I had the good fortune to hear Billy play through the audition material a couple of days ago when he stopped in Columbus on his way to the Cleveland audition. What a thrill it was to hear a bassoonist who was on the verge of winning a position in one of the world's greatest orchestras. Clearly, he played like a winner. He had what I would describe as the Cleveland sound - very beautiful and refined - never out of control or the slightest bit crass. The beginnings and releases of his notes were subtle and perfectly controlled. He found the right character for each excerpt, showing total command of the orchestral repertoire. He was ultra prepared, calm and confident.
That's what a winner sounds like. Congratulations, Billy!