Tag Archives: symphony

BSO Academy, Day 1

The afternoon performance of Verdi’s Requiem, with more than 120 voices joining the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, was alternately stunning, ethereal, and emotionally moving.  So it was amusing to learn, talking to members of the brass section after the performance, that they nearly “lost it” midway through the performance when a cell phone went off at a critical moment, with a ringtone that was perfectly in key.

Marin Alsop addresses the BSO Academy Musicians

BSO Music Director Marin Alsop addresses the BSO Academy Musicians

That casual, companions-in-music camaraderie, set a great tone for the opening day of the BSO Academy.   As music director Marin Alsop told the assembled musicians (mostly midlifers like me), “it’s about the passion we all share for music.”   The BSO Academy, now in its second year, is a very different experience for the musicians, too, she says.

“We are here to help,” she told us.  “It’s not about pressure.  Any pressure you feel, you are putting on yourself.  We just want to help you improve your skill set and music making, so you can reach new goals.”

At the same time, Alsop warned that she would not go easy on the BSO Academy musicians, just because we are amateurs.  “I can’t help it,” she said.  “I work with every orchestra as if it is a major orchestra.”  But she also promised that the experience would “take you where you are and move you ten levels up.”

There are a lot of people here who do other things for a living:  a doctor, a nuclear physicist, a retired marketing executive, and so on, with home addresses that include Maryland, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Massachusetts, and California.

Crab Cake Sandwich at Phillips Seafood at Harborplace in Baltimore

As the schedules were passed out over dinner, it’s clear it will be a challenging week.  I have my first private lesson at 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning, followed by classes on preventing injury, Alexander Technique, sectional rehearsal, chamber music rehearsal, and — after dinner — another class on sight reading.

Good thing I got my crab cake fix at lunch today!

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Filed under Fun Stuff, Inspiration, Music and Aging, Personal Journey

From One Orchestra To Another …

It’s finally starting to seem like spring in Michigan, despite another snowstorm this week.  (No snow at 6am, 3 inches on the ground by 10am, but only a few patches here and there by dinnertime …)

This time of renewal has also seen a lot of musical activity. Continue reading

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Filed under Musicians of Note, Personal Journey

29 Musicians Make A Wonderful Sound

Just back from Camerata Ireland’s performance at the brand-new Palladium in Carmel, Indiana.

Palladium Stage, Carmel Indiana

The view from our seats in the new Palladium in Carmel, Indiana

First of all, the facility is a winner.   Chuck and I bought seats in the choral terrace behind the stage, and they were great.   It was almost like sitting in the orchestra, with a full view of Barry Douglas conducting and nearly close enough to read the music on the stands. Continue reading

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Symphony Fantasy Camp

BSO AcademyThe envelope was large, brown, and addressed by hand.

“Dear Georgeann,

“Congratulations!  After careful review of your application, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is pleased to offer you admission to the second annual BSO Academy …”

I’m in. Continue reading

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Forming a Musical Community

As the Christmas/New Years holiday week approaches, Chuck and I have finished a furious round of concerts.  The New Horizons Band where Chuck plays had three concerts of Christmas music – one in the midst of the big snowstorm that hit southeast Michigan on the 11th. Continue reading

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Band Festival Announced in Southeast Michigan

The Motor City Brass Band distributed a news release today about an upcoming Festival of Bands.   This event does two things I think are important.   It  helps facilitate communication and coordination between different organizations, and it pulls the Detroit Symphony into a leadership role with community and amateur music groups.

Here are the details: Continue reading

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Rusty Wins in Baltimore

Kudo’s to the Baltimore Symphony and Music Director Marin Alsop!   The Orchestra invited amateur musicians — what they called “Rusty Musicians” to join them.  They were so overwhelmed with requests that they ended up scheduling a second concert to handle the 400 volunteers.   By all accounts, the experiment was a resounding success.   See the story in  The Washington Post or this blog entry from The Baltimore Sun. Continue reading

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Passions Know No Boundaries …

This week, I learned that even professional musicians may have a little “midlife musician” in them. Continue reading

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