they would finally have access to one).
The only problem is that all of the music we’ve been getting doesn’t have a harp part. The only thing I play so far (out of three pieces to date) is the few measures of bass notes in Pines of Rome (we’re just doing IV).
Should I ask for more parts even though I’m brand new, or should I wait until I’m a more seasoned member to make suggestions? The lack of harp parts may be because of their (the president and conductor) inexperience with the harp, but I feel like they knew I was coming and had enough time to find pieces that required a harp as well. Case in point, in December they performed selections from the Nutcracker among other things, and had to omit a section with a harp solo because they didn’t have a harp, so it’s not out of lack of repertoire available. Has anyone else been with an orchestra where they felt under-utilized? What did you do to rectify the issue?